Piano brands that I should stay away from?

Posted by: musicxfreakk

Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 04:31 PM

I've been looking at some pre owned uprights, and i'm wondering, what are some brands that i should definelty stay away from??
And also, some cheap priced pianos really stunned me.
Such as, alot of Baldwins, Pearls And River, Kimball, Young Chang, and so i was wondering, what brands should i definetlly avoid, I'm looking for a piano that would sound good playing pop, like Yiruma's music, and that can last me at LEAST 8-10 years.
Posted by: Monica K.

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 05:51 PM

Hi musicxfreakk, welcome to the forum. \:\) I think any of the brands you mentioned should last you 8-10 years. (That's assuming you meant "Pearl River", not Pearls and River ;\) ).

Rather than specific brands, the factors I would look for in shopping for a used upright are:

1.) Age. Here, the younger the better, and I would try to buy something no more than 10-15 years old.

2.) Height. Avoid spinets (pianos shorter than 42" or so). Technicians hate to work on them, and they won't sound as nice as a taller console or studio. The one exception is if you can find a Baldwin acrosonic spinet, which are generally regarded as pretty good spinets. But also avoid the extremely tall uprights, as they tend to be very old (80-100 years old) and usually not good for musical purposes.

3.) Gray market pianos. These are Asian pianos originally sold in Japan and then imported into the U.S. These can be good pianos (and good deals), but there can be pitfalls in shopping for them. Having them inspected by a technician prior to agreeing to purchase is essential. Search the archives for "gray market" or "grey market" for more info.

Good luck!

p.s. "River flows in you" is one of my favorite pieces to play. \:\)
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 05:56 PM

You should stay away from any piano that you have not had an independent piano technician that you hire yourself check out first.
Posted by: musicxfreakk

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 06:29 PM

the only reason i buying a used one is because of my budget, i dont think i'll be able to get a person to check it specifically.
-.-
Posted by: musicxfreakk

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 06:30 PM

to monica: i found many baldwin acrosonics that were very cheap...
Posted by: Ivory Dreams

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 06:32 PM

Monica K and rocket88 gave you the best advice you can get.

To review: Limit you choices to recently built pianos. Make an appointment to view and play the piano, if the tone and action are pleasing to you.... make an appointment to have your tech evaluate it.

This is one of those times.... that you will need to spend money to save money.
Posted by: Ivory Dreams

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 06:40 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by musicxfreakk:
the only reason i buying a used one is because of my budget, i dont think i'll be able to get a person to check it specifically.
-.- [/b]
Sorry, I think our latest posts crossed in siber space. A tech might not cost as much as you think. A visit on your own will rule out a lot of used instruments that are not worthy of carrying home. If you absolutely can't hire a tech, consider asking your piano teacher of church pianist if they would go with you.

In my own experience these folks were very happy to help out. In many instances they have shopped for pianos in the past..... Perhaps they could offer some insight into the pitfalls of the instrument before you.

If money is an issue.... You certainly can't afford to spend your hard earned dollars on junk ---- there is plenty of that for sale under the words: USED PIANO.
Posted by: musicxfreakk

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 08:45 PM

yes, i know to actually get the best cheapest instrument i can get, i have to go and see it myself, but i cant get a ride, considering my uncle is a butthead so im on my own.
I saw many cheap chickerings as well.
So far, people recommended kawais,yamahas, acrosonic, and chickerings. alrighty.
also, if i get a digital, which one should i get that will last me for 3-5 years at least?
as in, it's realistic and good enough to last 3-5 years.
thankyou=DD
Posted by: JDelmore

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 09:45 PM

Check with the local techs. Often they have more pianos than they want, or know of a good deal or two.
Posted by: kenny

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/02/09 09:56 PM

Stay away from the expensive ones.

They are seductive.
Posted by: Supply

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/03/09 12:53 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Ivory Dreams:
.... If you absolutely can't hire a tech, consider asking your piano teacher of church pianist if they would go with you.
I have come across it quite often - I come to service a used piano the client recently bought and have to break the bad news to them - this piano is hardly worth tuning.

The reply: "But my music teacher/friend who plays/church pianist said it was OK."

Players, even teachers, for the most part, are not able to judge critical factors of a piano's technical condition.

