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Posted By: terminaldegree NAMM 2014 thread - 01/22/14 04:33 AM
So...who's going?

I'll be there all day Thursday and Friday. Looking forward to meeting some of you folks!
Posted By: KurtZ Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/22/14 05:45 AM
I'm skipping this year. I'm too much of a patzer on the instrument itself to go around imposing myself on public pianos. Pianos don't change very fast and I haven't found people on the piano floor to be all that outgoing or talkative (compared to the main floor). It may be different if you're already a dealer, Del Fandrich or work for Larry Fine. I've been positively mis-treated in one big name's booth and simply ignored in many others. It's not that I don't understand NAMM and it's purpose. We've been members for 20 years and my first NAMM was probably 36 years ago when it was still held at the LAX hilton. There's a few people from here I wouldn't mind getting to at least greet. Norbert, Rich G, Del and a few others but not enough to hang around pianoland all day trying to catch a glimpse of their badges.

Thursday and friday are good days. Saturday is impossible unless you have a high tolerance for crowds. Sunday has become surprisingly doable. I think more people that don't have to stay are heading home before Sunday.

Posted By: Frankni Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 01:05 AM
I'd love to go, but alas it is bit far and the wrong time for me. But to those who are going, please youtube your experiences and post a link here.
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 03:09 AM
Predicted high temperature in my hometown tomorrow:
-4 (with wind chill: -25)
Anaheim:
+73

Come on, connecting flight-- get me there!!
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 03:15 AM
OK Owen, it's your job to create an Anaheim Vortex and blow the temperature this way!
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 03:28 AM
Not going this year, sorry too busy.

Very interested in reviews about the $ 50,000 new Artist grand piano by Ritmuller/Kayserburg.

Hand made persoanlly by Lothar Thomma and select staff.

Will be "in concert" throughout show.

Special welcome for all dedicated nay-sayers...

Norbert thumb

Posted By: phantomFive Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 04:35 AM
Is it possible for a non-technician non-piano-salesman to get in?
Posted By: KurtZ Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 06:04 AM
It's a trade only show. If you're not a member of NAMM, you show up with proof of your being in a music related business and give them something like $100. If you're a member of NAMM you're provided with the passes for yourself and listed employees plus a certain number of passes for guests. We dish our guest passes out to friends and best clients. Now that they're older, the kids get one as well. Badge trading used to be commonplace but now there's a lot more checking that I.D.s match the name on the badge even as you head in and out of the main show floors during the day.

It occurs to me I have not answered the question well. You can get in but it's not easy or cheap unless you cadge a badge (heh) off of a friendly dealer.
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 06:15 AM
I am just arriving and I look forward to seeing and meeting some folks. Owen I will look for you. BTW, I left 4 degrees.
Posted By: Plowboy Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 03:41 PM
Bring your sunscreen. It's been in the 80s here.
Posted By: HisKidd Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 05:54 PM
Originally Posted by Rich Galassini
I am just arriving and I look forward to seeing and meeting some folks. Owen I will look for you. BTW, I left 4 degrees.


Rich, please post any word on what's new from Kawai this year! Can't wait to see what they have to offer!

Many Thanks!
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 05:58 PM
Yes - It would be great to have the 2014 edition of the Galassini Gazette.
Posted By: Karl Watson Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 06:16 PM
Rich:

I'm with Marty on this and will welcome any contributions to the
Galassini Gazette.

Thanks.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY
Posted By: Steve Cohen Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 11:36 PM
For only the 2nd time in 35 years, I'm not going. I hear the same from an unusually large number of dealers and other industry pros.

As for new stuff from Kawai...how does a whole new upright line sound??

K-2 replaced by K-200; K-3 replaced by K300; a new model K-400; K-5 replaced by K-500 and the K-8 by the K-800.

New digital prototypes also rumored to be on display.

I may not be going, but I "hear things"!!!
Posted By: Gatsbee13 Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 11:45 PM
Not in the industry myself, just an amateur musician with an interest in fine pianos.. I went last year for the first time and it was decent, but not going this year as I have to pay to enter.. Maybe next year.

But I am looking forward to updates here..
Posted By: Gatsbee13 Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/23/14 11:54 PM
If I were more into digitals, then I probably would go.. but I don't think there are a lot of changes for acoustic pianos..
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/24/14 01:58 AM
Just a quick moment before dinner: Kawai k-400 is like the old K3 but with a more usable music desk like you get on their flagship upright (along with some other minor changes). Tried Kayserburg grand very briefly and it played very well, though it's out in the hallway and people are being hired to perform on that piano (limits my access somewhat). Schimmel and Samick/Seiler are back exhibiting this year. Still enjoy the Hailun H-5 a lot, and they had a nice 178 on display. Met Joey Calderazzo (PW forum member, by the way) and really looking forward to hearing his performance. Got to play the new piano he just picked out - Schimmel K219. Really nice... Tried a nice new Baldwin 5'10", but it's really loud next to Fazioli's booth. Liked the Yamaha CF more this year than last. Mostly met people today, but will try to do more playing tomorrow.
Posted By: JohnSprung Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/24/14 01:58 AM
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
For only the 2nd time in 35 years, I'm not going. I hear the same from an unusually large number of dealers and other industry pros.


Originally Posted by KurtZ
I've been positively mis-treated in one big name's booth and simply ignored in many others..


This is sad to hear. And yet there are also a lot of people who want to get in, and can't.

Maybe there's an opportunity here for another kind of show, perhaps keyboard instruments only, but with room for some end users, too.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/24/14 02:12 AM
Quote
Still enjoy the Hailun H-5 a lot, and they had a nice 178 on display


These had always been my 2 favourite Hailun models.

IMHO no major improvements since...

Norbert
Posted By: Dave Ferris Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/25/14 02:24 AM
Played a super nice Fazioli 225 at the show today. Actually preferred it to the 9'er. The action and sound connection were like butter.

The total ambient noise was the worst I've ever experienced in the main acoustic piano room. I've been going for 28 years. The Fazioli folks didn't even have a room, just a half partition. They were right next to this giant circular keyboard ala the "Jetsons". It electronically triggered synth, drum loops and all that thrilling stuff. smirk Trying to play a Ballad on the the Fazioli was near impossible.

Played a really sweet 48" Bluthner upright. Beautiful little piano. Loved the action for an upright. Plus a real nice mellow sound that I would have liked to have heard better in a more quiet environment....like my living room. smile 3hearts

Spoke with Mr. Jansen about getting a pair of his artist benches re-stuffed. Even though I have a fairly skinny rear end- it's a lot of hours over the years that add up. Both benches, one from my S6 in'97 and the one that came with the D in '06, are starting to feel not so cushiony anymore.
Posted By: Joey Calderazzo Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/25/14 05:29 PM
Hey Dave,
I totally agree with you about the Fazioli..I thought it was a 228 not 225..
and I totally loved the Blüthner upright..the action was really great.

