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I've just watched Korg LP-380 and they say it's made in Japan. Bluthners are made in Germany.
What else are the brands made not in China, Malasia etc.?
I think Nords are made in Sweden.

Do you avoid all Asian factories (except for Japan)? Because some Kawai and Yamaha pianos (N1X for instance) are made in Indonesia.

P.S. I used to be mad at China because of the Coronavirus situation (they could've prevented it if they have closed the filthy wet markets where they torture so many animals...) and decided that I will avoid Chinese products. Well, that's not possible as it seems, so I abandoned that strategy laugh
No, I avoid no countries:) But there is stereotype still alive that products made in economical world-leaders (Japan, USA, European countries) are better in quality. Just wanna know what people in piano world think of this:)
For me, I simply look at brand names rather than the country from which the piano was made or assembled smile
Sweden-made products (in red) are great wink

About Bluethners "made in Germany": Take that with a grain of salt. What they do there is assemble a number of components produced somewhere else (and bought from other companies located in other countries) into a box - that is quite different from producing the entire instrument in Germany.

To some extent and varying degree this is true of most manufacturers and most of their products, hence the "made in" qualification is generally rather moot. Exceptions exist, but confirm the rule.
Sure it does.
I would rather not buy Chinese goods, but sometimes tbere's no choice. My Japanese Korg C1 Air seems very solid, I must say. The "Made in Japan" sticker factored in the decision to buy a Korg. (And availability.)
Made in Mars! Anytime soon; just wait and see!
I agree with Maurus, the "made in" label alone is not enough for me. If they were to say "the action is made in Germany from German wood" that would be more honest and valuable IMO.

I don't think it is reasonable to consider China-made *digitals* of lesser quality because workers there perhaps have even more expertise/qualified people than western countries when it comes to producing electronic goods. To me as Beowulf put it, the brand and price range of the keyboard will condition the quality control at the factory more than the country.

That said quality is potentially not the only factor, I believe CyberGene's reason is more "geo-political", and I agree that I would also consider a keyboard made in France 🥖 to support my country's economy, and/or Europe 🇪🇺 to reduce the ecological footprint of my piano (if not all parts are coming from the other side of the world ...).
Originally Posted by Pete14
Made in Mars! Anytime soon; just wait and see!
I heard that the shipping costs from there could be a bit high...
When speaking about acoustic pianos, there's a certification called BVK for pianos that are 100% made in Germany and a separate one 100% made in Europe (for Fazioli and some models of Petrof). I think it guarantees that all parts and materials are sourced from German companies. Yet, you'd probably find some of their machinery or tools are Chinese laugh But other than that it's the closest you can get to a piano that's 100% made in Germany.

However if you look at the prices of corresponding models (some of the certified brands have models or sub-brands that are made in China though), you'd understand why people purchase Chinese pianos laugh These are really premium pianos and I have very low hopes I will be able to purchase a brand new BVK piano ever in my life... On the other hand Yamaha and Kawai make very affordable pianos which are made in Japan. Only the GL10 and GB1 (cheapest grands in their portfolio) are made in Indonesia.
Profit margin needs to be exponentially higher for products that cost more to make.

Cost of labor doesn't directly translate to higher quality or more experienced labor, what this ends up meaning is that you will generally get the best "value" for products made in countries with lower labor cost and get slightly higher quality product for paying a lot more for higher labor cost countries.

Like anything with diminishing returns, the quality increase is not proportional to the cost increase.
Even if it would matter to me I would have no clue how to avoid some countries.

Many products and components are made in china. I guess almost every non-trivial object these days has parts from china in it. Figuring out the exact origins of all parts would be difficult, consider the number of parts in a piano or computer or whatever appiance you have at home....
Originally Posted by magicpiano
Originally Posted by Pete14
Made in Mars! Anytime soon; just wait and see!
I heard that the shipping costs from there could be a bit high...

Yes, shipping will be a little more than your average shipment from Sweetwater, and there will be no overnight shipping (initially); but still, how great it would be to own a piano made in Mars!
Discriminating against people because of the government they have to live under doesn't really make any sense to me. Otherwise I probably wouldn't buy anything made anywhere.
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Discriminating against people because of the government they have to live under doesn't really make any sense to me. Otherwise I probably wouldn't buy anything made anywhere.

