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#1323682 - 12/11/09 09:36 PM The real competition is......  
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Bob Offline
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Florida
Worried that new piano tuner is taking business from you? Forget it....the real competition may be this:

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Williams-Grand-Piano-620873-i1490436.gc


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#1323724 - 12/11/09 10:48 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Bob]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Never needs tuning... But never mind that it depreciates fast and a real piano doesn't.

Never mind that they don't play or sound like real piano to a real professional...

Next?


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1323738 - 12/11/09 11:15 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
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KawaiDon Offline
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Orange County, CA
Digital pianos have been around for quite a while. They have eaten into the lowest range of acoustic pianos, but really aren't much of a threat.

Besides, one could always learn how to replace circuit boards and key contacts, and service digital pianos!


Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America
#1323759 - 12/12/09 12:08 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: KawaiDon]  
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Sam Casey Offline
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When I started out Baldwin just issued the "Fun Machine," a primitve digital keyboard. The sales spiel was "never need tuning" and the wags said, "these electo pianos are gonna put you guys out of business." Not so. When people give up acoustic violins, guitars, cellos, flutes, etc., and find a worthy and challenging substiute then 40 years later the piano industry may be fading. Not today or tomorrow. In fact I'm seeing the beginnings of a decline in the keyboard as a replacement of the piano.

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#1323772 - 12/12/09 12:30 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Sam Casey]  
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BDB Offline
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I always say that it does not take very long before you learn that the piano and the digital are two different instruments.

It really does not affect our business much, because the people who buy instruments because there is no maintenance (at least until something seriously goes wrong with it) never would have their pianos tuned anyway.


Semipro Tech
#1323808 - 12/12/09 02:02 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: BDB]  
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Dave Stahl Offline
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A digital piano is a keyboard. A piano is a piano. Digitals have their place. I have a couple, and I like them for many reasons, but I don't often sit and play them for sheer enjoyment. I play them because
a. I'm recording and it's far easier to get a noiseless track and
b. I've been banished to the shed by wife and child


Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net
#1323833 - 12/12/09 03:12 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Dave Stahl]  
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I've seen a YAMAHA grand which the factory modified. It was a proper acoustic grand but converted into a digital by removing the soundboard and all strings, while keeping the whole action intact. The hammers, instead of hitting the strings, hits something else at the same height that makes the digital sound. Using the standard grand action, you get the feel of the real piano but digitalized to allow a wide selection of sounds.


JUNMER
Piano tuner / Piano teacher
Dubai
United Arab Emirates
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#1323855 - 12/12/09 05:45 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: junmer]  
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Olek Offline
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France
Well, digiatl pianos are know better considered for what they are, a differnt instrument, that can be easly moved.

What grows more and more is the demand for silent system installation, or pianos with the system installed.

Chavanne, in France just released a system with a flag to be installed under the keys, (no contact like with the Midmuro) and an interesting "box" (expander) with easy upload of samples and an envelope treatment based on modelisation.

But he is still about to propose a system without flag, and photo cells that sense the key movement (very easy installation) I have no experience on the 2 systems, but I'll keep you posted.





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I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#1323856 - 12/12/09 05:50 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: junmer]  
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Olek Offline
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Originally Posted by junmer
I've seen a YAMAHA grand which the factory modified. It was a proper acoustic grand but converted into a digital by removing the soundboard and all strings, while keeping the whole action intact. The hammers, instead of hitting the strings, hits something else at the same height that makes the digital sound. Using the standard grand action, you get the feel of the real piano but digitalized to allow a wide selection of sounds.


Yes yes, what you can't get today is the acoustic behaviour of a soundboard panel radiating tone in the air and within the piano case. Hopefully this is not yet attaineable, but japanese like to make robots and to make machines that reproduce some of the natural comportments (like a robot dog.

That is a cultural thing, I guess, they use a simplification of what the sound may be, dont know why, but event the CFIIIS cant provide the same deepness of tone than a traditional German concert grand (for instance, I dont understand why BTW)

Pianists say you could play up to Mozart on those, but for romantic music something misses, you saturate the tone too easly where in traditional piano you are in a different tone level when playing fortissimmo, good pianists knows how to attain that "hidden" dark tone. (may be considered as a defect)

What produce it , I don't know.

Last edited by Kamin; 12/12/09 05:53 AM.