RICH ..I will be seeing you soon!!!
Posted By: Dave Ferris Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/25/14 06:47 PM
Hi Joey. Yes my mistake, a 228. Had the Bosendorfer on my mind (and not the gold leafed one ...yuck !! cry ) as I'd just come from the Marriott.

My friend saw you & Branford on Thursday at the Schimmel room, said you guys really tore it up . Wish I could have seen it. Hope you're still enjoying your new piano.
Posted By: Joey Calderazzo Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/25/14 07:01 PM
Hey Dave,
I am in the air flying to Dallas and then home to Durham,NC..
We had a great time and all the piano folks there were very nice..Not an ideal setting for playing pianos but still
pretty cool.
I am very excited about getting the K219 and Branford will be getting my k189..
Wish you could have come by(next time)
We were pretty rusty but it was fun just the same..my wife and I had a baby boy 2 months ago,so the piano has taken a bit of a backseat...time to get back to work!!!

take care,Joey
Posted By: Dave Ferris Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/25/14 07:38 PM
Just saw your post about playing on Friday too...aw man now I'm really kicking myself I didn't know you were there yesterday as well.. frown

I wouldn't have wasted time futzing around looking at toy electronic keyboards and just set the Schimell room as destination #1. Yeah the atmosphere is certainly not conducive to playing, but glad you had the gig and a few people got to hear you...maybe for the first time. Hopefully that will give them the impetus to hear all your great stuff.

And a huge congrats on the TWO new arrivals ! Your upgrade to the 7' 2" and more importantly the new boy. Wow ! thumb

Have a safe trip home from Texas Joey.
Posted By: Joey Calderazzo Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/25/14 08:06 PM
Hey Dave,
We will be playing in Malibu on May 6th...if you want to come and I can get you tickets.Joey
Posted By: OperaTenor Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/25/14 09:25 PM
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
For only the 2nd time in 35 years, I'm not going. I hear the same from an unusually large number of dealers and other industry pros.

As for new stuff from Kawai...how does a whole new upright line sound??

K-2 replaced by K-200; K-3 replaced by K300; a new model K-400; K-5 replaced by K-500 and the K-8 by the K-800.

New digital prototypes also rumored to be on display.

I may not be going, but I "hear things"!!!


Steve, I missed this post earlier. I saw Larry Fine yesterday, and assumed you'd be nearby. He told me what was up. I missed seeing you, and hope everything is fine (no pun intended).

Posted By: OperaTenor Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/25/14 09:28 PM
I spent yesterday in the company of Rich Galassini. Got to see some acquaintances who I greatly regard in the business, and meet some new ones, Bill Shull and Randy Potter among them. It was an enriching day!

Speaking of Rich, here he was yesterday, enduring the harsh SoCal weather:

[Linked Image]

Posted By: Piano World Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/26/14 12:50 AM
We're sitting this one out too. We have other projects going on at the moment, plus it just
didn't seem like money well spent this year.

But happy to see posts from those who are there.

Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/26/14 01:38 AM
Would love to hear from someone who has visited Baldwin booth.
Heard especially their grands are outstanding....
Norbert smile
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/26/14 01:49 AM
I think that we're all curious about the 'new' Baldwins.
Posted By: KawaiDon Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/26/14 04:36 AM
I only played the Baldwins very quickly - not enough to form an opinion on the tone.

I was very surprised to see many of the Baldwin features having been eliminated - no more vertical hitch pins, for instance.

Don Mannino
Posted By: OperaTenor Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/26/14 06:16 AM
I didn't spend a lot of time at the Baldwin booth, but what I sampled was not particularly impressive.

Posted By: Dara Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/26/14 11:49 AM
I wonder how the many entry level + , Asian pianos are doing in the market in North America? A lot of hype here on PW, over the past few years for certain makes, such as Hailun, Ritmueller, Brodmann and others. And newcomers such as Kayserburg and the new Baldwins. I tried several Chinese Heintzmans (a previous Canadian make) grands a few years ago and was impressed but not sold. Anyone at Namm noticing/hearing any upgrades in specific models or brands?
Posted By: Dave Ferris Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 12:39 AM
Originally Posted by Joey Calderazzo
Hey Dave,
We will be playing in Malibu on May 6th...if you want to come and I can get you tickets.Joey


Thanks Joey. Sent you a PM.
Posted By: Del Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 02:01 AM
Originally Posted by KawaiDon
I only played the Baldwins very quickly - not enough to form an opinion on the tone.

I was very surprised to see many of the Baldwin features having been eliminated - no more vertical hitch pins, for instance.

I looked at them as well. As far as I could tell none of the traditional Baldwin features were present. They looked like generic Parson's-built pianos with a Baldwin label.

ddf
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 04:00 AM
The "Galassini Gazette"??

Well, ok - here it goes.

I did not have as much time as I truly wanted because I arrived late (storm related delays). I missed a Wednesday night performance of the newest four manual Rodgers organ that I heard was thrilling.

Thursday was a day of squeezing two days worth of work into one, so I did not take nearly as many pictures as I have in the past, but I digress.

A surprise to me was the Bluthner digital piano. Its interface is not as polished as Roland or Yamaha, but I was surprised by the instrument. I enjoyed playing it - and the fact that Bluthner puts it out is a breath of fresh air to me.

There were fewer piano companies displaying than I can remember. The "piano room" was smaller but it also gave more of an opportunity to discuss the instruments, crawl around them, and chat easily with colleagues and vendors.

Here are a few pictures:

[Linked Image]

Jazz pianist Makoto Ozone (at the keyboard) discusses a Schimmel grand with Joey Calderazzo (Standing wearing a peach tie) and Vladimir Zaglavsky, a dealer friend in NJ. You can see the back of Branford's head in the picture.



[Linked Image]

This is a really bad picture of the 50000th Bosendorfer, a model 225. This piano was gorgeous and it played beautifully, simply beautifully.


[Linked Image]

Hanging with Branford Marsalis after the Thursday night private concert at Schimmel. There was all of 25 people in attendance. (Friday was open to all NAMM members). At the private performance Joey played and talked in a way that made you feel like we were all sitting in his living room. He and Branford chatted openly about each tune - and sometimes during them. It was a glimpse into the process that any collaborative musicians go through to make their art. (I might have heckled him just a little bit - we will wait for Joey's take on it)

Oh, Branford will be sorry we exchanged cell. numbers. wink


[Linked Image]

Playing a keyboard built for Lady Gaga - it was weird.


[Linked Image]

I enjoyed lunch in the sun with a group of familiar faces:
Front: Owen Lovell (our own terminaldegree) and his lovely wife Rachel.
Back: Basilios Strmec of Petrof, Sauter, and Hailun, Del Fandrich, and Larry Fine.


