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Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324284
04/04/05 08:51 AM
04/04/05 08:51 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,400
Orange County, CA
KawaiDon Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member
KawaiDon  Offline OP
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 1,400
Orange County, CA
I present the following to you without comment or alteration for your reading enjoyment:

------------------------------------------

PIANOS: BEST JOINS WITH BIGGEST
Industry Icon Steinway & Sons Inks Agreement With Pearl River, China's Leading Piano Maker, to Build New Essex Models

TOKYO – April 2 – Steinway Asia, LLC, the Asian arm of world-renowned piano maker Steinway & Sons, and Guangzhou Pearl River Piano Group, Ltd., China's most prominent piano manufacturer, released a joint announcement today of the signing of an Agreement. The companies will start development work immediately on several new models of the Essex piano line, designed by Steinway & Sons for affiliate company Boston Piano Co., Inc. It is expected that the new pianos will reach the marketplace early in 2006. This will be Steinway's first such venture in China and Pearl River's first OEM relationship with a traditional Western piano maker.

Zhi Cheng Tong, Chairman of the Board of Pearl River, expressed his delight with the new arrangement, calling it the "…perfect marriage between the best-known, highest quality piano maker in the world, and the largest, most-recognized piano manufacturer in China." Steinway Asia's President, Robert Dove, agreed.

Steinway brand pianos, long the musical standard on the world's concert stages, have been handmade in the company's own factories in New York since 1853 and in Hamburg, Germany since 1880. Steinway, through its affiliate, Boston Piano Company, has been enjoying tremendous success having other brands – which it designs at its New York headquarters – mass-produced on an OEM basis in Asia. “The efficiencies in the modern Pearl River facility will enable the production of pianos priced in a considerably more competitive range than previously available,” said Dove. "This is the way we can bring a good measure of Steinway design benefits to more affordable brands and to an even wider reach of consumers, just as we have been doing for the last 15 years with our Boston and Essex brands.” All Steinway-designed lines are marketed and distributed exclusively through Steinway's organization of 180 authorized dealers worldwide.

"Not only is this a good business venture for both companies, but Pearl River expects to learn much from working with world famous, 152-year-old Steinway & Sons to benefit pianists," said Tong. While both companies emphasized that there would be no mixing of the products from each other's established traditions, each agrees it will benefit by its relationship with the other. "It has taken us 18 months of talks to arrive at this Agreement,” continued Tong. "We both have our own unique backgrounds, but we both will grow through this experience."

It is believed that, when successfully executed, this formula will not only benefit the consumer but will also become an excellent foundation for both parties’ and enhance further cooperation.

For more information, contact the following:

In Guangzhou: June Wang, Pearl River – 86-20-8150-1742
In New York: Leo Spellman, Steinway & Sons – 1-718-204-3116
In Hamburg: Werner Husmann, Steinway & Sons – 49-40-8539-1112
In Tokyo: Robert Dove, Steinway Asia – 81-3-5251-6550

---END---


Don Mannino, MPA
Kawai America
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Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324285
04/04/05 08:57 AM
04/04/05 08:57 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,418
Englewood, FL
J
justme Offline
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justme  Offline
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J

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Englewood, FL
Good for Steinway for picking Pearl River. They are a lot of piano for the dollar.

edit:Thanks for posting the article Don. I personally think this will be good for both companies. Pearl River already makes a decent piano for the price they're asking. Hopefully, this will only make them better. Do you think Kawais have improved since they started making Bostons? Has Kawai learned anything from Steinway IYO??

Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324286
04/04/05 10:20 AM
04/04/05 10:20 AM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,195
Axtremus Offline
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Axtremus  Offline
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Another guy started a thread on this very subject. Unfortunate, he started that thread on April 1st, and some folks did not take that too seriously. wink

It would be interesting to compare Young Chang-built Essexes to Pearl River-built Essexes then they come out. smile

Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324287
04/04/05 01:32 PM
04/04/05 01:32 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 310
Pacific Northwest
I
IgnorantHusband Offline
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IgnorantHusband  Offline
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I

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 310
Pacific Northwest
Hmm,

My humble opinion is Steinway should have released this on April 1st since I'll put it out there they will end up being the fools in this deal.

I can't even begin to understand the science of creating the mystic of a Tier 1 piano. But sharing it with a country that has learned to master just about every other type of complex manufacturing and where there is complete disregard for intellectual property is a recipe to allow a foreign competitor into your house to steal all your IP. The risk is once you've shared it with one company/group the track record in this country is that it'll be widely distributed within that specific industry.

I think in the end they will come to take a singificant portion of the piano business especially the low cost part.

Other thoughts...

Charles

Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324288
04/04/05 01:36 PM
04/04/05 01:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,306
Timonium, MD
Christopher P. Smith Offline
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Christopher P. Smith  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,306
Timonium, MD
My thought is that, though Steinway designs Boston and Essex, they are not giving away any secrets to Kawai or Pearl River when having them build pianos for them.

Just my 2 cents!

That would defeat the whole purpose of having a lower priced Steinway product.


Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
Menchey Music Service
Associate Member of PTG
Serving Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Baltimore Area
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324289
04/04/05 01:45 PM
04/04/05 01:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,306
Timonium, MD
Christopher P. Smith Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Christopher P. Smith  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,306
Timonium, MD
Nor do I think that Pearl River and Kawai would ever try to manufacture a product in order to compete with Steinway.


Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
Menchey Music Service
Associate Member of PTG
Serving Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Baltimore Area
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324290
04/04/05 05:01 PM
04/04/05 05:01 PM
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 15,515
Surrey, B.C.
Norbert Offline
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Norbert  Offline
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Surrey, B.C.
Why not?

After 1000000000 posts here to the contrary, some people still believe [and are of course entitled to...]
in the *godification* of Steinway - and on top of it, this to remain forever unchallenged.....

Perhaps in market-concert-hall penetration - but no way in actual or at least comparable quality.

Nor does Steinway always meet everybody's own tone ideal for each and every one of their pianos.

It's like saying "nobody could ever build a car like Cadillac" - or "Mercedes" if you wish....

Wow - is that wake up call gonna be a bitter one.... :rolleyes:

norbert


www.heritagepianos.com
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Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324291
04/04/05 08:48 PM
04/04/05 08:48 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,591
NYC
R
RealPlayer Offline
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RealPlayer  Offline
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Joined: May 2003
Posts: 2,591
NYC
Quote
Originally posted by Axtremus:

It would be interesting to compare Young Chang-built Essexes to Pearl River-built Essexes then they come out. smile
Shouldn't the plural be Essices? laugh

Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324292
04/04/05 09:49 PM
04/04/05 09:49 PM
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,114
El Cajon, California
S
Steve Ramirez Offline
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Steve Ramirez  Offline
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S

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,114
El Cajon, California
Quote
Originally posted by IgnorantHusband:
I can't even begin to understand the science of creating the mystic of a Tier 1 piano. But sharing it with a country that has learned to master just about every other type of complex manufacturing and where there is complete disregard for intellectual property is a recipe to allow a foreign competitor into your house to steal all your IP. The risk is once you've shared it with one company/group the track record in this country is that it'll be widely distributed within that specific industry.
Whatever intellectual property Steinway & Sons once had, it has long since passed into the public domain. Most of the craftsmen who can really get the best out of these pianos, and other brands as well, are not even company employees. The best piano knowledge in the world can easily be purchased by any Chinese manufacturer that cares enough to seek it out and pay for it. Compared with other industries the human repositories of technical knowledge in the piano business work cheap. Steinway isn't giving anything to it's Chinese partner that it couldn't purchase with petty cash.

Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324293
04/04/05 10:14 PM
04/04/05 10:14 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 310
Pacific Northwest
I
IgnorantHusband Offline
Full Member
IgnorantHusband  Offline
Full Member
I

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 310
Pacific Northwest
Some of my opinion is tongue in cheek, but I do believe if you partner with a Chinese company. Teach them more about wood selection, designing actions with more high end feel/touch, what you do to the soundboard and who knows what else to get that "sound" that a Steinway design brings, these partners will find a way to improve their other products.

I can't pretend to know the finer details of tier 1 vs tier 4 piano manufacturing. I've read the Fine book several times, and talked to our local dealers, who in all honesty are more salesmen then experts in the craft...

From what I can take away of the Chinese, they've improved greatly, continue to learn. The question is will their pianos last 20 or even 50 years. I guess that is the same question we had of Lexus, and Hyundai cars a few short decades or years ago and look where they are going.

Honestly if I had ( or more accurately ) had my wife discovered a Chinese Piano that played/sounded like the Mason or Bosie for 1/2 the price, and with the confidence it would last 10-15 years, that would be what would be in our livingroom. Who cares whats on the piano all the matters is the sound and feel. Of course there will be the many who need to impress their friends with what's on the fallboard and for them we have Steinway laugh

In my business any company can buy the same tools as my company has, find cheaper labor in China as some have, but nobody can manufacture like us, nobody. It can't be bought, it is taught, much like a great cook is taught. Of course maybe making a piano is getting closer to making and generic widgets. Then we here are all the greatest fools to have a web site and waste time pontificating about widgets laugh laugh laugh

Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324294
04/04/05 10:15 PM
04/04/05 10:15 PM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 310
Pacific Northwest
I
IgnorantHusband Offline
Full Member
IgnorantHusband  Offline
Full Member
I

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 310
Pacific Northwest
Some of my opinion is tongue in cheek, but I do believe if you partner with a Chinese company. Teach them more about wood selection, designing actions with more high end feel/touch, what you do to the soundboard and who knows what else to get that "sound" that a Steinway design brings, these partners will find a way to improve their other products.

I can't pretend to know the finer details of tier 1 vs tier 4 piano manufacturing. I've read the Fine book several times, and talked to our local dealers, who in all honesty are more salesmen then experts in the craft...

From what I can take away of the Chinese, they've improved greatly, continue to learn. The question is will their pianos last 20 or even 50 years. I guess that is the same question we had of Lexus, and Hyundai cars a few short decades or years ago and look where they are going.