If you can't hire a tech to check out a piano, then surely you can't hire one to tune the piano. Oh, yes, I forgot - it was tuned in the factory...
;\)
Posted by: ThreeBees

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/03/09 07:57 AM

Do not buy Samick, Young-Chang, Pearl River, Gulbransen. These are furniture with a noise maker inside. Your are better off with a free piano off of craigslist. That would be fine for most people for the first few years.

A used Yamaha P22 school piano is the first real piano anyone should consider paying real money for. This is the secret of the piano industry. Rick Jones cannot keep them in stock. Used P22s come up periodically on craigslist for around $2000. I saw one as low as $1000, but it did not last long.
Posted by: Kenny Blankenship

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/03/09 09:30 AM

used vertical pianos older than say 20 years old, should be ignored, a higher end digital offers more value, better action and sound in most cases for a better price point. Unless you are looking at name brands, that in their heyday(sp?) were expensive....and have been kept up.
Posted by: musiclady

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/04/09 04:32 PM

Samick, Young Chang, Suzuki (really, don't go there!), and Mason and Risch (I've played several of the last and notice they have problems on a consistent basis.) And Casios for digital piano, or any digital piano with a detachable pedal for that matter.)

Meri
Posted by: Glenn Treibitz

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/04/09 08:00 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ThreeBees:
Do not buy Samick, Young-Chang, Pearl River, Gulbransen. These are furniture with a noise maker inside. Your are better off with a free piano off of craigslist. That would be fine for most people for the first few years.

A used Yamaha P22 school piano is the first real piano anyone should consider paying real money for. This is the secret of the piano industry. Rick Jones cannot keep them in stock. Used P22s come up periodically on craigslist for around $2000. I saw one as low as $1000, but it did not last long. [/b]
With all due respect, have you looked at pianos in the last 20 years? All of those brands are real piano companies other than Gulbransen and should be acceptable pianos for 20-30 years or more. None of these are noise makers. What an insult to the entire Koean piano business.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/04/09 09:13 PM

What *not* to buy is similiar to what race *not* to marry.

Insider hint:

Some treasures can be sometimes found in least suspected places. ;\)

I've come across a lot of shitty great name pianos and some real surprises among those who were *not*

One particular Young Chang grand comes to mind: when the Korean customer for a new Estonia offered it to us, I almost declined. She had brought it along form Korea and wanted to replace it as it was 10 years "old" to her - too old for her ethnical view of things....

Little did I know this particular piano to almost rival one of our own Sauters when it arrived here.....
Posted by: TX-Dennis

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/04/09 09:17 PM

If your budget is really that limited, I would recommend a digital. Perhaps a Casio PX series or Yamaha P series. The Casio would likely cost less. Either will last several years. No tuning needed (saves more money - which you could put toward a future acoustic piano). I have a Casio. It has a decent feeling action, but it sounds like crud (to me, anyway.) The Yamaha sounds a bit better, but it is also more money.

If you do decide to go with the acoustic, then you really need to pay a tech to check it out for you first. With used pianos, it really is more about individual instruments and how they've been maintained over the years than about brands. Find one you like at a price you can afford. If the tech says it's okay, then buy it.
Posted by: ThreeBees

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/04/09 09:43 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ThreeBees:
Do not buy Samick, Young-Chang, Pearl River, Gulbransen. These are furniture with a noise maker inside. Your are better off with a free piano off of craigslist. That would be fine for most people for the first few years.

A used Yamaha P22 school piano is the first real piano anyone should consider paying real money for. This is the secret of the piano industry. Rick Jones cannot keep them in stock. Used P22s come up periodically on craigslist for around $2000. I saw one as low as $1000, but it did not last long. [/b]
Thank you for repeating my post Mr. Treibitz. The more times it is drummed into the piano consumers head the better piano they will get. So you have me insulting the Korean race. Nice twist.

But it is not just me who has this opinion. Larry Fine in the 1994 issue completely trashes Young Chang and Samick as junk and lauds Yamaha as "superb, virtually perfect, rather spectacular" as I have quoted in another thread.

