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#2179707 - 11/09/13 06:52 PM Step Up to the Plate!  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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This afternoon, on All Things Considered (NPR), there was an interesting feature on the casting of piano plates.

Find It Here


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
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#2179753 - 11/09/13 08:29 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Troy 125 Offline
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Very cool, thanks for sharing!

#2179871 - 11/10/13 12:26 AM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Charles Walter plates are also manufactured there.


Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

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#2179959 - 11/10/13 09:00 AM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Rod,

Do you know if M&H uses Kelly, also?


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
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#2179962 - 11/10/13 09:15 AM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Here we have a lot of small foundries that do small to medium sized castings both in iron and in non ferrous metals.

I have never had any ferrous castings made but have had bronze and aluminium cast.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
#2179983 - 11/10/13 10:21 AM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Very nice article. The negative comments below the article are just sad.


Schimmel 116 S
ABF Recitals: XXXIV - XXXVIII & Schumann Recital .....
#2179994 - 11/10/13 10:51 AM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: wimpiano]  
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Originally Posted by wimpiano
Very nice article. The negative comments below the article are just sad.

I agree about the comments.

But, there were many nattering nabobs in this forum, also. People seem to enjoy Steinway bashing as a gleeful, juvenile game. I feel sorry for people with such a negative and cynical attitude.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2180037 - 11/10/13 11:54 AM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty

Do you know if M&H uses Kelly, also?


Hi Marty,

I asked this during a factory tour, and they said no.


Pianist, teacher, apprentice technician, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
#2180046 - 11/10/13 12:16 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Thanks Owen!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2180052 - 11/10/13 12:34 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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I believe Grotrian uses Kelly as well.

Rich


Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"
#2180108 - 11/10/13 02:42 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Rod,

Do you know if M&H uses Kelly, also?


It is my understanding that they are cast in China.


Verhnjak Pianos
Specializing in the Restoration, Refinishing & Maintenance
of Fine Heirloom Pianos

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#2180405 - 11/10/13 11:51 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Del Offline
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted by wimpiano
Very nice article. The negative comments below the article are just sad.

I agree about the comments.

But, there were many nattering nabobs in this forum, also. People seem to enjoy Steinway bashing as a gleeful, juvenile game. I feel sorry for people with such a negative and cynical attitude.

I looked at some of those -- I always find it interesting how folks with so little factual knowledge about a subject find so many ways to say so much about it.

ddf


Delwin D Fandrich
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(To contact me privately please use this e-mail address.)

Stupidity is a rare condition, ignorance is a common choice. --Anon
#2180620 - 11/11/13 01:40 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Rod Verhnjak]  
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Rod,

They were cast in China with the name Boston on the plate. I'm not sure how this sits with the FTC's deceptive advertising rules. When Baldwin outsourced its plates to Brazil in '99 they were not cast with the Baldwin made in USA logo. They weren't cast with made in Brazil either.

I'm not sure where the Mason's WNG action is made. I'm guessing it's not West New Guinea.

Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
#2180813 - 11/12/13 12:25 AM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Del]  
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Originally Posted by Del

I looked at some of those -- I always find it interesting how folks with so little factual knowledge about a subject find so many ways to say so much about it.

ddf

I teach Software Engineering. Naturally, there are a zillion technology websites and blogs with self-proclaimed experts. Students cut-and-paste crappy code--or even good code but designed for other purposes--and then wonder why it doesn't work the way they think it should...

Anyway, I attended a seminar the other day in which the speaker was talking about the fact that the internet had lowered the price of admission--idealistically--but realistically had simply increased the number of "cheap seats." All of a sudden, everyone's an expert... on everything...


I M A G I N A T I O N is more important than knowledge -Albert Einstein
#2180934 - 11/12/13 09:27 AM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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My Volkswagen's engine did not say "made in Hungary" on it, either. (Or maybe it was made in Mexico. I forget. Haven't forgotten the car, though. It was unforgettable, and not in a good way.)

I think that the "made in wherever" rules apply to finished products, not to individual components. If they applied to components, every product made of more than one part would have scribbling all over it, because parts are outsourced from all over the world. (Where are all those plastic piano key tops from, anyway? I am sure that they are not all made in what is viewed as the piano's country of origin, be it the USA, Austria, Germany, Estonia, or wherever.)

But, Mike, I am sure that you knew all this already. Except about my Volkswagen, of course.

Last edited by Rank Piano Amateur; 11/12/13 09:30 AM.
#2181005 - 11/12/13 12:04 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Rank Piano Amateur]  
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RPA,

I doubt if a Volkswagen as you described would have a Made in the USA label without the accompanying qualification, that is, the percentage of the parts made elsewhere.

As I said, I’m not sure how M&H skirts the “all or virtually all” language nor is the fact that Steinway labels an entire line-up of pianos "Boston" lost on me.