And what about famous "Each nation has the government it deserves"?
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Discriminating against people because of the government they have to live under doesn't really make any sense to me. Otherwise I probably wouldn't buy anything made anywhere.

And what about famous "Each nation has the government it deserves"?

That‘s a saying I find very cynical: What about dictatorships, what about countries where minorities are systematically suppressed? However, I‘m sure this forum is not the right place for discussing politics.
Originally Posted by maurus
Sweden-made products (in red) are great wink
LOL. Volvo was. SAAB was. Until they were sold to Ford and GM.
United States, Japan, Germany, other European countries have the highest quality products
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Discriminating against people because of the government they have to live under doesn't really make any sense to me. Otherwise I probably wouldn't buy anything made anywhere.
By not purchasing products manufactured in a certain country, I am basically boycotting their government, not their people. Theoretically if everyone does the same, it’s their economy that will suffer hence also the government. In a way I’m punishing their government. This is a complex issue and there’s no definitive answer. If by not purchasing a product I discriminate against people, doesn’t that mean I discriminate against local manufacturers when I avoid their products by favoring Chinese goods? And if I prefer Chinese goods for their low price doesn’t that mean I actually support a government that maintains cheap labor to create a strong economy? These people haven’t chosen their cost of labor. It’s a result of the fact they have a government that exploits an environment of poverty.

So it’s not that simple IMO.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
These people haven’t chosen their cost of labor. It’s a result of the fact they have a government that exploits an environment of poverty.

So it’s not that simple IMO.

Cost of living has a high correlation with cost of labor, more so than any government "exploitation".

There's rarely any moral high ground to be had with anything related to politics, or capitalism for that matter.
People choose their government. If I have nothing against an ordinary representatives of a country, it does not mean I can't boycott their country if their government behaves inappropriately. If they struggle because of this - this is their problem, not mine.
The brand and the specific product matter to me, not the country.
If I can avoid it I will not buy goods made in China. But as mentioned earlier that can't always be accomplished.
For me it only matters in some cases. I don't think there's anything inferior to Chinese manufacturing. Rather, I think they represent the largest manufacturing base, and in doing so, they have the capability to product the highest quality of anywhere (e.g., Apple products), and also extremely low quality (throwaway export tchotchkes), depending on the needs of the client.

If I'm buying a BMW, I'll probably want one produced in Germany rather than South Africa. And if I'm buying a Yamaha acoustic grand, I'll probably opt for a model built in Japan versus Indonesia. But for most consumer goods, it's ultimately the quality of the product that matters.
Originally Posted by Seabass
If I can avoid it I will not buy goods made in China. But as mentioned earlier that can't always be accomplished.
What did China do to you?
Originally Posted by Pete14
Originally Posted by Seabass
If I can avoid it I will not buy goods made in China. But as mentioned earlier that can't always be accomplished.
What did China do to you?

1st hand experience in the low quality items that I have purchased mainly, including ones with a premium price tag. Anything from cell phones to watches, tv's, and monitors. I've been going over some of the older items that I have which still work and to my surprise they've been manufactured in either Japan, Germany, Spain, or the USA. There is a certain Chinese company that I do swear by and recommend to others not just for their quality but also customer service and that is Anker. When it comes to products such as musical instruments I tend to prefer to purchase a brand that has a history or since that's always a nice talking point if I ever need one. There are also other reasons which I'm not going to delve into since those discussions are not on the topic of digital instruments in any way.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
If by not purchasing a product I discriminate against people, doesn’t that mean I discriminate against local manufacturers when I avoid their products by favoring Chinese goods?

That's not discriminating against anyone. Your buying decision is based on the product.
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by CyberGene
If by not purchasing a product I discriminate against people, doesn’t that mean I discriminate against local manufacturers when I avoid their products by favoring Chinese goods?

That's not discriminating against anyone. Your buying decision is based on the product.
Do you choose based solely on quality, ignoring the price? If no, do you agree that price wouldn’t be that low if it wasn’t for the odd mix of communism and capitalism?
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Do you choose based solely on quality, ignoring the price? If no, do you agree that price wouldn’t be that low if it wasn’t for the odd mix of communism and capitalism?

odd mix? Forget China then.