But here is a better question for you Mr. Treibitz. Instead of talking up the junk brands, why don't you just sell the good ones? By your signature you carry every inferior brand new but only carry the quality brands use. Why don't you just become a dealer of the good brands and then you would not be insulted by criticism of the sub-standard inferior stuff.
Posted by: turandot

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/04/09 10:23 PM

 Quote:
But here is a better question for you Mr. Treibitz. Instead of talking up the junk brands, why don't you just sell the good ones? By your signature you carry every inferior brand new but only carry the quality brands use. Why don't you just become a dealer of the good brands and then you would not be insulted by criticism of the sub-standard inferior stuff. [/b]
ThreeBees,

Since some of your posts state opinions formed by checking out pianos at Rick Jones Piano, you might want to ask Rick the same question. Rick sells boatloads of ancient Yamahas and Kawais. He references his blowout prices on those 20 to 30-year-old pianos by comparing them to the MSRP of the nearest new equivalent (even though he doesn't sell them). Pretty cheesy, don't you think?

Among Rick Jones' new piano offerings are the Royale, the August Hoffman, and the May-Berlin. All are from China. Two of the three are store stencils. Why doesn't Rick sell new Yamaha and Kawai pianos instead of that "inferior" stuff? Probably you should ask him.

Glenn Treibetz sells lines at a lot of different pricepoints. Some may be better than others, but none of them are junk. If Glenn wanted to bother with the likes of you, he could easily defend his brands and his business. But why should he bother with a loud-mouthed immature individual who wishes to shout out what he has garnered from the 1994 Larry Fine book and from hanging out at Rick Jones Piano? I can't think of a reason. Can You?

The owner of this site would like the content of this forum to be of a quality that members would be willing to pay a fee for if help is needed for its upkeep. Unfortunately, people like you who insult anyone here who owns any piano other than those specified in his personal mantra can tear down the good work that a lot of members accomplish here. That's a shame.
Posted by: Rickster

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/04/09 11:13 PM

Nice post, Turandot.

I visited a former church a few months ago for a homecoming service and they had purchased a new Young Chang 5 foot baby grand since I was there last; it sounded surprisingly good. After the service, while they were having dinner, I slipped back to the sanctuary and tried it out. It was a very nice sounding and playing piano. About as far from junk as the east is from the west. ;\)

Take care,

Rick
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/04/09 11:56 PM

 Quote:
But it is not just me who has this opinion. Larry Fine in the 1994 issue completely trashes Young Chang and Samick as junk and...."
I just read a book about the stock market in 1994.

But it doesn't help me one damn on Jan 5, 2009.

In fact I wish it was 1994....

Norbert \:o
Posted by: CozyWriter

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 12:00 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ThreeBees:
Do not buy Samick, Young-Chang, Pearl River, Gulbransen. These are furniture with a noise maker inside. Your are better off with a free piano off of craigslist. That would be fine for most people for the first few years.

[/b]
Hmmm... I'm curious as to the context of that. Are you basing those brand reviews on opinion or fact?

I tried the Pearl River and the fit 'n finish didn't work for me, but it was purely opinion: if I wanted to spend 4 grand on a 5-7 small grand, it's probably worth the cash.

Y-C I won't respond to, since my Pramberger P185 was manufactured by Young Chang. I'd put the RedPiano up against a same size (6-1) Kawai. It's an Awesome instrument that we won't see the likes of again. (and two years of butt-time on the bench means I can probably speak from fact on the quality of the piano.)

Too bad it's made by Young Chang ;\)
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 12:06 AM

People that keep ridiculing Korean or other oriental manufacturing companies today, better read the morning paper.

It's astounding who's laughing over whom these days.

Norbert \:o
Posted by: charleslang

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 12:46 AM

Back to basics musicxfreakk what I would say to do on a low budget is go and see and play several pianos you see on craigslist until you know you've seen several you don't like and several you do like. Also look at some stores, where you can play pianos right next to each other.

Then, hire a tech to see one or two that you like the most. Don't worry about age of the piano. Some ten year old pianos are played heavily and some seventy year old pianos have been kept in good shape and in a good climate. I think Texas is a good climate for pianos.

I have to admit that I have bought three pianos without having an independent tech looking at them. I think I have been lucky, since I've been happy with them all. I would recommend doing that only if looking at something in the sub-1000 dollar range, just because there's not all that much to lose in that range as long as the piano sounds and feels good when you look at it on your own. Above 1000 dollars I would have a tech look at it.