But when you apparently have the plate, action, crown retention system, and, in the case of their upright piano, the cabinet made offshore, despite what finishing or assembling that may be done in the US, a clearer picture of the origins may be called for.

Notwhithstanding the fact that FTC’s own language states that there is not a single “bright line”, many of their examples for exclusion from the rule are things like the origin of the metal in the frame surrounding a computer drive, and that is when the frame is actually manufactured in the US. These are not major components.

The FTC also takes into consideration whether or not the imported materials are available in the US. Would OS Kelly be able to make all the plates M&H needed?

Mike

FTC guidelines:


A product that is all or virtually all made in the United States will ordinarily be one in which all significant parts(14) and processing that go into the product are of U.S. origin. In other words, where a product is labeled or otherwise advertised with an unqualified "Made in USA" claim, it should contain only a de minimis, or negligible, amount of foreign content. Although there is no single "bright line" to establish when a product is or is not "all or virtually all" made in the United States, there are a number of factors that the Commission will look to in making this determination. To begin with, in order for a product to be considered "all or virtually all" made in the United States, the final assembly or processing of the product must take place in the United States. Beyond this minimum threshold, the Commission will consider other factors, including but not limited to the portion of the product's total manufacturing costs that are attributable to U.S. parts and processing; and how far removed from the finished product any foreign content is.

19 C.F.R. § 134.46. Specifically, this provision provides that:
In any case in which the words "United States," or "American," the letters "U.S.A.," any variation of such words or letters, or the name of any city or locality in the United States, or the name of any foreign country or locality other than the country or locality in which the article was manufactured or produced appear on an imported article or its container, and those words, letters or names may mislead or deceive the ultimate purchaser as to the actual country of origin of the article, there shall appear, legibly and permanently, in close proximity to such words, letters or name, and in at least a comparable size, the name of the country of origin preceded by "Made in," "Product of," or other words of similar meaning.


smoke 'em if you got 'em
#2181014 - 11/12/13 12:34 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Mike Carr]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted by Rod Verhnjak
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Rod,

Do you know if M&H uses Kelly, also?


It is my understanding that they are cast in China.


Originally Posted by Mike Carr
Rod,

They were cast in China with the name Boston on the plate.

This reply confuses me.

Why would M&H have a plate cast with the name "Boston" on the plate? Boston is a line of pianos within the "Steinway Family" and has nothing to do with Mason & Hamlin. M&H was the brand in question.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2181017 - 11/12/13 12:45 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Mike Carr]  
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Wow. Lots to sort out in Mike's post. First the FTC's "Made in USA" standards are not the same as CBP's country of origin marking standards (of which 19 CFR 134.46, cited by Mike, is a part). Further, even CBP's 19 CFR 134.46 must be read in conjunction with 19 CFR 134.47, which creates a different rule when the non-origin geographic reference is part of a trademark or trade name (such as Steinway's "Boston"). I haven't crawled around a Boston piano, but my guess would be that Steinway does not make a "Made in USA" claim, and that in fact there is a CBP-compliant country of origin marking somewhere on the piano indicating the actual country of origin.

I had a Boston creme pie for my birthday. It didn't come from Boston either!

Larry.

#2181019 - 11/12/13 12:51 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Strangely enough, you can get a Philly Cheese Steak in Manhattan. Kansas, that is.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2181044 - 11/12/13 01:21 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Quote
This reply confuses me.

Why would M&H have a plate cast with the name "Boston" on the plate? Boston is a line of pianos within the "Steinway Family" and has nothing to do with Mason & Hamlin. M&H was the brand in question.


You'll have to ask M&H. Both plate and crown retention system are marked "Boston".

Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
#2181052 - 11/12/13 01:33 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Rich Galassini Offline
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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
This reply confuses me.

Why would M&H have a plate cast with the name "Boston" on the plate? Boston is a line of pianos within the "Steinway Family" and has nothing to do with Mason & Hamlin. M&H was the brand in question.


Mike Carr is just stirring the pot and casting aspersions, Marty. It is what he does. He is referring to the fact that Mason is located in Boston, yet the frame is made elsewhere.

In today's global market it is possible that a piano "made in Poland" uses components made elsewhere. It could have music wire made in Germany, hardware screws made in China, and plates made in the Czech. Republic. Within the industry this is common knowledge and this does not mean that the piano is not made in Poland.

If this is a concern to a customer - ask. I do not know of any manufacturers who hide these facts from their dealers.

