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A New Piano Brand is Coming #2318888
08/23/14 12:21 PM
08/23/14 12:21 PM
Joined: May 2001
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Maryland/DC/No. VA
Steve Cohen Offline OP
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Schimmel Pianos has announced their intention to market a new line of pianos under the "Fridolin" name. (Fridolin Schimmel was the brother of founder Wilhelm and founded his own piano company after emigrating to Minnesota). Young Chang has been chosen to manufacture the Fridolin piano exclusively for Schimmel dealerships. Schimmel describes the new line as "an exceptional piano that maintains the fine tradition of the Schimmel Piano Company that will now replace the price point of the previous May Berlin piano.

The new line will consist of a 48" and 52" upright and a 5'2" and 6'1" grand at competitive price points. The pianos will use AAA solid spruce soundboards, Roslau wire, all maple action parts and cold-pressed hammers.


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Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2318890
08/23/14 12:24 PM
08/23/14 12:24 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,306
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They've got some marketing genius at work with their branding.


Learner
Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2318918
08/23/14 02:10 PM
08/23/14 02:10 PM
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Posts: 2,182
The Netherlands
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They sure do. Understood that quite a high percentage of May Berlins were rejected by Schimmel.

Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2318949
08/23/14 03:55 PM
08/23/14 03:55 PM
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Posts: 1,758
Toronto
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I'm confused by the above statements. Where's the marketing genius in introducing a new mid level line? That seems to be the status quo for many piano companies. How's this any different then Hoffman, Irmler, Boston, Vogel etc?
I'd be genuinely excited if Schimmel was introducing a new 'highest end' line (like what Kawai did 15 years ago when they introduced the Shigeru)
But I can't imagine a move like that being very economically sound in the current piano market. The reality seems to be that inorder to survive many companies have to dumb down and cheapen the potential of their products to accomodate what people are willing/able to pay these days.



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Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2318962
08/23/14 04:34 PM
08/23/14 04:34 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,468
Surrey, B.C.
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I wonder about the real reason why Schimmel has given up co-producing with Parsons having now moved over to Young Chang. Not completely convinced it had to do with "quality" but perhaps rather with politics, i.e. "business"

For one, there's many more international Young Chang dealers who could adopt the piano than Parsons has.
Question is also if "Fridolin" will be made in Korea or China, not to do with quality but with 'price'

Wondering if choice of name was totally ideal: quite funny sounding in German and often related to "happy-go-lucky" guys. Too bad don't have that name myself... wink

Wishing the best to company: would be very interested to see the piano and compare how they stack up against some others such a Pramberger Platinum, Ritmüller, Kayserburg and so on.

As often said before, the battle in this segment appears to be intensifying by the month...

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 08/23/14 04:56 PM.

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Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2318988
08/23/14 06:16 PM
08/23/14 06:16 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
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I remember testing a May Berlin two years ago and I thought it was a quite good piano for its price. I especially liked the touch - it was easy to play, light and responsive.

Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: AJF] #2318990
08/23/14 06:22 PM
08/23/14 06:22 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
turandot Offline
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Originally Posted by AJF
Where's the marketing genius in introducing a new mid level line? That seems to be the status quo for many piano companies. How's this any different then Hoffman, Irmler, Boston, Vogel etc?


This line is to replace May Berlin. May Berlin was not a mid-priced line, but an entry level line. The Vogel has been Schimmel's mid-priced line for a while. So presumably the new line will be entry-level, with a fanciful MSRP that retailers can discount generously while still making some money.. If that doesn't work, Scmimmel will try something else. There must be other names of family members they can draw on.

Owners of Chinese May Berlin pianos will be pleased to know that their pianos will now skyrocket in value due to their rarity. grin

Presumably


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Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2318993
08/23/14 06:48 PM
08/23/14 06:48 PM
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 3,745
Atlanta, GA
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I've seen the Fridolin exhibited at NAMM and at the recent PTG convention here in Atlanta. The designs are from the Weber line (China production, not Albert Weber - Korea). I won't speculate or gossip about why Schimmel parted ways with Parsons, but the May Berlin pianos we received were quite good overall. The partnership with Young Chang is certainly in part due to personal relationships between Schimmel and other industry reps representing Young Chang/Weber in the US. In other words, they know each other. Schimmel may have different lines/partnerships in other markets besides the US.


