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Estonia Pianos
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Joined: Aug 2011
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As others have already alluded, quality materials need to be followed by quality workmanship. Hailun and other Chinese, and also Japanese manufactures are proof of this. A quick research of materials used in Hailun's work on the Cunningham line will show the use of quality materials acquired from different areas of the world. For instance, Able hammers are used in all Cunningham grands.

If you have the time, IM Rich Galassini. Rich is actively involved in the design and manufacture of the Cunningham Pianos and can give you up to date information.



"Imagine it in all its primatic colorings, its counterpart in our souls - our souls that are great pianos whose strings, of honey and of steel, the divisions of the rainbow set twanging, loosing on the air great novels of adventure!" - William Carlos Williams
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Originally Posted by Ed Foote

greetings,
I have to add that my '71 Bonneville went over 75,000 miles without an electrical failure. It did shed nuts and bolts, leaked oil, vibrated, and wore out internal tensioners, but the electrics were fine. That is not true of the MGA I found in my life for a while.


The Bonneville was never out in the rain?

While I kept a pan under it to catch the oil while it was parked, the only part that came off my Bonnie was the front fender. When the fender came off it locked up the front wheel. It wasn't pretty.

When it was actually running properly, that Bonneville was a thing of beauty.

Sorry for the OT.


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My experience with German parts is restricted to Chinese made pianos which had experimented with different type hammers, strings and felting in past.

I'm not speaking for everybody including the rebuilding industry.
Which in fact regularly points out their "use of German made parts & components"...

I have since come to the conviction that in each single case I have experienced, a piano's sound greatly benefited using German Renner or Able hammers - instead of others. In fact, in those case where German [Renner] hammers had earlier been used and were later exchanged with others, the drop in tone quality was quite pronounced.

At same time it has always disturbed me that some makers choose different parts and components in their lower priced,i.e. smaller pianos, yet suddenly change things as you go up the ladder. With salesmen in the most cases not instructing customers of this fact - as long as those of course kept looking at the cheaper models....

Coming to mind is one particular maker who proudly pointed out to everyone that their pianos "used a Renner action" when in fact only their 9' and 7' grands did.
[ Non-Chinese] Some dealers here may recognize who I'm talking about...

This and related issues has been the reason why we chose to exchange one particular make with Ritmuller a few years back - a make which does not present this conundrum.

I had discussed this issue with manufacturers [and their designers..] before and there was surprisingly not too much disagreement on the matter. Coincidence?

In the end it simply boiled down to cost of manufacture. In my own mind this was the wrong way of saving things. It had greatly affected tone. Several others shared this opinion but where not always in the position of making decisions.

Interestingly enough and according to my information, Yamaha apparently offers an upright line of pianos in Europe using "European" - not Japanese hammers, bass strings or soundboards.

This appears to be relating to their highest praised and most expensive uprights.

Reasons for this appear to be related to 'European tone ideal' and related questions of traditional Euro workmanship.

"Symbiosis of Japanese heart and European soul"

I like that!

Norbert thumb

Last edited by Norbert; 09/08/16 05:07 PM.

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Originally Posted by Norbert
Interestingly enough and according to my information, Yamaha apparently offers a line in Europe using German, not Japanese hammers.

It happens to be in some of their most expensive models.

Reason for this shall be concluded by others.


I'd really love to know more about this. I have never heard this. Do they charge more for the units with German hammers?

Last edited by look_alive; 09/08/16 02:25 PM.

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This seems to be their top rated piano:

http://de.yamaha.com/de/products/mu...prightpianos/se/?mode=series#tab=feature

Specifically:

"Im Inneren der Instrumente verbergen sich europäische Materialien von höchster Qualität: Speziell ausgewählte Basssaiten und Hämmer sowie Resonanzböden."


"In the inside European parts are used of highest quality: specially selected bass strings, hammers and soundboards."

Doubting those are Czech made.

Norbert

Last edited by Norbert; 09/08/16 02:47 PM.

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Not exclusive to Europe is the YUS-series, YUS1, YUS3, YUS5 that use either German or German felted hammers, European strings. I understand the SU-series uses these and European spruce soundboards. The S-series grands use European spruce soundboards and I believe some other European components. In all cases, the models that Yamaha chooses to incorporate European components are their top or nearly top series, not the standard production models that most of the public is familiar with.

We recently sold a late-model Yamaha S4 that included many of these European components, however it must be clear that the piano also showed better construction and craftsmanship in many areas that made the piano better, not just the inclusion of select, premium components/materials. How do you assign credit for the combined result? Which should you give more weight to? The S4 definitely outperformed comparably sized C3/C5 with fuller tone, better sustain, and greater tonal change.


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If a manufacturer is building more "labor intense" pianos and at same time include using more expensive, higher up parts and components, it would be a waste of time if the outcome would not be any better from regular stock.

It does not make "European" parts [too shy to say 'German'? blush ] automatically better but it sure shows a trend.

Unless virtually all pianos in tier 1 and many in tier 2 have it wrong.

Coincidence?

It's funny that in no other part of the world [including Japan..] this discussion is even taking place.

Of course it's always nice to challenge something well established or otherwise taken for granted.....

Norbert wink

Last edited by Norbert; 09/08/16 05:09 PM.

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Originally Posted by Norbert

Interestingly enough and according to my information, Yamaha apparently offers an upright line of pianos in Europe using "European" - not Japanese hammers, bass strings or soundboards.

This appears to be relating to their highest praised and most expensive uprights.

Reasons for this appear to be related to 'European tone ideal' and related questions of traditional Euro workmanship.

"Symbiosis of Japanese heart and European soul"

I like that!

Norbert thumb


Yes they do, the SE series pianos are offered here in Europe, sold as a mix of Jappanese precision with a more European sound. Bass strings are us I understand it the same as the Bosendorfer uprights, with Renner hammers.

I tried several when i was searching for a piano, and they're pretty nice. Price wise they're pitched above the YUS5, but below the SU7, and have a mellower tone. I seriously considered one, but in the end felt it was neither one thing nor the other. It didn't have quite the depth of a top European upright, but also that "punch" that you often get from a Yamaha.

In the end I went for a YUS5, largely on the very honest advice of the deale who suggested that he could get a YUS5 sounding just as good as an SE132. The piano in my living room agrees with him, as it's voiced fairly mellow while maintaining that little bit of bite in it.

Of course the YUS also apparently has some German components, particularly the strings, and the hammer felt is the same as the SU7 (not sure if this is German or not). What I will say is that both the SE132 and YUS5 are imho a world away from a "standard" U3 sound wise, despite as I understand it being based on the same frame. And each instrument has it's own character tone wise.

So certainly the quality of components used clearly has a big difference to the sound, even when other factors are broadly similar. But perhaps looking at the Yamaha example, it's the quality of those components that matters rather than where they are from (albeit the two are often linked.

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Quote
. In all cases, the models that Yamaha chooses to incorporate European components are their top or nearly top series, not the standard production models that most of the public is familiar with.


"European components"

Never understand why the word "German" seems being so carefully avoided.

Leading to a possible [undesirable..] conclusion that others are perhaps building as good or even better parts and components to obtain maximum tone quality?

Of course they could also be made somewhere near the Ural...

Norbert


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