What about Indonesia? Why does Indonesia have cheap labor?
Or for that matter, why are Korean Pianos like Samick and Young Chang cheap?
I’m not aware of many Indonesian made products besides my Yamaha. Pianos are just an exception.
Having Japanese made Yamahas and Kawais that are much cheaper than comparable European pianos clearly shows pianos are usually an overpriced product, often because it involves manual labor which is expected for products of luxury. So pianos are an exception.

There are always poor countries with cheap labor. Bulgaria is one of them too. But we don’t have a strong economy. It’s actually getting stronger and the standards of life are improving as is the cost of labor. That’s the natural way.

And then you have China which is a monster economy. Yet people are still poor. That’s what I’m trying to say.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Originally Posted by johnstaf
Originally Posted by CyberGene
If by not purchasing a product I discriminate against people, doesn’t that mean I discriminate against local manufacturers when I avoid their products by favoring Chinese goods?

That's not discriminating against anyone. Your buying decision is based on the product.
Do you choose based solely on quality, ignoring the price? If no, do you agree that price wouldn’t be that low if it wasn’t for the odd mix of communism and capitalism?

I choose based on quality and price.

The cost of goods made in China (although they're not always cheaper) is complicated by China's economic history over the last fifty years or so. Other countries with the same standard and cost of living also have very cheap labour by Western standards. Explosive growth with cheap labour is a feature of countries that experience rapid industrial development, and it has been this way since the start of the industrial revolution. China reminds me more of Dickensian England (with similar social issues) than a stagnant communist state.
China also have a massive population size to distribute all that wealth. If the average income of China is the same as the average income of the United States, they would need to have 4x the amount of money.

That would be a truly monstrous economy.

China labor cost has been growing with their economy as well though. Which is part of why you do see corporations start utilizing more underdeveloped countries like Vietnam and Indonesia for their labor. That's really unrelated to any sort of government oppression. If anything, it's a government decision to gradually increase the value of the yuan that results in increased labor exchange rates.

Certainly China's government has plenty of issues, just like our government here in the US has plenty of issues, just like I'd imagine any government in the world have issues. Like I said, there's no moral high ground to be had in politics or capitalism.
Well, I agree. It all started around whether I’m discriminating against people by boycotting Chinese products. Putting aside whether that has any effect whatsoever, and whether it’s possible (it’s not and I’m no more doing it), it was a valid emotional reaction that I had amid a global disaster that has a very clearly established cause. And it’s not a discrimination against people. I have Chinese friends and I like Chinese culture and have never thought of them in any different way than any other people.
Originally Posted by PianoStartsAt33
I've just watched Korg LP-380 and they say it's made in Japan. Bluthners are made in Germany.
What else are the brands made not in China, Malasia etc.?


I'm a pragmatist. I test the instrumentation side-by-side and make choices based upon my own biases and perceived needs / payoffs at the time.

I have brought a Yamaha and two Kawai models, and have had good luck mechanically with all three.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Well, I agree. It all started around whether I’m discriminating against people by boycotting Chinese products. Putting aside whether that has any effect whatsoever, and whether it’s possible (it’s not and I’m no more doing it), it was a valid emotional reaction that I had amid a global disaster that has a very clearly established cause. And it’s not a discrimination against people. I have Chinese friends and I like Chinese culture and have never thought of them in any different way than any other people.

I mentioned discrimination first, but I was just answering the OP. I wasn't referring to you at all.

My point was simply that I don't want to boycott a company or its workers because they happen to be based in a country that is governed in a way that I don't like. There have been exceptions, but this is generally the case.
^ To a large extent I tend to agree which is why I’m not boycotting Chinese products anymore. It was an emotional response on my side and not an extremely logical at that smile
It's not as though we have much choice, eh?
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Well, I agree. It all started around whether I’m discriminating against people by boycotting Chinese products.
No CyberGene is not discriminating against any people and this is supported by his vast posting history here. Glad to have you around we will be enjoying some imported Bulgarian yogourt this evening in his name, thank you very much.
I sense PW-mod danger to CG again! grin
🤐
Not anymore because even Japan made products now are same bad quality as everything else smile
Originally Posted by Nordomus
Not anymore because even Japan made products now are same bad quality as everything else
That is not my experience overall. Japan still makes some superb industrial and consumer goods; a lot of these are uber-expensive, so not exported. Like the $1,000+ rice cookers. Or the $100,000+ Lexus minivan just for Asia.

