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Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Tenor70 #1828654 01/20/12 07:02 PM
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Since this is "Masters opinion class 101" on who makes the best.

Now after all that.....

Who makes the worst chinese pianos? And why?


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Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Scott McBain #1828720 01/20/12 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott McBain
Since this is "Masters opinion class 101" on who makes the best.

Now after all that.....

Who makes the worst Chinese pianos? And why?


You'd have to do some serious legwork inside China to find which factory stooped the lowest in its domestic product in terms of crude workmanship and materials.

Somehow I don't think that's what the OP here was looking for, McBain, but if that's where you want the question to go, why don't you indulge the masses here with your take. grin

You've dabbled in some Chinese lines at Carnes without really adopting any. Which stand out in your memory (for the wrong reasons)?


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Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Scott McBain #1828726 01/20/12 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Scott McBain
Who makes the worst chinese pianos? And why?


I have never played any of the following. I have no personal opinion. Some dealers may SCREAM at anyone's honest attempt to answer your question.

That said, the respected Larry Fine says that the absolutely worst of the worst of the NEW pianos are the following:

Altenburg
Everett verticals
Falcone
Geo. Steck
Hardman, Peck & Co.
Hobart M. Cable
Suzuki
Wyman

Dealers may tell us how wonderful these pianos are. Maybe. The most unreliable new car that can be purchased in 2012 is way more reliable than the most reliable car was 60 years ago. Again, I've never played 'em. But they are, none the less, according to that noted respected author, the absolute worst new pianos that one can purchase in the U.S.

Why? I'll leave that to the experts. While no doubt you'll note that none of these pianos is currently made in Germany, Japan, or the U.S., things can and do, we'll be reminded by the dealers, change.

Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Tenor70 #1830573 01/23/12 08:31 PM
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I have to say that if The "Big Boys" demos were my guide, the only piano I'd look at--or touch with a ten-foot-pole--would be the Brodmann 212 played by Nick Salwey.

Fact is, THAT piano is beautifully recorded, the other Brodmann and Hailun 218 are horribly recorded and do, indeed, as a result sound absolutely unlistenable!


J. S. Bach Well-tempered Clavier, complete preludes and fugues (with significant MIDI analysis):

https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant

https://www.youtube.com/user/dohgrant/playlists (slightly better sound quality)



Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
jivemutha #1830638 01/23/12 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by jivemutha
Originally Posted by Scott McBain
Who makes the worst chinese pianos? And why?


I have never played any of the following. I have no personal opinion. Some dealers may SCREAM at anyone's honest attempt to answer your question.

That said, the respected Larry Fine says that the absolutely worst of the worst of the NEW pianos are the following:

Altenburg
Everett verticals
Falcone
Geo. Steck
Hardman, Peck & Co.
Hobart M. Cable
Suzuki
Wyman

Dealers may tell us how wonderful these pianos are. Maybe. The most unreliable new car that can be purchased in 2012 is way more reliable than the most reliable car was 60 years ago. Again, I've never played 'em. But they are, none the less, according to that noted respected author, the absolute worst new pianos that one can purchase in the U.S.

Why? I'll leave that to the experts. While no doubt you'll note that none of these pianos is currently made in Germany, Japan, or the U.S., things can and do, we'll be reminded by the dealers, change.


jivemutha - Larry never called anything worst of the worst. Or bad or any of the things you said, he said. You've completely taken his words out of context and are incorrectly summarizing his ratings, you need to read what he says about them. I had a nice discussion with Larry at NAMM on this subject. He explains his ratings in piano buyer and on his blog. I encourage all of you to read his blog article on ratings. To paraphrase what he says and what he told me personally on Friday. While there were once shoddy pianos built, that is not the case today and the lines that separate brands are blurred and separated by hairs if even that.

Larry FIne's discussion on ratings.