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Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2319013
08/23/14 08:15 PM
08/23/14 08:15 PM
Joined: Jul 2014
Posts: 83
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aesop Offline
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I think some people will choose Schimmel Konzert over Shigeru. Especially when they compare the smaller grands of them. Just guess so... Anyway, I find that there is a progress in the Konzert series during the very recent years. Sound and touch. Perhaps still not in the top flight but almost... I'm not sure, it is my personal idea and experience...

Last edited by aesop; 08/23/14 08:17 PM.
Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: turandot] #2319018
08/23/14 08:26 PM
08/23/14 08:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 647
Los Angeles/Burbank
Glenn Treibitz Offline
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Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by AJF
Where's the marketing genius in introducing a new mid level line? That seems to be the status quo for many piano companies. How's this any different then Hoffman, Irmler, Boston, Vogel etc?


This line is to replace May Berlin. May Berlin was not a mid-priced line, but an entry level line. The Vogel has been Schimmel's mid-priced line for a while. So presumably the new line will be entry-level, with a fanciful MSRP that retailers can discount generously while still making some money.. If that doesn't work, Scmimmel will try something else. There must be other names of family members they can draw on.

Owners of Chinese May Berlin pianos will be pleased to know that their pianos will now skyrocket in value due to their rarity. grin

Presumably


William, I heard the next piano line will be the Murray Schimmel made by Peral River. Murray settled outside Sheboygan,WI and was a distant cousin to Fridolin. He was known for inventing the reverse concave floating piano. Half piano and half boat. You could actually play while sailing and it had player piano type pedal pumps for propulsion.

Last edited by Glenn Treibitz; 08/23/14 08:26 PM.

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Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2319096
08/24/14 03:05 AM
08/24/14 03:05 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
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Reseda, California
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Will it be all new designs? Just new decals on the fallboard? Somewhere in between?



-- J.S.

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Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2319219
08/24/14 11:54 AM
08/24/14 11:54 AM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 7,439
Rochester MN
Minnesota Marty Offline

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This is getting so confusing.

Let's see -- Schimmel of Braunschweig is trying to emulate Schimmel of Faribault via Asia? Uff da!

Schimmel of Sheboygan (Murray) Founded Schimmel & Sons Sausages which specialized in Braunschweiger and obviously is in neither Germany nor Minnesota. It's not the wurst thing that can happen, however.

It can become even more confusing when you understand that the first USA Schimmels were actually Schimmel-Nelsons. By about the mid-1890's, Searick Nelson left the company. Aha, you might think. You'd be wrong. Searick never cabled up with Cable. That was H.P. Nelson. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a Nelson & Nelson, nor a Schimmel & Schimmel.

One of the few giraffes that I have played was a Schimmel-Nelson at the National Music Museum in South Dakota. Well, it was old and tall and didn't speak German, or even 'Sotan, eh?

I'm waiting for the new Willy, Fred, & Murray pianos built in Wittenberg Wisconsin. That's near Wausau which isn't in Poland or even in Asia.

Alas


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2319227
08/24/14 12:17 PM
08/24/14 12:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 5,691
Hobart, Australia
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ando Offline
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Hobart, Australia
I'm on the edge of my seat with anticipation... another entry level piano coming out of Asia (claiming its rich European heritage) - sounds truly unique and special...And the name, that is a triumph - I always wanted a piano that was named after a hobbit...

Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: ando] #2319230
08/24/14 12:22 PM
08/24/14 12:22 PM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 9,317
Phoenix, Arizona
Carey Offline
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Originally Posted by ando
I'm on the edge of my seat with anticipation... another entry level piano coming out of Asia (claiming its rich European heritage) - sounds truly unique and special...And the name, that is a triumph - I always wanted a piano that was named after a hobbit...

thumb thumb thumb ha


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Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Steve Cohen] #2319232
08/24/14 12:30 PM
08/24/14 12:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 422
Los Angeles, Ca.
C
Carbonblob Offline
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ando +1!

also, whenever I hear the marketing jargon "price point" I think of the now defunct Mills Pride cabinets you pulled off the shelf at Home Depot!

Sorry, can't help the analogy. Think Bosie, SS&S or any high end company would use the term "price point" to describe their offerings? Such a tired and overused description (btw, used in my field of work, ad nauseum, that's why I'm sick of hearing it so often) .......blob


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YAMAHA GRANTOUCH GT1
Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Glenn Treibitz] #2319275
08/24/14 02:30 PM
08/24/14 02:30 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 5,306
*sigh* Salt Lake City
malkin Offline
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Joined: Apr 2009
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*sigh* Salt Lake City
Originally Posted by Glenn Treibitz
[
William, I heard the next piano line will be the Murray Schimmel made by Peral River. Murray settled outside Sheboygan,WI and was a distant cousin to Fridolin. He was known for inventing the reverse concave floating piano. Half piano and half boat. You could actually play while sailing and it had player piano type pedal pumps for propulsion.


The sketches for the Ice Fishing Art Case version of this piano are beautiful. Far beyond the standard white polyester finish.


Learner
Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: Minnesota Marty] #2319350
08/24/14 07:07 PM
08/24/14 07:07 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,071
Conway, AR USA
bkw58 Offline

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Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
This is getting so confusing.

Let's see -- Schimmel of Braunschweig is trying to emulate Schimmel of Faribault via Asia? Uff da!

Schimmel of Sheboygan (Murray) Founded Schimmel & Sons Sausages which specialized in Braunschweiger and obviously is in neither Germany nor Minnesota. It's not the wurst thing that can happen, however.

It can become even more confusing when you understand that the first USA Schimmels were actually Schimmel-Nelsons. By about the mid-1890's, Searick Nelson left the company. Aha, you might think. You'd be wrong. Searick never cabled up with Cable. That was H.P. Nelson. To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a Nelson & Nelson, nor a Schimmel & Schimmel.

One of the few giraffes that I have played was a Schimmel-Nelson at the National Music Museum in South Dakota. Well, it was old and tall and didn't speak German, or even 'Sotan, eh?

I'm waiting for the new Willy, Fred, & Murray pianos built in Wittenberg Wisconsin. That's near Wausau which isn't in Poland or even in Asia.

Alas


Finally, a break from The Endless Equation. 30 days is too long. Welcome back, Marty. smile

As to the topic at hand, frankly, I would have avoided all of the marketing costs and simply adapted a Shelley sequel title. Son of Schimmel.


Bob W.
Piano Technician (Retired since 2006)
Conway, Arkansas
www.pianotechno.blogspot.com
Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: ando] #2319353
08/24/14 07:19 PM
08/24/14 07:19 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
turandot Offline
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Originally Posted by ando
I'm on the edge of my seat with anticipation... another entry level piano coming out of Asia (claiming its rich European heritage) - sounds truly unique and special...And the name, that is a triumph - I always wanted a piano that was named after a hobbit...


Not to be argumentative, but you are dead wrong. It's not an entry-level piano coming out of Asia claiming its rich European heritage. It's another contract piano made to fit a European maker's willingness to pay. The Piano does not claim to have a European heritage. The Chinese piano factory that manufactured it does not claim to have a European heritage. The marketing department of the European company that ordered it, most likely paying as little as possible, is claiming the European heritage.

Parsons can make good pianos, as can other Chinese factories. They have proven that. If it is true as someone implied that Schimmel was unhappy with what they got for their money from Parsons, it may well be the case that they got exactly what they were willing to pay for, and nothing more than that.

