Monday, November 30, 2009
Where are acoustic pianos made?
By Tim Praskins
People ask me all the time "where is the piano made and is that important?" The answer to that questions is "it depends on many things." In today's world wide economy, it's not really important as to WHERE they are made as to WHO is making them and HOW they are being made. A good piano is a good piano, no matter where they are made. That's also true for cars, boats, houses, buildings, etc. If the construction of a product and the conditions surrounding the construction are at certain levels of quality and standards, then it doesn't matter whether it's made in Germany, Argentina, India, Japan, China, or the US.
It is true that certain countries have had a longer history of building or producing specific products like pianos or music instruments in general. And because of their history, certain manufacturers have a better reputation than others. That would be true with any product. But as far as WHERE something is made, the location by itself is not a reliable indicator of quality.
In today's piano world, the consumer demand for high quality products at low prices is driving the need to produce pianos in places where that can happen. I for one would like to see ALL pianos and musical instruments in general made in the US so we can better support our economy. But unfortunately, the consumer wants something for nothing...as always. So the piano companies continue to look for ways to bring down prices. You can do that with cheaper labor and low material costs.
However when you reduce the labor costs, you do risk reducing the quality of the laborer. Likewise when you reduce material costs, you risk reducing the quality of materials. The real trick is for a piano maker to produce a piano that is a high quality instrument at a low price. To do this, pianos companies such as Yamaha & Kawai have started producing pianos in countries such as China so their costs for labor and buildings can be reduced and they can offer a product for less money. Yamaha has built it's own factory in China and Kawai outsources some of their pianos to a well known and respected Chinese piano manufacturer. Steinway piano company uses a Chinese manufacturer to produce their Essex piano brand. So NO company is immune from trying to lower piano manufacturing costs while still trying to offer a good quality product.
I will say though that there are some piano makers that still have a long way to go in producing pianos that consistently offer high quality results. Also when a piano buyer is looking for a piano, just because it's got a pretty cabinet and plays loud does not mean it plays well or will last a long time without problems. There are definitely things to look for when wanting to purchase a piano, and the price you pay is only one of the many things that needs to be considered. Have you ever heard of the saying "you don't get something for nothing?" Well that's true although you could still get something for nothing, but you might have been better off having nothing:) If you want to know more and you live in the state of Arizona, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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