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#3154436 09/08/21 09:05 AM
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We know they manufacture acoustic piano's, but digital ones?


Pearl River GP-1100


There's even 1 in stock!

By the way, it's a Danish website, but the technical details are in English.


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It has the sound of a famous sample!
"Germany Famous grand piano sound sample"

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All kidding aside, I’ve wondered why some of these ‘lesser-known’ piano makers have not yet seized on the opportunity of overtaking the ‘hybrid’ market.

It seems like their main drawback is that their acoustic pianos aren’t good, so why not ditch all of that and start building hybrids; which are way cheaper to manufacture, and need neither pedigree nor hand-made snobbery.

Is it that difficult to build/design or outsource a digital sound-engine and some speakers? I don’t think so. Look at what CG did with almost no resources (congrats on that, CG).


So, Pearl River, are you up to the task?

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Looks great, might be worth a visit to Copenhagen for me to try it out. Which has been a bit more complicated due to the pandemic.

The info on their website doesn't add up, in the description they say the polyphony is 512, but in the specifications, it's 256. Which is right?


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Hello,

"Fatar 88 Grand-Response". Is that a true acoustic (adapted) action that allows this piano to be labeled 'hybrid'? (Probably not?)

Here is a Pearl River site featuring three digital piano models, each of which uses that action:

https://pearlriverpiano.co.uk/digital-piano

One features an upright-style cabinet with a large(!) soundboard.

Cheers and happy further research,

HZ

Pete14 #3154455 09/08/21 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Pete14
All kidding aside, I’ve wondered why some of these ‘lesser-known’ piano makers have not yet seized on the opportunity of overtaking the ‘hybrid’ market.



Look at what CG did with almost no resources (congrats on that, CG).

Yeah, I've been wondering about that too. Chinese manufacturers can certainly make great hybrids for 1/4 the price of those greedy Bu(ll)shido companies and will sell them like hot cakes even if for the MIDI functionality.

And thanks 😉


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You’re welcome, CG.

And a small clarification: perhaps I got ahead of myself because obviously they’ve ‘built’ a digital engine, speakers, etc, but I guess what I meant to say was a ‘more-advanced’ sound engine with some modeling and slightly better speakers as with the AvantGrand and Novus. Of course, this is debatable, but the general perception is that the ‘hybrids’ use the best tech even if not the newest. This is the general perception, but I’m not so sure to what extent it holds; I’m still on the fence, but you get my point: the hybrids -whether true or not- are perceived as the current holy grail.

Can they build something that can compete with current hybrids? I say yes.

Pete14 #3154458 09/08/21 09:53 AM
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It's not about making such a piano. It's about marketing it and distributing it.

With all the shops fully bought in on Kawai and/or Yamaha and/or Roland and/or Casio, why would a retailer want to take on yet another brand?

The KYRC brands are everywhere, but how many Nords or Korgs do you see? Not many. Even fewer Alphas. I've never seen one.

It's hard to break into an established market.
Originally Posted by Pete14
All kidding aside, I’ve wondered why some of these ‘lesser-known’ piano makers have not yet seized on the opportunity of overtaking the ‘hybrid’ market.

It seems like their main drawback is that their acoustic pianos aren’t good, so why not ditch all of that and start building hybrids; which are way cheaper to manufacture, and need neither pedigree nor hand-made snobbery.

Is it that difficult to build/design or outsource a digital sound-engine and some speakers? I don’t think so. Look at what CG did with almost no resources (congrats on that, CG).

So, Pearl River, are you up to the task?

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You are correct, Mac. It is almost impossible to break in; and though this is beyond my grasp, I wonder if this is not the very definition of a monopoly.

It seems that it’s not so much the dealers but more so the big guns you mentioned that impede -sometimes- by threatening dealers if they dare even mention a new-comer. I’ve heard of such threats having to do with everything from price increases to outright sabotage. They have the market cornered -KYRC- and no one seems to notice or even care.

Once again, this is beyond my pay-grade, but from a layman’s perspective I smell a rat (KYRC), and short of Pearl River being the manufacturer, the distributor, and the dealer, I agree with you, it’s close to impossible.

So it seems like CG and I will never see a Pearl River hybrid so long as the KYRC mafia persists. I say we take care of KYRC and make it look like an accident!

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I am not surprised to see Pearl River digital pianos, and in fact predicted it in a private conversation with a respected poster on this forum a couple of years ago.

Pearl River is the largest manufacturer of acoustic pianos in the world, under their own name, various brands of their own (such as Ritmuller), and for other brands. They hired a well-known German piano designer and a top-notch German production manager to upgrade their line several years ago. As a result, their acoustic pianos are pretty good, certainly competitive with Kawai and Yamaha entry-level pianos. I came very close to buying a new Ritmuller grand before a lightly-used Kawai grand fell into my lap at an unbelievable price.

Piano retailers that carry both acoustics and digitals may already have Pearl River acoustic grands (under their own or other brand names) and adding a digital piano or two may not be a great inconvenience. The largest piano dealer in my city would certainly fall into this category.

The big digital piano manufacturers are too smart to ignore this threat, so perhaps we can hope for more price competition once COVID-related production and shipping issues are resolved.
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Originally Posted by MacMacMac
With all the shops fully bought in on Kawai and/or Yamaha and/or Roland and/or Casio, why would a retailer want to take on yet another brand?

