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This limited edition redundancy -endorsed by the king of comedy- (Lang Lang) is Steinway’s latest deformity. Of course it is grossly overpriced and brings nothing new to the table, and of course it can be configured with a player-piano (Spirio Cr@p). This state-of-the-art system will play Lang Lang for you, and wait for it.....the keys even move to rhythm of Lang Lang’s pounding! Wow! Steinway truly believes that entering the digital domain will have an adverse impact on their branding and they’re wrong. It is the opposite. They are starting to look obsolete, stubborn, and out of touch. And their so-called hand-built reputation is no longer a big deal. As a matter of fact, people prefer ‘vintage’ Steinways to recently built Steinways for a reason: the new ones are not as good! Granted, they have a stranglehold on the ‘concert arena’, but that is quickly changing, and top-notch concert pianists no longer mind being seen near a Yamaha; heck, they’re even playing and enjoying them in public.
Lang Lang.... Does he think that he is popular? How can a guy with 66 000 Youtube subscribers be considered as a worl-popular person?
1.4 billion in China and he is huge there. Sold a lot of pianos too - without being a piano salesman.
across the stone, deathless piano performances
"Discipline is more reliable than motivation." -by a contributor on Reddit r/piano "Success is 10% inspiration, and 90% perspiration." -by some other wise person "Pianoteq manages to keep it all together yet simultaneously also go in all directions; like a quantum particle entangled with an unknown and spooky parallel universe simply waiting to be discovered." -by Pete14
From a business perspective it makes sense though. If you are a world leader in a product that has a superb reputation, and if you can sell these products to a "whale" audience for a high premium, and if selling just a handful of your top products will net you around the same kind of profit as the sale of a bunch of digital pianos in a highly competitive market, then why take the risk?
I remember when BMW was hesitant to build hybrid cars because, you know, it’s “The ultimate driving machine,” and everything that implies. Hybrids stood for being weak on the umph effect (0 to 60 in one nanosecond) and BMW was all ‘bout that “feeling the road” thang. Turns out, BMW figured out that they could continue building their gas guzzlers but also build hybrids -on the side-. So they didn’t stop building what they were known for; they simply expanded to satisfy other markets and -in the process- not seem out of touch with an inevitable reality. Icing on the cake: “We’re doing our part to save the planet one hybrid at a time” (hello, global warming?) So, I’m not saying that Steinway should drop what they’ve been doing for a while; what I’m saying is that they could also expand their horizons, be more inclusive, less snobby, a tad relevant, and not dismissive of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ (part 2). I’m also not expecting for them to build a slab, but something more like the Novus/AvantGrand, or even something like the TransAcoustic. Steinway could always remind their ‘conservative’ customers that ‘the digitals’ don’t come anywhere near their precious (hand-built) acoustics. “They’re built in a whole other factory in China.” This should appease that crowd and give them comfort in the fact that their acoustics won’t be contaminated by ‘the digitals’!
Turns out, BMW figured out that they could continue building their gas guzzlers but also build hybrids -on the side-.
...in the process, they all but got rid of their naturally-aspirated engines and went full turbo across nearly the whole range. The N/A engines and rear drive helped secure their spot as "the ultimate driving machine" -- if only in popular perception -- long after they tossed that slogan away as part of their branding.
Originally Posted by Pete14
I’m also not expecting for them to build a slab, but something more like the Novus/AvantGrand, or even something like the TransAcoustic. Steinway could always remind their ‘conservative’ customers that ‘the digitals’ don’t come anywhere near their precious (hand-built) acoustics. “They’re built in a whole other factory in China.” This should appease that crowd and give them comfort in the fact that their acoustics won’t be contaminated by ‘the digitals’!
Remember, this has to be a profitable venture for Steinway. The way you're describing it, it sounds more like a loss-leading effort to direct people towards their acoustics.
I imagine the R&D/tech access Steinway has for building digitals/hybrids is insufficient to be competitive, and they'd have to buy this expertise from someone else. I don't know how the Essex/Boston initiative is working out for them. If they were to enter the digital arena, I wonder if it'd look like stenciling their name on a Kawai (for example) digital, and having some nominal say in the design/specs of said model.
Originally Posted by Pete14
expand their horizons, be more inclusive, less snobby, a tad relevant, and not dismissive of ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ (part 2).
I do agree. As a part of daily American life, piano playing is basically atavistic. Steinway's new-model price tags appeal to only the "whales". The strategy doesn't work anymore and has to change. It's a tough spot for any firm whose identity is rooted in exclusivity and elitism.
Steinway has already done their branding by selling the Boston line of pianos. These are lesser pianos, but they carry a bit of the Steinway prestige to the low-end. Unjustifiably, if you ask me. But there it is.
I think that if Steinway were to go into digitals they'd best do so under a new brand. (But what do I know?)
Getting back to the original point (the Black Diamond) ...
Pete says that it's grossly overpriced and brings nothing new to the table ... and perhaps that's true. But if you read the marketing splash it's clearly all about prestige. All about intangibles. And that's where clever people milk the rich.
I'm not milkable ... and I sense that Pete is not, either.
They should start producing no frills vintage models/replicas if people think the old ones are better.
These companies always fall in to the trap of selling out their brand with these foolish ideas in order to "keep up". Don't bother keeping up, just produce the old stuff if it's the old stuff people want. Someone's got to do it.