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An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go #2801362
01/12/19 06:20 PM
01/12/19 06:20 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content OP
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Out of the South China Morning Post, here is an article on how Chinese pianos still have a ways to go.


across the stone, deathless piano performances
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Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801364
01/12/19 06:28 PM
01/12/19 06:28 PM
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In the Ozarks of Missouri
NobleHouse Online content
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Ah, it has been a while since I last read the South China Morning Post. The article was interesting as were the comments made by the readers.


[Linked Image]
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: NobleHouse] #2801370
01/12/19 06:48 PM
01/12/19 06:48 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content OP
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Originally Posted by NobleHouse
Ah, it has been a while since I last read the South China Morning Post. The article was interesting as were the comments made by the readers.

Well, it's tamer since you last read it. They get their marching orders from Beijing now wink


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801411
01/12/19 09:16 PM
01/12/19 09:16 PM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Interesting article. China, (like Japan and Korea before it) has adopted the design proportions and scale "styling" of European pianos. This makes them heavier and bulkier and this kills the tone and touch. Steinway, Baldwin and even seemingly heavy M&H are more delicate and less heavy in critical components because the layout "forces" action makers to produce action parts that weigh less, and the soundboard structures are also lighter.

The premier design esthetics of the American piano are disappearing from the world of new pianos. Asia seems to think Europe knows more about piano design than America, and so they use people trained in that school of design to design their pianos. Many pianists in China actually think Steinway is a German piano.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801551
01/13/19 12:50 PM
01/13/19 12:50 PM
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If the review was written by the South China Morning Post why is it written in the third person? I was surprised that the factory photo shows only three people engaged in piano work despite there being more than a thousand pianos on the floor.

Ian


I'm all keyed up
2016 Blüthner Model A
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Beemer] #2801556
01/13/19 01:04 PM
01/13/19 01:04 PM
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Tyrone Slothrop Online content OP
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Originally Posted by Beemer
If the review was written by the South China Morning Post why is it written in the third person? I was surprised that the factory photo shows only three people engaged in piano work despite there being more than a thousand pianos on the floor.

Ian

maybe because:
Originally Posted by Tyrone Slothrop
They get their marching orders from Beijing now wink

and all that might imply... wink


across the stone, deathless piano performances
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801561
01/13/19 01:38 PM
01/13/19 01:38 PM
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Glenn Treibitz Offline
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A couple of things to take into account.

1. The bias of Hong Kong people against anything from the mainland. (South China Post is a Hong Kong company)
2. There are many domestically made pianos from a dizzying amount of makers. When you travel to Music China there are 2 1/2 giant halls of pianos. Many of these are so=so.
3. The piano companies that export internationally do so because of trouble free products.made with high end parts and generally under the guidance, supervision and hands on design from Americans and Europeans in the factory.
4. One can no longer lump all Chinese pianos into one group as we could many years ago. There are higher end manufacturers and lower end manufacturers. Does one really think for a minute Chinese consumers will sit still for poor quality pianos? Dealing with many Chinese customers a year as we do the answer is no. Poor quality piano makers have folded by the dozens in China. Today the handful of largest makers manufacture quality pianos up to the international standard.


Glenn Treibitz

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Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2801625
01/13/19 04:38 PM
01/13/19 04:38 PM
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Vienna, Austria
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
The premier design esthetics of the American piano are disappearing from the world of new pianos. Asia seems to think Europe knows more about piano design than America, and so they use people trained in that school of design to design their pianos. Many pianists in China actually think Steinway is a German piano.


That's because the Steinways in China are made in Germany.

Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801630
01/13/19 04:47 PM
01/13/19 04:47 PM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Glenn is correct and he helps make my point when he invokes "international standard". This standard has longer wider keys. The Germanic scaling style is for wider scale sticks, wider unison spacing and wider action parts. This all adds mass to the system. The Germanic scaling style also calls for thicker castings and deeper case, (thicker both in vertical dimension and wall thickness). The Germanic scaling style also uses single strings much higher in the compass than most American scales of the same size. This makes for a less full bass tone given the length of the piano.