Of course there are some bad quality items out of every country.

[Linked Image]
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Maybe the question would better be like


Does the way humans are treated in manufacturing matter to you?

In many cases people are exploited in the manufacturing process. In some countries this happens more than in others. And the way these people are exploited is also different.

The question of 'country' is kind if in the background: sometimes exploitation is backed up / approved/supported by government , sometimes it's the government deliberately ignoring the issue, sometimes mafia is completely overruling the government, etc.
All this kind of stuff is pretty nuanced, though. One may say that people get the government that they deserve. True? Perhaps in a macro sense, but I have a friend both of whose parents died in the cultural revolution. I doubt he got what he deserved.

Having hung out with people from over there, the factory workers are people like anyone else, and I would also believe the article that I read, where an iphone factory worker said something to the effect of "We put a lot of work into these phones. We hope you value them."

There's more than just the government... And even the government is not all bad. Can you imagine trying to take care of a billion people? Trying to provide for their needs forty years from now?

Two cents on a very uncomfortable topic.
Originally Posted by Melving
[...]I would also believe the article that I read, where an iphone factory worker said something to the effect of "We put a lot of work into these phones. We hope you value them."
IMHO that's just marketing.

I would ask that worker the value of those phones after 3+ years. The manufacturer wants you to get rid of the "obsolete" model and buy a new one. So the manufacturer makes an update of the os that makes your "old" phone slower and more sluggish than before. Other manufacturers use a different strategy: after a few years they don't update anymore the os of the "old" phone, so some new (or updated) apps just don't work anymore because they require some new software component, not present on the old os.

So, our answer to that slogan should be: "We put a lot of MONEY into these phones. We hope you support them for more than just 2-3 years".
Originally Posted by magicpiano
So the manufacturer makes an update of the os that makes your "old" phone slower and more sluggish than before.
Making me very reluctant to purchase another iPhone. Lesson learned.
Originally Posted by wouter79
Maybe the question would better be like

Does the way humans are treated in manufacturing matter to you?

In many cases people are exploited in the manufacturing process. In some countries this happens more than in others. And the way these people are exploited is also different.

It's not really fair to assume any equivalence in manufacturing cost when compared to degree of exploitation (also that would be exploitation by the company, not the government, though in some cases they may be one and the same).

Capitalism across the world really isn't that different. Regardless of where the country of manufacturing is, the work labor cost is going to be proportional to the skillset required along with the cost of living.

I've visited tech factories in China and Korea. I would venture to say that none of the workers feel particularly exploited. They're quality of life is certainly well above poverty level for the area. Their cleanliness and efficiency is also quite impressive.

We're not exactly talking sweat shops and undocumented labor here with pianos.
Originally Posted by Melving
All this kind of stuff is pretty nuanced, though. One may say that people get the government that they deserve. True? Perhaps in a macro sense, but I have a friend both of whose parents died in the cultural revolution. I doubt he got what he deserved.

Having hung out with people from over there, the factory workers are people like anyone else, and I would also believe the article that I read, where an iphone factory worker said something to the effect of "We put a lot of work into these phones. We hope you value them."

There's more than just the government... And even the government is not all bad. Can you imagine trying to take care of a billion people? Trying to provide for their needs forty years from now?

Two cents on a very uncomfortable topic.

OT, but the world is far from being fair. There are three ways you can ask others to change: do nothing, punish, and encourage.

I do not want to discuss issues of China here - I am not Chinese, and form my opinion only from what I read and watch. And when, for example, I see how mainland Chinese fight with Hong Kong Chinese over who is right, I can have my own opinion, but I am not the right person to judge them. They have to resolve this, not me. This is what sovereignty mean.

If I prefer something not Chinese to Chinese - this is usually because of either higher quality, or because of some other product-related concerns (some of which can be influenced by specific actions of Chinese government or its control over Chinese businesses).

The same applies to any other country.

