A Message from the Publisher
Welcome to the Spring 2012 issue of Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer, a semiannual publication devoted to the purchase of new, used, and restored acoustic pianos and digital pianos. Piano Buyer is the supplement and successor to the well-known reference The Piano Book, which, since 1987, has been the principal consumer guide to buying a piano in the U.S. and Canada. Partially supported by advertising, Piano Buyer is available free online at www.pianobuyer.com. It can also be purchased in print from the website and in bookstores.
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. These basic articles are repeated in every issue to serve the many new buyers continually entering the piano market. The "magazine" part consists of features that change with each issue to cover topics of more temporary or niche interest, and to provide variety. Each issue contains several of these excellent features, many of which remain relevant for years. If you missed any of them, you'll find them under the website's Archive tab. The brand, model, and price reference material in the second half of the publication is updated, as needed, with each issue.
In this issue, we offer several new articles for your reading pleasure. From about 1880 to 1930, when piano manufacturing was one of the nation's most important industries, upright pianos were produced in a staggering array of cabinet styles, many of them embellished with highly intricate decoration. The cabinet styles were closely related to the social and economic climates of that period. If you're shopping for an older instrument, you're very likely to run across a number of these elegant relics of the past. Twenty-five years ago, piano rebuilder Martha Taylor discovered a warehouse full of them, and has been busy ever since restoring them. In this issue, she gives us a pictorial overview of the cabinet styles of that period, and of their historical context (p. 69).
Most adults move at least several times in their lives. For the piano owner, what to do about a beloved instrument is nearly always a big issue at moving time. Hiring a professional piano mover can be expensive, but, as Modern Piano Moving owner Russ Vitt shows, non-professional moving can be even more expensive — and dangerous (p. 102).
As new pianos from China become more mainstream, even the celebrated German piano makers are entering manufacturing alliances with the Chinese, sometimes openly, sometimes not. One of the more transparent of these relationships is between the German maker Feurich, established in 1851, and the Chinese maker Hailun, barely ten years old. Our resident reviewer, Owen Lovell, takes a look at a new line of pianos sold under the Feurich label, manufactured under contract by Hailun (p. 49).
Don't forget to explore the rest of our website. If you're shopping for a new piano, two searchable online databases of 3,000 acoustic and 250 digital models will help you quickly home in on the instruments that match your requirements for size, furniture style, budget, and features. If you're shopping for a used instrument, with this issue we debut Piano Buyer Classifieds, a feature jointly developed with the premier website for classified piano ads, PianoMart.com. Using PianoMart's powerful search engine, browse among thousands of used pianos for sale. And when you're ready to take a break from searching, treat yourself to some comic relief with our latest blog, Piano-Buying Stories.
Finally, if you're reading this online, consider buying a print copy of Piano Buyer. It's a handsome volume, printed in color on glossy paper, and will make a great reference, coffee-table book, or gift. You can purchase it through the website or in bookstores.
Piano Buyer exists to make shopping for a piano easier and more enjoyable. If you have a suggestion as to how we can do that better, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Larry Fine, Publisher