I disagree completely with all those who disparage a new model simply because it's entry-level. I only brought that fact up in my post to correct a mistaken impression. Entry-level is a product marketing term to remind people when they are buying said product that ultimately they need to come back and upgrade. Beyond that, the term has no precise meaning.

There are plenty of pianos at different levels of price that outprrform their more expesnvie cousins. And there are plenty of people for whom any new acoustic piano is a luxury, for some an out-of-reach luxury. Poo-poohing the entry-level seems a bit snooty, considering economic reality.

If the piano industry is to survive, it needs the products at the so-called entry level (IOW the products that most people can hope to afford) far more than it needs the high end stuff. The high end niche market is okay for small production companies that don't expect to sell a lot of pianos and build at a rate and speed to fit their sales expectations. But that's not Schimmel's background. In terms of Euorpean factories, they have fairly high capacity. A solitary focus on upper end pianos that those who frequent Internet forums love to discuss endlessly but are unlikely to ever buy will leave a company like Schimmel in a bad place.

It's also true that most owned entry-level pianos stand ready to outperform their owners. Decisions to upgrade are more often than not based on an unsettled feeling on the part of an owner that his piano somehow doesn't measure up to something else that's out there and within or just beyond his spending reach.

Occasionally an entry-level piano raises the bar a little on what's available at its price. That's happened a lot over the last ten years in my opinion. If no one competed there, those improvements would be unlikely to happen. I'm not saying that the Schimmel OEM job from Young Chang will do that, but the piano will speak for itself soon enough.

So for those who honestly feel that news of an entry-level piano is a colossal bore, why not just be silent? Steve was simply reporting industry news. Last time I checked, that's what this forum is supposedly about.



Will Johnny Come Marching Home?
The fate of the modern wartime soldier
Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: turandot] #2319357
08/24/14 07:39 PM
08/24/14 07:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 611
Usa
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Grandman Offline
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Usa
Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by ando
I'm on the edge of my seat with anticipation... another entry level piano coming out of Asia (claiming its rich European heritage) - sounds truly unique and special...And the name, that is a triumph - I always wanted a piano that was named after a hobbit...


Not to be argumentative, but you are dead wrong. It's not an entry-level piano coming out of Asia claiming its rich European heritage. It's another contract piano made to fit a European maker's willingness to pay. The Piano does not claim to have a European heritage. The Chinese piano factory that manufactured it does not claim to have a European heritage. The marketing department of the European company that ordered it, most likely paying as little as possible, is claiming the European heritage.

Parsons can make good pianos, as can other Chinese factories. They have proven that. If it is true as someone implied that Schimmel was unhappy with what they got for their money from Parsons, it may well be the case that they got exactly what they were willing to pay for, and nothing more than that.

I disagree completely with all those who disparage a new model simply because it's entry-level. I only brought that fact up in my post to correct a mistaken impression. Entry-level is a product marketing term to remind people when they are buying said product that ultimately they need to come back and upgrade. Beyond that, the term has no precise meaning.

There are plenty of pianos at different levels of price that outprrform their more expesnvie cousins. And there are plenty of people for whom any new acoustic piano is a luxury, for some an out-of-reach luxury. Poo-poohing the entry-level seems a bit snooty, considering economic reality.

If the piano industry is to survive, it needs the products at the so-called entry level (IOW the products that most people can hope to afford) far more than it needs the high end stuff. The high end niche market is okay for small production companies that don't expect to sell a lot of pianos and build at a rate and speed to fit their sales expectations. But that's not Schimmel's background. In terms of Euorpean factories, they have fairly high capacity. A solitary focus on upper end pianos that those who frequent Internet forums love to discuss endlessly but are unlikely to ever buy will leave a company like Schimmel in a bad place.

It's also true that most owned entry-level pianos stand ready to outperform their owners. Decisions to upgrade are more often than not based on an unsettled feeling on the part of an owner that his piano somehow doesn't measure up to something else that's out there and within or just beyond his spending reach.