The Germanic scaling style also includes actions with reduced leverage. This is a choice forced upon them by the wide, heavy hammers, (too much inertia) they use. This reduces dynamic control, repetition speed, regulation stability, action durability, tone quality durability, and soft playing control. Hamburg Steinway adopted this in the 1960's and NY has followed on in 1984. So any new Steinway no longer carries the original action design parameters the founders created, (this makes new Steinway's; Steinwases!)

All this makes for thinner sounding tone, crass looking pianos, and slower, less dynamic touch.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801669
01/13/19 06:38 PM
01/13/19 06:38 PM
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Norway
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Those are interesting considerations, Ed. Would you care to elaborate on which piano makers still do it the way you think it should be done? I'm in Europe, so hopefully some brands I can try out locally...


Happily improvising at my Kawai CS10
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: oivavoi] #2801699
01/13/19 08:14 PM
01/13/19 08:14 PM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Sauter is the first one that pops into mind at least as regards smaller grands and uprights. They tend to be lighter in some critical areas. But not really the hammers and action parts since they are Renner.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801705
01/13/19 08:37 PM
01/13/19 08:37 PM
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Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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I am always perplexed when products are compared at totally different price points. I own a beautiful home on lush acreage but should perhaps feel bad as it doesn't compare to a seaside mansion on Maui Island. Or my Audi as a "piece of s in comparison to a Rolls Royce of Ferrari. [thanks anyways..] Based on this, "reports" or "opinions" without due considerations of cost are pointless. One might as well accuse consumers for not being willing to spend twice and triple in the first place. Buying a Yamaha instead of a Mason Hamlin, Steinway instead of Fazioli. etc. But that's not the reality we dealers and our customers face in today's market.. In fact as dealers we know that some quick deals by poor makes can quickly mull our reputation. Some of us had to learn this the hard way. Not everybody knows everything when new makes come out. But those with proven record giving us dealer no trouble, have been around for many years now. Fact is, that most of us have dabbled in makes in the past that didn't quite make the cut. But those which have stood the test of time, are doing just fine, even "great". And that includes like the tough climates of our Rocky states and Canadian provinces. It's not about praising or criticising Chinese pianos. In fact the real concern IMHO lies with the wide spread lack of transparency and honesty about many products on today's market today, regardless of where they happen to be made. Which can be a big problem...
Which is a much bigger challenge for consumers to find out, especially when they already have made a purchase....

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 01/13/19 08:44 PM.

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Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801728
01/13/19 10:52 PM
01/13/19 10:52 PM
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The Heart of Screenland
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Can you imagine asking a class 1 racing cyclist with a tech team and factory support about a good commuter bike or a good bike to start kids on? That's how I feel about this article state "supervised" or not. What the 2 percent of pianists look for or need in a concert instrument has little to no bearing on the "value" instruments the Chinese factories are asked to build. Even if you did give a Chinese factory the budget to try to compete with Fazioli, Steinway et. al. nobody would buy it because nobody would believe they could build at the same level even if they could build a piano that was able to compete if tested in a double blind test.


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Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: KurtZ] #2801863
01/14/19 10:31 AM
01/14/19 10:31 AM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Even if you did give a Chinese factory the budget to try to compete with Fazioli, Steinway et. al. nobody would buy it because nobody would believe they could build at the same level even if they could build a piano that was able to compete if tested in a double blind test.[/quote]

KurtZ, That is certainly a most cynical view of peoples ability to discern tone/touch quality. My experience shows that given the proper demonstration, "normal" people can discern tone differences. One must set up the musical context and be sure they are in "listening" mode to do this, but most people can hear the differences.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801933
01/14/19 01:23 PM
01/14/19 01:23 PM
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Leicester, UK
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Mark Polishook Offline
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I lived in Shanghai from January through June of last year. I was fortunate to be able to play concerts in universities across China, in Hong Kong (well, that is China), and in Taiwan. Something that may be known here—I didn’t know until someone mentioned it to me in London—is Steinway in Shanghai is the third largest Steinway dealer in the world.