It's also possible to just learn a little about pianos on your own for free so that if you can't afford hiring a tech then you at least know of some big potholes to avoid. You can check out the soundboard for example and what shape the hammers are in, and you can be more aware of how a loose old action feels when you push the keys from side to side. This won't guarantee you avoid all problems but it may be a step above taking a church pianist along with you to look.

Another thing is, assuming you can tell whether a piano is in tune or not, to ask when the last time they tuned it was. If it was within the last two years and it sounds badly out of tune that's a bad sign. If it's badly out of tune at all, actually, it's a bad sign, but if it's a bit out of tune but is a relatively new piano then it's a good bet that the pins are still tight and will hold a tuning.

Also avoid pianos that people have been storing in garages, unless it has been there only a short amount of time.

Acrosonics are good and they have nice tone. Some people including myself really like the tone of older Baldwins like Acrosonics and Baldwin Hamiltons. The later Hamiltons had inferior tone compared to those of the '50s and earlier, IMO.
Posted by: ThreeBees

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 06:50 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by CozyWriter:
Hmmm... I'm curious as to the context of that. Are you basing those brand reviews on opinion or fact?
It seems you do not know who Larry Fine is. If you look to the right of this post you might see an add for his book on the Piano World site.

And since you will not take the time to figure out who he is and read his book I will retype it for you here.

Larry Fine is the author of "The Piano Book" which has rated piano brands for more than the past 20 year and is the only such book available.

In the 1994 edition Larry Fine completely trashed Samick and Young Chang as junk and lauded Yamaha as "superb, virtually perfect, rather spectacular."

Larry Fine on Samick: "Samick entered the US market in the late 1970s ... These first pianos reacted very poorly to the climatic extremes of North America ... with wooden parts warping, cracking and binding. Many of them had to be sent back to Korea. Throughout most of the 1980s Samick pianos were very erratic in quality. Many were plagued with problems, requiring hours of repair and adjustment by the dealer. ... Although most technicians who were interviewed at that time condemned these pianos, some who were given latitude in servicing them and who were very experienced with them said they could be made into satisfactory instruments."

So unless you pay big bucks to rebuild the Samick junk its worthless.

Larry Fine on Young Chang: "The first Young Chang pianos to enter this country (US) in 1978, fell apart, as did all other Asian pianos before them, due to inadequate seasoning of the wood for our climatic extremes. Many of these pianos were sent back to Korea. Throughout the 1980s, Young Changs continually improved and by mid-decade, some technicians considered them to be satisfactory for casual or less serious use. However, the quality control was still quite inconsistent and some pianos had problems required a great deal of repair and adjustment by the dealer. ... improvement continues, but perhaps at a slower rate. ..."

And it goes on like that for several paragraphs, I am too lazy to type it all. In other words, Larry Fine says as of 1994 Young Changs and Samick are JUNK JUNK JUNK.

Larry Fine on Yamaha: "Yamaha has always had a reputation for superb quality control and virtually perfect preparation of the pianos in the factory. This is still essentially so, but with just a little less finesse than before, particularly in the American-make instruments. ... Technicians are enthusiastic about servicing Yamaha verticals, especially the uprights, which are considered rather spectacular pianos. ... "

If Young Chang and Samick finally learned to make proper pianos they did so in less than the last 15 years when Yamaha has been making the finest pianos for more that 100 years.
Posted by: tanjinjack

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 08:02 AM

In Larry Fine's latest 2008/2009 annual supplement, Samick (and K&C) and Young Chang receives positive comments.

Here's some quotes about Samick.
"Quality control in Samick's Korean and Indonesian factory has been steadily improved, especially in the last few years, and the Indonesian products is said to be almost as good as the Korean. Many large-scale issue have been addressed and engineers are now working on smaller refinements."
"Samick's upper-level pianos - K&C Millennium series, JP Pramberger, and Wm. Knabe - have met with a very positive response from technicians as to their musical design and performance, exceeding comparably priced pianos from Japan in that regard."
"With good dealer prep, I recommend Samick-made pianos for average use."

