Kemble

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Jerome
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Kemble

Post by Jerome » 21 Mar 2009, 16:53

Hope this turns out to be a false alarm:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009 ... ha-closure

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Re: Kemble

Post by Openwood » 21 Mar 2009, 19:07

Buy-up the opposition and then run them into the ground? That doesn't sound like the Japanese way at all.
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Re: Kemble

Post by mdw » 21 Mar 2009, 23:40

Jerome wrote:Hope this turns out to be a false alarm:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009 ... ha-closure
Nope.

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Re: Kemble

Post by mgmcgill » 15 Apr 2009, 22:36

My piano dealer who is a 'Kemble Centre of Excellence' confrimed it yeterday.

Wonder what happens with my 10 year warranty.

Michael

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Re: Kemble

Post by Jazzer » 15 Apr 2009, 23:22

This really is very sad.

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Re: Kemble

Post by mdw » 16 Apr 2009, 07:16

mgmcgill wrote:My piano dealer who is a 'Kemble Centre of Excellence' confrimed it yeterday.

Wonder what happens with my 10 year warranty.

Michael
Your warranty is with the dealer not Kemble so unless they dealer goes bust you should be fine.

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Re: Kemble

Post by mgmcgill » 16 Apr 2009, 18:38

Your warranty is with the dealer not Kemble so unless they dealer goes bust you should be fine
Note strictly true.

The Kemble 10 Year Guarantee clearly states that if the Piano should prove to be faulty, then

"Kemble and/or one of it's authorised retailers or agents will repair such defect........"

I also have a personal letter from Mr Brian Kemble which says

".....you contact the dealer in the first instance who will try to solve any problem, but we are there as a backstop, which would be the case if the dealer went into receivership".

Michael

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Re: Kemble

Post by joseph » 17 Apr 2009, 11:58

you know, I really think that Kemble pianos are amongst the best uprights available, I was in McLaren's in Glasgow the other day, because a friend of mine is interested in a new grand. After playing the Kemble 124 and the Kemble Mozart he can't decide whether he wants a new grand, or a Kemble upright.

I have to say they are the warmest, sweetest, most responsive uprights I have played. I know the Steinway model K, the Bluthner A and the Bechstein Concert 8, but the Kemble is actually in that league.

Why on earth would Yamaha want to close it down? Could it be because Yamaha make technically perfect pianos that don't sound very nice, and Kemble make technically perfect pianos that sound beautiful?

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Re: Kemble

Post by athomik » 17 Apr 2009, 12:16

joseph wrote:Why on earth would Yamaha want to close it down? Could it be because Yamaha make technically perfect pianos that don't sound very nice, and Kemble make technically perfect pianos that sound beautiful?
1. Kemble pianos are basically Yamaha pianos in a different cabinet
2. Kembles have been making a loss for the last 2-3 years (current figures aren't available yet)
3. The Kemble factory was re-organsed in the '80s to conform to Yamaha production standards, which means that it is not that much different from any other Yamaha piano factory.
4. The global economy is forcing everyone (esp. Japanese companies which produce goods and rely on exports for a large part of their income) to tighten their belts and become more efficient.
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Re: Kemble

Post by joseph » 17 Apr 2009, 16:44

I'm well aware that Kemble pianos are basically Yamahas, but with the different soundboard and the different hammer head, the sound is much better and more musical, to my ears anyway. Each to their own.

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Re: Kemble

Post by chrisvenables » 17 Apr 2009, 21:31

Joseph ,could you enlighten us as to the differences between the soundboards and hammer heads in Yamaha and Kembles made in Milton Keynes....Who told you that?

Joseph, please send me a picture of your ears...
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Re: Kemble

Post by PianoGuy » 17 Apr 2009, 22:16

joseph wrote:I'm well aware that Kemble pianos are basically Yamahas, but with the different soundboard and the different hammer head, the sound is much better and more musical, to my ears anyway. Each to their own.
All pianos built at Milton Keynes in the Kemble factory use identically sourced soundboards whether badged Kemble or Yamaha. Also, the 'special' hammerheads used in the Mozart are none other than Yamaha KK spec made in er..... Japan. They're the self-same hammers used in those nasty bright tinny U1s.

