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 consideration.

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 and twisting.

  • 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.