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Estonia Pianos
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Originally Posted by pilgrimjoel
Is there a consensus that Steinway NY and Estonia belong in the same group? I seriously doubt it.


And all the Steinway dealers agree with you. grin

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I posted this a while ago on the digital forum cautioning Alden Skinner against using ratings tables for digitals. I have no wish to actively participate in these acoustics ratings debates, but I thought I'd toss this in here just to keep the fire stoked (while running away with my tail tucked grin). IMO the Steinway recipe popcorn has a flavor that others can't match....easily on a par with Madly Pop'n Gourmet brand.

" Third There is the matter of instrument owners. Piano Forum history over the last few years has proven conclusively that each time Larry rolls out a new ratings table, a lively debate ensues among brand-concscious owners. Actually, even the period preceding the rollout is a time for many members to salivate as they gird for battle. I guess it's a bit like a sports league where competitive matches produce standings, except that competitive matches among piano brands are lacking and Larry's tables become the standings instead (even though I'm sure that is not his intent).

This phenomenon is occurring right now in the Piano Forum. A line overlooked (Yamaha S) is a lover spurned; the oversight is an atrocity really grin. A brand forced to keep company with less prestigious members (NY Steinway) is seen to have been slighted. This sentiment hasn't been expressed and debated yet, but trust me, it will (in spades). An upbeat positive view of pianos from China will bring a Mona Lisa smile to the faces of their owners, but won't satisfy the lust for more. This is already evident. Simply put, ratings are ultimately divisive and you can't win.

Finally The dealers. Larry's ratings tables in whatever form he places them have always been and will continue to be seized on by dealers in an attempt to exploit them far beyond Larry's intent. In the piano forum, dealers who stock brands that have fared well will offer disingenuoous and gratuitious congratulations to him in public posts telling him what a stellar effort his latest publication is (nauseating but true / check it out grin) Then they will build on their drooping bouquets to Larry by adding encomiums to their own inventory. In retail shops all across the US, promotional materials will be prepared and house sales pros trained to distort the ratings beyond all reason.

You must ask yourself: "How stong is your stomach"? grin






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Originally Posted by turandot

"Then they will build on their drooping bouquets to Larry by adding encomiums to their own inventory."

Ah, Turandot, you missed your calling! Such writing, such lofty prose, such witty turns of phrase...you should be writing for the New Yorker. smile


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I guess I need to rush out and buy a Fine book so I know how I should feel about my piano this year! :rolleyes:

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Darn! Another word I have to look up.

PS - Oops, The Journey slipped while I was on dictionary.com. I was referring to Turandot's post. CT

Last edited by ChasT; 08/21/09 03:53 PM.
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Originally Posted by theJourney
I guess I need to rush out and buy a Fine book so I know how I should feel about my piano this year! :rolleyes:

No need to rush out...it's only a mouse click away: Piano Buyer


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Originally Posted by theJourney
I guess I need to rush out and buy a Fine book so I know how I should feel about my piano this year! :rolleyes:


For the record: I don't own any of the pianos under discussion. We have a C3, and we're fine with where it is situated in Fine's list. The S-series is an entirely different instrument. In our experience, the S-series is better than an Estonia, but it is definitely as good in build and quality.

I wonder: If Estonia had an Asian name, where would it be? If the S-series had a European name....?

Okay, that's unfair. The book is a great resource, and one omission can be easily corrected. However, this is a great opportunity to give credit to a high quality Asian piano.

(If Fine feels the S is between group 2 and 3, then make another group. If he's worried about people making too much of this -- and seeing greater difference than there is -- then use 1A and 1B, 2A and 2B -- which is sort of done with the consumer pianos anyway.)

I do worry about Estonia dealers exploiting this -- telling buyers that Estonia is now Steinway, etc. -- and you can definitely expect Estonia prices to go up.

(Honestly, I was amazed how competitive they were with the C-series. I seriously doubt that will continue.)

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Oh, come on Yamaha lovers. It'll be okay. Everyone knows they are wonderful pianos. Look, Fine completely left Baldwin out of the ratings. You don't hear anyone complaining about that do you? I think I know why he left out Baldwin, though. The new Chinese Baldwins really don't have a track record yet, and there are so few Baldwin dealers left that no one really knows where they fit in.

Relax and enjoy your pianos be they Yamaha or not. grin


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Originally Posted by pilgrimjoel
I wonder: If Estonia had an Asian name, where would it be? If the S-series had a European name....?


That is a good question!


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Originally Posted by TX-Dennis
... Fine completely left Baldwin out of the ratings. You don't hear anyone complaining about that do you? I think I know why he left out Baldwin, though. ...


It is OK he leaves out some brands, but at least he should explain in the book why some major brands are left out. So when people read they know it is intentional not an oversight.


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Originally Posted by jazzyprof
Originally Posted by turandot

"Then they will build on their drooping bouquets to Larry by adding encomiums to their own inventory."