Amazing what a bit of conditioning and Brianwashing (sic) can do to the ears. I'm guessing that the Yamahas you've heard and disliked were not prepared as nicely as the Kembles that you love!
PG

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Re: Kemble

Post by chrisvenables » 17 Apr 2009, 23:56

Ear, Ear!
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Re: Kemble

Post by joseph » 18 Apr 2009, 10:01

ouch, my ears are sore from all that bashing.

Well, perhaps the dealers stocking Kemble are deliberately putting more effort into preparing the Kembles to prove a point. I accept.
However, the Yamahas I have played have been prepped particularly badly, including many new C3, C7, U1 and U3. Also, a certain Yamaha dealer in central London don't help by having their pianos on the floor with minimal prep.

. . . . and sadly the S4 I gave the concert on was either a bad piano, or it has never been worked on properly since it was bought. So one day I will visit chris, and play his pianos that have been well prepared and I will be converted. Now, on to that pic of my ears. . . .

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Re: Kemble

Post by joseph » 18 Apr 2009, 10:23

chrisvenables wrote:Joseph ,could you enlighten us as to the differences between the soundboards and hammer heads in Yamaha and Kembles made in Milton Keynes....Who told you that?

Joseph, please send me a picture of your ears...
Aha.

Chris,

I have discovered on your own website that it says of Yamahas assembled in the UK, and therefore presumably Kembles that the soundboards are of European Spruce rather than Japanese spruce, so there may be tonal differences.

So, you told me about the soundboard.

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Re: Kemble

Post by chrisvenables » 18 Apr 2009, 11:50

Aha! (apologies to Steve Coogan)

'Made in Milton Keynes' is what I said in my earlier reply. - Yamaha and Kemble made in Milton Keynes use the same Bavarian spruce soundboards and Yamaha hammers, model for model.

Yes, the Japanese models use quality Sitka spruce - it makes little difference to the tone, it's the hammer toning which determines the brilliance/mellowness as long as the soundboards are of a similar quality.
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Re: Kemble

Post by joseph » 18 Apr 2009, 15:57

ok you win. i accept defeat. i am a turkey.

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Re: Kemble

Post by mgmcgill » 18 Apr 2009, 16:17

Yes, the Japanese models use quality Sitka spruce - it makes little difference to the tone, it's the hammer toning which determines the brilliance/mellowness as long as the soundboards are of a similar quality.
Any good Luthier will tell you even two pieces of wood from identical cuts can sound different.

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Re: Kemble

Post by Barrie Heaton » 18 Apr 2009, 16:42

chrisvenables wrote:Aha! (apologies to Steve Coogan)

Yes, the Japanese models use quality Sitka spruce - it makes little difference to the tone, it's the hammer toning which determines the brilliance/mellowness as long as the soundboards are of a similar quality.
And the Bass string are different on the UK models they are made in the US not Japan

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Re: Kemble

Post by Openwood » 19 Apr 2009, 08:37

Gosh, just think of all the air miles used to make just one Kemble piano. I expect that's why Yamaha is closing them down - for the good of the planet. I don't know how I could ever have doubted their motives.
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Re: Kemble

Post by joseph » 19 Apr 2009, 17:46

I think thats probably the case with most pianos, Steinway use the same soundboards and frames in both the Hamburg and the New York factory, so there is alot of airmiles there too!

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Re: Kemble

Post by Descombes » 19 Apr 2009, 18:37

joseph wrote:I think thats probably the case with most pianos, Steinway use the same soundboards and frames in both the Hamburg and the New York factory, so there is alot of airmiles there too!
If that's true (and I'm not suggesting it isn't), why do Hamburg pianos turn out to be superior to NY ones? (I think it's widely claimed that they are!) Did they share these components in earlier times too?

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Re: Kemble

Post by joseph » 19 Apr 2009, 19:48

I think that Steinway in the US use their own action, but Hamburg use a Renner action. The pianos will be voiced differently - Hamburg use a harder felt and tone it down, where as US pianos use a softer felt and dope it.