Here's about Young Chang.
"The Platinum Edition and Albert Weber pianos have greater musical potential and respond well to expert voicing."

I cannot deny the fact that in the annual supplement, there's quality control issue addressed to the Koreans but that can't make one to rule out the Koreans as a choice.
I can't deny as well that the Japanese (Yamaha and Kawai) are impressive pianos and they receive positive comments from Larry Fine.

And, IMHO, there should be a reason that YC is chosen by Steinway to build Essex.
Other than that, we have to know about the connection of Mr. Pramberger's team with the Koreans.

Despite being regarded as subjective and something we should not care for, YC and Samick both have pianos at the same Tier with Yamaha C. But, as other would say, take the Tier system as a reference only, don't be serious about it.

Well, I hope I didn't quote too much from his book, but that can serve as an reference anyway. So, it's up to you to believe wise words from 1994 or 2008.

ThreeBees, I feel that you are biased.
Posted by: Avantgardenabi

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 08:53 AM

ThreeBees,

As Korean citizen and as a Young Chang owner, I am seriously offended by all of your past comments.

Unless you do have an evil intention to promote your bigotry and to label Korean-made pianos as "junks" in this forum, I do not even understand your entire existence as a member.
Posted by: Horwinkle

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 09:37 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Avantgardenabi:
ThreeBees,

As Korean citizen and as a Young Chang owner, I am seriously offended by all of your past comments.[/b]
I doubt that ThreeBees' comments were intended to offend Koreans. Rather, he's pointing to the informed opinions of a respected author on the subject (Larry Fine).

ThreeBees says (referring to Larry Fine) that 1990's (and older) pianos from Korea had serious problems. Since the OP is considering a used piano, he might be well advised to stay away from those pianos.

The story might be very different for newer 2000's Korean pianos.

I would add that if the OP is looking for a used piano, he should DEFINITELY enlist the help of a piano tech to evaluate the piano. Even the best-name used pianos can be junk. Heavy use and lack of care/maintenance can ruin a piano, so the buyer had better beware. You need a piano tech to evaluate any used piano ... before buying.
Posted by: turandot

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 10:49 AM

 Quote:
I doubt that ThreeBees' comments were intended to offend Koreans. Rather, he's pointing to the informed opinions of a respected author on the subject (Larry Fine).[/b]
Horiwinkle,

You are correct. ThreeBees is not intending to offend Koreans. He/She is intending to offend everyone. Here is a collection of ThreeBees' comments during his/her short stay here.

 Quote:
you might as well go with Yamaha the 100 year titan than with the 10 year gamble. Most people do not have the time or ability to figure that out.

Yamaha is the only piano anyone should every buy.

I repeat. Yamaha is the only piano anyone should ever buy.

The more times it is drummed into the piano consumers head the better piano they will get.

Yamaha has been making the finest pianos for more that 100 years.

Since Kawai is found in university practice rooms it could be considered. But after spending a day in Rick Jones piano shop and playing all the Yamaha and Kawai pianos he had there, I came to the concluded the Kawai does not sound as good. Therefore, I do not recommend it.

Do not buy Samick, Young-Chang, Pearl River, Gulbransen. These are furniture with a noise maker inside. Your are better off with a free piano off of craigslist.

I owned a Schafer & Sons upright piano for 15 year. They are made by Young Chang (Larry Fine 1994) and are therefore trash.

The dealer's advice on Piano World does not seem particularly useful in most cases.

But here is a better question for you Mr. Treibitz. Instead of talking up the junk brands, why don't you just sell the good ones? By your signature you carry every inferior brand new.
Let each person be the judge of his/her intelligence, intent, and attitudes toward other members.
Posted by: stanw909

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/05/09 10:50 AM

I agree with Horwinkle.I think 3bees is speaking of older Korean.
Posted by: Glenn Treibitz

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 06:23 PM

We do get some wacky posters here. I won't even attempt to legitimize the rather ignorant negative comment made on this thread toward the products I proudly represent.