My 2 cents,



Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
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#2181053 - 11/12/13 01:34 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: iLaw]  
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Ilaw,

It's not an opinion, exactly, but food for thought. Even under 134.47,

"When as part of a trademark or trade name or as part of a souvenir marking, the name of a location in the United States or “United States” or “America” appear, the article shall be legibly, conspicuously, and permanently marked to indicate the name of the country of origin of the article preceded by “Made in,” “Product of,” or other similar words, in close proximity or in some other conspicuous location.",

there is little room for misunderstanding. M&H does, on their website, repeatedly claim their pianos are "And, as always, Mason & Hamlin pianos are Made in America." I don't believe Steinway makes the same claim for Boston.


Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
#2181069 - 11/12/13 01:59 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Rich Galassini]  
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Rich,

Quote
I do not know of any manufacturers who hide these facts from their dealers.


It's the hiding from the consumer that FTC rules are concerned with.

Quote
Mike Carr is just stirring the pot and casting aspersions, Marty. It is what he does. He is referring to the fact that Mason is located in Boston, yet the frame is made elsewhere.


The plate is marked Boston and made in China. M&H does not currently manufacture pianos in Boston, it's Haverhill.

I'm not talking about what's made in Poland or the engine in a Volkswagen or the world economy. I'm discussing the claim "Made in the USA" as defined by the FTC and what constitutes deceptive practices. I am not saying M&H is guilty of anything.

If you can discuss this without defining what it is you think I'm doing or trying to pigeonhole people who don't agree with a certain marketing scheme, I'd apreciate your input. The fact that one of the forum "experts" seems to have thought the Mason's plate was made in America at least leaves room for some thought and clarification.

Mike







Last edited by Mike Carr; 11/12/13 02:03 PM.

smoke 'em if you got 'em
#2181076 - 11/12/13 02:16 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Mike Carr]  
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iLaw Offline
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr

It's not an opinion, exactly, but food for thought ...



Mike,

You're right, that is food for thought. I initially assumed you were talking about Steinway's Boston pianos.

FWIW, I suspect that CBP would be satisfied that a finished M&H grand, even one with a Chinese plate and who-knows-what-else from who-knows-where-else, would be considered to have been substantially transformed (19 CFR 134.35) into a product of the United States by the manufacturing process in Massachusetts, and thus would not require a CBP-mandated foreign country of origin marking.

The food for thought here, though, is whether the FTC would be satisfied that the piano can be represented as "Made in the USA." I don't have the data I would want to form an opinion on that question, but it is an interesting one.

Larry.

#2181078 - 11/12/13 02:17 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Originally Posted by Mike Carr
The plate is marked Boston and made in China.


And Steinway's plate is made in Ohio, yet it says New York on the plate. I get it Mike. Keep stirring.

For the record I am not defending Mason & Hamlin or the many other manufacturers that have global sourcing for their components.

It is easy enough to find out where components are being sourced from if this is important to a consumer. Why pick out Mason Mike?


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
http://www.cunninghampiano.com/how-its-made/
#2181083 - 11/12/13 02:30 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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The whole question of country of origin has become blurred in recent years. There is the story of the town that cancelled an order for a piece of equipment made by Kubota and ordered it from Deere, instead, only to find that the Kubota was assembled in the US, while the Deere was assembled in Japan. Recent reports have said that the automobiles with the most US content have Japanese nameplates, Toyota or Honda, rather than any of the so-called US automakers.

Mason & Hamlin may have more US content now than they have had previously, if the parts for their actions are made in the US.


Semipro Tech
#2181085 - 11/12/13 02:32 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Rich Galassini]  
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Rich,

Quote
And Steinway's plate is made in Ohio, yet it says New York on the plate. I get it Mike. Keep stirring.


Come on, Rich, as long as the plate is made in the USA, the FTC has no problems. And if you can't truly see the difference, well . . .

Since you are a Mason & Hamlin dealer and not trying to hide anything, maybe it's time you stepped up to the plate. Where exactly are the Mason's piano action, plate, crown retention system, and the upright cabinet made?

Mike


smoke 'em if you got 'em
#2181088 - 11/12/13 02:39 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Mike Carr]  
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Minnesota Marty Offline

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Originally Posted by Mike Carr
The plate is marked Boston and made in China. M&H does not currently manufacture pianos in Boston, it's Haverhill.

Do we know that the plate is made in China? The only reference has been this:
Originally Posted by Rod Verhnjak
It is my understanding that they are cast in China.

I don't believe that an "understanding" is definitive. This may all be based on a false premise. There certainly are other foundries which can lay claim to "made in U.S.A."


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
#2181096 - 11/12/13 03:03 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Quote
Do we know that the plate is made in China?


Yes, Mason frames are cast in China. They are sanded, bonded, and finished in Massachusetts.


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Check out the Science Channel's "How Its Made" featuring our piano restoration:
http://www.cunninghampiano.com/how-its-made/
#2181099 - 11/12/13 03:08 PM Re: Step Up to the Plate! [Re: Minnesota Marty]  
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Thanks Rich!


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
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