The models are the same on each side of the pond, but there are slight differences in the way the piano is built, too. And of course the furniture is different - the US have square cheeks and satin finishes.

I dunno if the Hamburg concert grands are superior, I guess it comes down to taste, but generally the smaller grands are better from the Hamburg factory. Well, again that could be down to opinion too.

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Re: Kemble

Post by piano heads » 20 Apr 2009, 13:15

Kemble are closing because they chose the wrong dealer network to sell there pianos,and where always looking to sell directly to customer,same as yamaha really?

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Re: Kemble

Post by mdw » 20 Apr 2009, 20:45

piano heads wrote:Kemble are closing because they chose the wrong dealer network to sell there pianos,
Want to fleshout the bones on that statement?

I always thought it was because the product was too similar to the Yams and the price slashers sold that premium product for peanuts making it almost imposible to sell the Kembles for a sensible price.

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Re: Kemble

Post by Pianomate » 21 Apr 2009, 02:11

If Kemble are a stand-alone company as part of a group and they are wound up completely, if the company is liquidated and ceases to exist, all guarantees are void.

In the same way 150,000 MG Rover owners lost their car warranty cover when the company went into adminstration in 2005.

However if the company is actually part of Yamaha rather than them just having a controlling interest and just the factory is closed, guarantees must be honoured by the parent company as the guarantee is a contract of sale with the overall company.

It all depends on the company structure.

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Re: Kemble

Post by piano heads » 21 Apr 2009, 09:11

Very few dealers would have both new yams and new kemble,and kemble would target thr nearest yam shop to sell their pianos,and vice-versa,they took on new dealers who where naive and not expierenced on how they operate,and who have not been around long enough to have a regular clientele who purchase pianos thru been knowing for good service and decent prices,dont feel sorry for kemble,there will be more big names facing the drop,as the piano market contacts,like most other retail businesses at this time

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Re: Kemble

Post by Pianomate » 21 Apr 2009, 09:48

The problem with the piano market is that times are hard and there are a lot of very affordable and available second hand pianos about, which means that people aren't buying new unless they've a lot of cash. Also, if looked after, pianos have a long lifetime, not like cars. True, they may not sound their best and may be a bit rough but for many people, its a case of having a roughish one or not having one at all.

In my village, there are at least 9 traditional pianos and only one was purchased from new, though many years ago when the owner was in their twenties (now in 70s). None of them are newer than 1956, and three of them are Victorian. We have one piano teacher, three adult pianists, two children learning and the others are musicians who play other instruments and have the piano as a second instrument, including just for thumping out jazz on, one of which is a real heap anyway. One of the parent of the kids bought theirs from the auction mart for £60 and it's a really nice big German upright in excellent condition for its age which would have made a good price at one time. There's also the line of thinking that "I'll get something cheap to get by on for the moment and save up for a better one later", but they end up buying a new car or going on holiday instead.

Do members feel that this split is representative of the market?

Our local music shop closed some 10 years ago. The one in the next town I remember used to have at least 10 pianos in, half of them new Challens and contemporary makes etc. When I last was in a year ago, there were only two, and both second hand - an old straight strung Waddinton for £250 and an overstrung Collard and Collard for £1,000. I was looking for one for a friend and the lady in the shop said there was no hurry as they had both been in the shop for over 6 months. They also could get in new pianos (I guess they would have been Yams or Kembles) but they hadn't sold one for many years. Their main market is digitals and keyboards, which have more or less taken over traditional piano sales.

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Re: Kemble

Post by chrisvenables » 21 Apr 2009, 10:11

Pianomate wrote:If Kemble are a stand-alone company as part of a group and they are wound up completely, if the company is liquidated and ceases to exist, all guarantees are void.

In the same way 150,000 MG Rover owners lost their car warranty cover when the company went into adminstration in 2005.

However if the company is actually part of Yamaha rather than them just having a controlling interest and just the factory is closed, guarantees must be honoured by the parent company as the guarantee is a contract of sale with the overall company.