[Linked Image]

Many regulars here know Hugh Sung. He did a scheduled lecture on Airturn and what it can do for musicians at the Hal Leonard booth. Of course I was there! Hugh is a great musician who also happens to be a genius. The guy doesn't sleep.


[Linked Image]

...and the weather did not include snow, wind, or below zero temperatures. That is always a big plus for NAMM!

My 2 cents,
Posted By: Joey Calderazzo Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 05:14 AM
Hey Rich,
That is not a peach tie!!!!!
it was gold/yellowish with a hint of brown.
lol
great meeting you dude!!
J
ps..i have been looking for a peach tie
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 07:59 AM
Quote
I only played the Baldwins very quickly - not enough to form an opinion on the tone.



Not for those experienced with a great deal of different pianos.

It's actually easy to size up a piano in fairly short time.

Especially when approaching on "comparative basis"

Norbert smile
Posted By: Rickster Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 12:23 PM
Great pictures, Rich!

It is nice to put a face with a name, though I had seen pics of some the individuals you named. smile

Rick
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 12:36 PM
Originally Posted by Joey Calderazzo
Hey Rich,
That is not a peach tie!!!!!
it was gold/yellowish with a hint of brown.
lol
great meeting you dude!!
J
ps..i have been looking for a peach tie


I meant to say that tie is a peach! smile
Posted By: Joey Calderazzo Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 12:52 PM
HA!!!!
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 03:08 PM

I love Peach Ptie

[Linked Image]

I also love Hula-Hoop pianos!
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 03:55 PM
Yesterday, this time:
68 degrees, riding a bicycle on Hermosa Beach.
Today:
-14, and a rather crowded office hour.

Gotta figure out how to afford to live out there!! Nice to see a lot of you again at the show…

Keep an eye on next issue's "staff picks" for a few new choices.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 05:13 PM
Quote
I looked at them as well. As far as I could tell none of the traditional Baldwin features were present. They looked like generic Parson's-built pianos with a Baldwin label.



Having said that it wasn't excactly Parson's fault that Baldwin went under. There's also no law that someone couldn't start up a new U.S. made production again.

Same as with the Chinese made Heintzmans, we live at different times. It's not comfortable for a lot of folks.

But provides tremendous opportunity for buyers.

In fact there "are" newly designed pianos coming from China today.

IMHO these are the most "dangerous", i.e. noteworthy ones to watch for those obviously begruging China its current success.

We blew it out the door - can anybody blame the Chinese?

Somebody's gotta do it - somebody will.

Norbert

Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 06:21 PM
But - but - but

In the USA, the Baldwin name and sound are revered.

If the new 'baldwin' is nothing like the original, that is good info to have. A small b Baldwin leaves me flat.

When M&H was 'reborn,' the goal was to emulate the classic pianos carrying the logo.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 07:38 PM
Quote
When M&H was 'reborn,' the goal was to emulate the classic pianos carrying the logo.


This is true and MH is a wonderful piano.

But their actions is not same the way they were and also not made "where" they used to.

The whole world is changing around us: that's why I enjoy selling our Sauters and Estonias.

Norbert smile
Posted By: Jacky Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 08:45 PM
I really had high hope for the new Baldwin. I miss the sound a lot. Guess I would have to look for used one in the future.

Anybody had more info regarding the new Kawai line?
Posted By: Jeff Clef Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 09:10 PM
"...I looked at them as well. As far as I could tell none of the traditional Baldwin features were present. They looked like generic Parson's-built pianos with a Baldwin label.... ddf"

Alas, Baldwin Babylon; "Sic transit gloria mundi."

"...Not for those experienced with a great deal of different pianos. It's actually easy to size up a piano in fairly short time..."

Maybe it depends on what "a short time" means to the tester. I would say that it is possible to discard outright dogs by playing a few keys: a short test will reveal pianos with an ugly tone which is not likely able to be made acceptable, and a bad touch, bad pedal, bad fit-and-finish, etc. But there is a broad middling range--- or even good pianos which are not in good shape--- with which it takes a good try-out to discover their strengths, and their deficiencies. Is there a voice and touch in there, which a good tech could rescue? It is not so easy to be fair, and even less easy to know if they will become loveable in time, or grate on every sense.

There is no doubt that Norbert knows a lot more than I do, about a lot more pianos. And playing to your strength by carrying lines that you believe in and feel comfortable recommending, is a good move. More of us should be doing what we believe in; we would sleep better at night. So to be sure, he knows more than I. But at least I know better than to 'straighten out' Don and Del. Probably, they don't mind much.

But there it is: what has happened to Baldwin is a crime, which started when they vandalized their cases with those God-awful cartoon (or pinball machine) finishes. And now, they're like those shelves you buy in a box at Costco or Office Max. No, "some people don't feel comfortable with it." Gibson, how could you?
Posted By: Stephen Lacefield Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 09:48 PM
Rich,

That Bosie was incredible! I was disappointed in the Bluthner Digital in both looks and the keyboard touch. The sound was very good.

I was impressed by the new Kawai K series, the Kayserbergs, and the Yamaha Tyros.

The Baldwins underwhelmed.

Overall, really good show.

Why do I get the feeling that the Westboro Baptist group will be there next year?
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 10:11 PM
Originally Posted by Stephen Lacefield
Why do I get the feeling that the Westboro Baptist group will be there next year?

Is the Less-Than-Reverent Fred Phelps now building pianos, or are they now the work of the devil?
Posted By: phantomFive Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 11:06 PM
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Originally Posted by Stephen Lacefield
Why do I get the feeling that the Westboro Baptist group will be there next year?

Is the Less-Than-Reverent Fred Phelps now building pianos, or are they now the work of the devil?

The answer to that question depends on what will give them the most money and attention.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 11:16 PM
Quote
I was disappointed in the Bluthner Digital in both looks and the keyboard touch. The sound was very good.



"made in China" I suppose.

What the poor Germans have to do these days to be allowed selling there...

Norbert cry
Posted By: Alex Hernandez Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 11:48 PM
The Bluthner digital piano is made in the Leipzig factory. Please visit the Bluthner facebook page to see production photos confirming this.
Posted By: Alex Hernandez Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/27/14 11:55 PM
Originally Posted by Norbert
Quote
I was disappointed in the Bluthner Digital in both looks and the keyboard touch. The sound was very good.



"made in China" I suppose.

What the poor Germans have to do these days to be allowed selling there...

Norbert cry


Did you attend the show?
Posted By: Stephen Lacefield Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 12:37 AM
Ha! No, there was church there warning us of heck and there were Guitar Center protesters there. I just think the Phelps must feel left out.
Posted By: Stephen Lacefield Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 12:39 AM
Norbert, they are made in Germany and, IMO, have tremendous potential. The real question is: How much are they?
Posted By: JohnSprung Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 01:28 AM
Originally Posted by Stephen Lacefield
.... and there were Guitar Center protesters there.


