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#181434 - 11/09/02 07:53 PM New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
mflaster Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/02
Posts: 13
Hi all,

My 1st post. I'm just starting to think about upgrading my wife's 20-year old Baldwin upright to a small baby grand. We don't have a lot of space, so I'm thinking as close to 5' as possible. My wife plays a little (I don't), and we have 2 little ones, maybe they'll play someday. I was thinking something in the $5-$10K range (I know, a big range) - but mainly with emphasis on value.

Piano Piano was having a show in a NJ hotel today. I listened to a 5' Samick and Bergmann, and a 5'2" Bergmann. I believe all 3 pianos were about 50% off list - ~$6500 for the 5'ers and ~$7200 for the 5'2". I actually liked the 5' Samick a lot - but I'm not sure how much I trust my opinion - maybe where I was standing, the (bad) acoustics of the room, etc. biased me. I had never heard of Samick, and Indonesian pianos didn't sound like a good idea.

The salesman said that the Bergmann was made by Young Chang in a built-from-scratch factory in China, implying it might be of a higher quality than other Chinese pianos. Also, I've read some "good value" type praise for Young Chang elsewhere on this board.

Any comments or suggestions? Bergmann vs. Samick? Other choices? Reasonable prices?

Thanks in advance!

Mike

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#181435 - 11/09/02 11:35 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Dans Piano Service Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 43
Loc: Arvada, Co.
Hi Mike,
I am a technician in Denver, and I do a lot of work for the local Young Chang dealer. He also happens to handle Samick. Personaly, I prefer the Bergman over the Samick, but it is realy personal choice. I like the sound and the touch of the Bergman better. You might find just the opposit. It just depends on what you like. That is what is important. For that price range, both pianos are pretty good. As far as weather or not you are getting a great deal, I think you would find that if you waited until after the sale, and went to the dealers show room at his store, you would find that the prices are about the same as they are at this sale, despite what he tells you. At least this is true with the dealer I work with here when he does a sale.

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#181436 - 11/10/02 02:00 AM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13976
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
I am a Bergmann dealer but have nothing to gain to simply tell you my experience here.

The Bergmann 5'2 [duplex scale] has actually really surprised me. Being a relatively small,if new piano on the market, we have sold already approximately 10 of them.

What kills me is that several of our customers have been semi-professionals including 2 [previously Yamaha inspired!] teachers.

It's quite a wonderful little, warm sounding piano which consistently seems to defy both its size and ancestry.

In fact there's been very little talk of 'upgrading',common for this size, when this piano is first tried.
[Admittedly we have developed a 'secret fromula' which makes this piano perhaps sound better than it was intended to....]

But for a small grand - it's been a REAL dandy!

[sorry,can't comment on the Samick counterpart!]

Best of luck in your search...always try as many pianos as you can!

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#181437 - 11/10/02 11:12 AM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Rich Galassini Offline
8000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 8982
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
At Cunningham, we have dealt with both flavors, and I feel that it is personal choice. Either will hold up reasonably well and neither is a concert quality piano.

Buy what speaks to you!!
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
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#181438 - 11/10/02 12:46 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14037
Loc: Louisiana
How much space do you have? Many dealers will give you a grand piano template, that you can lay on the floor, and get a good idea of how much space you need.

There is very little difference between a 5'7" piano, and 5" piano, but there is a lot of difference in tone, at least to me.

If you can stretch your length a bit, but not your budget, let your wife try these out:

1. Bergmann 5'9" - Norbert may like his 5'2", but maybe I can get him to admit he likes a well-prepped 5'9" better. ;\) It is 7 inches longer, and it shows. About 8K.

2. Nordiska 5'5" - a Dongbei product. I'm biased, I own one. A very good value, and superior in tone to equivalent built pianos in the 5' size. May also be found under other stencils. Was told by Geneva, International (the importer) that the Nordiska assembly line is a seperate line on the factory floor, leading to better QC, but I cannot confirm. About 7kish.

3. Weber WGS-57. Korean piano, similar to the YC PG series. Try both the YC and the Weber, you may prefer one over the other. I prefer the Weber, and in my personl experience the Weber is usually a smidgen cheaper. About 10K, perhaps a bit less.

4. Kohler&Campbell SKG600S - a 5'9" Samick product, built in Korea. The Korean pianos have a rep for better build quality than the Chinese, or the Indonesians. Warm for an Asian. About 9.5K.

5. Used Baldwin M - my favorite small grand. At 5'2", it seems to have more "bottom" than other grands it's size. For 10K, or less, you should be able to find one 10 years old(or less), in very good condition. Baldwin quality does vary, and one should have a pianotech check out a prospective purchase, as one should when buying any used piano.

6. A good used Japanese piano, ten years old or less. - Think Yamaha C series (starts at 5'3") or Kawai RX series (starts at 5'5"). The Kawai is a little darker, the Yamaha has lighter touch. You pick'em.

