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Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95201
07/28/08 02:17 AM
07/28/08 02:17 AM
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A partial excerpt from Australia's Bernstein Hailun Piano Website:
--------------------
{Quote:}
The Bernstein Hailun series pianos are manufactured at the Ningbo in China. Since the 1950s this factory has been producing frames and parts for piano manufacturers worldwide. In 1986, Mr. Hailun Chen purchased this factory and, with his extensive engineering experience, Mr. Chen’s unique parts became highly demanded worldwide.

The Hailun Factory was originally the Ningbo Piano Parts Factory. With more than 20 years of successful manufacturing experience, producing parts for well-known European companies such as Steinway & Sons.
{End Quote}
-------------------------

The question now: Does this mean that Steinway & Sons have joined the ranks of those other piano manufacturers that are receiving and using parts made in China? If so, when did this outsourcing start? Also, if so, why isn't Steinway getting the same flak as Mason & Hamlin gets for using outside sourced Chinese component parts. Also, if true, wouldn't you think that Mr. Larry Fine would drop Steinway down a tier too?

Or, maybe, Australia's Bernstein Hailun website has the wrong info regarding Hailun's production of Steinway piano parts.

Curious too, who are the other "Well-known" European manufacturers using Chinese Hailun parts? laugh

Enquiring minds want to know! laugh

Will some of the Piano Forum's Sleuths to try to solve the "Steinway-Chinese Connection?"
Stay tuned for the next thrilling episode. smile

Bear


Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)
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Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95202
07/28/08 02:58 AM
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Well, we do know that several European piano manufacturers are on record in making statements to the press that they are now seeing their European piano suppliers after decades or centuries of doing business either move production to China themselves or go out of business altogether.

One German manufacturer has said that the time has almost arrived when it is impossible to build a piano without including at least some parts from China.

http://www.pianoworld.com/ubb/ubb/ultimatebb.php?/topic/1/20318.html#000000

Perhaps the time has already arrived that it is impossible to build a competitive piano without parts from low-cost countries such as Indonesia or China?

Why haven't we heard about Steinway? Well, perhaps they have the same kind of gag order in place as on the company line about Boston and Essex?

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95203
07/28/08 03:00 AM
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dupe

If the response time of pianoworld gets any worse, I give up.

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95204
07/28/08 03:32 AM
07/28/08 03:32 AM
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Quote
Curious too, who are the other "Well-known" European manufacturers using Chinese Hailun parts?
Hailun has been making the strung backs for Petrof and Schimmel.What models,I don't know!
Confidential Hailun info Oops! laugh


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Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95205
07/28/08 04:23 AM
07/28/08 04:23 AM
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As far as I know, Weinbach, which is now owned by Petrof is using Chinese parts.

Weinbach is using parts supplied by the Chinese but it is finished in Czech Republic, according to Petrof website.

Nonetheless, I asked a local dealer on Weinbach. An older model of Weinbach, which is still new but fully made in Czech Republic costs about RM35k, ~10kUSD but the newer Weinbach which uses Chinese parts costs only RM12k, ~4kUSD.

From the price difference and Petrof website, I think we can conclude that Weinbach is using Chinese parts although we can fully reject it if the dealer is telling a lie.

just my thought..

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95206
07/28/08 04:46 AM
07/28/08 04:46 AM
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When Petrof owned the name, Weinbachs were essentially Petrofs with lesser cosmetics. Petrof's former U.S. Distributor, Geneva International Corporation, purchased the name. Weinbachs are now made in the China and in the same Dongbei factory as Geneva's other brand, Nordiska.

For Weinbachs which are sold here, complete "Petrof Original" actions, made by Detoa, a Czechoslovakian company, are shipped to China. Weinbach also uses Abel hammers from Germany and Mapes bass strings from the U.S..

A "street price" - actual selling price - for a five foot Weinbach would probably be approximately $8,000-$8500 in the states.

I have no idea how Weinbach could sell that combination of components for $4k U.S. I'm guessing that the ones which are sold in Asia substitute Chinese-made components.

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95207
07/28/08 06:48 AM
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It's their upright. Not grand.
Pardon me

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95208
07/28/08 08:24 AM
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This thread could turn out to be very interesting. If Steinway and/or other high-end manufacturers are in fact getting parts from China, then Mason will be only be guilty of--get ready for this--full disclosure!

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95209
07/28/08 09:13 AM
07/28/08 09:13 AM
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Can we literally believe this just because it appears on a web site? They could have meant they sell parts to Steinway for their Essex piano.

Steve

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95210
07/28/08 09:30 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Steve Jackson:
Can we literally believe this just because it appears on a web site? They could have meant they sell parts to Steinway for their Essex piano.

