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Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Rickster] #2704466
01/12/18 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Rickster

So, if there is a risk involved whether paying a little or paying a lot, its seems to me that one would be best served in buying a piano they like and enjoy playing and listening to, whether big or small, cheap or expensive, new or used, rather than buying a piano that someone else, a salesperson, rebuilder, or technician says you should buy, or not buy.

Just my .02.

Rick


That is probably best for you since you are comfortable in what you like and accept in pianos and how you budget for them. Others may benefit dramatically when they get expert guidance. For myself, I am extremely appreciative of expert guidance in areas that I consider important and about which I am not so confidant or the many areas in which I don't know much. In other areas that don't matter so much to me or that I feel confidant in my understanding, I don't need as much help.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
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New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
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Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Keith D Kerman] #2704501
01/13/18 04:59 AM
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To Keith's point on incorrect action geometry and resolution of the problem, most piano technicians and quite a few rebuilders do not have the skill set to isolate these problems in a piano action, nor correct them. The problem will either never get fixed, or the piano is sold and somewhere down the line the complaints are directed to a person with the right skill set to fix it and it is finally dealt with.
Or the manufacturer declines to deal with the problem. The dealer is then left with the expense of having the work done, and will most often decline to do so.

Nor are these kinds of problems confined to big pianos with no snob appeal. The 800 lb.gorilla of first tier pianos is not without its geometry issues on individual pianos. No maker is fully immune to such errors.

Of course, these problems can be carried forward when the piano is rebuilt, if all one does is screw on the parts and go from there. Conscientious rebuilders have learned the meticulous recordkeepiing in teardown, followed by analysis and targeted corrections, is the best path. Otherwise, you can squander a lot of time chasing your tail when the problems manifest themselves later in the rebuild.

Will Truitt


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: GC13] #2704503
01/13/18 05:28 AM
01/13/18 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by GC13

I think it's a a combination of factors. Is a part of the pricing coming from just Brand name prestige and recognition? Absolutely, hands down. I think any company with brand recognition capitalizes on that in any industry in the free world. It's also a lot of what Keith Herman said in his explanation earlier on what it takes to build/rebuild a concert-level instrument with the demanding expectations of both the performers and the audience. That's probably why one doesn't walk into the local Steinway dealer and by a D off the floor unless the C&A piano is up for sale.

1. Design stage? Maybe, maybe not. The core scale designs of most performance grade instruments have changed very little in many, many decades. Any new design costs is probably in the change of action designs which is usually more about material choices rather than the core functional design of the parts themselves.

2. Material? Absolutely. More durable action parts are used and manufactured to a higher specification. Much more rejection/scrapping of wood for rims, soundboards, etc. at Steinway, Bosendorfer, etc., b/c it doesn't meet their quality standards. Maybe it can be returned to the supplier, but somewhere in the supply chain someone is going to eat that cost which will drive up the prices somewhere in the supply chain. Suppliers charge premium prices for that prime Sitka Spruce in those soundboards, and top-tier makers pay the price.

3. Manufacturing process? Probably labor costs more than the process itself, b/c piano-building is such a labor-intensive process that can't be automated since most of it is wood, that there are so many fine adjustments that can only be done by hand. Piano craftsmen in NYC, Berlin, Vienna, Boston, and Italy probably make a lot more $$ than those in China. Healthcare costs in western countries compared to China may also come into play. More time in the building process b/c everything has to be so exact, b/c the end product is intended for a performance-level player who has very discriminating/exacting tastes. Tolerances are smaller - more attention to detail. And as I mentioned earlier -- economies of scale. Take Steinway in Queens, NYC. They make far fewer pianos now than they did in the 1800's and early 1900's due to shifts in society and the invasion of Asian pianos. (I'm still glad they and M&H have somehow survived!). Yet they maintain the same factories so there's fix burden costs that are the same no matter how many pianos are produced. Those costs get spread across a fewer # of pianos.