It all depends on the company structure.
Kemble & Co Ltd is just that, Kemble & Co Ltd. I'm no lawyer, so, ignoring the question of statutory rights, I think most dealers would try and honour the guarantee anyway for their own integrity and reputation - I certainly would. Supply of some spare parts could be a problem, such as case parts such as Kemble made toe blocks which do split from time to time. Hopefully, Yamaha would, for the sake of their professional integrity come to the rescue.
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Re: Kemble

Post by chrisvenables » 21 Apr 2009, 10:35

[quote="Pianomate"]The problem with the piano market is that times are hard and there are a lot of very affordable and available second hand pianos about, which means that people aren't buying new unless they've a lot of cash. Also, if looked after, pianos have a long lifetime, not like cars. True, they may not sound their best and may be a bit rough but for many people, its a case of having a roughish one or not having one at all.

There's also the line of thinking that "I'll get something cheap to get by on for the moment and save up for a better one later", but they end up buying a new car or going on holiday instead.


quote]

We're busier than ever and virtually everything we sell is new or nearly new. It's taken the Brits a long time to catch up with other so called 'rich' nations whose philosophy is new is better than old, but it's happening. Also the improvements in SOME Chinese made pianos has brought both affordability of new to the mass market and also has demonstrated that the QUALITY Chinese manufacturers can produce a better piano for cheaper than it costs a dealer to restore an old one.

Maybe the reason there are still so many old bangers out there is because there are still too many second hand dealers profiteering from selling old donkeys which they bought for peanuts instead of marketing the 'new is better' concept. There may not be as much profit in selling a new quality budget piano as there is in so called 'reconditioning', but sometimes I think a dealer should sacrifice some of his short term profit for long term gain by promoting the best value - ie new.
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Re: Kemble

Post by Pianomate » 21 Apr 2009, 11:19

I've not come across any Chinese ones near to me, but plenty of digitals and keyboards. However we are "out in the sticks" and there are few music shops, most of which concentrate on strings, brass and band instruments, with the occasional piano.

The trouble here is that people set a budget of a few hundred £ for a piano. I know that you aren't going to get a fantastic instrument for that, but it's a lot of money for someone on a very modest income such as hill farmers and rural workers.

There are a couple of techs nearby who buy in used ones and fix them up to sell on, and there are always plenty sold privately or through the techs. I sometimes recognise the same pianos in new places as they are sold on to different people within the local area.

There are a couple of music shops which deal in pianos on Teesside and surrounding areas, including the famous Williams in Darlington who I know a few people go to, and further afield such as Newcastle and Leeds for those serious, but I'm sure the internet must account for a large number of new piano sales. Several child learners I know of have been bought digital pianos recently.

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Re: Kemble

Post by piano heads » 21 Apr 2009, 12:11

New is better concept is not always true,but may suit a dealer whose ideas are to trash used pianos,for the sake of promoting yamahas as they are about the only company wiiling to supply them with pianos.in the uk there are many responsible dealers,who take great pride in being able to restore pianos to as new standard,and find that more fulfilling ,instead of being a yamaha bean counter.The uk made some great pianos over the years,knights,welmars,broadwoods,danemann,put them against a b1 or b2,fully reconditioned,i know what i would buy.

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Re: Kemble

Post by chrisvenables » 21 Apr 2009, 13:51

piano heads wrote:New is better concept is not always true,but may suit a dealer whose ideas are to trash used pianos,for the sake of promoting yamahas as they are about the only company wiiling to supply them with pianos.in the uk there are many responsible dealers,who take great pride in being able to restore pianos to as new standard,and find that more fulfilling ,instead of being a yamaha bean counter.The uk made some great pianos over the years,knights,welmars,broadwoods,danemann,put them against a b1 or b2,fully reconditioned,i know what i would buy.
Phew, what a relief! I'm glad I kept my earlier reply to quality Chinese pianos and didn't mention Yamaha. Otherwise the less well informed may have misinterpreted your comments to mean that you were talking about me!
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Re: Kemble