Steve
As far as I know Steinway does not manufacture the Essex piano and would therefore not have the need for any parts...

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95211
07/28/08 09:51 AM
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I think Steve Jackson's interpretation is very plausible. The phrase "for ... companies such as Steinway & Sons" is quite ambiguous and does not necessarily mean that the parts are being delivered to or even handled by Steinway & Sons.

The whole thing has to be taken with a grain of salt anyway, because last I checked, Steinway & Sons is not actually a European company, even though they pretend to be one on TV.

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95212
07/28/08 10:03 AM
07/28/08 10:03 AM
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Quote
Can we literally believe this just because it appears on a web site?
Of course not. But we can believe that those who envy Steinway will enjoy believing it, and that Steinway will not be concerned about sending an emissary to this forum to deny it. It's just not their style. They are smart to stay above the fray.

Broker, did you mean to say May-Berlin by Schimmel or actual Schimmel labelled pianos? On the Petrof, did you mean to say Petrof or Anton Petrof? There's a difference of course since May-Berlin is a Chinese instrument through and through as is Anton Petrof.

Petrof names are especially confusing. Apparently, it's possible to sell a company name to another piano maker for use in a specific part of the world and retain it for one's own use in other parts. Sone of that is / was?) in play in the GIC vs. Petrof spat. I've heard that the Anton Petrof name was sold to Hailun for sales in Asia exclusively. I've also heard it was sold to Tom Lee Music for use in Canada and that Tom Lee contracted with Hailun. I don't know which is true if either. But it is true that Hailun is heavily involved in building Anton Petrof pianos in China. I don't know if Petrof is planning to sell off the names of other family members. I guess it will depend on their liquidity. It's an interesting concept..kind of like hitting up diifferent members of your family for a quick cash fix when you're strapped. laugh

There's an interesting article in the German press where Karl Schulze speaks about his dealings in Ningbo, but Bechstein has a family of fine pianos just like Schimmel and Bluthner so he could be shopping for the Indonesian Euterpe line or he just might have been there for a tulip festival. I've lost the link to that article, but Norbert might still have it stored.

All this stuff is just going to get more and more intricate and confusing.

These little tidbits about big name makers with their fingers in Hailun's cookie jar temporarily (maybe just momentarily) change the perception of those makers whether the tidbits are truth, urban legend, or just planted by an industry rival. The other side of that is that they all benefit Hailun. In case anyone forgot, Hailun makes whole pianos too, lots of them, and they are distributing them far and wide, some with their own name on the fallboard (sustained applause from here) and some with the name of a marketing partner, all at very competitive prices. This thread was launched from another thread where a consumer in Australia just posted that he bought a new Bernstein Hailun for its musical qualities after comparing it to some big name competition. eek

In a few years some in the industry may need to start rumors that work in the other direction .... Hailun is buying action parts from XXXXX in Europe or strungbacks from Steinway .... in an effort to bring down Hailun. laugh


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Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95213
07/28/08 10:05 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by D-J:
The whole thing has to be taken with a grain of salt anyway, because last I checked, Steinway & Sons is not actually a European company, even though they pretend to be one on TV.
Steinway & Sons can be classified as European company. They manufacture their best quality piano in Germany.
Everyone knows it!

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95214
07/28/08 10:57 AM
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Bear,
I would bet that this reference to Steinway has to do with the Essex piano and they are capitalizing on the cachet of the Steinway name by talking about the parent company, rather than mention Essex instead. It's a way of puffing up their reputation.

If Steinway goes to the expense and trouble of buying the companies that make their plates and keyboards, do you really think they are going to get action parts for Steinway pianos from China? unlikely
Sophia

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95215
07/28/08 12:05 PM
07/28/08 12:05 PM
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Toronto
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Quote
Originally posted by tanjinjack:
Quote
Originally posted by D-J:
[b]The whole thing has to be taken with a grain of salt anyway, because last I checked, Steinway & Sons is not actually a European company, even though they pretend to be one on TV.
Steinway & Sons can be classified as European company. They manufacture their best quality piano in Germany.
Everyone knows it! [/b]
Don't know about the TV reference or where they make their best pianos but Steinway and Sons is an American company, incorporated in the State of Delaware.


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Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95216
07/28/08 12:21 PM
07/28/08 12:21 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by turandot:
Quote
Can we literally believe this just because it appears on a web site?
Of course not. But we can believe that those who envy Steinway will enjoy believing it, and that Steinway will not be concerned about sending an emissary to this forum to deny it. It's just not their style. They are smart to stay above the fray.