Hmmm -- what were they protesting about?
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 01:42 AM
I thought the Blüthner stage piano was seriously neat looking and played and sounded pretty good for that segment. I'd consider getting one to upgrade my Casio, though I may also try the software piano route after visiting the VI Labs booth at the show.
Posted By: Stephen Lacefield Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 02:06 AM
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by Stephen Lacefield
.... and there were Guitar Center protesters there.


Hmmm -- what were they protesting about?


Stealing an idea from an inventor. Allegedly.
Posted By: malkin Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 02:39 AM
Originally Posted by Stephen Lacefield
Originally Posted by JohnSprung
Originally Posted by Stephen Lacefield
.... and there were Guitar Center protesters there.


Hmmm -- what were they protesting about?


Stealing an idea from an inventor. Allegedly.


Some kind of pedal design. Google "Guitar Center protest" if you are curious.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 06:20 AM
Quote
I was disappointed in the Bluthner Digital in both looks and the keyboard touch.


Sorry they're not made in China, my mistake

After reading above comment, was initially hoping they "were".

P.S. Not agreeing with above statement: after looking at some of their pictures, Bluthner's Digitals look actually real sharp and well made. My bad....

[Linked Image]

Norbert blush
Posted By: Del Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 07:29 AM
Originally Posted by Norbert
Quote
I looked at them as well. As far as I could tell none of the traditional Baldwin features were present. They looked like generic Parson's-built pianos with a Baldwin label.

Having said that it wasn't exactly Parson's fault that Baldwin went under. There's also no law that someone couldn't start up a new U.S. made production again.

Same as with the Chinese made Heintzmans, we live at different times. It's not comfortable for a lot of folks.

But provides tremendous opportunity for buyers.

In fact there "are" newly designed pianos coming from China today.

IMHO these are the most "dangerous", i.e. noteworthy ones to watch for those obviously begrudging China its current success.

We blew it out the door - can anybody blame the Chinese?

Somebody's gotta do it - somebody will.

I don’t “blame” the Chinese. Indeed, I’ve probably spent more time in China than most folks on this list—between 12 and 20 weeks a year for the past six years or so—helping them do what American companies were not willing to do. And I mostly agree with what you say on the subject.

You are quite right; it is not Parson’s fault that Baldwin went under. Nor is it Parson’s fault that the pianos bearing the Baldwin name bear no resemblance to the pianos that were built in the U.S. until very recently. My point was that the pianos I saw were generic Parson’s-built pianos with no distinguishing features separating them from any other generic Parson’s-built pianos. And that, I think, is both sad and shortsighted. It would not have been either difficult or all that expensive to blend the essential characteristics that made Baldwin unique in the U.S. market with Parson’s production capabilities to come up with some really special pianos. As it is there is nothing special about them other than the decal on the fallboard.

This is not to say that they are poorly built—they looked about the same as any other Parson’s-built pianos—only that they represent a lost opportunity.

ddf
Posted By: bkw58 Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 02:22 PM
Originally Posted by KawaiDon
I only played the Baldwins very quickly - not enough to form an opinion on the tone.

I was very surprised to see many of the Baldwin features having been eliminated - no more vertical hitch pins, for instance.

Don Mannino


Thanks, Don.
Do I understand this correctly? The accu-just hitch pin system has been replaced with the traditional one?
Posted By: bkw58 Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 02:35 PM
Originally Posted by bkw58
Originally Posted by KawaiDon
I only played the Baldwins very quickly - not enough to form an opinion on the tone.

I was very surprised to see many of the Baldwin features having been eliminated - no more vertical hitch pins, for instance.

Don Mannino


Thanks, Don.
Do I understand this correctly? The accu-just hitch pin system has been replaced with the traditional one?


Read further. Question answered:
"I looked at them as well. As far as I could tell none of the traditional Baldwin features were present. They looked like generic Parson's-built pianos with a Baldwin label.
ddf"

Posted By: terminaldegree Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 04:40 PM
Hi Norbert,

Yes, that's the one I liked as well. They also had a very 1950's looking digital model (similar to that art case piano they had on display at last year's NAMM) that I could see forming rather strong opinions for/against from a visual sense. The booth next to them was cranking some rather loud demonstrations, so I was unable to really evaluate anything besides the Pro-88.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 05:40 PM
Del:

Thanks for your clarification, appreciated! thumb

Terminal: if a pianist like you likes a digital it must be quite the machine!
[ "German engineering" right? whome]

Still stuck on my own beloved Rolands - for reasons of 'portability'..

Norbert wink
Posted By: Steve Cohen Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 06:43 PM
The only visible distinguishing Baldwin feature anyone mentions that is “missing” on these pianos is Accu-just hitchpins. They are not there because the scale designs that Baldwin is using were designed specifically as duplex scales using aliquots and traditional hitchpins. There is only 1 scale design that they are using that was done by Parsons - and it is not available in the US from any other manufacturer.

The Baldwin legacy in the Professional Series Grands lies in the look (a dead ringer), the materials (high grade solid spruce soundboard, all-maple rim, wet sand cast plate, premium hammers, real ebony sharps, etc.), and in the voicing and tone (which is supervised by a product manager with a history with Baldwin back to pre-Gibson). These are not Baldwin Artist Grands – they are Baldwin Professional Grands – and they are certainly Baldwin Grands. The NEW Baldwin Grands.

They are one of two brands that are both mass-produced (read: Affordable) and have an "American" sound.

Posted By: bkw58 Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 07:55 PM
Thanks, Steve, for bringing us up to speed on Baldwin. (I shan't miss the accu-just system.)
Posted By: ClsscLib Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 08:18 PM
Steve, I look forward to trying these out soon.
Posted By: Steve Cohen Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 08:25 PM
Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Steve, I look forward to trying these out soon.


It would be a great opportunity for us to finally meet.

I have pretty much the entire line in stock, tuned, voiced and regulated, including the new 190 and 175. Once prepped they are an outstanding value.

Pianos at NAMM are rarely in good tune, and often not voiced. They have to be loaded into the convention center 24-48 hours before the show opens and in many cases came off trucks that have hauled them from the east coast where it is freezing. Temperature and humidity swings make it nearly impossible for them to perform optimally.

its not uncommon to enter the exhibit space before the show opens each day and find techs doing whatever they can to keep them in decent playing condition.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 10:10 PM
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
They are one (Baldwin) of two brands that are both mass-produced (read: Affordable) and have an "American" sound.

Interesting.