4. Prep? Another definite when buying a concert level / professional grade instrument. Ties into the labor costs in the mfg. process. It just takes a lot of work by an expert to get it all adjusted just right. I'd hate to think of the hours Steinway puts into preparing a room of pianos when an institution comes in to pick out 1 new D. They sell 1 but prepared 5 or 10.

I've seen it 1st hand, just having a stack rebuild done on my S&S B. New whippens, hammers, shanks, and flanges. On the surface things seem simple. Just glue the hammers on and screw in the new parts, right? It's unbelievable the amount of hours he's spent just at my house checking hammer travel, regulation and string alignment on top of the hours on the bench in his shop. Getting the weighting in the keys just right, getting the weight of each hammer just right, adjusting the key dip, strike distance, let off, and on and on. And I don't think he's put as many hours in to mine in my living room as he would one in a performance hall. It seems there are a hundred little things that must be thought about for each note. Over half the cost of my rebuild is in labor. The parts were relatively cheap. Now that I've had a front row seat, I think the man works real cheap if you ask me.

I'm no insider but that's how I see it based on my 30 years in the manufacturing world. Maybe some industry expert on the forum will chime in and give me an education. ;-)


Did you consider having your 'refreshed' action PTD'd (Google David Stanwood).

Did you use (or contemplate) using WNG action ?


The English may not like music much, but they love the sound it makes ... Beecham
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Keith D Kerman] #2704515
01/13/18 07:40 AM
01/13/18 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by Rickster

So, if there is a risk involved whether paying a little or paying a lot, its seems to me that one would be best served in buying a piano they like and enjoy playing and listening to, whether big or small, cheap or expensive, new or used, rather than buying a piano that someone else, a salesperson, rebuilder, or technician says you should buy, or not buy. Just my .02. Rick


That is probably best for you since you are comfortable in what you like and accept in pianos and how you budget for them. Others may benefit dramatically when they get expert guidance. For myself, I am extremely appreciative of expert guidance in areas that I consider important and about which I am not so confidant or the many areas in which I don't know much. In other areas that don't matter so much to me or that I feel confidant in my understanding, I don't need as much help.
I agree with Keith. I think there is an overemphasis at PW of the advice that each person should choose a piano based almost 100% on their own personal preferences and that advice from others is almost irrelevant.

I think the problem with that idea is that most buyers don't have enough experience playing and listening to many pianos. Whenever I read something like "All the pianos at dealer X were perfectly prepped" my thought is "How could they possibly know that?" Or someone tries out a piano for a few minutes and doesn't like the touch but is used to playing a digital or inexpensive vertical. Or someone who is used to playing an old clunker is immediately enthralled with a new grand that is light years superior to what they've been playing but still has some "flaws".

The above are fairly extreme cases but even more experienced pianists mostly have only a tiny fraction of the knowledge and experience with pianos compared to a terrific tech or some dealers or a professional pianist. I think all these kinds of people can be very helpful as long as they don't have some hidden agenda.

All this is not to say that the buyer's input isn't extremely important but many buyers don't even know what they don't know.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 01/13/18 10:47 AM.
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Colin Dunn] #2704563
01/13/18 11:11 AM
01/13/18 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
I agree with Keith. I think there i an overemphasis at PW of the advice the each person should choose a piano based almost 100% on their own personal preferences and that advice from others is almost irrelevant.

I think the problem with that idea is that most buyers don't have enough experience playing and listening to many pianos. Whenever I read something like "All the pianos at dealer X were perfectly prepped?" my thought is "How could they possibly know that?" Or someone tries out a piano for a few minutes and doesn't like the touch but is used to playing a digital or inexpensive vertical. Or someone who is used to playing an old clunker is immediately enthralled with a new grand that is light years superior to what they've been playing but still has some "flaws".

The above are fairly extreme cases but even more experienced pianists mostly have only a tiny fraction of the knowledge of a terrific tech or dealer with great experience/knowledge or a professional pianist. I think excellent techs or dealers with great knowledge or professionals with experience playing many pianos can all be very helpful as long as they don't have some hidden agenda.

All this is not to say that the buyer's input is extremely important but many buyers don't even know what they don't know.