All this stuff is just going to get more and more intricate and confusing.

These little tidbits about big name makers with their fingers in Hailun's cookie jar temporarily (maybe just momentarily) change the perception of those makers whether the tidbits are truth, urban legend, or just planted by an industry rival.

This thread was launched from another thread where a consumer in Australia just posted that he bought a new Bernstein Hailun for its musical qualities after comparing it to some big name competition. eek

In a few years some in the industry may need to start rumors that work in the other direction .... Hailun is buying action parts from XXXXX in Europe or strungbacks from Steinway .... in an effort to bring down Hailun. laugh
------------------

turendot,

Nice post. But your rebuttal is simply conjecture on your part.
In reading Australia's Bernstein Hailun Piano Website, where did you get the impression that the some of the web's content was written by "Those who envy Steinway?"
It appears to me the information was written by Australia's Bernstein Hailun Piano Company's website in order to raise Hailun's image up a notch by their referencing Haulin's production of parts for well-known European companies such as Steinway & Sons.
Who, in your opinion, would be the "Industry Rival" that planted "little tidbit rumors" in Bernstein Hailun's web to attempt to tarnish Steinway's reputation?
Their Web's information may indeed be misinformation, rumor, urban legend wishful thinking, puffing, or whatever. Don't you think, however, that your contentions should be directed toward Bernstein Hailun and not some inuendo "unnamed industry folks?"

The OP's reference to an unfamiliar, to me, brand piano was my reason to visit Bernstein's web for a look-see and to find out more about that brand. Your inference that my thread was started by me because an individual bought a different brand than the Kawai he was contemplating purchasing, is pure nonsense. People buy different brands all the time.

The fact that Bernstein Hailun talking about Hailun's production of parts for Steinway & Sons was interesting to me. I felt if that were true, then Steinway deserves the same scrutiny that Mason & Hamlin is getting. Don't you think apples to apples is fair, or do you think Steinway gets a free pass if the parts allegation is true?
Will we ever find out the truth? I don't know, but I doubt it.
I've mentioned secret negotiations between manufacturers before and that is a true statement. If you really knew the real inside dope, your perception may very well be thrown for a loop regarding who builds what for whom!
{I've got some unauthorized videos}

Anyway, my thread was not written to offend anybody, any manufacturer, nor any piano owner of any chosen brand.

You decide if the Bernstein Hailun web is factual or not.
Again, I just thought it was interesting. smile

Don't want to start a conjecturing war full of flames here.

Cordially,

Bear


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Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)
Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95217
07/28/08 12:31 PM
07/28/08 12:31 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
Bear,
I would bet that this reference to Steinway has to do with the Essex piano and they are capitalizing on the cachet of the Steinway name by talking about the parent company, rather than mention Essex instead. It's a way of puffing up their reputation.

If Steinway goes to the expense and trouble of buying the companies that make their plates and keyboards, do you really think they are going to get action parts for Steinway pianos from China? unlikely
Sophia
Sophia,
You're probably right, but I just posted what Bernstein Hailun
stated on their web. I found their statement to be interesting though. Didn't you?

All the best,

Bear


Barry J "Bear" Arnaut ♫
46 Years in the Piano Industry
Retired Kawai/Shigeru Kawai Regional Manager
(My posts and threads are my opinions only)
Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95218
07/28/08 12:43 PM
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In all honesty, no, because they worded it very carefully to talk about "companies" not piano brands. It's no secret that Essex pianos are part of the Steinway company and they are built in China. It would be more interesting and inflammatory if they said in "Steinway brand pianos". They were careful not to do that, which gives it away that that is not what they are referring to, I believe.

Sophia

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95219
07/28/08 12:45 PM
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Bear, any link to the Bernstein site?

Starting Over, how could you deny the history of Steinway? It's started in Germany and their best one is still from the Hamburg. It is shown in Larry Fine's book that put the Hamburg production to be in the 1A tier while the NY one in 1C.

Indeed it is an American company, but saying Steinway as an European company is not wrong as well!

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95220
07/28/08 01:16 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Bear 1:
Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
[b] Bear,
I would bet that this reference to Steinway has to do with the Essex piano and they are capitalizing on the cachet of the Steinway name by talking about the parent company, rather than mention Essex instead. It's a way of puffing up their reputation.

If Steinway goes to the expense and trouble of buying the companies that make their plates and keyboards, do you really think they are going to get action parts for Steinway pianos from China? unlikely
Sophia
Sophia,
You're probably right, but I just posted what Bernstein Hailun
stated on their web. ....