7. Kawai GE series - you might get into a small (5') Kawai at the 10K mark, dependng on your market. The small Kawai grands to me have more fullness than their Yamaha counterparts.

The best advice I can give you is to purchase "The Piano Book" by Larry Fine, read a lot, and play lots of pianos. If your wife plays, then she will know what she likes when she hears it. Pianos are very personal musical instruments, one size does not fit all!

Your piano is out there, all you have to do is find it! \:\)
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#181439 - 11/10/02 03:09 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
mflaster Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/02
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the replies! I had come to the computer because I was going to mention that I also saw the 5'9" Bergmann (for $8K), but I wasn't considering it because I didn't think I had space. Now that I've been looking at the room, putting the piano in a different place, I think I could go bigger.

I see Jolly beat me to the punch! \:\)

The salesman mentioned that there's a bigger difference that you would think between 5'0" and 5'2". So I would assume there's an even bigger difference going to 5'9".

So I guess the general consensus is that Bergmann's are decent values? Rich - I know they're not concert pianos - and I assume there aren't any for $8k, right? ;\) I'm not really interested in used, as from my point of view this is furniture, so I'm mainly concerned with how it looks... \:\)

I guess another question, I should maybe make another post - what kind of trade-in value should I expect for my 20 year old upright Baldwin? I think it's in pretty decent shape.

Thanks for all the great help!

Mike

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#181440 - 11/10/02 03:38 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
William88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/30/02
Posts: 107
Loc: MidAtlantic
Considering your circumstances, all of the pianos recommended would serve. As a Kohler & Campbell dealer, I would also suggest the SKG530 if the SKG600 is too large. Let me go out on a limb a little. If I understand correctly, your wife plays a little, and your two children might get started, but do you play? You may want to consider a digital grand piano. A digital grand piano reproduces the sound and touch of a regular piano closely enough for most people's purposes, plus, because of some of the additional features, you might get more use out of the piano over a traditional piano that is only being played a little. I expect that the attack from some of the traditionalists on the board should begin now :p , but frankly I've sold quite a few digital grands to clients, and most of them are extremely happy. Several piano teachers that previously swore that they wouldn't accept students if they had a digital have actually purchased themselves after being exposed to today's digitals. Just give one a shot. I recommend Roland and Yamaha. BTW, I am a Roland dealer.
_________________________
Purveyor of Steinway, Boston, Weinbach, Kawai, and other fine pianos

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#181441 - 11/10/02 09:58 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
mflaster Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/02
Posts: 13
William -

No, I don't play. And because I'm very interested in how it would look, I don't think I want to go digital.

Mike

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#181442 - 11/11/02 11:38 AM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
David Burton Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1757
Loc: Coxsackie, New York
Jolly,

That was quite a nice summary. I hope he finds it useful. I found all of your information pretty accurate too.
_________________________
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http://dpbmss041010.blogspot.com/

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#181443 - 11/14/02 09:24 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
david smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/02
Posts: 201
Loc: Palo alto
Forget both of those pianos. They are both poor quality. Spend a little more and gain alot more, negotiate hard.. Buy a Japanese Kawai or Yamaha. Japanese made kawai and yamahas are not long for the USA, get one while you can.
In ten years you can sell your Kawai or Yamaha for about what you paid and the whole while have enjoyed good quality sound and feel without problems.
Buy a bergmann made in China or a samick made in indonesia and in ten years you might get 30 cents on the dollar for it when you go to sell and the whole while you would have had a miserable playing experience.

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#181444 - 11/14/02 10:03 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by david smith:
Japanese made kawai and yamahas are not long for the USA, get one while you can.[/b]
Now THAT is one for the record books! Talk about sales spin!!!!

Care to back that statement up with facts?
_________________________
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens

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#181445 - 11/15/02 10:28 AM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14037
Loc: Louisiana
Uh, Mr. Smith, in case you didn't know, you can't buy a new Japanese grand of any size for 7k(or 8K).

Well, maybe one could, if you chased the dealer around the showroom floor with an axe.

Do you negotiate prices with an axe, Mr. Smith? :p :p :p
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#181446 - 11/15/02 10:35 AM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Nina Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/13/01
Posts: 6467
Loc: Phoenix, AZ
Mflaster:

I'm assuming your Baldwin upright is an Acrosonic or a Hamilton. Both are great pianos for the price, but unfortunately they aren't going to be worth much.

I "traded in" my early 60s-vintage Acrosonic, well-maintained, when I bought my new upright, and got $500 for it. I took the money and ran, because it meant I did get a modest cut taken off of the new piano price, and I didn't have to pay the $60-$80 to move it somewhere else. It was a good deal in my mind.

You may be able to get someone to pay $800-$1000 for it if you sell it through the newspaper, Pennysaver or what have you.