Occasionally an entry-level piano raises the bar a little on what's available at its price. That's happened a lot over the last ten years in my opinion. If no one competed there, those improvements would be unlikely to happen. I'm not saying that the Schimmel OEM job from Young Chang will do that, but the piano will speak for itself soon enough.

So for those who honestly feel that news of an entry-level piano is a colossal bore, why not just be silent? Steve was simply reporting industry news. Last time I checked, that's what this forum is supposedly about.



Anyone poking fun at "entry level" pianos needs to read this post carefully. The fact is, we can all ooohh and aahhh all we want over the tier 1 pianos, but for most people, the entry and mid tier levels is where the industry lives or dies. To view this post as a disappointment and to make ridicule is baffling to me. Schimmel doesn't need to come up with another Shigeru Kawai. They already have the Konzert grands for that. They need to find a way to make great pianos an affordable reality if the industry is to survive. And with today's technology with advanced machinery, this is very possible, as evidenced by the number of good pianos already being made.

Last edited by Grandman; 08/24/14 07:43 PM.
Re: A New Piano Brand is Coming [Re: turandot] #2319359
08/24/14 07:41 PM
08/24/14 07:41 PM
Joined: May 2001
Posts: 10,985
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Steve Cohen Offline OP
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Steve Cohen  Offline OP
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Maryland/DC/No. VA
Originally Posted by turandot
Originally Posted by ando
I'm on the edge of my seat with anticipation... another entry level piano coming out of Asia (claiming its rich European heritage) - sounds truly unique and special...And the name, that is a triumph - I always wanted a piano that was named after a hobbit...


Not to be argumentative, but you are dead wrong. It's not an entry-level piano coming out of Asia claiming its rich European heritage. It's another contract piano made to fit a European maker's willingness to pay. The Piano does not claim to have a European heritage. The Chinese piano factory that manufactured it does not claim to have a European heritage. The marketing department of the European company that ordered it, most likely paying as little as possible, is claiming the European heritage.

Parsons can make good pianos, as can other Chinese factories. They have proven that. If it is true as someone implied that Schimmel was unhappy with what they got for their money from Parsons, it may well be the case that they got exactly what they were willing to pay for, and nothing more than that.

I disagree completely with all those who disparage a new model simply because it's entry-level. I only brought that fact up in my post to correct a mistaken impression. Entry-level is a product marketing term to remind people when they are buying said product that ultimately they need to come back and upgrade. Beyond that, the term has no precise meaning.

There are plenty of pianos at different levels of price that outprrform their more expesnvie cousins. And there are plenty of people for whom any new acoustic piano is a luxury, for some an out-of-reach luxury. Poo-poohing the entry-level seems a bit snooty, considering economic reality.

If the piano industry is to survive, it needs the products at the so-called entry level (IOW the products that most people can hope to afford) far more than it needs the high end stuff. The high end niche market is okay for small production companies that don't expect to sell a lot of pianos and build at a rate and speed to fit their sales expectations. But that's not Schimmel's background. In terms of Euorpean factories, they have fairly high capacity. A solitary focus on upper end pianos that those who frequent Internet forums love to discuss endlessly but are unlikely to ever buy will leave a company like Schimmel in a bad place.

It's also true that most owned entry-level pianos stand ready to outperform their owners. Decisions to upgrade are more often than not based on an unsettled feeling on the part of an owner that his piano somehow doesn't measure up to something else that's out there and within or just beyond his spending reach.

Occasionally an entry-level piano raises the bar a little on what's available at its price. That's happened a lot over the last ten years in my opinion. If no one competed there, those improvements would be unlikely to happen. I'm not saying that the Schimmel OEM job from Young Chang will do that, but the piano will speak for itself soon enough.

So for those who honestly feel that news of an entry-level piano is a colossal bore, why not just be silent? Steve was simply reporting industry news. Last time I checked, that's what this forum is supposedly about.



Great post, Tur!


Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.
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