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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Made in China - Violins, Cello's, pianos, and more!

Made in China conjures up images of low quality junk when it does not have a foreign brand name on it. From iPods to piano to cellos, so many are made in China due to lower labor costs.

There are basically three quality range for Pianos. The low end of the market that is made in China, Korea, and Indonesia. The medium range of the market is piano's made in Japan from Yamaha and Kawai. The high end is Steinway and German pianos such as Bosendorfer (my daughter loved test playing a 9'). There are some pianos that are made in China with German actions, to German design, etc. The made in China Pianos range in quality from poor to fair, the challenge is figuring out which one is good. Many pianos made in China now put on foreign names, such as Vienna for a European name. The quality of the Chinese brands is improving quickly and has resulted in them owning most of the lower end of the market. The challenge is some Chinese pianos have pretty good quality, and others are horrible. A great book to buy if you are looking to buy a Piano is the Piano Book by Larry Fine helps you sort through all the wonderful claims. We bought a Kawai piano after visiting many Piano shops. If your interested in an upright and in the Los Angeles area, we are selling our old one. Contact me for more information

Stringed instruments from China have taken over 80% of the market in the US. The challenge is figuring out the quality. So many of them have a foreign name plastered on them, resold by US companies, it's hard to tell where they came from. Music teachers often have a friend who sells instruments. Music teachers also get a bit upset when you buy from another place. One music teacher was upset that we bought from another person and told us how lousy our cello was. She then showed us the cello of another student, and it did not have tighteners on all the strings as she has pointed out our cello did not. Her credibility was gone after that so we changed teachers.

Yang the Youngest and His Terrible Ear by Lensey Namioka
Our Price: $4.50

Nine-year-old Yang and his family have immigrated from China to Seattle and the father is a professional Violin Play. He has been giving Yang Violin lessons for years, and Yang hates the Violin. Yang discovers Baseball! A great story about fitting in and getting used to a new country and culture.

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