Larry Fine was not god in 1994 and he is not god now! Larry Fine is not JD Powers and Larry Fine is not consumer reports. His books have nothing scientific about their methods, he's often criticized for his methodology and for his opinions which are sometimes controversial. Recent Mason and Hamlin ranking comes to mind. Larry Fine is a piano tech who writes opinionated books. His books serve a valuable purpose in educating people to some good information peppered with a lot of subjective opinion. He is basically a critic of the piano business as a film critic is a critic of films. How many times has one seen a film the critics disliked and liked it? The same is true for pianos which we all know are highly subjective.

Larry Fine certainly does not see the large amount of pianos on a daily basis that those of us in the business for many years see. Over the last 29 years I've personally sold thousands of pianos. I ran a company that was selling 3 thousand pianos a year. Currently the Hollywood Piano rental piano division has pianos from EVERY company in it's pool. Literally hundreds upon hundreds of pianos. I can tell you the Korean pianos in our rental pool from the late 80's are aging well. The regulation holds well and the tuning stability is rock solid. We have a great many Young Chang model E101's. They play well and go back out on rent the minute they return. In examining pianos in our rental pool by the two Korean companies I can say they both keep tune well over time. The regulation and the feel of the Young Changs holds up better over time on 20 year old pianos. I feel strongly that the pianos made by both Young Chang and Samick today can stand with anything made and represent good values in the marketplace.

One thing comes to mind about Japanese pianos. The first ones shipped here had their problems too which were corrected. That has been the cycle of pianos arriving in the US for the first time from all of the Asian countries be it Japan, Korea, Indonesia or China.
Posted by: ThreeBees

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 06:27 PM

Would you buy a piano from a guy who attacks Larry Fine?
Posted by: JustAnotherPianist

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 06:43 PM

Of course!
Larry Fine is just a technician like any other. I don't even know if he's a first class concert tech or not-maybe he is, maybe he isn't.
He had the good sense to write a book at the right time, and now he's rich and famous!

It doesn't make his word gospel.
Posted by: Mr. Kia

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 06:46 PM

Maybe.
Posted by: Vince in Vegas

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 08:33 PM

Excellent post Glen Triebitz! I found Fine's book a really good tool for educating neophites like myself BUT he is indeed not Consumer Reports or JD powers. Do pianophiles really want a Consumer Reports like study of pianos?
Posted by: ThreeBees

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 08:49 PM

Some salesman can sell snow to Eskimos and sand to Arabs. By the tirade above Mr. Triebitz you might be one of them.
Posted by: rocket88

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 08:52 PM

ps...Consumer Reports is not god either, although they would like you to believe they are infalliable and unbiased. Google "consumer reports bias"...for another opinion.
Posted by: Norbert

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 09:04 PM

I am a great admirer of Larry Fine myself -- think of it - he's got an almost impossible job to do....

By the same token Larry is virtually unknown in Europe and many other parts of the word where also a lot of pianos are selected and bought by a large group of more or less sophisticated customers.

For me, the interest has always been to which extent Mr.Fine will 'upgrade' those pianos which we personally have come to believe being undervalued at a given point in time showing often great potential for moving up the scale later in the future.

We had 3 this year alone - that is 3 out of 47 others - so our 'guessing' hadn't been too far off.

Let's not forget, everybody needs to do a bit his/her own 'guessing' making a hopefully well based decision in the end - before[/b] a piano as just once again upgraded stock may just have become a bit too expensive down the line.

Just imagine what an Estonia will cost should it suddenly find itself in tier 1 something, or a Brodmann grand in tier 3A, or a H.....

Norbert :p
Posted by: Glenn Treibitz

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/06/09 10:42 PM

It's sad that Piano World sometimes sees personal attacks from anonymous posters who can not articulate their frustrations any other way. That's one reasons some of the country's dealers are no longer active.

My respectful comments about Larry Fine simply said his book is a valuable tool, it's not scientific, and not to be taken as the word of god. I've met Larry and like him a great deal and he would be the first to agree that his book is not the gospel. My comments were made to make one think. Just because something is in print does not mean it is fact. There are alot of opinions out there and one is not more valid than another. The decision making process entails gathering information from many sources, processing it, and then if one is capable of it, making up their own mind.
Posted by: TheCaz

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/07/09 02:02 AM

Threebees writes:
 Quote:
Some salesman can sell snow to Eskimos and sand to Arabs. By the tirade above Mr. Triebitz you might be one of them.
Threebees,

How did you know that Glenn used to sell snow to Eskimos? It was Grade AAA Super White, which they use for making soundboards in the snow pianos they make for their winter snow sculptures. Its shipped to them from Eastern Canada.

