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  • PRICES SPECIFICATIONS RATINGS HOW TO BUY

    LARRY FINEALDEN SKINNER

    PIA

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    FALL 2009 Supplement to

    THE PIANO BOOK

    PIANO BUYER

    The Definitive Guide to Buying New, Used, and Restored Pianos

    Editors

  • Altogether different. Totally familiar. The YamahaAvantGrand hybrid piano forms a physical bond with you, a visceralconnection that vibrates through your fingers, feet, and soul. This essential acoustic

    sensation has completely eluded digital pianosuntil now. To reproduce it,

    Yamaha pioneered breakthrough technologies that deliver a completely

    professional performance. With its elegant compact design,

    expressive acoustic touch, natural concert piano tone, and

    genuine soundboard resonance, playing the Avant-

    Grand is a thrilling experience. Feel it at

    a local Yamaha Pianos dealer.

    www.avant-grand.com

    Giving out good vibrations.

    KAVG003 AvantGrand Piano Buyer:Layout 2 4/28/09 4:50 PM Page 1

  • Welcome to the premiere issue of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, the new supplement to The Piano Book. For readers unfamiliar with it, The Piano Book, of which I am author, has been the principal consumer guide to buying an acoustic piano in the United States and Canada since 1987. The current, fourth edition was published in 2001. An Annual Supple-ment has been published each year to keep the information on brands, models, and prices of new pianos up to date.

    the Model & Pricing Guide sec-tion of the online edition.

    As longtime readers know, one of the hallmarks of The Piano Bookand the Annual Supplement has been their editorial indepen dence, which was possible in part because they were entirely supported by book sales, not advertising. Why the change, then, to an advertising-based business model? How will it affect the edito-rial direction of the new publica-tion? Fair questions, both.

    The Internet has brought changes to many businesses and activities, none more than those related to the dissemination of consumer informa-tion. The change there is that, now, consumers all too often expect in-formation to be provided free of charge. Unfortunately, to publish this infor mation with the integrity and accuracy that my conscience de-mands requires several months of my time each year and thousands of dollars worth of staff time, which the revenue from book sales does not suffi ciently cover. This is made ever more diffi cult when others ille-gally copy the material and publish it for their own purposes on their own websitesanother by-product of the Internet. In order to continue publishing, therefore, it has been necessary to seek out another, more viable business model.

    When I began publishing more than 20 years ago, so many brands and models of new piano had so many defects in design and manu-facturing that it would not have been possible to accept advertis-ing and still tell the truth. Over the last ten years, however, that situa-tion has completely changed. Due

    The publication you are now read-ing, Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, replaces the Annual Supplement. The new publication differs from the old in the following ways:

    Piano Buyer will be published twice a year, in spring and fall.

    Piano Buyer includes informa-tion on digital pianos, and on used and restored acoustic pianos, in addition to new acoustic pianos.

    Piano Buyer is partially sup-ported by advertising.

    Piano Buyer is available free in digital form on our website, www.pianobuyer.com. It can also be purchased in print through the website or from any bookstore.

    Piano Buyer is a hybrid book/magazine. The book part consists of a collection of how-to articles on the many aspects of buying a piano. Because piano buyers need this in-formation all at once, not over a long period of time, most of these articles will remain relatively unchanged from issue to issue. Our aim is to provide you with only the most useful and important information, succinctly stated, and to address the topics of broadest interest, so that you can be on your way to enjoying your piano as quickly as

    possible. For those readers desir-ing more, there is plenty of inter-esting material of a more technical or specialized nature in The Piano Book and, from time to time, on the PianoBuyer.com website.

    The magazine part of the pub-lication consists of articles of more temporary interest, model and price data for new acoustic and digital pianos, and advertisements, all of which will be updated as necessary with each issue. Be sure to check out the free, searchable database of new acoustic pianos accessible from

    Aco

    usti

    c &

    Dig

    ital PIANO

    BUYER THE PUBLISHERLARRY FINE

    A MESSAGE FROM

    Our aim is to provide

    you with only the

    most useful and

    im portant infor-

    mation, succinctly

    stated, so that you

    can be on your way

    to enjoying your

    piano as quickly as

    possible.