Pianoloverus, (and Keith) I never said that seeking expert advice when buying a piano was a bad thing, or not a good idea. However, it does depend on who's advice you seek and ultimately take. Not all piano professionals have the customer's best interest in mind. Some do.

With that said, pianoloverus, in reading your comments, although you do infer there is some value in what the buyer thinks about the piano they are buying, they would be better off to let the professional go out and select the piano for them, because they (buyer) don't know what they don't know. To me, that is like saying "okay, I want a piano but have no idea what I want, what brand, what type, what cost, what color, what tone, what touch, what feel, I know very little; so, please, go out and buy me a piano of your choice and have it delivered to my home, and I'll write you a check".

Okay, if that works for some buyers, all the best for them.

We read a lot here on the piano forum about FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt). Many dealers and salespeople, and others, in the piano business know how to use this psycological tool very well. If they can plant seeds of doubt into a customer's mind that, perhaps they can't play well enough, or they don't know enough about pianos to actually select a piano and buy it, then they should hire the professional, who perhaps planted the seeds of FUD in their mind, to advise them and help them select the piano or their dreams.

I said all that to say this... I have never been a proponent of NOT seeking professional advice or having a prospective piano inspected and evaluated by a reputable, qualified piano tech. I have been a proponent of giving the prospective buyer the benefit of the doubt to know enough about what they want and what they like to go out and select the absolute best piano they can afford.

Also, while I'm on a roll here, I doubt very seriously that most acoustic piano buyers have bought the piano of their dreams and the love of their life the first time around. Just like the piano professionals learn from experience and their mistakes, piano buyers also learn from experience and their mistakes. I would venture to say that most individuals who actually play their piano, (or in my case, make an attempt to play:-) usually move up the food chain and get something better as their playing progresses. This may not always be the case, but I think it is most of the time.

So, getting back OT, are their some lesser thought of, bigger pianos out there that are very nice pianos without the snob appeal? Yes. But it is best to have it checked out by a reputable tech not associated with the seller, or have pianos for sale themselves (hence a conflict of interest). smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Colin Dunn] #2704621
01/13/18 02:11 PM
01/13/18 02:11 PM
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Keith, what does “wrong action geometry" mean?


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!) 🐱
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: twocats] #2704639
01/13/18 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats
Keith, what does “wrong action geometry" mean?


A piano's action is a series of intersecting levers. The relationship between these levers is the action's geometry. They need to be set up in a way that considers many different factors that affect touch and tone. I am having a bit of a hard time trying to explain this effectively as there are many considerations including the desired hammer weight which affects both tone and touch, the desired amount of mass in the keys for balancing purposes, the desired amount of weight for moving the key, the force with which the key will return, etc etc. If the set up of the action's geometry is off, it may result in a piano that is difficult to play or too easy to play. It may lack power or responsiveness or control or feel odd or some combination.

Is that helpful?


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
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Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Keith D Kerman] #2704646
01/13/18 04:15 PM
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Keith, is this basically optimizing the hammer mass and key weights for that piano? So, not part of regulation but a pre-regulation setup?


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!) 🐱
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: twocats] #2704652
01/13/18 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by twocats
Keith, is this basically optimizing the hammer mass and key weights for that piano? So, not part of regulation but a pre-regulation setup?


It is not part of regulation. It is basically making sure the parts are the right size/height and positioned correctly. Hammer weight and action balancing is related.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
check out http://sitkadoc.com/
www.twitter.com/pianocraft https://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel

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Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Keith D Kerman] #2704677
01/13/18 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by twocats
Keith, is this basically optimizing the hammer mass and key weights for that piano? So, not part of regulation but a pre-regulation setup?


It is not part of regulation. It is basically making sure the parts are the right size/height and positioned correctly. Hammer weight and action balancing is related.

I would like to learn more. Do you have any pictures showing examples of 'bad geometry' and 'good geometry'?

Thanks,
Osho


Mason & Hamlin BB
Kawai Novus NV10 + Embertone Walker D Full/Garritan CFX/Pianoteq 6

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Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Colin Dunn] #2704679
01/13/18 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
It is not part of regulation. It is basically making sure the parts are the right size/height and positioned correctly. Hammer weight and action balancing is related.

