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Thanks, C.Y.

With some help from your link and a Chinese-speaking friend, we think the answer is:

"Hi-loon" with a short "Hi"

-- Brad

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Originally Posted by Norbert
fingers:

Nice try - but no fortune-telling here.

If more dealers would be players themselves plus have an interest to examine some of the new product on the market more from a pianistic point of view - instead of having only business in mind relying on established names - they would perhaps have come to a similiar conclusion.

Add to this today's economy and the strong consumer quest for good quality product at affordable price - and it all starts to make a lot of sense.

Times are surely a'changing...

It's not rocket science.

Norbert


Norbert is obviously referring to the rebirth of the Ellenburg brand wink

Congrats Brad on your new piano! Only thing better than scoring a new piano is feeling that you got great value for it.

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The 3 week update:

We still love the 178. It has held its tune well, and I continue to be impressed with the overall fit and finish and, most importantly, the sound. Some who have heard it describe the tone as "strong" or "bright", but I would still stick with "bell-like" with very long sustain. I still like the power yet clarity in the base as well. I am sensitive to harsh treble, and it certainly isn't harsh. A number of people have been surprised by the volume produced by the 5'10" size.

We have had a few minor new piano problems. The only one worth mentioning is that the dampers are sticky because the damper wires are hanging up on the felt bushings. During the first tech visit, he applied some solution (alcohol?) to the wires, and it worked fine for only a day. During the second visit, he pulled the action and cleaned the dust from the damper wires and tampered down the felt, and it worked fine for another day.

Yesterday, Kieran himself came out to take a look. His bet is the recent wet/cool weather led to high humidity causing some tightening in the bushings. He pulled the dampers and tampered down the felt again with a smooth tapered rod. I had a Dampp-Chaser installed (I wanted it all along), and temporarily added a room dehumidifier. He was hesitant about being more aggressive about reaming the bushings to remove felt at this point and prefers to address this conservatively, and I agreed. Sticky dampers seem to be a common new piano issue regardless of brand.

I also hear a slight whooshing sound when the sustain pedal is depressed as the dampers strum the strings a bit when rising. The techs said that this should improve with time as the damper felts wear in. I think that I am probably extra sensitive to this because it doesn't happen with digital pianos, and our room is fairly small and very quiet.

So, at the 3 week mark, I am happy with the choice. I don't know if this has been mentioned in the forums before, but the warranty on the Hailun is 15 years parts and labor, lifetime on parts, and it is transferable. Yes, I know about all the debates on long warranties, but this was a purchase consideration.

-- Brad

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Brad,

Interesting post. Hope your damper situation straightens out. My HG 178 has been in my house now for about 10 weeks. Like you, I moved from a digital (Roland FP-5) to the grand acoustic. I do recall something odd about the dampers when I first played the instrument, but don't notice anything now and don't remember what it was. Of course, like you I was comparing it to the damper on the digital instrument.

I plan on waiting another 6 to 10 weeks before having the dealer tune, voice, and generally check over the instrument.

So far, like you, I am impressed. I agree that it has a lot of volume and treble-clarity.

Hop


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Congratulations on your Hailun grand. I also thank you for giving us an update. It sounds like you bought it from a very good dealer. Here in Texas we have never had this problem with Hailun. It does sound like the high humidity in your area this summer is causing the felt to swell and the bushings need to be reworked. I'm sure that this will soon be fixed.


Bluthner, Steingraeber, Pleyel, Hailun, Kemble, Baldwin, Story and Clark, Pearl River, Ritmuller and others (store owner)www.encore-pianos.com
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Thought I'd chime in here and give my impression of the Hailun 178 (only had a chance to try 1 example). A couple of weeks ago, I attended a music auction and decided to stop into one of the local piano dealers. This particular dealer specializes in Steinway rebuilds, used Yamaha and is the rep for Ritmuller. I tried pretty much everything in the store and while jumping from one Steinway to another noticed that they had a Hailun 178 at the back. The dealer was really pushing the Steinways but suggested I try the Hailun for comparison (I think he was trying to demonstrate the extra value the Steinway brings to justify the huge difference in price).

No comments on the Steinways other than there was a D that was absolutely marvelous but I wouldn't give the others a second chance. Back to the Hailun; the first think I noticed was what I considered some obvious and significant woodworking defects on the fallboard (both underside and top). When I pointed these out to the dealer he seemed to indicate that no one had noticed these before but now that I'd pointed them out, it was really bugging him. The rest of the case, rim, lid, etc was well done but not in the same class as some of the Yamaha C's he had on the floor. Yamaha has truly perfected the PE finish (like glass).

In all honesty, given the obviously defective fallboard and lack of quality control, I wasn't expecting much from the instrument in terms of sound and touch. Was I in for a shock!!! This instrument sound VERY nice and the action was fantastic.

Compared to the Ritmuller's he had (which to my ears sounded tinny in the treble and lacking growl in the bass), this piano was clearly the best. Actually I would take this specific example over any of the Yamaha C's he had with the exception of a rather nice C7 and mildly voiced C3.

