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2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano #2609890 01/30/17 08:21 AM
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Jolly Offline OP
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Thought I'd go to the horse's mouth, so to speak...y'all are the guys who work on them and know their good points and bad points, so, some questions:

1. What quality of work are you currently seeing from most Chinese manufacturers? Are the pinblocks correctly done? Is the bridge notching ok? Has the casework improved? After a year in their new home, do most settle in and require only periodic tuning and light maintenance? Which factories currently produce the best built pianos, in your opinion?

2. If there is one thing that could be improved on most models, what would it be?

3. Is the jury still out on durability? Do you think they have improved in the last three to five years?

4. Would it be worth the money for a dealer to let a tech spend more time with a freshly uncrated piano, before setting it on the showroom floor? (Cost/Benefit question).

5. If you had no access to used pianos, are some Chinese pianos good enough that you would buy one for your own use?


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Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Jolly] #2610138 01/31/17 12:29 AM
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Bosendorff Offline
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Since nobody else replied yet, I'll just chime in to say I tune and regulate my own Chinese baby grand since I bought it. Good construction quality at a decent price. Factory prep was good except a few things like one defective sostenuto tab spring that probably wasn't detected at QC and one slightly warped key (this one likely happened after adjusting to the RH in its new environment).

In the first months, some usual minor adjustments were needed like a few slow falling dampers, etc. All fixed easily. After two years, I did a complete regulation and everything stays pretty tight. Tuning stays solid too since installation of a DC about a year after purchase. In short, no complaints, good instrument for the low price.

Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Jolly] #2610282 01/31/17 10:30 AM
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SonatainfSharp Offline
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I have read that the Walter action in my CW is Chinese made (please correct me if I am wrong; I really want to know), yet it's considered a top-class action in a piano with a 100 year life expectancy (so I've been told).

I have been told in person that the WNG all-carbon actions in Mason & Hamlin pianos are also Chinese-made (again, correct me if I am wrong; I really want to know), and those, too, are often favored as becoming world-class actions.


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Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Jolly] #2613647 02/11/17 09:23 PM
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Deathaya Offline
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I tuned an Essex upright in a school recently.
It looks rather new, and also reminded me of the Boston upright, also designed by Steinway.
It reminded me of Boston because of the soft pins; otherwise everything seems pretty tight, but it also appears to be rather new. However, half of top hinge screws are already failing, loose or stripped. Key slip screws holes were drilled in irregular angles.


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Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Jolly] #2613743 02/12/17 09:41 AM
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Rick_Parks Offline
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Tune a Pearl River Studio for a church... Reminds me of Young Chang (Samick) back in the 90's. Doesn't strike me as quality at all...But, you get what you pay for. In my opinion you're buying Walmart pianos, but hey- at the price, and they do play. Who can say- it's all opinion?
Now if they begin claiming, as I have seen claimed by some Pearl River sites, that they are the essence of quality-- I would certainly speak to the contrary.
Though again, perhaps by today's standards this is true ('throw-away generation').
I can't speak for their grands. Haven't had the opportunity to work on those as yet.

And, yeah- China has pretty much been brought into everything now-a-days for mfg...This does not mean they are what used to be looked upon as good quality though. Just means acceptable to today's standards.
Quote
(PianoBuyer.com; on Charles Walter] "The vertical pianos now use Renner actions, but a Chinese-made action is available as a lower-cost option, reducing the price of the piano by about $1,500.


The lower price will always speak truth to you about craftsmanship.


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Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Jolly] #2613845 02/12/17 07:52 PM
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daniokeeper Offline
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Since Pearl River pianos are mentioned, here's an interesting youtube vid:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Flk35J_REpk

This is a recording of Lazar Berman playing Liszt's Spanish Rhapsody.

The interesting thing (besides the playing) is that there is a photo of him playing a Pearl River grand piano. :0

The recording is from 1960. If he actually played a Pearl River grand piano for this recording and this is the sound he was able to get out of it, and the piano held up, maybe Pearl River pianos deserve a second look. smile

Last edited by daniokeeper; 02/12/17 08:14 PM.

Joe Gumbosky
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Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Jolly] #2613846 02/12/17 08:08 PM
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Rick_Parks Offline
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Pearl River was established in 1956... I don't know that 1960 would be a year that any major artists would be giving concert performances on those pianos. Quality was not nearly as good back then...
I've not heard of any major names touring with Pearl River pianos before.
I Could be wrong though *shrugs*

--- Also, I might add, just because they might make a piano that sounds good off the floor; what will it sound like in a year or two, after settling in... Quality also includes time testing.

Last edited by Rick_Parks; 02/12/17 08:10 PM.