Hey, it sounds like Ed McMorrow should be in on this discussion. smile

According to Ed, no piano has the correct hammer size and weight, except the ones he rebuilds.

I think the direction of this thread is getting off topic, but it does make for an interesting, and educational read...

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Osho] #2704702
01/13/18 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Osho
Do you have any pictures showing examples of 'bad geometry' and 'good geometry'?

The problems wouldn't necessarily be apparent in a photo.


"If it sounds good, it is good." - Duke Ellington
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Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Colin Dunn] #2704712
01/13/18 11:20 PM
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I don't mind some of the off-topic things like the action geometry discussion. I started this thread because sometimes inexpensive pianos are surprisingly good. Getting more insight into how pianos are made and what factors influence the quality of a good piano is always helpful...


Colin Dunn
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Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Keith D Kerman] #2704740
01/14/18 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Originally Posted by twocats
Keith, is this basically optimizing the hammer mass and key weights for that piano? So, not part of regulation but a pre-regulation setup?


It is not part of regulation. It is basically making sure the parts are the right size/height and positioned correctly. Hammer weight and action balancing is related.

Thanks for the explanation! This is very interesting.


2001 Petrof 125 -> 2002 Petrof IV -> 1999 Bosendorfer 225 (meow!) 🐱
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Colin Dunn] #2704774
01/14/18 10:42 AM
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Yes, this thread has been an interesting read...

With that said, I'll add that I find it hard to believe that the action geometry of a new piano built by a manufacturer that has been in business for a long time, and has built thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of pianos, could be so wrong in the first place. I have worked in manufacturing during the early part of my working career and I do know that mistakes can happen, and, with an assembly line type of manufacturing, a mistake can be replicated to affect many units/pianos. But in my own mind, I would think that a really messed up new piano action where the entire geometry of every note is flawed to the point of adversely affecting the playing and perhaps the tone of the instrument, is a rare event and doesn't happen very often.

When I bought my Baldwin R (circa 1999) I was told to be weary of buying it because the action was made in Mexico and was plagued with problems. Well, I bought it anyway, and the action plays as well, if not better, than any piano I've ever owned. The action on the Baldwin R is at least as good as the action on my Yamaha C7. On the other hand, perhaps I'm so inexperienced at playing that I don't know what a good action feels like; but I know what a good action feels like to me.

For some reason this conversation reminds me of a piano advertisement video I watched once on the Rick Jones Pianos website. Rick was playing a very nice, older Kawai grand in the 6 foot range, or maybe bigger. After he played the piano, and mentioned the price, he added that the action of the Kawai was very heavy; heavier than most. He said there were some things that could be done to improve the action, but it was a heavy action. I admired his honesty about the heavy action. Rick Jones has a very good reputation for honesty, which is one reason his business is so successful. On the other hand, you would think that with them being the rebuilders and refurbishers, he would have know why the action was so heavy and what to do about it. I don't know, maybe the entire action geometry was wrong, but I doubt it.

So, I guess it's buyer beware 100% of the time when buying an acoustic piano. Hence, back to my original statement that buying any piano has a certain amount of risk involved; it's a gamble either way. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose... sometimes the naysayers are right and sometimes they're wrong. smile

Just my .02.

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Colin Dunn] #2704792
01/14/18 11:26 AM
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Mess ups like this happen because the people doing the work often do not have a complete understanding of the ramifications of any specific error. They are trained to do one thing, or one set of things, and once it leaves their hands it's up to the next person in line to "make things work". Maybe they can, but maybe they can't. Few people in the factory have the complete knowledge. By the time it reaches the end of the production line it may be deemed too late to change.

Action geometry is particularly sensitive to this. Think of the workings of a fine watch (not a digital one, but one with gears, etc). The principles in action geometry are essentially the same as this. The slightest defect in the wheels, gear, levers, etc. will have ramifications in performance. Only an expert would be able to decipher what was wrong and correct it.

