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#146557 - 04/22/08 02:53 PM Online piano bluebook
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
I'm sure most or all of you have run across the piano bluebook on the web. I think it's really funny because every piano maker's description is dripping with compliments and hyperbole. I'm sure that many companies made good pianos, but to believe the bluebook is to believe that each and every one of them produced pianos without equal in the world. I've never seen so many superlatives anywhere. I know a lot of the language comes straight from ancient marketing materials or trade publications.

Has anyone else found this pretty funny? Also, is there a more objective description of historical makes and their relative advantages and disadvantages somewhere?
_________________________
Scott

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#146558 - 04/22/08 03:46 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8583
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi Scott,

You make a good point. The problem is that there are relatively few free sources, online or otherwise, where consumers can get any information at all, accurate or not, about the various piano makes and models. The other option is to buy “The Piano Book” and the supplements, which are also not without controversy.

In my view, the “Bluebook of Pianos”, although not perfect, is better than nothing.

Best regards,

Rickster
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#146559 - 04/22/08 04:00 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9362
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Rickster,

While I agree that information is a good thing, incorrect information does not help anyone. I haven't visited the website in several months, but the last time I was there, the "bluebook" had lots of incorrect information and prices.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#146560 - 04/22/08 04:30 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
Actually, I should have "practically every piano maker's description". There are some that have little or nothing to say, and lots of them have so little information in what IS there that it's really quite useless. Others give good background.

I ran across one that claimed the manufacturer had a "perfectly equipped shop". Well, that's nice to know, but were the pianos any good? I can buy a lot of tools and hang them on a wall, too.
_________________________
Scott

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#146561 - 04/22/08 04:40 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
FogVilleLad Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/05
Posts: 4680
Loc: San Francisco
Larry Fine's, The Annual Supplement To The Piano Book in downloadable PDF format is only $17 here.

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#146562 - 04/22/08 05:11 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
It looks like Fine's book is only for currently made brands. I'm more interested in defunct makes. Still, this resource looks good. Are there really 2500 brands still in production as he claims?? I would have thought more like 500 to 800 different brands are currently made.
_________________________
Scott

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#146563 - 04/22/08 06:26 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8583
Loc: Georgia, USA
Rich:
 Quote:
Rickster,

While I agree that information is a good thing, incorrect information does not help anyone. I haven't visited the website in several months, but the last time I was there, the "bluebook" had lots of incorrect information and prices.
Good point, Rich. That brings up another question; how do consumers know whether or not the information on TBBP web site is incorrect? Who is the authority to say for sure if the information is correct or not?

Is “The piano Book“the only game in town? How accurate is it?

Since I have taken an interest in learning to play the piano and pianos in general, I can say that I never realized that pianos could be such a controversial subject. It seems that brand bias, prejudice, mis-information, inaccurate information and deliberately false information abound.

Is the truth out there?

Best regards,

Rickter
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#146564 - 04/22/08 06:45 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
teclado Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/13/08
Posts: 21
I noticed that the prices the online piano bluebook lists for new pianos is practically verbatim from Fine's annual supplement. If the both used the same formula on the same set of data they would get the same answer, but what are the chances of that?

Here is the link I used:
http://www.bluebookofpianos.com/prices/

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#146565 - 04/22/08 06:46 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
Saying that bluebookofpianos.com price information is incorrect suggests that there is something correct which can be used to prove that it (bluebook) is incorrect. What is that something?


The fact is there is no standard. Selling prices are more a function of the individual retailer and the individual customer. Bluebook is free, accepts no advertising, and tries to update when info is available. It aint perfect, but a few months ago it became much more consitent and like Rickster says, it's better than nothing. The amusing historical information is all culled from promotional materials of the older makers. It's funny because it's self-serving and also because it references awards, medals and the like from 100 years ago.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#146566 - 04/22/08 08:52 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
fiddlefixer Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 16
Loc: Detroit Lakes,MN
I took the link to the Blue Book and noticed the same thing as did teclado. The price and list, at least on the four different makes I looked at, appears to be an exact copy of the 2007-2008 supplement to "The Piano Book." But, I did also note that the Blue Book doesn't list the pianos from the Sejung line: Falcone, Hobart Cable, and others.

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#146567 - 04/22/08 09:19 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
 Quote:
Originally posted by ScottM:
It looks like Fine's book is only for currently made brands. I'm more interested in defunct makes. Still, this resource looks good. Are there really 2500 brands still in production as he claims?? I would have thought more like 500 to 800 different brands are currently made. [/b]
I have the 3rd edition, green cover, and the 4th edition, red cover, Piano Books and the red cover 07/08 supplement.


Where does Fine claim 2500 brands are still in production?
Which edition?
What page?

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#146568 - 04/22/08 09:21 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10523
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by turandot:
Saying that bluebookofpianos.com price information is incorrect suggests that there is something correct which can be used to prove that it (bluebook) is incorrect. What is that something? [/b]
What about those dealers who can compare thier actual wholesale prices paid to the prices shown in price guides.

Having done so I can say that most prices shown online are not accurate. The Piano Book comes closest when using his prices and guidelines.

This is not to say that his prices ARE acurate, only that they seem to me to provide the best estimate of the range to expect in most markets.
_________________________
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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#146569 - 04/22/08 10:09 PM Re: Online piano bluebook
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
from Steve Cohen
 Quote:
What about those dealers who can compare thier actual wholesale prices paid to the prices shown in price guides.

