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Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117967
01/05/09 12:56 AM
01/05/09 12:56 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Surrey, B.C.
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 shocked


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
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Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117968
01/05/09 01:00 AM
01/05/09 01:00 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 790
Chapel Hill, NC
C
CozyWriter Offline
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CozyWriter  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 790
Chapel Hill, NC
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.

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 wink


Inspiration is the act of pulling a chair up to the writing desk.
Pramberger JP-185 (a 6'1" mahogany-red Grand)+ Glenn Gould-ish piano chair (no cushion)
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117969
01/05/09 01:06 AM
01/05/09 01:06 AM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Surrey, B.C.
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 shocked


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117970
01/05/09 01:46 AM
01/05/09 01:46 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,198
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charleslang Offline
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Posts: 2,198
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.


charlessamuellang.com
Semi-pro pianist and piano technician
Tuesdays 5-8:30 at Vince's West Sacramento, California
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117971
01/05/09 07:50 AM
01/05/09 07:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 23
T
ThreeBees Offline
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ThreeBees  Offline
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T

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 23
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.

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117972
01/05/09 09:02 AM
01/05/09 09:02 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 851
Malaysia
T
tanjinjack Offline
500 Post Club Member
tanjinjack  Offline
500 Post Club Member
T

Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 851
Malaysia
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.

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117973
01/05/09 09:53 AM
01/05/09 09:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 496
Avantgardenabi Offline
Full Member
Avantgardenabi  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 496
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.

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117974
01/05/09 10:37 AM
01/05/09 10:37 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,011
H
Horwinkle Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Horwinkle  Offline
1000 Post Club Member
H

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 1,011
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.
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.

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117975
01/05/09 11:49 AM
01/05/09 11:49 AM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member
turandot  Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
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).
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.


Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117976
01/05/09 11:50 AM
01/05/09 11:50 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 195
SoCal
S
stanw909 Offline
Full Member
stanw909  Offline
Full Member
S

Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 195
SoCal
I agree with Horwinkle.I think 3bees is speaking of older Korean.

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117977
01/06/09 07:23 PM
01/06/09 07:23 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 647
Los Angeles/Burbank
Glenn Treibitz Offline
500 Post Club Member
Glenn Treibitz  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 647
Los Angeles/Burbank
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.


Glenn Treibitz

Hollywood Piano Co. - Est.1928
http://www.hollywoodpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/HollywoodPiano

1800 MY-PIANO

Grotrian, Mason&Hamlin, Estonia,Schulze Pollmann,Albert Weber,Baldwin,Brodmann,
Ritmuller,Weber,Hardman,Roland,Casio,Used Steinway,Yamaha,Kawai
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117978
01/06/09 07:27 PM
01/06/09 07:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 23
T
ThreeBees Offline
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ThreeBees  Offline
Full Member
T

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 23
Would you buy a piano from a guy who attacks Larry Fine?

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117979
01/06/09 07:43 PM
01/06/09 07:43 PM
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 798
United Kingdom
J
JustAnotherPianist Offline
500 Post Club Member
JustAnotherPianist  Offline
500 Post Club Member
J

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 798
United Kingdom
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.

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117980
01/06/09 07:46 PM
01/06/09 07:46 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 179
Northeast, USA
Mr. Kia Offline
Full Member
Mr. Kia  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 179
Northeast, USA
Maybe.


Piano Technician
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117981
01/06/09 09:33 PM
01/06/09 09:33 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 169
Las Vegas
Vince in Vegas Offline
Full Member
Vince in Vegas  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 169
Las Vegas
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?

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117982
01/06/09 09:49 PM
01/06/09 09:49 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 23
T
ThreeBees Offline
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T

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 23
Some salesman can sell snow to Eskimos and sand to Arabs. By the tirade above Mr. Triebitz you might be one of them.

Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117983
01/06/09 09:52 PM
01/06/09 09:52 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,086
rocket88 Offline
4000 Post Club Member
rocket88  Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 4,086
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.


Piano teacher.
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117984
01/06/09 10:04 PM
01/06/09 10:04 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,433
Surrey, B.C.
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 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


www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117985
01/06/09 11:42 PM
01/06/09 11:42 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 647
Los Angeles/Burbank
Glenn Treibitz Offline
500 Post Club Member
Glenn Treibitz  Offline
500 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 647
Los Angeles/Burbank
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.


Glenn Treibitz

Hollywood Piano Co. - Est.1928
http://www.hollywoodpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/HollywoodPiano

1800 MY-PIANO

Grotrian, Mason&Hamlin, Estonia,Schulze Pollmann,Albert Weber,Baldwin,Brodmann,
Ritmuller,Weber,Hardman,Roland,Casio,Used Steinway,Yamaha,Kawai
Re: Piano brands that I should stay away from? #117986
01/07/09 03:02 AM
01/07/09 03:02 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 224
Simi Valley, CA
TheCaz Offline
Full Member
TheCaz  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 224
Simi Valley, CA
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 ...

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