Larry is a very down to earth guy who told me it embarrasses him the way some people interpret his book as the absolute "word of god". He never intended it that way. He intends it as a guide to the world of pianos and all of us in the business appreciate him for what he does. He can not possibly see every piano model made. Many piano lines can vary in their design and quality from model to model, many of those inconsistencies are not addressed in the book or in the on line guide. Personally I have issues within every category of the ratings with both pianos I represent and piano I don't represent. Some of those issue I have with Piano Buyer I've voiced here in the past particularly the "special" category for Japanese pianos that raise them above the high level Korean counterparts where they were all grouped for many years. I still respect him and his opinion as we are all entitled to one. Larry has this to say in the current issue of Piano Buyer prior to the ratings and I quote, "Any such rating system is obviously not scientific but subjective, the product of my contacts with dozens of piano technicians, dealers, and other industry personnel, as well as my more than thirty years of involvement with the piano industry. My sense is that most knowledgeable people in the industry would agree in broad terms with this comparison, though many will disagree with me — and with each other — about the details."

One thing that irked me on a recent post here in PW was a discussion of Hardman Peck pianos with someone talking about coming into a store and finding one that was bad. Maybe that particular piano was not set up. Maybe it was an older model. Any piano on a dealers floor can be bad if the dealer didn't do his job. This goes for a Fazioli or a Steinway as well. My experience with Hardman Pianos is very different from the person who came by one bad one. I unbox them daily and have seen hundreds of them coming out of the box needing only tuning and voicing. When they're done they're quite nice and can compete in every way with many costlier "higher rated pianos".
In regard to Hardman The Piano Buyer and Piano Book doesn't take into account these pianos come out of a factory that's been in joint venture with Kawai Japan and features models that are sold in Asia with the Kawai name on the front instead of Hardman.

Those of us who have sold pianos all of our lives can look at something and instantly know who made it regardless of the name on the front. When we got our first Hardman in a few years ago I had a friend drop into the store who has spent the last 18 years on the road doing Kawai college sale events. He knows what a Kawai looks like. I had him come over to a Hardman and I covered the name with my hand and asked him to tell me what the piano was. I lifted the lid and he immediately said this is a Kawai. I then removed my hand and he said, "what's going on here, what is this." While I was visiting the Shanghai Music Show this past October I snapped pictures of some of the models we sell here here as Hardman and they sell in Asia as Kawai. Here is one on their website that looks alot like a K8 and says on a medallion on the left cheek block, 'designed by Kawai" on the version sold in Asia.

Hardman 132


My point is this, there is no worst or worst of worst out there. To all of those looking for a piano who read the Larry Fine Piano Buyer, use it as one good, but subjective source of information. Also trust your own ears, your own hands and your own eyes because Larry's opinion is his opinion and you are entitled to your opinion too which you should trust. Piano Buyer is not Consumer Reports, it is not JD Powers, it is a for profit business and and must be viewed in that light.

To those that paraphrase the Larry Fine Piano Buyer, do it accurately and remember that Larry himself does not want what he said to be considered absolute or the last word as some here present it.



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Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Tenor70 #1830743 01/24/12 01:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tenor70
Just wondered what opinions the forum had on Chinese grand pianos makers


Who makes the best ice cream in NY City? wink

Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Glenn Treibitz #1830926 01/24/12 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Glenn Treibitz
Originally Posted by jivemutha
Originally Posted by Scott McBain
Who makes the worst chinese pianos? And why?


I have never played any of the following. I have no personal opinion. Some dealers may SCREAM at anyone's honest attempt to answer your question.

That said, the respected Larry Fine says that the absolutely worst of the worst of the NEW pianos are the following:

Altenburg
Everett verticals
Falcone
Geo. Steck
Hardman, Peck & Co.
Hobart M. Cable
Suzuki
Wyman

Dealers may tell us how wonderful these pianos are. Maybe. The most unreliable new car that can be purchased in 2012 is way more reliable than the most reliable car was 60 years ago. Again, I've never played 'em. But they are, none the less, according to that noted respected author, the absolute worst new pianos that one can purchase in the U.S.

Why? I'll leave that to the experts. While no doubt you'll note that none of these pianos is currently made in Germany, Japan, or the U.S., things can and do, we'll be reminded by the dealers, change.


jivemutha - Larry never called anything worst of the worst. Or bad or any of the things you said, he said. You've completely taken his words out of context and are incorrectly summarizing his ratings, you need to read what he says about them. I had a nice discussion with Larry at NAMM on this subject. He explains his ratings in piano buyer and on his blog. I encourage all of you to read his blog article on ratings. To paraphrase what he says and what he told me personally on Friday. While there were once shoddy pianos built, that is not the case today and the lines that separate brands are blurred and separated by hairs if even that.