My thoughts coming away from this particular visit was that I would be happy to have this piano in my home for practice BUT the defective woodworking/finish work has me concerned that there could be other (hidden) QC issues that could come up later. At the price, I'd be more than willing to take the gamble. My tech has finally declared our decrepit Hardman Peck as ready for the grave, so this Hailun is now on the short list for the replacement even though my budget is much higher.

Overall, I would rate this piano (based on my sample of one) as an excellent buy for the money; assuming that the QC issue with the woodwork and finish is a fluke.

Rodney

Last edited by Rodney; 06/18/09 04:44 PM.
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Rodney,

I tried that Hailun 178 you mentiond in that store when it just arrived (after the prep). I did notice the defects on the fallboard you talked about. And I agree with you, the action was very smooth and the tone was sweet to my surprise. With that price, it is a very good piano for practice.

Hope that Hailun will pay more attention to the details in woodworking.

Regards.


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"...Back to the Hailun; the first think I noticed was what I considered some obvious and significant woodworking defects on the fallboard (both underside and top)..."

It can happen. I saw a Charles Walter the other day with a "drool" of stain running down the fallboard. (I was surprised, as you were, that it got past QC.) The same day, I saw an expensive German model with a flaw in the finish of the case, too deep, the dealer told me the refinishers had said, to really fix. "Nothing made by human hands is perfect," she remarked.

Too true; it would be inhuman. Certainly true of my human hands.

But, if it comes to it, there's nothing easier to replace outright than a fallboard. If you didn't like the sound of the piano, that would be a lot harder to fix. But I would imagine the fallboard is made separately and put on last, and they probably pay much more strict attention to the more important parts.


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I can't compare the overall finish quality with Yamaha, and I am dealing with a Hailun sample size of one. But speaking as a hobbyist woodworker who has gone over every square inch of the piano, top and bottom, over the last 3 weeks, I found zero finish/workmanship defects.

Having said this, if I look very closely, the finish isn't a perfect mirror in some areas around the rim (it is much easier to flatten a finish in flat areas than curved areas), but I think it isn't discernible to the casual viewer and is not something I would consider a defect, considering the price range. I would probably view this differently if it were a $50K+ piano.

The fallboard easily comes out by removing a screw on each side, and for the above piano, I would certainly expect it to be repaired or replaced prior to purchase.

-- Brad

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The above is correct, fallboards and similiar parts are easily exchanged.

I am not totally sure but heard that certain case parts such as fallboards are not even made by Hailun, in any case they are totally exchangeable.

Such fault would most definitely be covered by warranty, the dealer most likely surely would have ordered a new fallbaord by now.

Thank you for your report and your honesty.

Dealer like us who have chosen Hailun appreciate these type reports as, at least in our case, we are sincere in trying to offer lines that have a certain edge on the market today.

It's nice to hear that there is an increasing number of people reporting to have come to similiar conclusions after playing this piano.

Especially musically speaking....

Norbert


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My 10 week old HG 178 is not perfect either. I noticed some very minor flaws in the finish somewhere. When I just tried to describe them here, I can't find them! Darn! (I'll keep looking for them).

I also had a problem with the bench. At first, it looked like one of the buttons was disentegrating. Upon further examination, somehow a foreign substance (aspirin? sand?) had found its way into the recessed are of the bench. After cleaning it out, I found the bench to be fine.

As for the tone and touch: Mah-velous!

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Congrats Brad!

I just checked out some Hailuns at Nick's Piano in FL yesterday and was supremely impressed (161G, a standard 178 and a beautiful burled 178B). Then Nick brought me to the back to play a Hailun HG218 and I was completely floored! The sound of each of these pianos is simply gorgeous. When I started to play the 218 I just started to giggle - I don't know how else to put it!

I am still doing a little shopping around/researching, but after hearing the Hailuns I wholly agree with the rest of the folks on this forum that appreciate how good these pianos are!

Regards,
Ryan


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Hailun, Hailun, Hailun.

We must have been out of our mind when we dicovered this brand a while back and immediately became dealer....

Norbert


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Just a calming, down to earth message to pw readers.

We have been selling Hailun products, under the Wendl & Lung name for 5 years. They are very good value for money pianos, but they are, in my opinion, being over-hyped by some parties. They need a lot of dealer prepping to bring out the best in them and more aftersales work than Yamaha and Kawai (and I don't even sell Kawai any more) to keep a customer 100% happy. The tone is excellent, the touch is good and the finishing is acceptable for the price. Yes, they are good, but they are not the holy grail.


Chris Venables
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I do my own prep work on all of my pianos, including Hailun.

I do not have the same experience related in the previous post which suggested that the Hailuns need a lot of prep work and after sale work.

The Hailuns have very good designs and build quality.

Sometimes there are some minor cosmetic issues, but these can be addressed quite easily.

I recently unboxed a new 178 which had zero cosmetic issues (I'm very picky) and the piano didn't even need to be voiced. It sounded gorgeous after just the first tuning.

And the customer who already bought it certainly agrees.

Perhaps customers in the US are more impressed with Hailun's value for the dollar than those in the UK?