Ah, Turandot, you missed your calling! Such writing, such lofty prose, such witty turns of phrase...you should be writing for the New Yorker. smile


+1 grin You're too good for the NY Times.

Turandot -- what you said is sooo true!

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I still haven't figured out what the deal is with Ibach. It seems like there are German ones that are still made, but perhaps not imported to the US, and "budget" ones with the Ibach name. I've only seen the latter.

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There are no Ibachs being made anymore. I think they stopped production in 2007. The "real" ones from Germany say RUD. IBACH SOHNE on the plate and sound and play as good as *any* of the best tier one instruments. The "fake" ones, I believe, were made in Korea(?). I'm not sure if they are still in production. Ibach (up until they closed their doors) was the oldest piano company in the world. Sad that their gone.....


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I don't know why Beethoven dumped an Ibach question here, but anyway. Adrean is correct that they shut down, but it wasn't that long ago, so there may still be a few new ones available in European retail shops. The inglorious end in the US was a result of disastrous marketing. They were attempting to sell wild artcase models to interior designers through an office in Las Vegas. That was it, no normal distribution channel.

Adrean,

Those Korean cheapos (through Daewoo I believe) were not exactly 'fake'. Ibach contracted for them, probably another marketing mistake.

I agree with your on the European ones....nothing finer.


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Originally Posted by Konzert Patrick
Larry Fine is not the holy grail people.

If you own a Yamaha S series, be proud and enjoy it smile
It does not matter how it is rated! Japanese pianos don't excite Mr Fine anyway......



(If only I could have a C3 I would be more then happy wink )




The Yamaha S series is brilliant! I have an S400B which is mind-blowing, better than any piano I have ever played regularly, other than a Steinway Hamburg B and a Grotrian-Steinweg I played in the 90s.

I have always found Mr. Fine's book rather suspect concerning his piano ratings, the care section is ok, but I wouldn't make a decision based on his book when buying a piano. He rates some pianos as good that are considered PSOs (piano shaped objects) by any qualified technician, blows the trumpet for all the obvious instruments, and misses some real gems that he either doesn't know, has a prejudice against, or is persuaded to suppress for unknown reasons. His book is considered the piano buyer's bible because it has no competition.

If you are a musician and have been around pianos all your life, you know good, from bad, from great. You do not need a book. If you are new to the piano world, find a well qualified technician (don't just look up anybody who is a guild member, it is not all that difficult to get in) get recommendations from professional pianists.

I don't mean to sound unduly insulting to Mr. Fine, but his book is very inconsistent. As I said it can give you a good idea of how to care for an instrument, but it is only marginally helpful when helping someone select a new or used piano. Do yourself a favor and find a great tech recommended by a pro. ALSO, do not talk to dealers, do not talk to dealers, and, have I mentioned, do not talk to dealers! :-) In my experience piano dealers make used car salesmen look like saints, especially since the piano market has tanked. I went into many stores in my state and did not identify myself at all and was shocked and appalled by the nonsense and lies, not to mention the number of poorly restored instruments being touted as "wonderful," including tons of gray market Asian pianos. BE very careful if you go the dealer route.

These are my opinions, I'm a professional musician, not a sales person, not a tech, and have no interest in persuading anyone in any direction other than finding a great piano and making great music!

M

Last edited by MPC; 08/11/13 12:44 AM.

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MPC, What dealers have you've talked to. I've been doing tech work for dealers in the Philly area for 25 years and have never found a sales rep who isn't very careful with what they say about pianos.

Actually, the most knowlegable people I know are sales reps.




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Originally Posted by Dave B
MPC, What dealers have you've talked to. I've been doing tech work for dealers in the Philly area for 25 years and have never found a sales rep who isn't very careful with what they say about pianos.

Actually, the most knowlegable people I know are sales reps.




You're a lucky man then. I grew up in NYC (born near Philly) and now live in Minneapolis. The Twin Cities is the WORST market for a piano in the country. Highest prices, poor maintenance, unscrupulous people! I lucked out buying privately from a retired artist.

I won't disagree with the idea that salespeople can be honest and a good source of accurate information, I've just never met one who put his interested above that of the customer.

M


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Hi MPC,

I, too, share your high opinion of the Yamaha "S". I've only been able to play 4 or 5 of them over the last 30 years, but each one was a magnificent instrument that had qualities one would be hard pressed to find in any but the very best pianos from other makers.

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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Hi MPC,

I, too, share your high opinion of the Yamaha "S". I've only been able to play 4 or 5 of them over the last 30 years, but each one was a magnificent instrument that had qualities one would be hard pressed to find in any but the very best pianos from other makers.


Ya know, you liked you right from the start, Greg! Glad we agree on this. I think they are quite unique instruments, and I am well aware the "Yamaha" and "unique" don't generally make sense in the same sentence, but the S and CF series are a completely different thing.

Mike (by the way, I changed my user name to Gesualdo I(one of my fav composers!).

Mike

Last edited by Gesualdo; 08/11/13 08:27 PM.

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