Larry FIne's discussion on ratings.

Larry is a very down to earth guy who told me it embarrasses him the way some people interpret his book as the absolute "word of god". He never intended it that way. He intends it as a guide to the world of pianos and all of us in the business appreciate him for what he does. He can not possibly see every piano model made. Many piano lines can vary in their design and quality from model to model, many of those inconsistencies are not addressed in the book or in the on line guide. Personally I have issues within every category of the ratings with both pianos I represent and piano I don't represent. Some of those issue I have with Piano Buyer I've voiced here in the past particularly the "special" category for Japanese pianos that raise them above the high level Korean counterparts where they were all grouped for many years. I still respect him and his opinion as we are all entitled to one. Larry has this to say in the current issue of Piano Buyer prior to the ratings and I quote, "Any such rating system is obviously not scientific but subjective, the product of my contacts with dozens of piano technicians, dealers, and other industry personnel, as well as my more than thirty years of involvement with the piano industry. My sense is that most knowledgeable people in the industry would agree in broad terms with this comparison, though many will disagree with me — and with each other — about the details."

One thing that irked me on a recent post here in PW was a discussion of Hardman Peck pianos with someone talking about coming into a store and finding one that was bad. Maybe that particular piano was not set up. Maybe it was an older model. Any piano on a dealers floor can be bad if the dealer didn't do his job. This goes for a Fazioli or a Steinway as well. My experience with Hardman Pianos is very different from the person who came by one bad one. I unbox them daily and have seen hundreds of them coming out of the box needing only tuning and voicing. When they're done they're quite nice and can compete in every way with many costlier "higher rated pianos".
In regard to Hardman The Piano Buyer and Piano Book doesn't take into account these pianos come out of a factory that's been in joint venture with Kawai Japan and features models that are sold in Asia with the Kawai name on the front instead of Hardman.

Those of us who have sold pianos all of our lives can look at something and instantly know who made it regardless of the name on the front. When we got our first Hardman in a few years ago I had a friend drop into the store who has spent the last 18 years on the road doing Kawai college sale events. He knows what a Kawai looks like. I had him come over to a Hardman and I covered the name with my hand and asked him to tell me what the piano was. I lifted the lid and he immediately said this is a Kawai. I then removed my hand and he said, "what's going on here, what is this." While I was visiting the Shanghai Music Show this past October I snapped pictures of some of the models we sell here here as Hardman and they sell in Asia as Kawai. Here is one on their website that looks alot like a K8 and says on a medallion on the left cheek block, 'designed by Kawai" on the version sold in Asia.

Hardman 132


My point is this, there is no worst or worst of worst out there. To all of those looking for a piano who read the Larry Fine Piano Buyer, use it as one good, but subjective source of information. Also trust your own ears, your own hands and your own eyes because Larry's opinion is his opinion and you are entitled to your opinion too which you should trust. Piano Buyer is not Consumer Reports, it is not JD Powers, it is a for profit business and and must be viewed in that light.

To those that paraphrase the Larry Fine Piano Buyer, do it accurately and remember that Larry himself does not want what he said to be considered absolute or the last word as some here present it.




Glenn,

Thanks for your input here.

I have closely followed Larry's book since it was first published in the 1980's.

It was a never seen before, truth telling guide about our industry. At that time, there were many product offerings and gimmicks relating to poor quality found in pianos that he was able to expose.

Currently, this would not be the case. Rather, I think Larry could be shouting from the rooftops some of the incredible things that have happened to this industry, especially given the particular span of time his publication has covered. But the publication is more muted now.

I think that given the flip side to what is happening today, more praise could be given to some of the up and coming brands although that would not maintain the distance that the industry perceives or wants to perceive or wants shoppers to perceive between certain makes.

The example you provided where some of the Japanese pianos were placed into a new category from one which they had previously shared with Korean pianos is an indication of how there is a balancing act going on in providing a publication which may not necessarily reflect what is actually happening in the industry.

As Fine himself has stated, the paradigm shift which is occurring now makes it harder to advise piano shoppers.

Given these developments and since you attended NAMM this year, what is your take on the subject of this thread?



Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Kawai, Brodmann & Ritmuller
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Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Glenn Treibitz #1830930 01/24/12 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Glenn Treibitz

One thing that irked me on a recent post here in PW was a discussion of Hardman Peck pianos with someone talking about coming into a store and finding one that was bad.