Post by piano heads » 21 Apr 2009, 15:53

Piano trade is like every other trade there is good and bad,things are slow,but this forum seems to being used as a platform for dealers to promote their own self interests,and the impartial opinions expressed are far from informing the public as to confusing them and remember a lot of the bloggers are also payin the ABPT for advertising,the best way to buy a piano is to go out and visit your local dealers,private sales etc and make up your own mind.Go to the established piano businesses that have been around for years there are plenty of them in your area,go to piano shops not general shops who generalise in everthing but specialise in nothing.The people still need pianos,the trade should support piano sellers of fine quality pianos,and get rid of the junk merchants selling high end chinese pianos paraded as having some british,germany or austrian heritage.Too many middle men making to much money over inflating prices,wont be long before the main piano makers will franchise or set up their own managed shop,and the price on the net will be the same as the price in the shop,happens in most other enterprises.

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Re: Kemble

Post by Openwood » 21 Apr 2009, 16:30

but this forum seems to being used as a platform for dealers to promote their own self interests
I'm not a dealer and I have no interest in promoting any particular dealer over another; I don't think the comment above is a fair reflection of what goes on on this site. It's an open discussion forum, nothing more, nothing less. Chris is perhaps more evangelical in his approach than other dealers, but I'm not aware of anything that says he can't express his opinions here. If you come to a free discussion forum looking for free advice you get what you pay for - caveat emptor.

I actually agree with piano heads that the best way to select a piano is to start with local dealers and my own experience with big 'piano houses' has been consistently disappointing. I wouldn't use a big dealership again no matter how much they discounted because I was disappointed with the standard of preparation but others will disagree and in an open forum they should have the right to say so.
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Re: Kemble

Post by ennjaydee » 21 Apr 2009, 17:18

A tragic loss. Kemble offered a unique mix of product that punches well above it's weight, with attractive choice of finish, built using reliable parts and backed by dealer/customer support, all at a highly competitive price. It's a shame that channel discounting has marginalised viability of another British brand. Of course Yamaha's strategy will be to focus on it's own brand and long term viability.

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Re: Kemble

Post by PianoGuy » 21 Apr 2009, 19:57

Pianomate wrote:
In my village, there are at least 9 traditional pianos and only one was purchased from new, though many years ago when the owner was in their twenties (now in 70s). None of them are newer than 1956, and three of them are Victorian. We have one piano teacher, three adult pianists, two children learning and the others are musicians who play other instruments and have the piano as a second instrument, including just for thumping out jazz on, one of which is a real heap anyway. One of the parent of the kids bought theirs from the auction mart for £60 and it's a really nice big German upright in excellent condition for its age which would have made a good price at one time. There's also the line of thinking that "I'll get something cheap to get by on for the moment and save up for a better one later", but they end up buying a new car or going on holiday instead.

Do members feel that this split is representative of the market?
Not at all. Due to excellent education on behalf of their tuner, many of my clients have recent pianos. The rest mainly have good serviceable older instruments and a minority have well restored vintage pianos restored by one of two local specialists, both of whom are excellent and can be choosy about what they do and don't restore. Only a tiny fraction have old heaps, and those that do are encouraged to change them for something better, otherwise they find that their tuner deserts them! In cases of genuine hardship or where the piano is of sentimental value I have no objection to tuning them. One local dealer is also very fair in that old overstrung underdamper pianos of little commercial worth but decent enough are sold off at trade-in cost plus delivery to my deserving cases.

piano heads wrote:The people still need pianos,the trade should support piano sellers of fine quality pianos,and get rid of the junk merchants selling high end chinese pianos paraded as having some british,germany or austrian heritage.Too many middle men making to much money over inflating prices,wont be long before the main piano makers will franchise or set up their own managed shop,and the price on the net will be the same as the price in the shop,happens in most other enterprises.
Some Chinese pianos claiming Austrian and German heritage are actually rather good. Have you actually played any? Some of them actually have Austrian or German designers and European materials. Try a Brodmann or Perzina with Renner action.

I agree with the franchise notion though, and I'm sure it'll happen. You could argue that in the case of high end makers like S&S and Blüthner it already has to some extent because they have manufacurer-owned shops, but I'll wager that the firms who do it successfully will be the Euro-Chinese whom you appear to have a downer on. I fully expect Yamaha to start doing the same and cutting out their dealer network before too long too.
PG

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If you're buying a piano, try as many as you can and buy the one you like, not a similar one of the same type.

