Hailun is a little different from most of the other Chinese companies selling pianos in the U.S.: its founder and owner, Chen Hailun, is an entrepreneur in the Western style, and deeply involved in every aspect of the business. Originally a maker of molds for industrial use, Chen got into the piano business when piano manufacturers started to use his services to make piano parts. In 1998 he bought out the government's position in his company to better control quality and hiring decisions. He seeks out the best workers by paying considerably higher wages than other piano makers in China, he says, and assists in the training of future piano technicians through an association with a local university. His greatest aspiration, Chen says, is to make the best piano in Asia.
Over the years, much of Chen's technical efforts have gone into maximizing the precision and stability of the pianos and parts his company makes. This is evidenced by the substantial investment in computer-controlled machinery used for precision cutting; the design of keys, keybed, and other parts to resist warping; and the fact that grand piano actions are actually interchangeable between instruments of the same model (this requires an unusually high level of precision). The pianos themselves exhibit good quality control and intelligence in design. In terms of materials, the company uses maple in grand piano rims, a feature indicative of higher quality and arguably necessary for the best sound. This precision, stability, and quality of materials, combined with the work of experienced design consultants, have resulted in pianos that perform and service better than most other pianos from China, and may favorably compare with some mid-priced pianos from other parts of the world. Our own reviewer tried out a Hailun grand (see review in the online edition of this issue) and was impressed with its musicality.
Warranty: 15 years, parts and labor, transferable to future owners within the warranty period; except for action parts, cast-iron plate, and metal case hardware, which are warranted for the lifetime of the original purchaser.
North American Music, Inc.
11 Holt Drive
Stony Point, New York 10980
Pianos made by: Dongbei Piano Company, Ltd., Yingkou, Liaoning Province, China
This famous old American piano brand dates back to at least 1843 in Boston, and has changed hands many times over the years. It eventually became part of the Aeolian group of piano brands, and instruments bearing the name were manufactured at Aeolian's Memphis plant until that company went out of business in 1985. At present, most Hallet, Davis & Co. pianos are made in China by the Dongbei Piano Company (see Dongbei). In general, they are similar to pianos built by Dongbei under other names for several other distributors. However, the distributor says that pianos in the Imperial Collection (model numbers ending in "I") use higher-quality imported veneers provided to Dongbei by the distributor.
Pianos made by: Beijing Hsinghai Piano Group, Ltd., Beijing, China
Hugh Hardman established the Hardman Piano Company in New York City in 1842. Leopold Peck joined the company in 1880, and became a partner in 1890, at which time the company was renamed Hardman, Peck & Company. In the early 20th century, Hardman, Peck was sold to the Aeolian Corporation, which eventually moved to Memphis, where it remained until it went out of business in 1985. Today's Hardman, Peck & Company pianos are manufactured in China by the Beijing Hsinghai Piano Group (see Beijing Hsinghai). The piano line offers a selection of vertical and grand pianos in a variety of styles and finishes to meet the needs of entry-level and mid-level pianists.
FALL 2009 -- page 160
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Hybrid & Player Pianos
New-Piano Buyers’ Reference