While you can only play the snow pianos until the Summer thaw, they sound almost as good as a C1 or U1.

I was playing on one the first time I saw the Northern Lights. They were like greenish whispy clouds that float mysteriously in the sky. The Eskimos have a single word for them in Inuktitut, which roughly translated means, "The souls of our dead relatives who have come back to visit us."

Maybe you can go visit with them as well ...
Posted by: theJourney

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/07/09 05:45 AM

Gonna party like its nineteen ninety four! \:D \:D \:D

The day the earth stood still.

According to the 1994 consumer report I should consider buying a Detroit built Oldsmobile today.

Given that :

a) Larry Fine's book put out today and in 1994 is one of subjective rankings based on:
- unscientific and statistically invalid (small, incomparable) samples of in turn subjective opinions of technicians and
- a process of give and take consensus building combined with the occasional provocative changes to sell more books;

and

b) internet is basically a post-1995 phenomenon that has dramatically changed the amount, quality and availability of information about piano brands.

One could be forgiven for questioning if it has been really just the quality of these pianos that has improved over the last 15 years or in fact the quality of factual information over these pianos...which Fine was forced to follow.
Posted by: ThreeBees

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/07/09 07:03 PM

Yes, Mr. Treibitz, you actually did complement Larry Fine saying "His books serve a valuable purpose" while at the same time completely contradiction some of his strongest points in effect calling him an idiot. One of Larry Fine's strongest points is that the Samick and Young Chang pianos of the 1980s are of highly mediocre quality, in effect junk. You completely contradict this saying they are great.

It is a true salesman's skill to make completely contradictory statement sound like perfect sense. I stand in awe of your skill.

You did call Larry Fine incompetent, however.
Posted by: turandot

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/07/09 07:07 PM

'Highly mediocre' could have different interpretations, none of which would mean junk.
Junk is something of no value...which reminds me of you.

Why don't you start a new thread....."Posting members that should be ignored?" I have an idea whose name would top the list. \:D
Posted by: Furtwangler

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/07/09 07:12 PM

\:D
Posted by: mdsdurango

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/07/09 07:19 PM

It's times like this that I think of Adrians (ABJ) signature line.
Posted by: Glenn Treibitz

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/07/09 08:31 PM

Hey there Mr. or Ms. ThreeBees.

Don't put words into my mouth and don't misquote my posts in the distorted and vile way that you have! Any intelligent person reading my posts will see that your characterizations of my words are totally off base.

Your tone in general is not a positive addition to this online community.
Posted by: pno

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/07/09 09:48 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ThreeBees:
Would you buy a piano from a guy who attacks Larry Fine? [/b]
Huh?! Since when Larry Fine has become God and could not be criticized? Do you worship him?

As a consumer all I care is what price and service a dealer can offer to me. I am not going to pay a premium just because the dealer sings praise to certain character of no interest to me.
Posted by: WILLIAM C. HAUGHT

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/08/09 12:10 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ThreeBees:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by CozyWriter:
Hmmm... I'm curious as to the context of that. Are you basing those brand reviews on opinion or fact?

Larry Fine is the author of "The Piano Book" which has rated piano brands for more than the past 20 year and is the only such book available.

In the 1994 edition Larry Fine completely trashed Samick and Young Chang as junk and lauded Yamaha as "superb, virtually perfect, rather spectacular."

Larry Fine on Samick: "Samick entered the US market in the late 1970s ... These first pianos reacted very poorly to the climatic extremes of North America ... with wooden parts warping, cracking and binding. Many of them had to be sent back to Korea. Throughout most of the 1980s Samick pianos were very erratic in quality. Many were plagued with problems, requiring hours of repair and adjustment by the dealer. ... Although most technicians who were interviewed at that time condemned these pianos, some who were given latitude in servicing them and who were very experienced with them said they could be made into satisfactory instruments."

So unless you pay big bucks to rebuild the Samick junk its worthless.