Professional of the profession.
Foo Foo specialist
I wish to add some kind and sensitive phrase but nothing comes to mind.!
#1323872 - 12/12/09 07:39 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Olek]  
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David Jenson Offline
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We humans are a fickle lot. We get bored with things that don't provide a rich experience. We'll watch a fire, but we won't watch a light bulb for very long. The digital sound is too predictable for most musicians no matter how cleverly it is varied (we pick up patterns very quickly too).

I have a number of clients who have very expensive digital pianos and who also have real pianos of varying quality. The digitals typically show signs of not being used; dust on the keys, stuff piled on the instrument, or unplugged and leaning in a corner.

Digitals are nice, but we'll be tuning real pianos for a long time!


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#1323913 - 12/12/09 10:32 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: David Jenson]  
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Dave Stahl Offline
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Originally Posted by David Jenson
We humans are a fickle lot. We get bored with things that don't provide a rich experience. We'll watch a fire, but we won't watch a light bulb for very long.


Indeed...but it seems to me in this digitized world, many younger people are looking for instant gratification via internet/computer games/digital devices rather than the satisfaction that comes from a rich experience. But I suspect--and certainly hope!--that things are a bit different in that regard where you live in Maine than where I live in Silicon Valley.


Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net
#1323924 - 12/12/09 10:53 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Dave Stahl]  
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The problem with digitals is that they get boring. Your brain and ears like the sound for the first couple of weeks or so and then there is no change. The fact that a real piano goes in and out of tune is a good thing. It's different from day to day.

I can't stand playing digitals anymore. The sound is canned and separate. Its like sticking your toe in the water as opposed to immersing your whole body in it.

#1323931 - 12/12/09 11:13 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
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Originally Posted by Jerry Groot RPT
Never needs tuning... But never mind that it depreciates fast and a real piano doesn't.
Right now the amount it depreciates is about even with the amount it costs a real tuner to come out and tune up your piano every few months.

I agree that acoustic is superior to digital, but like someone else pointed out in the DP forum, there was a time when horses were superior to automobiles. Not in the foreseeable future, but eventually.


Dr. Appleman, former NASA engineer, Empire of Earth and B.S. of Ninjutsu at MIT.
#1323935 - 12/12/09 11:30 AM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: appleman]  
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I know a number of piano teachers who insist that their students practice using real pianos, not keyboards. Will this always be the case? Maybe not. But it seems to the be the state-of-the-art for now.


Rob Mitchell

Mitchell Piano Service
www.mitchellpianoservice.com
#1323954 - 12/12/09 12:05 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Mitchell Piano Svc]  
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Sam Casey Offline
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SW Missouri
I think the failure rate of students using digitals is considerably higher that well maintianed acoustic pianos. An acoustic is also a piece of furntiure and requires a significant amount of living space. Practice is a family affair and requires the One Eyed God (TV) to be silenced. Parents must be as committed to practice as student. A digital can be tucked under the arm and banished to the bedroom, with headphones, for practice. Tis the rare child who will keep up with that.

#1323956 - 12/12/09 12:07 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: David Jenson]  
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Bill Bremmer RPT Offline
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Madison, WI USA
Just like any electronics, what is for sale now is already obsolete. The piano will never be.


Bill Bremmer RPT
Madison WI USA
www.billbremmer.com
#1323977 - 12/12/09 12:35 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Bill Bremmer RPT]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Grand Rapids Michigan
Quote
Right now the amount it depreciates is about even with the amount it costs a real tuner to come out and tune up your piano every few months.

I agree that acoustic is superior to digital, but like someone else pointed out in the DP forum, there was a time when horses were superior to automobiles. Not in the foreseeable future, but eventually.


Funny. Buy a horse, because they don't need gas like a car. Horses only give off gas.... But, both require routine maintenance.


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1323984 - 12/12/09 12:44 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
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Well, horses do require fuel, and they have other emissions of a more solid sort.


Semipro Tech
#1324000 - 12/12/09 01:14 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: BDB]  
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Dave Stahl Offline
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Dave Stahl  Offline
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But the horse will probably outlive the gas-powered automobile...


Promote Harmony in the Universe...Tune your piano!

Dave Stahl, RPT
Piano Technician's Guild
San Jose, CA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAniw3m7L2I
http://dstahlpiano.net
#1324005 - 12/12/09 01:16 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Dave Stahl]  
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BDB Offline
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Or we may all go together when we go, as Mr. Lehrer put it.