Pwg


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Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Rickster] #2704804
01/14/18 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Rickster
Yes, this thread has been an interesting read...

With that said, I'll add that I find it hard to believe that the action geometry of a new piano built by a manufacturer that has been in business for a long time, and has built thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of pianos, could be so wrong in the first place. I have worked in manufacturing during the early part of my working career and I do know that mistakes can happen, and, with an assembly line type of manufacturing, a mistake can be replicated to affect many units/pianos. But in my own mind, I would think that a really messed up new piano action where the entire geometry of every note is flawed to the point of adversely affecting the playing and perhaps the tone of the instrument, is a rare event and doesn't happen very often.

When I bought my Baldwin R (circa 1999) I was told to be weary of buying it because the action was made in Mexico and was plagued with problems. Well, I bought it anyway, and the action plays as well, if not better, than any piano I've ever owned. The action on the Baldwin R is at least as good as the action on my Yamaha C7. On the other hand, perhaps I'm so inexperienced at playing that I don't know what a good action feels like; but I know what a good action feels like to me.

For some reason this conversation reminds me of a piano advertisement video I watched once on the Rick Jones Pianos website. Rick was playing a very nice, older Kawai grand in the 6 foot range, or maybe bigger. After he played the piano, and mentioned the price, he added that the action of the Kawai was very heavy; heavier than most. He said there were some things that could be done to improve the action, but it was a heavy action. I admired his honesty about the heavy action. Rick Jones has a very good reputation for honesty, which is one reason his business is so successful. On the other hand, you would think that with them being the rebuilders and refurbishers, he would have know why the action was so heavy and what to do about it. I don't know, maybe the entire action geometry was wrong, but I doubt it.

So, I guess it's buyer beware 100% of the time when buying an acoustic piano. Hence, back to my original statement that buying any piano has a certain amount of risk involved; it's a gamble either way. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose... sometimes the naysayers are right and sometimes they're wrong. smile

Just my .02.

Rick


Rick, pianos and especially piano actions are incredibly complex things. Even good piano technicians with years of experience who don't set up piano actions or don't do really high level work on piano actions beyond some very basic regulation are astounded when they start learning what is involved in this area. I think if you were shown even a small fraction of what really goes into it your mind would be blown.

It is getting very difficult for me to address your comments respectfully. There are several things in which I dabble about which I know very little beyond what is good enough for me is fine. I would hope I would have enough sense to not be overly opinionated on these topics and especially I would hope I would be self aware enough to not advise others, especially those who might have radically different experience and knowledge as well as entirely different standards and uses for the exact things in which I dabble.

Buying a piano is a risk like anything else in life. Getting out of bed is a risk. Staying in bed is a risk. Simplistic over generalizing is a risk. The more knowledge and expertise one has or has access to, the lower the risk. Of course, the less important a purchase is to someone, the less one cares and the less the associated risk matters.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
check out http://sitkadoc.com/
www.twitter.com/pianocraft https://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Colin Dunn] #2704825
01/14/18 12:43 PM
01/14/18 12:43 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,106
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,106
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
It is getting very difficult for me to address your comments respectfully.

I'm sorry to hear that, Keith. What I infer regarding your comments is that you don't like my opinions, my philosophy, my advice or my dabbling into things you deem me to be ignorant and you an expert. Fair enough. But remember, you are the one who started the piano action geometry argument. It is my opinion that you brought that subject up to steer novices like me, and many others, away from inexpensive big pianos with no snob appeal. So be it.

On the other hand, I do have a lot of respect for you here on PW and always have had. If you don't like what I have to say, then say so. It won't hurt my feelings.

It is also my opinion that when threads like this come up, many of the dealers and professionals seem to be intimidated and threatened in some way and have to step in and defend the piano business and the piano professionals. They often have to point out that they know pretty much everything and the average piano customer knows nothing.

This is a piano forum where things regarding pianos is discussed. Not every member here is an expert. But that doesn't mean a non-expert is an idiot and knows nothing at all about pianos. As for me, yea, I know very little. But I do know a little. In terms of me giving bad advice here on PW, you're not the first to suggest that I give bad advice. The thing about an internet forum like Piano World is that everyone has an opinion, for better or worse. And, if you read the news, some of the best experts in the world give bad advice on occasion; some more so than others.