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Re: Kemble

Post by mindbender » 22 Apr 2009, 00:18

piano guy
[/quote]. I fully expect Yamaha to start doing the same and cutting out their dealer network before too long too.[/quote]

Well, 'Chappell of Bond Street ' has been Yamaha owned for years. Their MIlton Keynes branch/franchise was so successful (!) that a couple of years ago it closed. So is that a sign of success or failure in the manufacturer/franchise scenario? Yamaha UK can't even organise their own Christmas party, so I can't see much of a threat to those in their current dealer network. Their present plan has been to expand their dealer network, not to contract it. But with Japanese involvement anything can happen.

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Re: Kemble

Post by piano heads » 22 Apr 2009, 10:20

Yamaha idea is for shops to stock there products,i.e satelitte showrooms,so the public can see and play them,then trawl the net for best price,nithing wrong with that but they think the dealers need them not true YAMAHA,are not bigger than the piano trade in uk,and this is being shown by the high st shops who wont stock them,and many smaller concerns who supported them for many years,who wont entertain there double standards,and so called HARMONY AGREEMENTS.No disrespect to mr venables,he wants to sell there pianos,fine but not fair to rubbish used pianos as he has done for many years,does he think the b1 piano is worth the new price.Why the increase currency?,wrong it supply and demand and nobody bar 2 dealers dealers are trying to sell them,the prices are up to make up from the retailers the shortfall in demand.Dealership agreements are not worth the paper they are written on due to the price variation,dealers are payin different trade prices from each other,and there as never been an even playing field.We will be going back to the 80s,where good used pianos will become more popular,doe to pricing,and instead of cheap east german and polish tat,thr price differences between cheap chinese pianos will fill the price gap between used and 3K for a decent new starter piano.Nothing new here just history repeating itself.BRING BACK THE GOOD AULD DAYS.

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Re: Kemble

Post by Pianomate » 22 Apr 2009, 13:12

The local techs restore used uprights and grands to a VERY high standard. I have seen their work and it is very professional and they only use the best quality components, and the cases are completely stripped and finished to an excellent polyester or shiny French Polished finish. They take breat trouble to preserve the original fittings and any ivory keytops etc. The pianos do leave their workshop literally as good as new. They select only worthwhile makes such as Broadwoods, German overstrungs, Brinsmeads, Collard and Collard etc for their original build quality. The pianos are NOT old bangers and I would not have the tech do all my work if it was not to such a high standard.

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Re: Kemble

Post by piano heads » 22 Apr 2009, 15:02

HERE!! HERE!!.BETTER TO RESTORE QUALITY AULD JOANNAS,WHICH HAVE ARE TONALLY AND COMPONENT WISE BETTER DESIGNED AND BUILT THAN CHEAP NEW IMPORTS THIS IS A FORUM TO PROMOTE PIANOS AND HOPEFULLY PRESERVE THE HERITAGE OF THESES SKILLS,TUNING STRINGING,REGULATING TONING,POLISHING ETC.ANYBODY CAN SELL A NEW PIANO HOW MANY CAN RESTORE AND SELL AN USED ONE.

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Re: Kemble

Post by PianoGuy » 22 Apr 2009, 23:33

piano heads wrote:ANYBODY CAN SELL A NEW PIANO HOW MANY CAN RESTORE AND SELL AN USED ONE.

Indeed. And there's your problem.

So few dealers are able to rebuild older pianos to their full potential, it's safer to recommend new.

Also, many people have been put off reconditioned instruments by the experience of buying a load of tarted up old tut from a charletan, so you have double the problem.

New it is then!?

;-)
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Re: Kemble

Post by piano heads » 23 Apr 2009, 12:06

You mention chareletans why dont you name and shame them,instead of hiding behind the new is better theory,there are lots of modern say 20 to 30 year old piano out there which have had very little domestic use then when polished and prepped,are far better than euro-chinese imports take kemble classic for example what a piano,for the money when they made it without yamahas intervention pre 1977 knight k10s,welmar model C.bentley concord and wessesx models not the compact one before they where built in poland and case assembled in stroud.60s challens,brasted,collards,hopkinson,broadwoods etc.There are plenty decent piano shops and techs in uk who do a fine job,selling new and new only is a kop out better to give the custoner the choice.WOULD YOU BUY A NEW LADA OR A USED MERK.