That might have been me. I went to a small shop in the San Gabriel Valley and they had three new Hardmans. All three needed work. Out of tune and regulation each one.

Before that, in another small shop in Pasadena I tried a 5 foot Hardman that was too good to be true. While all the other budget small grands had a metallic tone, this Hardman had a deep, rich sound and an excellent touch. I'm not much of a pianist and have to work to get proper dynamics, especially pp and such. This Hardman seemed to know what I was thinking.

It was the cheapest priced piano there, but the best of the lot I looked at. IMHO, it was as good as the used Bechstein that was there.

Too good to be true?


Gary
Essex EUP-111 at the mountains
W. Hoffmann T-122 at the beach
Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
turandot #1832150 01/26/12 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by Tenor70

Sorry for posing the question


DO NOT APOLOGIZE!

It is interesting how responses have tended to interpret your question as something that it doesn't appear to be and even tell you what the question should be. laugh

I've assumed that you see the piano build, both the ingredients and the execution, as a key to longevity -- that you want a piano that can maintain its level of performance over many years while getting three hours a day of serious play and receiving normal maintenance.

I'm also assuming that you can judge tone and touch well enough for yourself, and that you do not need such expensive ingredients as tonewood from the tallest shaded spruce in the Val di Fienne or lightning-fast key repetition --- just solid performance over the long haul.

Finally, I'm assuming that you ask because, other than a few heavy-user data points like joe80, there's not that much to go on other than predictions based on the factory's attention to build.

Correct?


I was being sarcastic to Silverwood when I apologised for posting the question. And yes you are correct!

Last edited by Tenor70; 01/26/12 09:48 AM.
Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Tenor70 #1832201 01/26/12 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Tenor70

I was being sarcastic to Silverwood when I apologised for posting the question.


As was I when I suggested that McBain answer his own question when he turned your question completely upside down to get opinions on the worst piano made in China. Sarcasm might be a fitting response as well to a retailer who links to paid endorsements of Brodmann in promotional youtube videos at NAMM Lounge 88 as proof of the pudding.

There is some truth in Treibetz's comment that Fine ratings are intended as a rough guide and not an ironclad scheme of relative quality. The problem is that while Mr. fine indicates as much, he does in fact segment pianos into more categories than a rough guide would usually attempt.

Since dealers are pointing to the big boys of the breed, it might be useful for you to post how big a grand you will consider. Other than that, I don't think you'll get much of substance beyond what Chris was willing to contribute.

Originally Posted by Chris Venables
Of the top end Chinese pianos I've worked on, I'd answer your points as follows -

Careless belly work - No. Most of the grands I recommended have Strunz anyway, those with Austrian tonewood are very well often even better finished. Ribs are well fitted.

Poor stringing - ocassionally, but our dealer prep takes care of that

Suspect pinblock - No. As an observation, pin tightness is just right and tuning stability is remarkable.

Bad action geometry - On the grands, no. (On some uprights yes, but there are plenty of other models to take their place)

Cheap hammer felt - Quite the reverse. Most of the pianos I mentioned have the best Abel heads, those that don't have premium German felt FFW/AA

Laborious dealer prep - These pianos need time to settle and acclimatise to their new conditions, so the longer it's on its legs in a showroom/living room environment before prep then the less attention it will need thereafter. Action centres are generally good. The time consuming work is string levelling and spacing, hammer shaping, hammer/string mating, and alignment, hammer toning, key levelling and general regulation. (With the factory gate price on the smaller models being less than what a top tech would charge a high end customer for a restring and action rebuild I can't complain about the out-of-the-box condition).




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Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
turandot #1832250 01/26/12 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by Tenor70

I was being sarcastic to Silverwood when I apologised for posting the question.


As was I when I suggested that McBain answer his own question when he turned your question completely upside down to get opinions on the worst piano made in China. Sarcasm might be a fitting response as well to a retailer who links to paid endorsements of Brodmann in promotional youtube videos at NAMM Lounge 88 as proof of the pudding.


The Brodmann featured was an 'Artist Series' European made no Chinese.