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Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Rick_Parks] #2613871 02/12/17 11:44 PM
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daniokeeper Offline
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Originally Posted by Rick_Parks
Pearl River was established in 1956... I don't know that 1960 would be a year that any major artists would be giving concert performances on those pianos. Quality was not nearly as good back then...
I've not heard of any major names touring with Pearl River pianos before.
I Could be wrong though *shrugs*

--- Also, I might add, just because they might make a piano that sounds good off the floor; what will it sound like in a year or two, after settling in... Quality also includes time testing.


No arguments here smile

It's a fascinating photo, though. Mr. Berman has no gray hair in the photo, so it was not taken when he was older. The photo might fit the time period when this recording was made.

Edit: Of course, assuming this piano was used for the recording, we don't know how much prep work a gifted technician might have put into this piano.


Last edited by daniokeeper; 02/13/17 01:17 AM.

Joe Gumbosky
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"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -Marcus Aurelius
Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: daniokeeper] #2672290 09/02/17 10:18 AM
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Lestrade Offline
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The recording is from 1998 or 1999. You can find it from the website in Chinese:
http://www.pearlriverpiano.com/scientific/about.aspx?NodeCode=105023002

Look at the clear original photo, there are several Chinese words in the background. He is not young judging from his face or figure. The whole photo is in an orange-tone, I have no idea of his hair color.

Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Jolly] #2672384 09/02/17 06:28 PM
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David Boyce Offline
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I don't suppose that Chinese pianos yet compare with Fazioli, Steinway, Bosendorfer and Steingraeber. But they are not yet addressing those top-end markets.

From what I have seen of current Hailun and Pearl River pianos, they are a lot better than the UK piano industry was managing to churn out latterly.

And if Seiler, Feurich and other decent European makers are willing to sell Hailun pianos 'badged' with their brands, they can't be too terrible

Last edited by David Boyce; 09/02/17 06:30 PM.
Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Lestrade] #2672413 09/02/17 08:28 PM
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daniokeeper Offline
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Originally Posted by Lestrade
The recording is from 1998 or 1999. You can find it from the website in Chinese:
http://www.pearlriverpiano.com/scientific/about.aspx?NodeCode=105023002

Look at the clear original photo, there are several Chinese words in the background. He is not young judging from his face or figure. The whole photo is in an orange-tone, I have no idea of his hair color.


Hi Lestrade,

I got the date from the YouTube post I linked to.

I followed your link.

Quote
World piano master Mr. Rosa Berman insisted on choosing the Pearl River piano
World Piano Masters Mr. Rasa Berman in 1998, twice in 1999, to be held in Guangzhou solo piano concerts, go to the Pearl River steel
piano performances with the group to visit and pick the piano, in the Pearl River Piano Group showrooms, Rasa Berman After a dozen dozen different countries, different brands
of piano, bent on the use of the Pearl River piano for playing with piano, he said, "I personally, what brand of piano is not important, the key
is to make me produce musical inspiration The piano is a good piano.As the Pearl River piano, it can give me inspiration, a press of the keyboard there is a desire to communicate,
touch the button is very comfortable, sound changes very singing effect, there is a good resonance and overturning. I like the Pearl River Piano. "At the end
of the solo concert , he was pleased to inscribe on the piano -" the pride of the piano. "


If Mr. Berman likes it, well... that's quite an endorsement!

As for being young, the older I get the more liberal i am with words like "young, youngster, kid, etc." smile

Edit: It might very well be a Pearl River piano in this recording.

Last edited by daniokeeper; 09/02/17 08:30 PM.

Joe Gumbosky
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"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -Marcus Aurelius
Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: Jolly] #2672418 09/02/17 09:32 PM
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John Martin Offline
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My observations after I have been manufacturing pianos in China for 15 years.
I have a new series of pianos that are assembled in China using high end European and Chinese components.
These pianos are designed by Delwin Fandrich .
I find the workmanship in China is very good with a few of the factories but where most Chinese pianos let them self down are in 2 areas.
(1) Design . Most Chinese pianos are poor copies of well known brands .( Not well reverse engineered )
(2) Post production . Most Chinese pianos are rushed out of the factories before they are properly finished.

There are some very good piano component factories in China and also easy access for high quality European components.

There is no reason why China can not manufacture good quality pianos BUT good quality pianos do cost more.


I manufacture , Distribute and retail pianos and related products.

Manufacturing : Wertheim pianos in Korea and China

Distribution : Wertheim and Bluthner pianos and Piano Disc player systems and silent piano systems

Re: 2017 - The Current State of the Chinese Piano [Re: daniokeeper] #2672421 09/02/17 09:59 PM
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Lestrade Offline
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Hi Joe,

My first reply is not accurate. Corrected:
Quote
The scene in the photo appeared in 1998 or 1999.


I think it has nothing to do with pearl river. It's just an illustration with Lazar Berman.


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