What is the other brand you put into this category?
Posted By: master88er Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/28/14 11:54 PM
As both a Baldwin and Brodmann dealer (both produced by Parsons), a side-by-side comparison reveals:

  • Plates are vastly different - while both are sand-cast, strut position, strut structure, plate casting and overall design are different
  • Duplex design and arrangement are different
  • Scale is different
  • Roller bar position and design are different
  • Bridge postioning, design and construction are completely different
  • Soundboards are of different design and materials (both Spruce, but Baldwin is American Sitka Spruce - Brodmann is Strunz - Siberian spruce; different grain standards, color)
  • Actions are different (Langer vs. traditional Baldwin) Hammers are different poundage and design
  • Tonal aspects are (IMHO) completely different - I would leave it to others to determine which is preferable.


Baldwin uprights are NOT built by Parsons - they are built by Baldwin in a 100% Baldwin factory.

Regardless, I would submit that OEM manufacturers are capable of building multiple designs for multiple companies. For example, Foxconn builds various products for Apple (such as the Iphone) and Blackberry. Surely, the Blackberry is not an Iphone (much to investors dismay)even though they share the same assembly / manufacturer.

Even a rudimentary and cursory viewing of the instruments would reveal significant differences, and to the trained eye they should be glaring. To me, the Baldwin professional grands, especially the 178 & 190, are better performing instruments than anything I witnessed first hand coming out of Conway in the late 1990's and early 2000's, and not having to deal with the accu-just pins or the 41-(paper thin)ply pin block (now a traditional cross-ply maple block) is a blessing.

For any "professional," it is disingenuous at best to use NAMM, or any other trade show, to make a judgement on a product, and I am surprised at those with significant experience and industry expertise who are doing so. I would invite anybody who wants to do a side-by-side comparison of the new Baldwin product to earlier Baldwin pianos (20's -30's) to visit us and make the comparison.
Posted By: BDB Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 12:20 AM
I thought the point of trade shows was to give professionals the opportunity to decide whether they might want to sell a product. That is a judgement.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 12:21 AM
I'm not sure that the curiosity is how the Baldwin compares with a Broadmann. It is the classic Baldwin compared to the revamped.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 12:31 AM
Here's the first You Tube from NAMM of the new 5'11 "Kayserburg Artist" grand 180.
Young pianist Allison To recorded in concert.
Not sure about the quality of the recording itself but piano was highly praised by everybody who had chance to try it.
Phenomenal playing...


Norbert smile
Posted By: master88er Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 12:34 AM
Originally Posted by BDB
I thought the point of trade shows was to give professionals the opportunity to decide whether they might want to sell a product. That is a judgement.


As anybody who has been to a NAMM or Messe show can tell you, there couldn't possibly be a worse environment to try and hear a piano in. While it is possible to get a general sense of the instrument, I don't know of any dealer who seriously makes a purchasing decision based solely on a trade-show experience with a piano.

Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
I'm not sure that the curiosity is how the Baldwin compares with a Broadmann. It is the classic Baldwin compared to the revamped.


LOL, well I think that depends on which "classic" Baldwin you are referring to. Having been brought up playing on a late 20's vintage Baldwin (and having tuned and rebuilt untold numbers), I would suggest the new ones are a pure Baldwin through and through - Classic sound and touch. But in comparison to the 90's and early 2000's vintage pianos, well, I'd rather leave that subject alone - other than to say that current vintage are consistent in quality and reflect Baldwin's traditional approach to sound.

The real test for me will be when the new 213 arrives, and we can compare it to an SF10 - which is the main piano I serviced as an apprentice technician in Arkansas in the 1970's.
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 12:41 AM
Actually, to my ear the "Baldwin Sound" I relate to is from the SD and SF pianos from the 60's and 70's.
Posted By: master88er Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 12:45 AM
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Actually, to my ear the "Baldwin Sound" I relate to is from the SD and SF pianos from the 60's and 70's.


Ahhhh.... Reminds me of my days servicing pianos for Ferrante and Teicher!
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 01:07 AM
Mr. Kassman,

That was a very odd comment and bordering on rude. You know nothing about my background or of my experience with Baldwin pianos.
Posted By: PianoWorksATL Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 01:15 AM
Hello Everyone! Snow closed our store this afternoon and gave Atlantans another opportunity to show how unprepared we are for weather. frown

I took the time to complete this video from NAMM of Bösendorfer Opus No. 50,000. smile

The lighting in the Bösendorfer booth is hopeless for my video camera, but I think it is amazing to see their vision for this commemorative piano. They chose a model 225. I know Steinway is coming up on #600,000 - I wonder if they will choose a B, C, or D?
Posted By: master88er Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 01:17 AM
Originally Posted by master88er
Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Actually, to my ear the "Baldwin Sound" I relate to is from the SD and SF pianos from the 60's and 70's.


Ahhhh.... Reminds me of my days servicing pianos for Ferrante and Teicher!


Originally Posted by Minnesota Marty
Mr. Kassman,

That was a very odd comment and bordering on rude. You know nothing about my background or of my experience with Baldwin pianos.


Mr. Minnesota:

My deepest apologies; the comment was not meant to offend you. I was expressing fond memories of my early days (70's) servicing SD10 and SF10 pianos for duo pianists Ferrante and Teicher, who were avid Baldwin enthusiasts and recording artists.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 02:28 AM
Sam:

What a beautiful sounding piano that Bosi is!
Thanks for sharing!

Norbert smile
Posted By: KawaiDon Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 03:11 AM
Originally Posted by Norbert
Here's the first You Tube from NAMM of the new 5'11 "Kayserburg Artist" grand 180.
Young pianist Allison To recorded in concert.
Not sure about the quality of the recording itself but piano was highly praised by everybody who had chance to try it.
Phenomenal playing...Norbert smile


That's quite a statement, Norbert. Highly praised by everybody who played it?

Don Mannino
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 03:14 AM
Yep, it's a poor recording of the Kayserberg. It certainly wouldn't make me rush out to play the piano. Why was it even posted?
Posted By: Dara Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 05:40 AM
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Pianos at NAMM are rarely in good tune, and often not voiced.

Originally Posted by master88er
As anybody who has been to a NAMM or Messe show can tell you, there couldn't possibly be a worse environment to try and hear a piano in.

Originally Posted by KurtZ
I'm skipping this year. I've been positively mis-treated in one big name's booth and simply ignored in many others. It's not that I don't understand NAMM and it's purpose.


So what is the purpose of NAAM then, in relation to acoustic pianos ?
Is it a 'Hey, look at me' , I'm in the piano business. Look at these nice instruments that someone else designed, built and manufactured.
Take my word, these are excellent quality, even though they're out of tune, not voiced, and in a horrible environment to play and hear them in.
Do we let interested piano consumers in to NAAM ?
Of course not.... This is our indulgence and time to ourselves,
Meet you for drinks shortly.

Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 05:46 AM
Quote
That's quite a statement, Norbert. Highly praised by everybody who played it?



Yes, except perhaps some of the honorourable competition....

Voices of constructive-destructive criticism warmly welcomed!