Last edited by Tenor70; 01/26/12 12:37 PM.
Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
turandot #1832259 01/26/12 12:40 PM
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Turandot said

"Since dealers are pointing to the big boys of the breed, it might be useful for you to post how big a grand you will consider. Other than that, I don't think you'll get much of substance beyond what Chris was willing to contribute"

6' to at a push 7'

Last edited by Tenor70; 01/26/12 12:41 PM.
Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Tenor70 #1832262 01/26/12 12:47 PM
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Chinese would be very good at pianos where can i get a good piano in Beijing

Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Tenor70 #1837927 02/03/12 01:16 PM
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I Personally Own a Pearl River UP115M for 3 years now and till date it hasn't given me any problems.To the best of my knowledge Pearl River is on of the largest manufacturers in China also making a few pianos of the Steinway Essex Line in addition they also own Ritmuller which I believe is a slightly premium line,All in All I'm pretty happy with Pearl River smile

Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Tenor70 #1838023 02/03/12 04:11 PM
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It's nice to see that discussions can go on here quite nicely without my own 'jaded' input. grin

It's quite obvious that we live in a vastly different world today: the "made in China" is obviously part of all of this.

To be frank: none of this feels good, it certainly does not give us the feeling of the more familiar world order we knew before, even fewer know how to get rid of it all... mad

But let's not forget that "made in China" is only part of much larger events whereby outsourcing of our industries, technology transfer [and theft thereof..] joint ventures within a global economy plus clever survival strategies, often smartly hidden from public view, appear to have become the order of the day.

Everybody knows we have long lost control of what's going on out there nor do we fully understand things - by trying to establish "who makes best or worst in China" it seems we are trying to re-establish some order of presumably known categories.

Outside of banning anything coming from or having to do with China, one might as well ask what makes sense to buy in today's world at all - regardless where it happens to be made

For those wishing to own a 100% American made piano for example, there are just few.

Even among the Euros things have become diffuse - it's not uncommon to have pianos build in some country there, but then pre-manufacture or fit them later with 100% Chinese parts.

Outside few remaining pure breds,it has long become a world of "diverse manufacturing" coupled with "enhanced image retention skills".

So, why not going back to the table and ask "what is the best piano for me" - especially at any price point?

Regardless of real or presumed "origin of manufacture".

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 02/03/12 04:17 PM.

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Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Glenn Treibitz #1838106 02/03/12 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Glenn Treibitz
Originally Posted by jivemutha
Originally Posted by Scott McBain
Who makes the worst chinese pianos? And why?


I have never played any of the following. I have no personal opinion. Some dealers may SCREAM at anyone's honest attempt to answer your question.

That said, the respected Larry Fine says that the absolutely worst of the worst of the NEW pianos are the following:

Altenburg
Everett verticals
Falcone
Geo. Steck
Hardman, Peck & Co.
Hobart M. Cable
Suzuki
Wyman

Dealers may tell us how wonderful these pianos are. Maybe. The most unreliable new car that can be purchased in 2012 is way more reliable than the most reliable car was 60 years ago. Again, I've never played 'em. But they are, none the less, according to that noted respected author, the absolute worst new pianos that one can purchase in the U.S.

Why? I'll leave that to the experts. While no doubt you'll note that none of these pianos is currently made in Germany, Japan, or the U.S., things can and do, we'll be reminded by the dealers, change.


jivemutha - Larry never called anything worst of the worst. Or bad or any of the things you said, he said. You've completely taken his words out of context and are incorrectly summarizing his ratings, you need to read what he says about them. I had a nice discussion with Larry at NAMM on this subject. He explains his ratings in piano buyer and on his blog. I encourage all of you to read his blog article on ratings. To paraphrase what he says and what he told me personally on Friday. While there were once shoddy pianos built, that is not the case today and the lines that separate brands are blurred and separated by hairs if even that.

Larry FIne's discussion on ratings.

Larry is a very down to earth guy who told me it embarrasses him the way some people interpret his book as the absolute "word of god". He never intended it that way. He intends it as a guide to the world of pianos and all of us in the business appreciate him for what he does. He can not possibly see every piano model made. Many piano lines can vary in their design and quality from model to model, many of those inconsistencies are not addressed in the book or in the on line guide. Personally I have issues within every category of the ratings with both pianos I represent and piano I don't represent. Some of those issue I have with Piano Buyer I've voiced here in the past particularly the "special" category for Japanese pianos that raise them above the high level Korean counterparts where they were all grouped for many years. I still respect him and his opinion as we are all entitled to one. Larry has this to say in the current issue of Piano Buyer prior to the ratings and I quote, "Any such rating system is obviously not scientific but subjective, the product of my contacts with dozens of piano technicians, dealers, and other industry personnel, as well as my more than thirty years of involvement with the piano industry. My sense is that most knowledgeable people in the industry would agree in broad terms with this comparison, though many will disagree with me — and with each other — about the details." . . .