Having done so I can say that most prices shown online are not accurate. The Piano Book comes closest when using his prices and guidelines.

This is not to say that his prices ARE accurate, only that they seem to me to provide the best estimate of the range to expect in most markets.
Well sure, Steve. There's no question that the dealer is in the know and the customer is in the dark. Only the dealer really knows his true costs and what he is agreeable to receiving for the particular piano, regardless of what Fine and/or bluebook say. Huge price differences between dealers cannot be taken into account by any pricing service.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#146570 - 04/23/08 06:36 AM Re: Online piano bluebook
Rich Galassini Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9362
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
OK,

I see we are concentrating on pricing, which was an add-on to my first statement:
 Quote:
I haven't visited the website in several months, but the last time I was there, the "bluebook" had lots of incorrect information and prices.
My quote meant that there were informational mistakes in TBBP site... also pricing misinformation.

Now that Anscott no longer prints retail pricing, Larry is the best source available. Unfortunately, pricing changes over the year with some brands and that cannot be reflected in a "once published" yearly guide. But it appears that TBBP does nothing better. (although they could in a website format)It looks like they now simply "lift" Larry's pricing information.
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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#146571 - 04/23/08 07:39 AM Re: Online piano bluebook
Piano*Dad Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/12/05
Posts: 10407
Loc: Williamsburg, VA
Isn't that a copyright violation?
_________________________
Grotrian 192 #156455

https://www.youtube.com/user/dhfeld/videos

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#146572 - 04/23/08 08:03 AM Re: Online piano bluebook
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8583
Loc: Georgia, USA
 Quote:
Piano*Dad: Isn't that a copyright violation?
It seems that “all is fair in love, war, and the piano business”. Also, I’m certainly no authority on intellectual property rights, but it seems to me that Mr. Fine obtained (“lifted”, if you will) the pricing information from other sources himself. If the owner/operator of TBBP site did use the pricing info directly from TPB, he should site the source properly.

Again, this topic seems to illustrate the cloak and dagger secrecy that is prevalent in the piano business \:D .

Best regards,

Rickster
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#146573 - 04/23/08 10:05 AM Re: Online piano bluebook
ScottM Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/11/05
Posts: 556
Kenny, this is text directly from the sales site for Larry Fine's book.

"Supplying list prices for more than 2,500 currently made piano brands and models, as well as advice on how to estimate actual street prices to help negotiate the lowest possible price, this annual complement to The Piano Book offers the information necessary to differentiate between a good deal and a great deal when buying a piano."

I have to believe it came from the publisher. If it is not correct they have a responsibility to correct it, or Mr. Fine does. I cannot believe there are 2500 brands and models currently made. It simply defies belief. At best, by throwing "models" in there it may come close, but even then 2500 seems pretty high.

I have never seen the pricing data online and have no opinion about it. I am concerned with the descriptions for these old and current companies.
_________________________
Scott

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#146574 - 04/23/08 10:44 AM Re: Online piano bluebook
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7265
Loc: torrance, CA
The key phrase is pianos brands and models. Think of all the different models from all the manufacturers. Then factor in different prices and different stock numbers for every wood finish. Things add up quickly. Just scroll down the complete price listings on bluebook to get a sense it.
_________________________
Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier

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#146575 - 04/23/08 11:04 AM Re: Online piano bluebook
ellykay Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/28/07
Posts: 40
Loc: North-Central West Virginia
FWIW

When I purchased our Boston GP-163, the Blue Book was (and is) within a very few $$ of what we actually paid.

EllyKay
_________________________
EllyKay

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#1413611 - 04/08/10 02:11 PM Re: Online piano bluebook [Re: FogVilleLad]
LoudRick Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/19/10
Posts: 6
Larry Fine was the name of one of the original Three Stooges. I wonder if this is one of his relatives. But this conversation makes some good points. It's quite easy to call up your local piano dealer, have him check the Pierce Piano Atlas, only to find that your brand of piano, especially pre-1860 pianos and pianofortes isn't even listed, much less the serial numbers. The Europe Piano Atlas is no better. Just keep searching. I ended up on a genealogy page to find Thomas Loud of London. I found the dates his shop was at the address on the pianoforte I acquired, and now can date my pianoforte between 1807 and 1811. As far as appraisals, you have to have a professional inspect and evaluate the instrument, and that applies to any piano.

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#1413620 - 04/08/10 02:25 PM Re: Online piano bluebook [Re: LoudRick]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10523
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Now Piano Buyer provides a good, free source for pricing. Also, our searchable database (also free) contains virtually every model and finish made today. It has over 3000 listings that can be searched based on price range, make, size, finish, style, key word, and more.

Currently over 2,500 searches are performed there each month.
_________________________
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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#1413712 - 04/08/10 05:18 PM Re: Online piano bluebook [Re: Steve Cohen]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8583
Loc: Georgia, USA
Wow, I went back and read some of my posts from this older thread and didn’t realize that I could be so feisty. I’m really not like that in person! (Okay, maybe now and then grin)

Anyway, good point about the free edition of The Piano Book online now, Steve. It was not at the time this thread was initially active.

You are very good at being a consultant and promoter of the Piano Book! I applaud you!!

Take care,

Rick
_________________________
Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

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#1413726 - 04/08/10 05:42 PM Re: Online piano bluebook [Re: Rickster]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10523
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
Me Promote?

Piano Buyer?

Never. wink
_________________________
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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