As a final alternative, you might want to give it to someone who may not be able to afford a piano at all... NOT a church, school, or whatever, because they will probably not want what is a solid but old piano. (I'm assuming your piano is in decent shape.) However, for a family with a child who is dying to learn the piano, it could be the Christmas present of a lifetime!

Nina

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#181447 - 11/15/02 11:39 AM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
david smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/02
Posts: 201
Loc: Palo alto
Matt:
Check the local dealers and see where the Kawai and Yamaha pianos are coming from. Kawai uprights (i.e. 506, 606, Ust-8, Ust-7) from North Carolina and now production is starting to be made in China (i.e.K-18, K-25). Yamaha has factories in China and the U.S. (and mexico as well) Models GP-1, T121, M-1, and even the U-1 are made or have components from China and indonesia. Models p-22 and the 500 series are made in the U.S. You cannot buy a small console piano made in Japan now in the U.S. As prices of Japanese products Climb there will be less and less available, it is just the logical conclusion.

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#181448 - 11/15/02 11:45 AM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
david smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/15/02
Posts: 201
Loc: Palo alto
Jolly... I said to up his budget and negotiate hard, and you can buy a Japanese piano for 7-8K..The GM-10 not Kawai's best but Japanese.
With you as a dealer maybe an axe would be appropriate. ;\)

H might also consider a used piano.

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#181449 - 11/15/02 12:08 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14037
Loc: Louisiana
OK, I'll take the bait.

Name me any authorized Kawai dealer in the U.S. that sells a new GM-10 for 7K, and I will refer to that dealer in any future posts when reccomending that piano.

Waiting with telephone in hand... \:\)
_________________________
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#181450 - 11/15/02 12:21 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10346
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
David. Again you misrepresent the facts and distort advice given to a shopper.

Please go away.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#181451 - 11/15/02 02:03 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
.rvaga* Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 2046
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Steve,

Observing this thread, I think that some might take a dealer telling a non-dealer to "go away" shows the dealer has something to hide.

In thinking about David Smith's posts and the vitriolic responses he receives, I don't remember anything he has said that has been any more offensive than the "other" mudslinging that frequently goes on. When the core group slings mud, I don't recall anyone saying "go away."


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#181452 - 11/15/02 02:26 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13976
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
As prices for japanese products climb......[/b]

I hope they do.

Because the Japanese will finally have disappeared form the [piano making] map.

Once and for all.

Unfortunately they won't be able to afford that.

And they know THEMSELVES that there's [way!] too much USED Japanese stuff around for less than half price already.... TODAY!!

David:

I know you graduated [with honours?] from the Randy Potter school of piano tuning.

Any chance to take somewhere a [home course] on Econ 101? ;\)

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#181453 - 11/15/02 02:31 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
shantinik Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/23/01
Posts: 4271
Loc: Olympia, WA
Hey, folks, I think it is more likely than not that Larry found the wrong David Smith. Or least I think we should give the Florida guy the benefit of the doubt (is there a reason we shouldn't?) I'm as "unfond" of Palo Alto Smith as the rest of you, but let's not smear Florida Smith with the same brush unless we are sure it is deserving.

Why doesn't someone write a nice e-mail to Florida Smith -- maybe we'll all get to go out on his boat! \:\)

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#181454 - 11/15/02 02:43 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
rvaga, with all due respect, it seems pretty clear to me.

How about a quick recap.

A person comes on the forum claiming to be an authority. This person slams many pianos because of their country of manufacture, he slams the people who work at the factories, and he sprinkles in a few insults to various members.

Same person offers information about specific makes of pianos. It turns out his information is completely wrong. Rather than say "cool, I didn't know that", he rejects the new information (which is easily verified) and continues to present his misinformation as if it were fact.

It would be one thing to say "I had this really bad experience with Petrof and they didn't fix it to my satisfaction". It is quite another to make broad generalizations about how crappy all Petrof pianos are because they are made with inferior parts by inferior workers in inferior countries. (We still haven't heard his response to the fact that Seiler cases are made in the same inferior country...)

Seems pretty clear to me. I just don't see that this type of behavior is going to be tolerated. The board regulates itself to ensure that information that is posted on it is as accurate as possible, which is the only way it can continue to be of use to its clients. When I offer information and/or opinions, I do expect to be challanged when I am wrong. In fact I hope to be challanged because it is possible I will learn something in the process.

Ryan

Oh, if you don't think there have been vitriolic responses to other members you must have missed out on Pramberger Wars \:\)

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#181455 - 11/15/02 02:43 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
mflaster Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/02
Posts: 13
OK, I'm a bit confused.

It was my understanding that it was accepted that in general, Japanese pianos were better than (and more expensive than) Korean pianos.

