Do you get the value that you paid for?

This thread on PW is about problems that a PW member in Singapore is having with his/her Brodmann BG187 grand piano. I’m always upset when I hear of people paying good money for a supposedly value-for-money piano, and then not getting the value that they paid for.

The danger of buying a mass-produced piano is that QA levels in the factory are lower than in a low-volume manufacturer like Sauter, Grotrian, Bluthner, Boesendorfer, or Steingraeber. The high-volume manufacturer’s expectation is that the dealer becomes an extension of the manufacturing process, providing the finishing and final prep that would normally done by a low-volume manufacturer in the factory. If the dealer either doesn’t want to (or is not capable of) doing that work then the buyer ends up with a piano that is not close to what it can be.

Admittedly the money that the dealer must spend to prep a piano before delivery eats into their thin margins. So most dealers just give their pianos a quick tune and polish and shove them out the door. How much time and money is needed after that to get the piano to approach its full capability depends on the manufacturer. You’ll likely suffer less pain with the likes of Yamaha and Kawai and others who have reasonably high QA standards despite being high-volume piano manufacturers.

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