I try to avoid buying anything Russian, for example - any time I buy from Russian business mean that they pay more taxes to Russian government, and I do not want my money to fund the war they continue against Ukraine.
On a similar note (and I guess this one is not deserving a ban because it's based on non-negative emotions 😉), I had moments when I wanted to purchase goods from countries I respect. And recently that has been the US. I've never been there and I don't care much about the politics of US, however for the last 7 years or so I've been working for a big American IT company and I've been more than happy, it's my perfect job and it has also provided my income which is excellent. So, usually when having a choice between multiple products, I'd try choosing an American brand or product (of course after local ones). Expectedly this is as silly as boycotting products because in the same way Chinese doesn't mean cr*p, American doesn't mean good laugh And I've had my disappointments.

In a conclusion, country of manufacturing used to matter to me for various reasons. Not anymore. I'd rather test products, read reviews and decide based on the product alone.
Originally Posted by CyberGene
Expectedly this is as silly as boycotting products because in the same way Chinese doesn't mean cr*p, American doesn't mean good laugh And I've had my disappointments.

Yup, I'm fairly cynical when it comes to any notion of "good intentions" by any government, politics, or major corporations.

Here in the US, I find that we can be particularly ignorant and self righteous when viewing the world. One moment we can be joking about how North Korean propaganda depicts the US as poverty stricken, and then turn around and believe how the Chinese population is impoverished and exploited by their government.

We can have people complaining about China made products, then commenting the next moment about how you can buy everything you need from Amazon.

It's all just kind of ironic to me.

With acoustic pianos, currently, China just doesn't make anything with the same level of prestige that I would want to shop for in the future. With digital pianos, I'm not sure how much China can be avoided at a component level, but certainly there's less prestige associated with country of origin vs just the brand name prestige of tech components.
Originally Posted by rkzhao
Originally Posted by wouter79
Maybe the question would better be like

Does the way humans are treated in manufacturing matter to you?

In many cases people are exploited in the manufacturing process. In some countries this happens more than in others. And the way these people are exploited is also different.

It's not really fair to assume any equivalence in manufacturing cost when compared to degree of exploitation (also that would be exploitation by the company, not the government, though in some cases they may be one and the same).

Capitalism across the world really isn't that different. Regardless of where the country of manufacturing is, the work labor cost is going to be proportional to the skillset required along with the cost of living.

I've visited tech factories in China and Korea. I would venture to say that none of the workers feel particularly exploited. They're quality of life is certainly well above poverty level for the area. Their cleanliness and efficiency is also quite impressive.

We're not exactly talking sweat shops and undocumented labor here with pianos.


Sure capitalism is not free from investigation.

You also have to check if the factories you check are really representative. Where are the raw materials and components coming from; how are they treated.

Another problem looming then is, suppose you would boycott the factories that exploit their workforce. Would it help the workers, or would they even get deeper in the [censored]. There may be complex relations causing the situation. It may need a well coordinated investigation and actions to fix problems.
Originally Posted by wouter79
Sure capitalism is not free from investigation.

You also have to check if the factories you check are really representative. Where are the raw materials and components coming from; how are they treated.

Another problem looming then is, suppose you would boycott the factories that exploit their workforce. Would it help the workers, or would they even get deeper in the [censored]. There may be complex relations causing the situation. It may need a well coordinated investigation and actions to fix problems.

Having seen multiple factories in different countries, I would expect what I've seen to be fairly representative of my industry and factory conditions for that pay grade of work. I would certainly think it more representative than any potential western media depictions.

As for the Piano industry, there is a much higher profit margin per item involved than electronics. There is arguably also more specialize skill involved in manufacturing and finishing of a piano when compared to the mostly automated manufacturing world of electronics. Therefore, I would expect the working conditions to be no worse if not better.

I definitely agree that boycotts really don't solve much other than perhaps for personal gratification. Well, at least if the goal beyond just making the company lose money. I'm just going to look at US corporations since that's where my own experience reside. If a company loses profits, improving working conditions is the last thing on their minds.

They might look at it superficially as part of marketing and PR, but the main focus would be to look at how to cut costs, which normally means layoffs and moving more of the workforce overseas to find cheaper labor. Factories may close altogether and leave thousands of people unemployed with no real thought to their well being.
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