Semipro Tech
#1324012 - 12/12/09 01:22 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: BDB]  
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Sam Casey Offline
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SW Missouri
Horses provide useful fertilizer. Of course I seen many a piano that would make good fertilizer too.

#1324018 - 12/12/09 01:29 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Sam Casey]  
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Location, location, location...


Semipro Tech
#1324020 - 12/12/09 01:33 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Sam Casey]  
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Michael Darnton Offline
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Chicago
I bought a digital last weekend, to practice at home (I have a good piano at work). I'm just a beginner, but it didn't take me long to know that it's no substitute for the real thing. Actually, it surprised me to see how quickly the shortcomings started coming into my awareness. This isn't going to prevent me from practicing at home, but I have a new appreciation for a real piano.

A couple of people in the digital forum always pop up to say there's no difference, and I can only conclude that they're either deaf, or they play even worse than me (a hard thing to do at this point), because I'm already finding things that are much more difficult or impossible on a digital.

Last edited by Michael Darnton; 12/12/09 01:34 PM.
#1324063 - 12/12/09 02:35 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Michael Darnton]  
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Jerry Groot RPT Offline
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Right Michael.

When you work on real pianos for a living like many of us do in here all day long, we see, feel and hear a huge difference.

Neigh, on the horse crap.... grin


Jerry Groot RPT
Piano Technicians Guild
Grand Rapids, Michigan
www.grootpiano.com

We love to play BF2.
#1324173 - 12/12/09 06:44 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Jerry Groot RPT]  
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Bob Offline
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Florida
I knew this post would fire people up! Digitals are not a replacement for acoustic, but it's up to all of us that they don't become "good enough" The competitor who does the most damage is the one you never see coming. Just ask Kodak who almost missed the change from film to digital cameras! This is the first digital grand floored by Guitar Center and it's at an attractive price. Till now, one had to visit a piano store to see a digital grand (at least in my market). Maybe Guitar Center should carry some acoustic pianos as well?

The acoustic piano could use the extra exposure.

#1324176 - 12/12/09 06:47 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Michael Darnton]  
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David Jenson Offline
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Originally Posted by Michael Darnton
... I have a new appreciation for a real piano.


I've lost track of the times I've heard that, or similar, sentiments.


David L. Jenson
Tuning - Repairs - Refurbishing
Jenson's Piano Service
-----
#1324190 - 12/12/09 07:16 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: David Jenson]  
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JBE Offline
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Electric guitars have their place and will always be around but so will acoustic guitars. Electric keyboards and acoustic pianos same thing. Nothing to worry about. Might as well worry about mortality too.

If electric keyboard had never been invented there would have to be a lot more piano technicians around than there are today. But all of the good piano technicians that I know have plenty of work, if not more than they can do....and that's with all of these electric keyboard/pianos out there.

Last edited by byronje3; 12/12/09 07:25 PM.
#1324194 - 12/12/09 07:25 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Bob]  
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88Key_PianoPlayer Offline
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El Cajon, CA
Originally Posted by Bob
Maybe Guitar Center should carry some acoustic pianos as well?

The acoustic piano could use the extra exposure.


I actually would like to see Guitar Center become a Baldwin dealer. Baldwin is owned by Gibson now, and GC carries some Gibson guitars, so why not? smile For example, there's a Guitar Center a few miles from me, and there's a currently unused storefront next door (which used to be a Tweeter). Maybe my local GC could use that space for Baldwins? (Or does the fact that there's a Baldwin dealer in San Marcos put a damper on things?)


Associate Member - Piano Technicians Guild
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#1324229 - 12/12/09 08:20 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: Mitchell Piano Svc]  
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JBE Offline
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Here's one that I just can't figure out. Speaking of piano teachers and digital pianos. I know of two teachers that insist on having their students own and practice on real acoustic pianos. Neither of these teachers own a real piano, they both have digitals. One did not know that dampers do not go all the way to C88. They are both extremely picky about the tunings on their students pianos to the point of being irrational about what a piano tuning even is.

#1324245 - 12/12/09 09:16 PM Re: The real competition is...... [Re: JBE]  
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Bob Offline
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Florida
Originally Posted by byronje3
Electric guitars have their place and will always be around but so will acoustic guitars. Electric keyboards and acoustic pianos same thing.


Good thought, but you don't see acoustic and digital pianos in GC, or any other major digital piano selling retail chain either. Advantage digital. Lots more floor traffic in a GC than the typical piano store. Time to change the odds?

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