Norbert smile
Posted By: phacke Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 05:52 AM
Originally Posted by Dara
Originally Posted by Steve Cohen
Pianos at NAMM are rarely in good tune, and often not voiced.

Originally Posted by master88er
As anybody who has been to a NAMM or Messe show can tell you, there couldn't possibly be a worse environment to try and hear a piano in.

Originally Posted by KurtZ
I'm skipping this year. I've been positively mis-treated in one big name's booth and simply ignored in many others. It's not that I don't understand NAMM and it's purpose.


So what is the purpose of NAAM then, in relation to acoustic pianos ?
Is it a 'Hey, look at me' , I'm in the piano business. Look at these nice instruments that someone else designed, built and manufactured.
Take my word, these are excellent quality, even though they're out of tune, not voiced, and in a horrible environment to play and hear them in.
Do we let interested piano consumers in to NAAM ?
Of course not.... This is our indulgence and time to ourselves,
Meet you for drinks shortly.



Very good.
It is even better when the vendor is buying the drinks.

Best wishes-
Posted By: Dara Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 05:53 AM
Just asking again.

Originally Posted by Dara
I wonder how the many entry level + , Asian pianos are doing in the market in North America? A lot of hype here on PW, over the past few years for certain makes, such as Hailun, Ritmueller, Brodmann and others. Anyone at Namm noticing/hearing any upgrades in specific models or brands?
Posted By: KurtZ Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 07:09 AM
Funny. I remember coming home from NAMM two years ago really excited about Del's YC/Weber grands and how Stevie Wonder really liked it as well. Then I was chided for being naive because the pianos at NAMM were so handpicked and lovingly prepared/tuned/voiced that they didn't serve as useful references to the real, available at the dealer models. Now I'm told they're UNDER prepped/tuned/voiced. Oh dear me, what a wicked world.

Kurt
Posted By: terminaldegree Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 01:55 PM
That made me laugh, Kurt!
grin
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 02:15 PM
Originally Posted by KurtZ
Funny. I remember coming home from NAMM two years ago really excited about Del's YC/Weber grands and how Stevie Wonder really liked it as well. Then I was chided for being naive because the pianos at NAMM were so handpicked and lovingly prepared/tuned/voiced that they didn't serve as useful references to the real, available at the dealer models. Now I'm told they're UNDER prepped/tuned/voiced. Oh dear me, what a wicked world.

Kurt


Kurt,

I know technicians that had to skip dinner with me because they had to reprep a piano after hours at the show. In fact, some pianos come from a dependable dealer who preps the pianos before they arrive at the show - and then there is time allowed for prep at the show.

If a company puts a piano there that is unprepped or untuned it isn't because it cannot be done. This year the "piano room" was quiet both early and late and there was plenty of time to get to know a few instruments intimately without being thrown out or terribly disturbed. Given, this is not possible at 1 pm.

A few companies also had partial separation walls that helped all day long as well. Any of the companies with dedicated suites could have you audition pianos by appointment without clatter happening too.

While I would rather audition a piano in my showroom, NAMM is not necessarily a bad place either.

My 2 cents,
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 02:17 PM
double post, sorry.
Posted By: KurtZ Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 04:18 PM
Rich,

You misunderstand me (I think). I don't particularly care about whether NAMM is or isn't a suitable place to audition a piano. I've been to about 30 of them and know exactly what it is and isn't. I was simply struck by the opposition of the two statements and the irony that is inherent in internet fora. The year you bring one of your Cunninghams though, that's the year I'll be there with bells on.

You were trying to be helpful. I appreciate that.

Kurt
Posted By: Del Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 06:52 PM
Originally Posted by bkw58
Thanks, Steve, for bringing us up to speed on Baldwin. (I shan't miss the accu-just system.)

I shall. When used properly -- admittedly a rare occurrence -- they provided a superior string termination. Especially in the bass. Given half a chance I'd see them brought back in a manner that would ensure proper use.

When used improperly they increased the rate of decay and decreased sustain time. And they could place a fatal stress on the plate that could (and did) lead to cracking. But these maladies were not the fault of the system, they were the fault of improper use.

I think it is interesting that the idea is now coming back (in modified form) on several high-end pianos such as Stuart and Steingraeber.

ddf
Posted By: Rich Galassini Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 07:13 PM
Originally Posted by KurtZ
Rich,

You misunderstand me (I think). I don't particularly care about whether NAMM is or isn't a suitable place to audition a piano. I've been to about 30 of them and know exactly what it is and isn't. I was simply struck by the opposition of the two statements and the irony that is inherent in internet fora. The year you bring one of your Cunninghams though, that's the year I'll be there with bells on.

You were trying to be helpful. I appreciate that.

Kurt


Oh.... well, nevermind.

Just call me Emily LaTella. smile
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 08:46 PM
To prep, or not to prep? That is the NAMM question.

I am clearly obfuscated on the matter.

crazy
Posted By: Cher711 Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 08:49 PM



I also had the chance to spent two days at NAMM this year (Friday and Saturday). It is actually not too difficult to get a pass once you sign up with NAMM and pay their annual membership fee. Here is a summary of my notes from the two days I spent there (Part I - Floor 2):

The piano and keyboard exhibits were truly amazing but the consensus among those I talked to was that it had shrunk quite a bit. The piano exhibitors were located on the second floor in both in rooms and there were exhibits in the hallway. The second part of exhibitors was located in a ballroom setting on Level 3 which was called Lounge 88. You can take a look at who all exhibited at this link http://www.namm.org/files/X/int-floorplan.html or go to the namm.org and look for the interactive floorplan.



Impressions?

Kingsburg: There quite a few things that I had not seen in previous years that stood out. Hidden away from, in a corner room on the second floor, was a set of pianos that impressed me. The brand is called Kingsburg and their booth was manned by Chinese representatives. Their 5’3”, model 158, was particularly well rounded piano and was my favorite on that floor. Whenever I could (and remembered) I asked where and who had prepared the instruments. The Kingsburg representative told me that their pianos had been mainly worked on by technicians in China and by a local technician Randy Poter in the US for the show. They also shared that their entire line of instruments was designed by Klaus Fenner from Germany. Their booth was clean and very nicely organized and their representative spoke good English.

K&W Meyer: Next to Kingsburg was an outfit from Germany that showed restored instruments (a Bosie and a Steinway). Unfortunately, the gentleman did not speak English and my interaction was limited to non verbal pleasantries. The Bosendorfer was beautifully rebuilt and sounded quite good.

Pianoforce & Stahl Piano: In the same room with Kingsburg and the restoration company was also Pianoforce. They offered a player-piano system on another new brand that I had never seen before. They only had one Stahl Piano there and I got to play it. I was not too impressed with its touch but I assume that the player installation must have hampered the action (or not?). The piano did not seem well voiced or regulated. I was told by another representative at the booth that the Stahl pianos were manufactured by the Parson factory in China. I did ask them who had designed the Stahl piano and their answer was that it had been developed by engineers in their companies.