Larry Fine on Young Chang: "The first Young Chang pianos to enter this country (US) in 1978, fell apart, as did all other Asian pianos before them, due to inadequate seasoning of the wood for our climatic extremes. Many of these pianos were sent back to Korea. Throughout the 1980s, Young Changs continually improved and by mid-decade, some technicians considered them to be satisfactory for casual or less serious use. However, the quality control was still quite inconsistent and some pianos had problems required a great deal of repair and adjustment by the dealer. ... improvement continues, but perhaps at a slower rate. ..."

And it goes on like that for several paragraphs, I am too lazy to type it all. In other words, Larry Fine says as of 1994 Young Changs and Samick are JUNK JUNK JUNK.

Larry Fine on Yamaha: "Yamaha has always had a reputation for superb quality control and virtually perfect preparation of the pianos in the factory. This is still essentially so, but with just a little less finesse than before, particularly in the American-make instruments. ... Technicians are enthusiastic about servicing Yamaha verticals, especially the uprights, which are considered rather spectacular pianos. ... "

If Young Chang and Samick finally learned to make proper pianos they did so in less than the last 15 years when Yamaha has been making the finest pianos for more that 100 years. [/b]
WHAT A LOAD OF RUBBISH!

First of all, with due respect to Larry Fine, who has made much more of his income from his book than in the piano business, using him as the ultimate authority to a dealer like Glenn or anyone else is laughable.

If you take each issue, year by year and compare the opinions, they change, as do the way that each manufacturer makes their pianos.

I can tell you that if you went for consumer help in a book written in 1950, the Studebaker was a great deal! A little later in that decade, the car that everyone should buy was the Edsel. Remember the Ford Pinto? Great deal, great gas mileage and rated top in it's class. Later they started blowing up on the freeway in flames. Just one example....

As far as the names you mentioned, who are you and what experience do you have to degrade those pianos? Are you a tech? Are you a dealer? Are you a poser? With 30+ years in the business, I, along with Glenn, who certainly does not have to explain his merchandising in his store to you, would not put my name on anything claiming that a particular complete line of pianos were boxes that make noise.

For the person that asked the question, I would say go try out all the pianos and see what feels right for your ear, your touch and your budget. Then, buy it! If you are foolish enough to take the word of a Larry Fine fan, you will be more lost than you are right now.

One more little tidbit on this subject of Mr. Fine. He acquires the thoughts of many people to come up with his references in his books. Do you really think that he, himself, examines all of these pianos and then writes this? How foolish of you.

Respectfully and with apologies to Glenn T. for being thrown in the mud after decades of a highly respected career in this business. Sorry Glenn, there is one in every crowd.
Posted by: Ken Knapp

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/08/09 05:27 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by ThreeBees:
Yes, Mr. Treibitz, you actually did complement Larry Fine saying "His books serve a valuable purpose" while at the same time completely contradiction some of his strongest points in effect calling him an idiot. One of Larry Fine's strongest points is that the Samick and Young Chang pianos of the 1980s are of highly mediocre quality, in effect junk. You completely contradict this saying they are great.

It is a true salesman's skill to make completely contradictory statement sound like perfect sense. I stand in awe of your skill.

You did call Larry Fine incompetent, however. [/b]
I hate to do this in open forum, but you have your PM's disabled.

Let's tone it down a couple of notches. Everyone is entitled to their opinions, but let's not force them on everyone. Let's be courteous too.

Ken
Posted by: Tweedpipe

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 01/08/09 10:03 AM

I must agree that there are very wacky posters here.
The adage ‘empty vessels make most noise’ certainly comes to mind reading BeeThrees (?) rambling comments.
Is it not possible that he/she is an imposter on this forum masquerading under the cover of a scriptwriter for an argument clinic. Who can forget his/her classic masterpiece as follows:-
Anyone For An Argument
Posted by: premant

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 02/24/09 08:13 AM

i bought a sc jung digital and my friend played it, she is steinway artist, and it sounded great for $1500 better than expensive roland
Posted by: apple*

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 02/24/09 09:52 AM

edit
Posted by: tanjinjack

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? - 02/24/09 10:56 AM

LOL, I just thought I missed a highly discussed thread but in fact it was the old thread that I have participated before.
Interesting to re-read the little flame war caused by ThreeBees. \:D