My point is this, there is no worst or worst of worst out there. To all of those looking for a piano who read the Larry Fine Piano Buyer, use it as one good, but subjective source of information. Also trust your own ears, your own hands and your own eyes because Larry's opinion is his opinion and you are entitled to your opinion too which you should trust. Piano Buyer is not Consumer Reports, it is not JD Powers, it is a for profit business and and must be viewed in that light.

To those that paraphrase the Larry Fine Piano Buyer, do it accurately and remember that Larry himself does not want what he said to be considered absolute or the last word as some here present it.


Of course there's a worst, even if that worst is great. Worst is a relative term--not an absolute term. Among sports cars costing over $100,000, all may be absolutely terrific, but there's likely to be one less good than all the others. By definition, that makes it "the worst." The pianos I listed as "worst" to be very explicit here, were those pianos in the VERY lowest of all Fine's categories and subcategories. I then went on to say that the most unreliable car these days is way more reliable than the most reliable car from decades ago. In other words, I'm in no way ruling out that these Chinese pianos in Fine's lowest category may be just fine. Indeed, everyone seems to agree that they're remarkably better than they were even just a few years ago and I'm not debating that. (Since I wrote my entry, however, I have finally played one--a George Steck. It was indeed, to my ear, the worst sounding new piano I've recently played. It wasn't awful. But all the others have been better.)

As Mr. Fine himself repeatedly says, his categories are not gospel. That said, if you know of any better rating system I'd like to hear it. In any case, to reiterate and to be quite specific, compared to the list I labeled "worst" every single other piano Mr. Fine categorizes, he rates higher than that particular list. If you know of a piano that there is reason to believe is worse than those on that list, I'm all ears-- I mean that.

I understand that using the word "worst" can put a spin on things that can be misread as necessarily bad. That said, however, I'm not intending to do any spinning. While all major leage ball players are great athletes, there are always teams that in any given year lose more games than the other teams. That makes those great athletes technically, as a team, "the worst."

Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
jivemutha #1838305 02/04/12 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by jivemutha

I have never played any of the following. I have no personal opinion. Some dealers may SCREAM at anyone's honest attempt to answer your question.

That said, the respected Larry Fine says that the absolutely worst of the worst of the NEW pianos are the following:

Altenburg
Everett verticals
Falcone
Geo. Steck
Hardman, Peck & Co.
Hobart M. Cable
Suzuki
Wyman

Dealers may tell us how wonderful these pianos are. Maybe. The most unreliable new car that can be purchased in 2012 is way more reliable than the most reliable car was 60 years ago. Again, I've never played 'em. they are, none the less, according to that noted respected author, the absolute worst new pianos that one can purchase in the U.S.


Jiv,

The question posed by Mr. McBain (that you kindly tried to answer for him by referencing Fine) was not asked seriously. Mr. McBain is not a Chinese piano enthusiast. grin Nor is Tenor attempting to find the worst piano he can buy.

Despite your gallant attempt to soften the impact of the term "worst", it is one of the strongest pejoratives imaginable, and is a term avoided at all costs by Mr. Fine.

The category of pianos that you listed here is the category of pianos with the lowest asking prices centimeter for centimeter of any pianos exported to the US. As such, they fall into step with Mr. Fine's other categories which also mix and match pianos of similar price ranges.