Also in Shanghai, I saw a bunch of Faziolis for sale. There were some very nice Bluthners and also a store with Grotrian grands. Yamaha and Kawai were easy enough to find as were European brands.

But a highlight was visiting Guangzhou where the Pearl River Piano factory is.
What I didn’t fully understand until I visited the factory was Pearl River builds pianos to the market in China. That’s market has over a billion possible consumers so it’s anything but niche. PR also, as probably many here probably know, make Essex and Boston pianos for Steinway.

I was explaining all of this to a friend and he asked me what I thought of Pearl River pianos. What I thought was prior to my visit to their manufacturing facility I had one idea but I came with thinking differently. That’s because the PR goal of manufacturing to a specific market in China was SO evident. In other words, competing with European or American brands isn’t a goal that I saw there.


But something else in Guangzhou that gave me cause to stop and think was it may be the world’s harshest environment for pianos. Or at least one of the harshest. That’s because it’s an incredibly hot and humid city. Yet when I visited the PR factory, every single piano there was working perfectly, no sticking keys, and all instruments were impeccably tuned— as if an army of technicians arrived at dawn to ensure everything was perfect. And that probably is what the PR army of technicians does.

When they lent me a piano for my concert, same thing, it arrived with a technician who tuned the living daylights out of it and made sure everything worked, no sticking keys, etc even int he middle of that off-the-scale humidity While I can’t say it was a fabulous instrument (it was a white grand piano which didn’t inspire confidence at first), at the same time, it was an incredibly playable instrument because on that particular day it (the piano) was treated like royalty. The technician spent a long time with it ...

The short version of all above is if Chinese piano makers decide to build a world-class instrument they probably will. As for budget or financial resources (or lack thereof ... well, lack of budget doesn’t seem to be the issue)—and whether or not anyone outside of China wants a Chinese top-tier piano, well, that’s a different issue. Again, it’s not an issue that I think at least Pearl River is interesting right now in engaging with.

Curious to hear from anyone else who’s explored the piano world in China. Overall, I’d say it’s healthy and thriving within the parameters within which it exists.

Last edited by Mark Polishook; 01/14/19 01:33 PM.
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2801937
01/14/19 01:36 PM
01/14/19 01:36 PM
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Mark Polishook Offline
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One more piece of information, which is a piano in Mandarin is gāngqín.

https://dictionary.hantrainerpro.com/chinese-english/translation-gangqin_piano.htm

That translates, literally, to “iron instrument.”

Last edited by Mark Polishook; 01/14/19 01:37 PM.
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Mark Polishook] #2802141
01/15/19 01:34 AM
01/15/19 01:34 AM
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johnstaf Online crying
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Originally Posted by Mark Polishook


But a highlight was visiting Guangzhou where the Pearl River Piano factory is.
What I didn’t fully understand until I visited the factory was Pearl River builds pianos to the market in China. That’s market has over a billion possible consumers so it’s anything but niche. PR also, as probably many here probably know, make Essex and Boston pianos for Steinway.



Aren't Boston pianos made by Kawai?

Last edited by johnstaf; 01/15/19 01:35 AM.
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2802147
01/15/19 02:36 AM
01/15/19 02:36 AM
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Lady Bird Online content
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Kawai makes all the Boston pianos except the small institutional model .This one is made in indonesia. This is from the last time I
read piano brands on piano buyer .
China makes the Essex brand not Boston .

Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Tyrone Slothrop] #2802165
01/15/19 04:24 AM
01/15/19 04:24 AM
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Kuwait
PhilipInChina Offline
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Funny you mentioned Grotrian.

In China the main attraction with Grotrian Steinweg is hearing the locals trying to pronounce it.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: An article on how Chinese pianos have a ways to go [Re: Lady Bird] #2802202
01/15/19 09:05 AM
01/15/19 09:05 AM
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terminaldegree Offline
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Originally Posted by Lady Bird
Kawai makes all the Boston pianos except the small institutional model .This one is made in indonesia. This is from the last time I
read piano brands on piano buyer .
China makes the Essex brand not Boston .


Kawai builds the Indonesian model, too. They have a large factory there also.


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