  • to globalization and the comput-erization of manufacturing, truly defective pianos have become things of the past. Virtually all new pia-nos now sold in the West are at least acceptable for their intended au-dience and, more often than not, they are quite good. As a result, my role has been graduallyand happilytransformed into more that of a guide than a critic, point- ing readers toward great products instead of warning them away from bad ones, and this new role is much more compatible with advertising.

    Truth be told, a critic can be cor-rupted by many things other than ad revenue. Ive resisted those for over 20 years and see no reason to start being tempted now. Besides, in my new role as publisher of an

    advertising-based publication, Ill be under much greater scrutiny than before. Im sure my critics will keep me honest.

    When one is completely new to a subject, as many readers undoubt-edly are to the world of pianos, advertising, far from being a nec-essary evil, can be highly informa-tive and educational. It can expose one to many more products and services than can editorial content alone. In the online edition of this publication, clicking on an ad will take you to the advertisers website. I invite you to use this additional resource to enhance your piano-buying experience. (Also, text in red is hyperlinked in the online edition.)

    Finally, Id like to welcome Alden Skinner to Piano Buyer as editor

    of the digital piano section, and as all-around technical guru for the pub lication. Alden comes to us with more than 20 years experience in the piano business, several years of techni cal product management, and many years of serious study of digi-tal pianos. In the brief time weve worked together, Ive been constantly amazed at both the depth and the breadth of his knowledge, and at his ability to explain complex technical concepts in laymans terms. I know that Piano Buyers readers will ben-efit greatly from his expertise.

    Especially as this is a new publica-tion, readers comments, criticisms, and suggestions are very much appreciated. Send them to me at larry@pianobuyer.com.

    Larry Fine, Publisher

    Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer is published semiannually, in January and July, by:

    Brookside Press LLC 800.545.2022P.O. Box 300168 617.522.7182Jamaica Plain, MA 02130 USA 617.390.7764 (fax)info@pianobuyer.com www.pianobuyer.com

    Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer copyright 2009 by Brookside Press LLCAll rights reserved

    The Piano Book is a Registered Trademark of Lawrence Fine

    ISBN 978-1929145256 (print)ISBN 978-1929145263 (ePub)ISBN 978-1929145270 (Kindle)ISBN 978-1929145287 (PDF)ISBN 978-1929145294 (Sony)

    Distributed to the book trade by Independent Publishers Group,814 North Franklin St., Chicago, IL 60610(800) 888-4741 or (312) 337-0747

    No part of this book may be reproduced in any form whatsoever without prior written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations embodied in critical articles and book reviews.

    Reasonable efforts have been made to secure accurate information for this publication. Due in part to the fact that manufacturers and distributors will not always willingly make this information available, however, some indirect sources have been relied on.

    Neither the editors nor publisher make any guarantees with respect to the accuracy of the information contained herein, and will not be liable for damagesinci-dental, consequential, or otherwiseresulting from the use of the information.

    Publisher, Editor-in-Chief, and Acoustic Piano EditorLarry Finelarry@pianobuyer.com

    Digital Piano EditorAlden Skinneralden@pianobuyer.com

    Advertising Director and Contributing EditorSteve Cohensteve@pianobuyer.com

    Design and ProductionJulie Gallagher, Harry St. Ours

    Acoustic Piano Technical ConsultantDel Fandrich

    Research AssociateBarbara Fandrich

    Other contributors to this issue: Steve Brady, Ori Bukai, Sara and Irving Faust, Russell Kassman, Mike Kemper, Lewis Lipnick, George F. Litterst, Robert Lowrey, Alan Merriam, Dennis Saphir, Mary C. Smith, Chris Solliday

    See website for more information.

  • 1329 Gateway Drive - Gallatin, TN 37066 - (800) 592-9393 - info@smcmusic.com

    The American

    The craftsmanship that makes the Knabe the worlds best piano is not the acquisition of one generation but a

    pedigree of skills that have run through more than three hundred years. Making a great grand piano starts with the determination not to compromise in any aspect of the design, materials, or craftsmanship

    This pianos inspired conception was created by Knabes exclusive American instrument designers, and its design a

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