All the best,

Bear [/b]
Ah, since you realize this already, don't you think it's just a little bit disingenuous to title the thread as you did -- seems like rumor mongering a bit, doesn't it?

Sophia

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95221
07/28/08 01:19 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
Ah, since you realize this already, don't you think it's just a little bit disingenuous to title the thread as you did -- seems like rumor mongering a bit, doesn't it?

Sophia
What would this site be without rumor mongering?

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95222
07/28/08 01:20 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by sophial:
Ah, since you realize this already, don't you think it's just a little bit disingenuous to title the thread as you did -- seems like rumor mongering a bit, doesn't it?

Sophia
What would this site be without rumor mongering?

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95223
07/28/08 01:21 PM
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I repeat...

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95224
07/28/08 01:26 PM
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laugh
you have a point there!

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95225
07/28/08 01:33 PM
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tanjin, Larry Fine's most recent supplement includes prices only for grands and the info that verticals will be introduced soon. Looks like they're being introduced first in Asia.

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95226
07/28/08 01:38 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by FogVilleLad:
[b]tanjin, Larry Fine's most recent supplement includes prices only for grands and the info that verticals will be introduced soon. Looks like they're being introduced first in Asia. [/b]
You mean the Steinway being introduced in Asia?
We have some dealers selling used Steinway here and one dealer that has the complete line, Steinway-Boston-Essex as new piano.

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95227
07/28/08 01:53 PM
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Bear, any link to the Bernstein site?
tanjinjack, here you go:

http://musicland.com.au/Home.asp

schwammerl.

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95228
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Thanks for the link. It took me some time though only to find out the Steinway part.

Anyway, for anyone who is interested.
Here it is.
http://www.musicland.com.au/BernsteinFactory.asp
on the second paragraph.

Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95229
07/28/08 02:09 PM
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I’ll leave the information on that website for the more naïve reader. If this company was really making components going into NY-Steinway, they will be absolutely discreet about it.
Wait until the people at Steinway catch-up with it; they will get a cease and desist letter in no time.
Steinway doesn’t have any need for outsourcing components to China.

By Turandot:
Quote
Of course not. But we can believe that those who envy Steinway will enjoy believing it, and that Steinway will not be concerned about sending an emissary to this forum to deny it. It's just not their style. They are smart to stay above the fray.
Right on the money.
Steinway has their act together.
This is exactly what I was trying to convey to Alex Hernandez.


Piano Dealer
Representing Kawai, Mason&Hamlin.
Re: Steinway & Sons using Chinese Parts? #95230
07/28/08 02:13 PM
07/28/08 02:13 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member
turandot  Offline
7000 Post Club Member
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 7,439
torrance, CA
from Bear

Quote
The OP's reference to an unfamiliar, to me, brand piano was my reason to visit Bernstein's web for a look-see and to find out more about that brand. Your inference that my thread was started by me because an individual bought a different brand than the Kawai he was contemplating purchasing, is pure nonsense. People buy different brands all the time.

The fact that Bernstein Hailun talking about Hailun's production of parts for Steinway & Sons was interesting to me. I felt if that were true, then Steinway deserves the same scrutiny that Mason & Hamlin is getting. Don't you think apples to apples is fair, or do you think Steinway gets a free pass if the parts allegation is true?
Will we ever find out the truth? I don't know, but I doubt it.
I've mentioned secret negotiations between manufacturers before and that is a true statement. If you really knew the real inside dope, your perception may very well be thrown for a loop regarding who builds what for whom!
{I've got some unauthorized videos}
Aw, c'mon Bear

My post was not a rebuttal. I know you didn't start this thread because someone bought a Hailun. I also know that the furthest thing from your mind would be to have some fun at Steinway's expense. laugh After all, you're retired, aren't you? smile

OTOH, I doubt this thread is really an impassioned search for precise truth. I kind of suspect that an industry pro of your stature would evaluate the source of the statement and wonder whether it was worth a new thread. After all, this is a retailer chain pumping its house stencil (as you have noted). A little mischievous fun on your part maybe? laugh

If you want to to start similar threads, go to the rolling header on Renner USA's website and start a thread about each of the unlikely Renner clients listed there. Hey, what's that? Did I see Kawai's name roll by? I thought Kawai didn't like wood anymore. laugh

http://www.rennerusa.com/

Puffing out your chest about inside knowledge is not like you Bear. Sorry if my post irritated you to resort to that. It's common knowledge among consumers here that industry people don't share but a tiny fraction of the inside stuff they know...'respect' for each other maybe? laugh And when they do, it is usually dispensed with a clearly-defined purpose (like a grenade! laugh ).

Have a good day Bear.


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