Honestly if I had ( or more accurately ) had my wife discovered a Chinese Piano that played/sounded like the Mason or Bosie for 1/2 the price, and with the confidence it would last 10-15 years, that would be what would be in our livingroom. Who cares whats on the piano all the matters is the sound and feel. Of course there will be the many who need to impress their friends with what's on the fallboard and for them we have Steinway laugh

In my business any company can buy the same tools as my company has, find cheaper labor in China as some have, but nobody can manufacture like us, nobody. It can't be bought, it is taught, much like a great cook is taught. Of course maybe making a piano is getting closer to making and generic widgets. Then we here are all the greatest fools to have a web site and waste time pontificating about widgets laugh laugh laugh

Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324295
04/05/05 08:42 AM
04/05/05 08:42 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,306
Timonium, MD
Christopher P. Smith Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Christopher P. Smith  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,306
Timonium, MD
Norbert asked "Why not?"

Just because.

As we all know, there are many manufacturers out there that DO manufacture a piano of quality that compete with Steinway.

I just don't think that Pearl River or Kawai will be attempting this anytime soon. This is not to mention that the larger Kawai pianos aren't fine instruments, because they are. I just don't think that they are trying to market to Steinway shoppers.

This is just my opinion!


Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
Menchey Music Service
Associate Member of PTG
Serving Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Baltimore Area
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324296
04/05/05 09:23 AM
04/05/05 09:23 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,900
Massachusetts
R
Roy123 Offline
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Roy123  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 1,900
Massachusetts
Quote
Originally posted by Christopher P. Smith:
Norbert asked "Why not?"


I just don't think that Pearl River or Kawai will be attempting this anytime soon.
This is just my opinion!
You obviously haven't played a Shigeru Kawai.

Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324297
04/05/05 09:34 AM
04/05/05 09:34 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,306
Timonium, MD
Christopher P. Smith Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Christopher P. Smith  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,306
Timonium, MD
NO I have not, but I DO hear they are VERY fine instruments.

I suppose my opinion is based on the market that I know, and for that reason is ignorant.


Representing Yamaha, Story and Clark, and other fine instruments
Menchey Music Service
Associate Member of PTG
Serving Central Pennsylvania and the Greater Baltimore Area
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324298
05/18/05 08:53 AM
05/18/05 08:53 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 4
Salt Lake City, UT
Idaho Offline
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Idaho  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 4
Salt Lake City, UT
I just decided to buy a 6' mahogany Essex and I am a bit worried about their switch to Pearl River manufacturing. The dealer assured me that mine was built in Korea by Young Chang. Given the change, is there any advantage of owning a "Young Chang" manufactured Essex over a future "Pearl River" Essex? I e-mailed David Kirkland at Steinway and he said that the "Essex line of pianos will be produced in the same manufacturing facilities as Pearl River, and the technicians will be trained by Steinway, but not in the same assembly line."

Just curious...


Eric Idaho
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324299
05/18/05 09:48 AM
05/18/05 09:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2001
Posts: 14,245
Louisiana
Jolly Offline
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Jolly  Offline
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Louisiana
You want essentially an American-built Steinway-quality piano for half the price?

Buy a CW190.


Building pianos ain't rocket science. It is a mature technology, where most everybody worth listening to, knows exactly how to do it. Doing it, however, is another thing...most manufacturers need to hit a certain price point, and corners will be cut.

However, in terms of performance measured in real dollars, today is probably the best time, ever, to buy a grand piano.


www.coffee-room.com

Over 1.4M (and counting) posts where pianists discuss everything. And nothing.
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324300
05/18/05 09:57 AM
05/18/05 09:57 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,288
Cincinnati
mikhailoh Offline
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mikhailoh  Offline
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Cincinnati
Word. The CW190 is about as good a deal in that price range as could be had.


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324301
05/18/05 10:20 AM
05/18/05 10:20 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 4
Salt Lake City, UT
Idaho Offline
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Idaho  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 4
Salt Lake City, UT
Sorry, new here. What is a 'CW?' I paid $12,000 for the 6' Mahogany Essex but have not taken delivery yet.


Eric Idaho
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324302
05/18/05 10:23 AM
05/18/05 10:23 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,288
Cincinnati
mikhailoh Offline
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mikhailoh  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 4,288
Cincinnati
Charles Walter - made in Elkhart Indiana, designed largely if not all by Del Fandrich (do search on here)... Steinway quality (better cabinetry.. exquisite on grands), for around $25K for 6'4".


Michael

====

He is so solemn, detached and uninvolved he makes Mr. Spock look like Hunter S. Thompson at closing time.'
Re: Steinway / Pearl River Press Release #324303
05/18/05 10:47 AM
05/18/05 10:47 AM
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 4
Salt Lake City, UT
Idaho Offline
Junior Member
Idaho  Offline
Junior Member

Joined: May 2005
Posts: 4
Salt Lake City, UT
However, $25K is a lot more than the $12K I spent for the Essex.


Eric Idaho
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