I guess David Smith has gotten people upset because I guess he feels Japanese pianos are MUCH MUCH better than Korean and are not much more expensive if at all.

Let me ask a question - let's say my budget was flexible, and I wanted a Yamaha. (Is it agreed that that's a good Japanese piano?? I guess it depends on the model.) What are reasonable prices for some Yamaha baby grands? Are there any in the $10 - $15k range?

Mike

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#181456 - 11/15/02 02:56 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
mflaster Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/02
Posts: 13
 Quote:
Originally posted by Nina:
I'm assuming your Baldwin upright is an Acrosonic or a Hamilton. Both are great pianos for the price, but unfortunately they aren't going to be worth much.

I "traded in" my early 60s-vintage Acrosonic, well-maintained, when I bought my new upright, and got $500 for it. [/b]
Thanks for the reply. The dealer said he would give me $800 as a trade-in, so it sounds like that's a very reasonable offer.

Mike

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#181457 - 11/15/02 02:57 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 13976
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
perhaps it's time for David Smith to make a disclaimer or....

....admission [of guilt! \:D ]

norbert ;\)
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#181458 - 11/15/02 03:12 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14037
Loc: Louisiana
mflaster,

Let me unconfuse you.

The synopsis of Korean vs Japanese pianos, IMO.

For several years Japanese pianos have been considered of better build quality than Koreans. The Koreans had the edge in value - e.g. you could buy a bigger Korean with the same amount of $$$. In the last few years, the Koreans have added features(Renner actions,redesigned scales, etc), that while perhaps still being a bit more "buggy" than the Japanese, place them in direct competition at many of the same pricepoints as the Japanese. Again, IMO, the Japanese are being squeezed out of the market you mentioned - the 10-15K market. Many simply prefer the touch and tone of a JP series Pramberger, or the casework and tone of the new Knabe, to the C series Yamaha, and the RX Kawai. Of, course, many do not.

When the Japanese have to compete head-to-head with makes such as Petrof, or Estonia, their market will shrink, at least in the opinion of many on this board.

The Asian giant that has recieved the most attention lately, though, is China. China now owns the entry level market, a position it will probably occupy for another ten years.

So what would I do with 10-15K? I'd start with Korean at just under 6 feet, move up to Japanese at about 5 1/2', or so, back to the 6 foot or bigger Koreans, and then lastly to the 5'6"Estonia, and Petrof 5'8". The latter two probably can't be found for 15K, but they can be found for 16K.

All you have to do is play 15 different pianos, pick your piano, pick your dealer, negotiate price.

Simple, isn't it? ;\)
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#181459 - 11/15/02 03:42 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
ryan Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 1995
Loc: Colorado
Jolly, nice summary.

Just one quick clarification. Young Chang does not currently use Renner actions on any piano except their new 7'6" JP grands. To be honest, this is one of my complaints about the JP series. The Young Chang action is certainly useable but will never be confused with a "high performance" action, at least not IMO.

Ryan

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#181460 - 11/15/02 04:30 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
mflaster Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/09/02
Posts: 13
Thanks for all the great info!

What I'm actually thinking about doing now is ... waiting... \:\)

My wife isn't pushing for one - *I* really have no reason to push for one. We have a piano, we'll see if any kids are interested in it. Maybe I'll revisit this question in a year or two...

This board is really a great source of info!!

Mike

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#181461 - 11/15/02 05:19 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14037
Loc: Louisiana
Thanks Ryan,

Honestly, I didn't know any of the JPs had Renners. I was thinking of the Samick grands (Knabe, World,K&C Millenium)when I mentioned the Actions.

Like mflaster just said, the board is a wonderful place to learn! \:\)
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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#181462 - 11/15/02 05:28 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10346
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Jolly, I disagree with one small aspect of you post. The way I read it, you opine that the Chinese will remain entry-level for the next 10 years.

I think the mid-range (now dominated by Yamaha, Young Chang, Kawai, Samick, etc.) will be dominantly Chinese within the next 3-5 years...maybe sooner.

The high-end may be introuble in 5 years or so, when a Chinese manufacturer decides to emulate hand-made European and American brands.

The future as I see it is very bright for the Chinese piano industry.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#181463 - 11/15/02 06:02 PM Re: New $7k baby grand - Bergmann or Samick or other?
Jolly Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/20/01
Posts: 14037
Loc: Louisiana
Steve may be right.

My ten-year theory is extrapolated from the dominence of Asians in the entry-level market, as each country begins to establish market share. I can't think of anyone who will challenge the Chinese in the entry level for several years to come.

But who knows? Maybe Argentinian pianos will be the next big thing! \:D
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Over 1,000,000 posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.

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Piano Cover of Luke Bryan "Drink a Beer"
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Boris Slutsky to perform at PianoCraft May 3
by Keith D Kerman
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Hi Mr S-H and all
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A Steinway for under 1,500...
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