Whether or not anything I've had to say in this thread is coherent and of value is for those who read my comments to decide. I honestly think I make a good point on occasion. Whether or not you agree with anything I have to say is up to you. And, as always, I'm up for rebuttal and debate, in a respectful manner. Again, I'm sorry to hear it is getting difficult for you to address my comments respectfully.

And, for the record, what you had to say about wrong action geometry on big pianos with no snob appeal is a valid point. Your comments about wrong action geometry can also apply to big pianos with plenty of snob appeal.

All the best,

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Rickster] #2704842
01/14/18 01:36 PM
01/14/18 01:36 PM
Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,957
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
K
Keith D Kerman Offline
3000 Post Club Member
Keith D Kerman  Offline
3000 Post Club Member
K

Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 3,957
Gaithersburg, MD (Washington D...
Originally Posted by Rickster
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
It is getting very difficult for me to address your comments respectfully.

I'm sorry to hear that, Keith. What I infer regarding your comments is that you don't like my opinions, my philosophy, my advice or my dabbling into things you deem me to be ignorant and you an expert. Fair enough. But remember, you are the one who started the piano action geometry argument. It is my opinion that you brought that subject up to steer novices like me, and many others, away from inexpensive big pianos with no snob appeal. So be it.

On the other hand, I do have a lot of respect for you here on PW and always have had. If you don't like what I have to say, then say so. It won't hurt my feelings.


I don't like when you casually offer opinions about things like action set up about which you know nothing that actually will dramatically affect most people's piano ownership experience. I don't like you offering opinions about the likelyhood or unlikelyhood of a problem with a piano from a piano manufacturer supported only by your having worked in manufacturing at some early point in your career. I was going to offer my opinion of the likelyhood that the work in manufacturing you did had anything to do with piano manufacturing, especially at the level of action set up, but since I have no idea of your actual manufacturing experience I will refrain from commenting on it since I am ignorant on the subject.

Originally Posted by Rickster
It is also my opinion that when threads like this come up, many of the dealers and professionals seem to be intimidated and threatened in some way and have to step in and defend the piano business and the piano professionals. They often have to point out that they know pretty much everything and the average piano customer knows nothing.


It is my opinion that you come across as threatened by having your opinions challenged.

Originally Posted by Rickster
This is a piano forum where things regarding pianos is discussed. Not every member here is an expert. But that doesn't mean a non-expert is an idiot and knows nothing at all about pianos. As for me, yea, I know very little. But I do know a little. In terms of me giving bad advice here on PW, you're not the first to suggest that I give bad advice. The thing about an internet forum like Piano World is that everyone has an opinion, for better or worse. And, if you read the news, some of the best experts in the world give bad advice on occasion; some more so than others.


Who said non-experts are idiots? I don't think you are an idiot and I think you are an expert at knowing what you like personally in a piano and the risk you are willing to take personally. I felt that some of your comments beyond that needed some context and additional perspective. Yes, an internet forum is a place for everyone to offer an opinion regardless of merit. It is also a place for others to comment on your opinion as you have with mine and I have with yours. As for the best experts in the world giving bad advice, of course. One of my favorite expressions is here is some free advice worth twice the price.

Originally Posted by Rickster
And, for the record, what you had to say about wrong action geometry on big pianos with no snob appeal is a valid point. Your comments about wrong action geometry can also apply to big pianos with plenty of snob appeal.

All the best,

Rick


My comments about wrong action geometry can apply to any piano with wrong action geometry at any price. I think you think I am a piano snob, and I am. But I am not a snob about pianos that are better because they have snob appeal, or pianos that are more expensive. I am a snob about pianos that perform well regardless of price and I have written on this forum ad nauseum that less expensive pianos with superior design and adequate workmanship and materials will beat more expensive pianos with superior workmanship and superior materials but inferior design and this is not a rare thing.
I am also a snob about how I define a piano as working well and that has in no small part to do with what I consider to be high performance demands made of the piano.


