When I began publishing more than 20 years ago, so many brands and models of new piano had so many defects in design and manufacturing that it would not have been possible to accept advertising and still tell the truth. Over the last ten years, however, that situation has completely changed. Due to globalization and the computerization of manufacturing, truly defective pianos have become things of the past. Virtually all new pianos now sold in the West are at least acceptable for their intended audience and, more often than not, they are quite good. As a result, my role has been gradually--and happily--transformed into more that of a guide than a critic, pointing 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 corrupted by many things other than ad revenue. I've 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, I'll be under much greater scrutiny than before. I'm sure my critics will keep me honest.
When one is completely new to a subject, as many readers undoubtedly are to the world of pianos, advertising, far from being a necessary evil, can be highly informative 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 advertiser's website. I invite you to use this additional resource to enhance your piano-buying experience. (Also, text in boldface is hyperlinked in this edition.)
Finally, I'd like to welcome Alden Skinner to Piano Buyer as editor of the digital piano section, and as all-around technical guru for the publication. Alden comes to us with more than 20 years' experience in the piano business, several years of technical product management, and many years of serious study of digital pianos. In the brief time we've worked together, I've been constantly amazed at both the depth and the breadth of his knowledge, and at his ability to explain complex technical concepts in layman's terms. I know that Piano Buyer's readers will benefit greatly from his expertise.
Especially as this is a new publication, readers' comments, criticisms, and suggestions are very much appreciated. Send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Fine, Publisher
FALL 2009 -- page 2
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Hybrid & Player Pianos