Thanks,

Nick


Nick's Piano Showroom
Naples, Fort Myers, & Sarasota, FL
New Estonia, Mason & Hamlin, Kawai, Brodmann & Ritmuller
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I agree with Chris and Nick.Being one of the first Hailun dealers in the USA from the beginning,I thought it a great piano in it's relative pricepoint and still feel that way. "What should I buy,this 30 year old Yamaha G2 or 30 year old Kawai KG2 or...a brand new Hailun 178. Theres a big difference in BRAND NEW vrs. 30 years old. Now if you're gonna try and compare a 218 to a righteous Steinway B or a 178 to a righteous Steinway O. Let's get real! Now I said righteous! wink

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Originally Posted by pianobroker
I agree with Chris and Nick.


Kind of hard to agree with both in this instance, no?


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Well I sealed the deal with Nick today for the HG218 that I played on Saturday. Nick was even able to squeeze me in for a delivery this Wednesday. WooHoo, great to have a 3 day weekend to break it in!

I'll send pictures and my first report on it after I give it a go Wednesday afternoon. I can't wait to hear that smooth low-end growl in my living room...

To Chris, I don't know how much prep these pianos require (or not) to sound good. If they do, Nick must be more than up to the task. Neither will I claim that any of these pianos are on par with the Tier 1 brands, but I gotta say, I've visited enough Tier 2 and 3 showrooms in my life and have played long enough to appreciate how musical these Hailun grands sound. The 218 especially sounds as sweet as anything that I've ever played! I am no spin-doctor or have an agenda, I'm just a lackey consumer about to take delivery of a piano I thought I could only experience in showroom test drives. I just wish Nick had a 198 in stock to compare against (aesthetically it would have been a better option for our space). Ce la vie, I guess we'll just make due wink

More posts on the 218 to follow shortly!

Thanks to those keeping it real,
Ryan

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Ryan: I think you have made a very wise purchase - without wanting to re-hype the situation, I haven't come across a grand that size, for its price in the UK anyway, (I don't know what you pay in FL) which is as good - or aesthetically as beautiful. We keep one on the floor here and it is admired by all.

I am sure Nick will do a first class job in the prepping and after sales too.


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I'll throw my nickels worth into the Hailun mix here. I think our shop is the one referred to by Rodney and others.
Re: Fallboard problems. We have ordered a new fallboard to replace the bad one on the 178. We are quite picky when it comes to cosmetic issues like this and was quite surprised to see the problems develop on our 178. After Rodney (I think) pointed out the defect I went through the rest of the piano and found all else was fine. Strange thing was I am 99% sure fallboard was OK when we first got this particular instrument. Overall our experience on fit and finish has been quite good.

Re Prep: Our main tech did our initial prep on the Hailun's when they first arrived. The Hailun over-all was quite well prepped at the factory. Our tech was impressed! Having said that I do have to add that the 178 did benefit from the touch of a good tech, but that applies to every single piano ever made.

Re: Performance! Considering the price, the 178 is in my opinion a big-time bargain! BUT we arrive at personal preference and prejudice being the deciding factor. We have had many pianists try the 178 and while most people are impressed the majority of our customers purchased Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway etc. There still is a strong prejudice against Chinese pianos. I look forward to the day when a piano is judged on it's performance, quality of construction, and value, as opposed to country of manufacture. I am old enough to remember when the majority of piano dealers referred to Yamaha and Kawai as being nothing but "Cheap Japanese Garbage" How wrong they were!

From Rodney's comments, it appears I was guilty of letting my personal preferences get in the way. I have always been a huge fan of Steinway's having grown up with a New York M in our living room. My dad played French Horn for the Toronto Symphony, and our first piano was an upright Heintzman that we liked very much. When the Steinway made it's way into our living room, my dad was in heaven when he sat and played. Even after weeks of TSO performances, he still would get home and play the M into the wee hours of the morning. It seemed to me that he and the Steinway did the equivalent of a Vulcan mind merge, they became one and the result was nothing short of magical! My apologies for being seen to "push" the Steinway. Our job as industry professionals is to help get the instrument best suited to our customers wishes, and not to our own personal preferences.

Here I will throw in a shameless plug! We received our first shipments of the new Ritmuller pianos made by Pearl River last month. While I was always impressed by Pearl River's regular line when you considered "Bang for the Buck", I would never consider them to be a serious performance level instrument. The new Ritmuller has radically altered that perception. I consider them to have raised the bar to a new level, and would rate them as the best I have seen from China. Again however that's my personal opinion. Each to their own, but very definitely we have been seeing much, much better instruments coming from China. Hailun and Ritmuller being 2 examples. I think it's largely a point of the Chinese companies deciding to pursue better quality as opposed to the original philosophy that seemed to be the norm.
A few years ago the reps would show up at our door pushing the various lines with the comment, "But why won't you buy our pianos, they're $500 cheaper than what you have now?" Now they can really claim that they sell superior quality instruments and the great price is an added bonus. More power to all of these enlightened manufacturers. It's the magic of the music dummy! NOT who sells the cheapest product.


Ray
www.pianokeyboard.com
Toronto area dealer for Rieger Kloss, Ritmuller, Pre-Owned Steinway, Yamaha, Kawai,
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