Keith D Kerman
PianoCraft
Rebuilding & Sales - vintage and used Steinway, Mason & Hamlin
New Steingraeber, Estonia, Baldwin
www.pianocraft.net
check out http://sitkadoc.com/
www.twitter.com/pianocraft https://www.youtube.com/user/pianocraftchannel

keith@pianocraft.net 888-840-5460
Re: In praise of big pianos with no snob appeal [Re: Colin Dunn] #2704853
01/14/18 02:20 PM
01/14/18 02:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,106
Georgia, USA
Rickster Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
Rickster  Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 12,106
Georgia, USA
Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
I don't like when you casually offer opinions about things like action set up about which you know nothing that actually will dramatically affect most people's piano ownership experience.

Keith, I've said absolutely nothing about the intricacies or technical aspects of setting up a piano action, nothing. I'm not sure what you are talking about. If I mentioned piano actions, I spoke in generalities and commonalities that apply to all pianos.

Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
I don't like you offering opinions about the likelyhood or unlikelyhood of a problem with a piano from a piano manufacturer supported only by your having worked in manufacturing at some early point in your career. I was going to offer my opinion of the likelyhood that the work in manufacturing you did had anything to do with piano manufacturing, especially at the level of action set up, but since I have no idea of your actual manufacturing experience I will refrain from commenting on it since I am ignorant on the subject.

It seems to me that some manufacturing concepts and methods in any mass production assembly process is similar, whether pianos or automobiles. If you want to know, I worked at a General Motors assembly plant for 13 years back when I was younger. Hence, my comments about the assembly process and how things can go wrong that affects many units, whether pianos or automobiles. Again, I was speaking in generalities and similarities to basic manufacturing processes.

Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
It is my opinion that you come across as threatened by having your opinions challenged.

Not at all Keith. I'm entitled to my opinion just as you are entitled to yours. You can disagree with me and challenge my opinions till the cows come home. You can tell me I'm wrong, as long as you provide some basis or factual foundation for your disagreement; in fact, you can tell me I'm wrong even if you do not have any factual basis or foundation for doing so, if you so choose. Hey, I know I'm not always right, and I am as far from knowing everything as the east is from the west. I'm here to learn more so than any other reason, and I've learned a lot about pianos here on PW.

Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
Who said non-experts are idiots? I don't think you are an idiot and I think you are an expert at knowing what you like personally in a piano and the risk you are willing to take personally. I felt that some of your comments beyond that needed some context and additional perspective. Yes, an internet forum is a place for everyone to offer an opinion regardless of merit. It is also a place for others to comment on your opinion as you have with mine and I have with yours. As for the best experts in the world giving bad advice, of course. One of my favorite expressions is here is some free advice worth twice the price.

You are right, Keith, you never used the word "idiot", and I certainly didn't mean to put words in your mouth. But some things can be inferred by comments that are made. Insinuation may be a good word to use in this instance.

Originally Posted by Keith D Kerman
My comments about wrong action geometry can apply to any piano with wrong action geometry at any price. I think you think I am a piano snob, and I am. But I am not a snob about pianos that are better because they have snob appeal, or pianos that are more expensive. I am a snob about pianos that perform well regardless of price and I have written on this forum ad nauseum that less expensive pianos with superior design and adequate workmanship and materials will beat more expensive pianos with superior workmanship and superior materials but inferior design and this is not a rare thing.
I am also a snob about how I define a piano as working well and that has in no small part to do with what I consider to be high performance demands made of the piano.

I never thought you were/are a piano snob. When you say you are a piano snob, those are your own words and not mine. And, if you go back and read my comments in this thread, I stated that anyone who wants to be a piano snob can be a piano snob if they choose, and there is nothing wrong with that; it is their prerogative to be or not to be a piano snob. I can be friends with a piano snob or a non-piano snob. smile

I hope these comments have addressed some of your concerns. Feel free to challenge my opinions here on PW regarding anything and everything. I'm actually pretty easy to get along with... smile

Rick





Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
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