There was also another exhibitor with that group that I did not get to talk to. They too had a restored Steinway in their booth.

On the second floor the following companies had respectively their own “show room” – essentially an entire room of about 2,500 sqf. with their brand specific décor.

Schimmel, Kawai, Pearl River, Hailun, and Samick/Seiler/Pramberger/Knabe.



In addition to the company showrooms there were four “islands” in the middle of the hallway

Then there were four “islands” in the middle of the hallway with exhibits from Pearl River, Genio, Petrof and Cline Pianos.



Schimmel: Wow…what a nice environment Schimmel had created. The lights were dimmed and they had a stage with their concert grand. The carpet was red with the Schimmel crown logo on it and the instruments were a joy to play on- their room afforded the chance to play and really listen. A special thanks to Mr. Rob Slayman for his time and courtesy. I also asked who had voiced their instruments and they said that the work was done by their local dealer. I missed playing on a new Schimmel entry level piano. It had a different name from the traditional Vogel and May Berlin. Anyone got a chance to play it?



Pearl River/ Ritmueller: I enjoyed listening to the two pianists that were featuring the new Kayserburg that was on display outside their booth. There was a performance schedule for 6 pianists at different hours. The two I got to see were amazing young performers. The piano itself was nice but did not impress me at all. It was too bright and piercing for my taste but I hope that might have been simply because the players had to play fortissimo. I compared it with the smaller Kingsburg 158 and felt that the Kingsburg outdid IMHO the Kayserburg in sustain by 1:3 and that from a smaller piano. It seemed that Mr. Fenner outdid Mr. Thoma on this occasion IMHO.

Hailun: By far the friendliest and most welcoming of all the manufacturers I visited. I was invited in by a lady who gave me a complete “tour” and then introduced me to their VP Joseph DeFio. I probably disappointed them as I was not a buyer but that did not seem to faze him much. They seemed also the busiest booth in terms of people going in and out. I played two instruments that deeply impressed me Hailun Grand 198 blew me away. The also had a new piano line that stood out. Their pianos had been prepared by technician Paul Rea and I got to chat with him as well. I asked for Mr. Frank Emerson who I had hoped to meet but was told that he is now working for Steinway. Overall one of the two best booths that I visited.

Kawai: What a class act. I was well received and allowed to play all instruments and I just immersed myself into their pianos. Their booth was also the largest. If I had to choose my favorite from the 2nd floor that I got to listen to or play the GX 7 would qualify as my favorite choice, followed by the Schimmel Konzert Grand (which I did just heard played), and the Hailun 198. The same goes for the booth display: To me the Kawai show room had the nicest display, followed by Schimmel’s classy European salon, and Hailun’s avant-garde display and lights.

Samick/Seiler/Pramberger/ Knabe: Their “showroom” was to me the most confusing. The Seiler instruments were the focal point of their exhibit but their room was somewhat overpopulated with instruments. I also got the feeling that I was not very welcome at their place of business and I did not stay too long.

Hallway:

Kayserburg: I related my impressions of the new Kayserburg. That was the only piano exhibited by Kayserburg.

Solana by Genio: There was a real surprise at the second booth. I sat down to play a digital console and it turned out to be a hybrid piano. The action was from a standard acoustic piano and the rest was digital. The hybrid piano did not impress me until I put the headphones on and listened to it with some protection from the general mayhem. Wow, again……The action was stellar.

Petro: Both times that I approached the Petrof “island”, people were huddled close to. The display featured a grand and an upright instrument.

Cline: Towards the end of the hallway was a display of Cline pianos. The booth was connected to the Hailun team and featured two uprights and a grand. Especially impressive was an upright the Cline 123 upright. Very nice little upright.

Tomorrow I will try to put together my notes on the 3rd floor which was admittedly not such a pleasant experience due to the increased noise factor.
Posted By: Grandman Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 09:36 PM
Tomorrow can't come soon enough.
Posted By: Nick Mauel Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 10:27 PM
I don't read any one mentioning Estonia pianos, were they there?
Posted By: Steve Cohen Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/29/14 11:40 PM
Originally Posted by Nick Mauel
I don't read any one mentioning Estonia pianos, were they there?


Indrek did not display this year.

Estonia builds and sell to capacity and Indrek isn't motivated to expand production. He maintains a great quality standard at a very competitive price.

Quite frankly, being rightly satisfied with things the way they are, he has no need to exhibit at NAMM.
Posted By: JohnSprung Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/30/14 01:48 AM

Robert Estrin did a number of interviews at NAMM. For openers, here's Fazioli:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8PrXPDb2m8&list=PLb9dheYKfknQXfqdpZvgKOObPFdvpXEB1
Posted By: Minnesota Marty Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/30/14 02:45 AM
J.S. - Thank you for posting that link.

All of the Estrin interviews from this year's NAMM are very interesting.

It's always fun to put a face with a name.
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/30/14 04:33 AM
Cher711:

A few corrections if I may:

K&W Meyer is not a German but a Polish company.
Their rebuilding quality has been questioned by many in the past. Their refinishing is stunning.

http://meyer.com.pl/en/contact.html

Re Kingsburg:

There is no evidence that Klaus Fenner designed each and every model for this maker. Especially by completely unknown manufacturer...

When meeting with Klaus in Bad Homburg last time before his death, he stated to me he didn't even do this for Samick. Mr. Fenner was asked during his lifetime by many manufacturers to "design" which he did, but none bore the characteristics of his own high end pianos made in Germany later for short while.

KLaus designed onyl a few pianos for others and these were strictly 'scale designs'. Basically "blue prints", no more.

He was given little or no say in choosing parts like actions, hammers, strings soundboards, typs of casts, etc

All crucial in the final outcome of things.

Simply speaking the pianos he designed for Korean and Chinese manufacturers were enhanced designs from previously "not-so-hot" ones used by the manufacturers.

Made for pianos to be built stricly by price point.

For those familiar with the process, design is just the beginning of things. Once actual building starts, the process has to be be followed up by constant quality control, tweaking and and supervision. Mr. Fenner hardly ever - if at all - did any of this. His health prevented him from frequent travel.

It's nice you liked the Kingsburg pianos and they may very well be nice instruments. Plus Randy Potter is a great tuner thumb

In judging a make and outside first impressions of sound on exhibition floors, one would of course need to check on a lot of other variables as well.

Glad to do when perhaps running into these pianos in future.

Thanks for your report - very interesting!