This category is made up of the Chinese pianos without the Euro sizzle, pianos invariably stocked by dealers who just want something to prevent the customer with the crimped budget from walking out the door. As such, few dealers take the time and trouble to augment the factory's meager efforts to prep these pianos post-assembly. Stocking dealers can live with that meager effort because better factory prep costs money and they don't want to spend that money. They want a margin that justifies the space these undesirables take up on the floor. The makers can live with being herded into the lowest Fine category because their pianos cost the least. In case you hadn't noticed, the map of the market closely parallels asking prices. Many recreational players can accept the trade-off as well, especially if they're not Horowitz, don't practice Liszt four hours a day, and don't check in on PW daily to be informed that their piano is the worst. grin

I don't know when the last time was that Mr. Fin toured Chinese piano factories; perhaps Steve Cohen would know,but I do know that Glenn Treibetz is not SCREAMING and does go to the bother of shopping Chinese pianos in China in person and looks for products that in his opinion give good bang for the buck. As a result, Glenn's got a lot of the cheapos. Maybe he specializes in frugal shoppers. grin

My point here is that a Hardman 5'7" grand sold at 16k MSRP is a worse piano that the same Hardman grand at 8k because of the stiffer competition it must face. And BTW, a Hardman 5'7" grand at 8k would be doable with only a 20% discount from Fine's SMP. Then too, the same Hardman 5'7" grand at 75k would be much worse than a Bösendorfer 170 at 75k or a Seiler Viruoso 168 at 75k. In fact, it would be the worst piano of the three! grin

I don't know if Glenn stays up all night prepping his budget brands, but I can relate a personal story.

About 5 years ago, I came across two identical new 5'7" Harmdman grands on a dealer's floor. (not Glenn) The one sounded bad and played lumpy. I thought the other was splendid all around. The dealer told me that his Chinese intern tech was working on the one in her spare time, but hadn't touched the other. The dealer's opinion was that despite her efforts, they were both junk. and that no tech could make a silk purse from a sow's ear. He moved artfully to the next piano, a longer new August Förster grand, and encouraged me to play it. I didn't tell him, but everything above the bass seemed like water soup to me, To him it was splendid. So it goes with pianos, and I'm not convinced about the impossibility of the silk purse from the sow's ear if the purse is treated well.



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Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Bob Newbie #1838459 02/04/12 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Newbie
I liked the Brodmann 212 nice! mellow, good in a home setting..the 187 seemed bright not harsh.. has a sparkling tone.. I prefer mellow round sound, the Hailun sound didn't appeal to my taste.. the more I looked at the video of the Broadmann 212 its hard to believe that's a 7ft piano it looks shorter? its nice either way.. and the copper plated harp is a nice change instead of gold smile


Indeed... the Brodmann I heard online sounded spectacular. The Hailun 218, which I own, sounds... well... no offence ... but very poorly recorded.

Here's my latest attempt at capturing something of the 218 sound:

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o

I adore the instrument, actually... the Hailun 218 ... as I've said elsewhere here!

JG


J. S. Bach Well-tempered Clavier, complete preludes and fugues (with significant MIDI analysis):

https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant

https://www.youtube.com/user/dohgrant/playlists (slightly better sound quality)



Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Norbert #1838460 02/04/12 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Norbert
Quote
I've yet to hear the Chinese grand that can snap off the vitality of a Yamaha C3 through C7, but admittedly, I have little experience with the big boys from Brodmann and Hailun, so maybe I'll be in for a surprise if and when.



Try the "big boys"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoqOUAdEs10

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOUU5b6eCjY

Norbert smile


Here's my own recording of the 218, using 2 AKG mics:

http://www.box.com/s/pcgjnn7zba2vimx4ma2o


J. S. Bach Well-tempered Clavier, complete preludes and fugues (with significant MIDI analysis):

https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant

https://www.youtube.com/user/dohgrant/playlists (slightly better sound quality)



Re: Who makes the best Grand Pianos in China?
Glenn Treibitz #1838463 02/04/12 11:44 AM
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My point is this, there is no worst or worst of worst out there. To all of those looking for a piano who read the Larry Fine Piano Buyer, use it as one good, but subjective source of information. Also trust your own ears, your own hands and your own eyes because Larry's opinion is his opinion and you are entitled to your opinion too which you should trust. Piano Buyer is not Consumer Reports, it is not JD Powers, it is a for profit business and and must be viewed in that light.

Dead on true... Fine captures the landscape... the individual trees, then, need to be assessed individually.... so try not to buy a piano sight unseen!!!!

JG

Last edited by johngrant; 02/04/12 11:45 AM.

J. S. Bach Well-tempered Clavier, complete preludes and fugues (with significant MIDI analysis):

https://soundcloud.com/johnlgrant

https://www.youtube.com/user/dohgrant/playlists (slightly better sound quality)



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