CONSUMER INFORMATION GUIDE
According to the U.S. Department of Labor
applying average hourly labor rates to the typical number of man hours
required to build a grand piano in the United States labor cost was
$1,886.40. Compared to $931.20 in Japan and $195.20 in Korea. In addition
Korea has long enjoyed most favored nation status, giving the Korean
producers a greater cost advantage than the U.S. or Japanese producers.
It is a well established fact that all good
pianos will hold their value or will appreciate in value. The same fact
applies to the Korean piano of the present, any statement opposing this
view are usually born of competitors defeat and not worthy of
Buying a piano is a matter of eye and ear
combined, plus the character of the merchant who sells it, backed by the
manufacturer. The prospective buyer of a piano should deal with a local
dealer familiar with the instruments, and if he is honest and reliable you
may depend on what he tells you concerning them.
The three essentials to a good piano are tone,
touch, and durability. Next is the beauty of case design. The standard
cases are made of veneers of walnut, oak, fruitwood and pecan. Pianos such
as ebony, white, and ivory are very popular and easy to care for.
Durability is important. The manufacturers
warrantee covers that and the dealer will endorse the manufacturer.
If you are an aspiring artist or a professional musician, you should buy
the largest piano you have space for and the finest built in your own
estimation. The piano should have nothing less than complete artistic
capabilities. The extra cost will not amount to much when spread over the
years, and you will receive the extra benefit of owning and playing a
piano of superior quality.
On the other hand, pianos of lower cost are
more likely to be made out of lower cost materials and will be more
difficult to service or keep in tune. A piano requires skilled
craftsmanship and superior materials to build which takes years of
experience and know how to develop. A piano is a precision engineered
musical instrument. The strings are pulled to high tension (average 170
pounds per string, 220 strings, total tension, about 40,000 pounds of
tension, about the combined weight of nine full sized automobiles). The
back posts and cast iron plate work in concert to support this tremendous
tension of the strings.
The reasons why it is necessary to have the
strongest structure possible to support string tension is:
To prevent the back of the piano from warping
To enable the piano to stay in tune.
Without this solidarity in the structure the
many parts of the piano could not function properly.
We have examined the various materials used in
each piano and the manner in which they are used. We have subjected each
piano to various tests in tone and touch, and we have judged the
aesthetics of the outer case and inner workings of each instrument by
actual inspection of production models on dealer floors, as well as the
critical analysis of the published specifications and general information
provided in manufacturers brochures. All of these factors have been
considered in this analysis of pianos sold in the United States.