Norbert smile

Posted By: R_B Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 01/31/14 03:34 PM
Originally Posted by JohnSprung

Robert Estrin did a number of interviews at NAMM. For openers, here's Fazioli:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8PrXPDb2m8&list=PLb9dheYKfknQXfqdpZvgKOObPFdvpXEB1


Thanks, I wandered off from that link laugh
I had NOT realized how "YOUNG" Fazioli is as a piano builder, although he is not a young man.
For some odd reason I thought they were a 100 or 150 year old Italian company that had recently been resurrected or just escaped my notice.

Ravenscroft;
Ten pianos in ten years - Wow !
I would have guessed 5 or 7 years and "just a few".
Interesting that he is going both acoustic and electronic directions at (more or less) the same time.
A thousand people with two or three hundred bux to spend being easier to find than one with two or three hundred thousand bux to spend.
Manufacturing costs on the 999 electronic units is attractive too laugh
Posted By: kingsburg Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 02/07/14 05:46 AM
Cher711:
Thanks for your comments for Kingsburg brand,i think we should have met in our booth that day.one thing i want to correct is that the grand piano is our higher level of 185 model,not 158 model.
Norbert:
First,i should clarify that the following contents not for dispute,only for a truth.
Thanks for your so your so sufficient information about Kingsburg and Klaus Fenner.but i think i should correct,that there are enough evidence Klaus Fenner design piano for Kingsburg.
from 1995/96,Klaus Fenner start to visit and work with Kingsburg(the former name is Longfeng piano)introduced by John from Netherland. from that to till 1999,almost every year,he visit Kingsburg to checked the production of his design.
From 2003 to 2004,he visited Kingsburg three times,the 133 model of Kingsburg designed from 2003.
The main models designed by Klaus Fenner are 109,115,122,133,158 and 185 model.we have many valuable pictures,draft drawings from that period...
Anyway,i think 20 years earlier,many unknown manufacturers mentioned more about the famous designer based on their promotion purpose.but now,when we mention that,we just state a truth,because for a successful piano production,design only a part,the production,QC and many other factors are also important.
How do you think of that?
Posted By: bkw58 Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 02/07/14 06:48 AM
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by bkw58
Thanks, Steve, for bringing us up to speed on Baldwin. (I shan't miss the accu-just system.)

...Given half a chance I'd see them brought back in a manner that would ensure proper use...
ddf


Don't know how you'd do it, but that I'd like to see. The principle behind accu-just is good. However, much of it was made of none effect by inaccurate aftermarket technical service.
Posted By: Del Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 02/07/14 05:52 PM
Originally Posted by bkw58
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by bkw58
Thanks, Steve, for bringing us up to speed on Baldwin. (I shan't miss the accu-just system.)

...Given half a chance I'd see them brought back in a manner that would ensure proper use...
ddf


Don't know how you'd do it, but that I'd like to see. The principle behind accu-just is good. However, much of it was made of none effect by inaccurate aftermarket technical service.

Which was why when I designed the two Walter grands I gave them solid vertical hitches and put the strings in annular grooves just down from the top. The height of the string is fixed at a pre-set height above the hitchpin panel.

ddf
Posted By: Norbert Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 02/07/14 06:03 PM
Quote
20 years earlier,many unknown manufacturers mentioned more about the famous designer based on their promotion purpose.but now,when we mention that,we just state a truth,because for a successful piano production,design only a part,the production,QC and many other factors are also important.


Very true.

The real test in future will be what is "promotional jargon" and actual, verifiable quality of product - ANY product.

For those makers who are serious,ongoing improvements, re-design and especially QC will be of greatest importance.

Let's watch who of the makers are and will be raising the ante again. Some of the Euros are [whisper,whisper..] as well as s of the top Chinese.

Japanese and several Germans appear having become more concerned building obviously cheaper product simply to meet price points: perhaps not much else left for them to do?
Please correct if wrong. Examples appreciated..

Fact is it's more competitive out there today than the Olympics. Good thing for consumers, you and me...
Of course not everybody likes this.

Propaganda has run its course - nothing new in this business. Few if any will be able to live by it alone in future.

Increasingly things will be measured in terms of actual "performance" and "price" - whatever product involved.

"Best for least" - rule of the day" - not "my" invention...

Consumers already have and will continue to have ample opportunity to decide who will win gold-silver-bronze medal.

Of course only interested in "gold"

[Paying 'bronze'...]

Norbert wink
Posted By: BDB Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 02/07/14 08:00 PM
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by bkw58
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by bkw58
Thanks, Steve, for bringing us up to speed on Baldwin. (I shan't miss the accu-just system.)

...Given half a chance I'd see them brought back in a manner that would ensure proper use...
ddf


Don't know how you'd do it, but that I'd like to see. The principle behind accu-just is good. However, much of it was made of none effect by inaccurate aftermarket technical service.

Which was why when I designed the two Walter grands I gave them solid vertical hitches and put the strings in annular grooves just down from the top. The height of the string is fixed at a pre-set height above the hitchpin panel.

ddf


Is this adjustable when it is being manufactured, that is, are the hitch pins tapped down to so the groove is at the proper height for the particular bridge height, or is the bridge height adjusted for the height of the groove? I hope I am not asking about a trade secret.
Posted By: bkw58 Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 02/07/14 08:51 PM
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by bkw58
Originally Posted by Del
Originally Posted by bkw58
Thanks, Steve, for bringing us up to speed on Baldwin. (I shan't miss the accu-just system.)

...Given half a chance I'd see them brought back in a manner that would ensure proper use...
ddf


Don't know how you'd do it, but that I'd like to see. The principle behind accu-just is good. However, much of it was made of none effect by inaccurate aftermarket technical service.

Which was why when I designed the two Walter grands I gave them solid vertical hitches and put the strings in annular grooves just down from the top. The height of the string is fixed at a pre-set height above the hitchpin panel.

ddf

Walter precision and your perfection of a principle was the perfect marriage. If Baldwin had this in toto, I'd have certainly missed it.
Posted By: Del Re: NAMM 2014 thread - 02/07/14 09:37 PM
Originally Posted by BDB
Originally Posted by ddf
Which was why when I designed the two Walter grands I gave them solid vertical hitches and put the strings in annular grooves just down from the top. The height of the string is fixed at a pre-set height above the hitchpin panel.

Is this adjustable when it is being manufactured, that is, are the hitch pins tapped down to so the groove is at the proper height for the particular bridge height, or is the bridge height adjusted for the height of the groove? I hope I am not asking about a trade secret.

In theory, yes, it can be tapped down to a "proper" height during assembly. It is not supposed be done but in practice I'd be surprised if it wasn't done at least once in a while.

I'm not concerned about the strings getting too close to the top of the hitchpin panel surface (as long as there is no chance of them buzzing) but I don't want them too high.

This was one of the problems at Baldwin. If the plate was mounted a little low the stringers would simply set the strings higher up on the hitches. That placed excessive stress on the hitchpin panel and -- especially in the treble -- caused voice problems. Rapid decay, short sustain, etc.

ddf
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