The KYRC brands are everywhere, but how many Nords or Korgs do you see? Not many. Even fewer Alphas. I've never seen one.

It's hard to break into an established market.[quote=Pete14]All kidding aside, I’ve wondered why some of these ‘lesser-known’ piano makers have not yet seized on the opportunity of overtaking the ‘hybrid’ market.

Probably even harder in an industry driven largely by dealers and in-person showrooms.

I remember when Dexibell launched, they have extremely generous incentives for dealers to push their products (someone said their shop made something like 2-3x more for each Dexibell?). Some manufacturers try to box out competitors with "exclusivity" provisions in their dealer contracts. I recall Williams or some other maker had some kind of "house brand" exclusive arrangement with Guitar Center?

It probably helps new manufacturers when sales shift to digital, such as Thomann. Here, your showroom floor space is "unlimited".

I also imagine that Pearl River entering the digital market makes a lot of sense. Outside of the West, their brand is probably quite high tier and lends cachet to a sea of no-name keyboard products.


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TheodorN #3154483 09/08/21 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by TheodorN
Looks great, might be worth a visit to Copenhagen for me to try it out. Which has been a bit more complicated due to the pandemic.

The info on their website doesn't add up, in the description they say the polyphony is 512, but in the specifications, it's 256. Which is right?

That makes 256 in each hand.


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Tenor1 #3154498 09/08/21 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Tenor1
Originally Posted by TheodorN
Looks great, might be worth a visit to Copenhagen for me to try it out. Which has been a bit more complicated due to the pandemic.

The info on their website doesn't add up, in the description they say the polyphony is 512, but in the specifications, it's 256. Which is right?

That makes 256 in each hand.

Maybe it is 128 for the left hand and 384 for the right😆


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EPW #3154504 09/08/21 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by EPW
[quote=Tenor1]That makes 256 in each hand.
Or 128. cool
Originally Posted by Tenor1
Maybe it is 128 for the left hand and 384 for the right😆
That makes more sense, then the number in the Description is average polyphony per hand, and the Specifications specifies (no pun intended) the total polyphony, the sum of the polyphonies for both hands. cool


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Gombessa #3154520 09/08/21 11:45 AM
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I think this might make sense ...
Originally Posted by Gombessa
I also imagine that Pearl River entering the digital market makes a lot of sense. Outside of the West, their brand is probably quite high tier and lends cachet to a sea of no-name keyboard products.
... but there's a problem. I think it's more likely that people come to piano shops for acoustic pianos, not for digitals.
And, while some of those shops carry digital pianos, some carry none at all. Instead, the big players in digital pianos are music stores.

I think people tend to look for digital pianos at the latter. It would be challenging for Pearl River to break into that retail channel.

To make things more difficult for them ... A few years ago Yamaha and Kawai began allowing their higher tier models to sell at music stores like Guitar Center and Sam Ash, rather than only at the high-tier piano stores. And those are probably the pianos with which Pearl would be competing.

So Yamaha and Kawai now have a grip on both the piano stores and the music stores. It's a tough game for a newcomer.

HZPiano #3154551 09/08/21 02:00 PM
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Originally Posted by HZPiano
Hello,

"Fatar 88 Grand-Response". Is that a true acoustic (adapted) action that allows this piano to be labeled 'hybrid'? (Probably not?)

Here is a Pearl River site featuring three digital piano models, each of which uses that action:

https://pearlriverpiano.co.uk/digital-piano

One features an upright-style cabinet with a large(!) soundboard.

Cheers and happy further research,

HZ

Fatar is digital action, not acoustic/hybrid.


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Quote
but there's a problem. I think it's more likely that people come to piano shops for acoustic pianos, not for digitals.
And, while some of those shops carry digital pianos, some carry none at all. Instead, the big players in digital pianos are music stores.

I think people tend to look for digital pianos at the latter. It would be challenging for Pearl River to break into that retail channel.
I think that the piano market in China is larger than the markets of US, Canada, and Europe combined.

Lots of products there:

https://m.alibaba.com/showroom/chinese-digital-piano.html

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Interesting to note is that a Yamaha P-515 is $500-550 on Alibaba.

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Originally Posted by Sweelinck
I think that the piano market in China is larger than the markets of US, Canada, and Europe combined.

Yep, I don't have the hard numbers, but I think this is likely true. For all the shops (brick/mortar and online) carrying Pearl River acoustics--which is the biggest piano manufacturer in the world--to also carry Pearl River digitals, sounds like a no-brainer to me.

What is REALLY odd is how they're going to Fatar action. I get that Fatar offers white-labeled actions to numerous manufacturers, but it's always been a wonder to me that a boutique Italian action maker (of which many die-hard DP enthusiasts don't really think all that highly of) can be such a supplier to a large Chinese brand, which has all of the design/manufacturing capability and scale in the world. What does Fatar offer to Pearl River that a Medeli or in-house action cannot?


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PR has been displaying prototype digital pianos at the NAMM show for years now, and I was sort of wondering when they were going to come to market.

I suspect they will do a good job, as they seem well-funded and are the world's highest unit-volume acoustic piano maker at this point.


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