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Re: Kemble

Post by athomik » 23 Apr 2009, 14:48

piano heads wrote:WOULD YOU BUY A NEW LADA OR A USED MERK.
If you are getting into cars, wouldn't a more appropriate analogy be: "Would you buy a 1977 Rover 2000 or a new Toyota ?" I'm sure there are some beautifully restored Rovers around, but they don't exactly come up to modern standards, they must be few and far between and the general punter prefers electronic everything on their car to woodrimmed steering wheels, aged leather and nostalgic looks. If you're in the business of selling things, nostalgia - even if excellently presented, has very little impact on the overall market, whatever product you're trying to sell. This explains why good piano restorers are rare, many pianos are not worth restoring, most dealers prefer to sell new and you find a lot of cowboys in this (or any other) business.

-Not to mention Rover's success as a car manufacturer compared to Asian ones today. Independent British manufacturing has been dying a lingering death for decades and, as in cases such as Kembles, Rover and even Rolls Royce, and despite foreign know-how and investment, many of these ventures either fail, struggle or change (foreign) hands quite frequently.

I think it would be sad to see the last British piano manufacturer going to the wall, but then, Kembles haven't been independent for a long time, nor profitable, even with the backing of the world's biggest manufacturer. In the end, people build pianos to make money, not to do any market sector a favour and whatever busines you're in, you can only afford to throw so much money at a failing venture before you risk getting into trouble yourself. :cry:
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Re: Kemble

Post by PianoGuy » 23 Apr 2009, 20:00

piano heads wrote:You mention chareletans why dont you name and shame them,
There's a little thing called libel which applies to written word and on the internet. Don't worry, if I'm asked an opinion in person I pull no punches.
piano heads wrote:there are lots of modern say 20 to 30 year old piano out there which have had very little domestic use then when polished and prepped,are far better than euro-chinese imports take kemble classic for example what a piano,for the money when they made it without yamahas intervention pre 1977 knight k10s,welmar model C.bentley concord and wessesx models not the compact one before they where built in poland and case assembled in stroud.60s challens,brasted,collards,hopkinson,broadwoods etc.There are plenty decent piano shops and techs in uk who do a fine job,selling new and new only is a kop out better to give the custoner the choice.
OK:

Agreed re Kemble Classic if you can find one that the bass bridge hasn't fallen off. This did indeed happen to a small minority. Pre-Yamaha Chappell Hs and Kemble equivalents were good too.

Bentley Concords were generally dreadful. The last Stroud-built 85cs were quite decent with the V-process frame and Schwander/Langer 75 action, but this was dropped on the later Clapham-built Concord in favour of the cheaper Victorian traditional casting, imperfections and all. V-pro 85cs are very thin on the ground because they were only made for three years. Earlier Stroud-built Bentleys with the Richard Harley or Bentley Check action are all potentially troublesome and certainly not worth restoring.

The Bentley Wessex used the Ben.42 back and were prone to major string breakage, so again not a wise buy.

No Bentleys were ever made in Poland, but a few very unpleasant Woodchesters used a Polish Legnica back.

I would beg to differ about your estimation that there are many techs and shops who do a "fine job" of restoration, but once you do find one it is a rare pleasure to be cherished and nurtured.

As to your claim that there are "lots" of modern 20-30 year old pianos available that just need a good polish, I totally disagree. Most that come on the market are tired and need lots of work. Only occasionally do you find a gem, and there are certainly not enough around to keep piano workshops in business even if they were economic to sell.


piano heads wrote:WOULD YOU BUY A NEW LADA OR A USED MERK.
Since Lada have been home-market only since 1992 it would be difficult to buy a new one. How about New Toyota Aygo v used 1990 Merc 190?

Toyota is cheaper on fuel, safer ( the 190 would find it hard to achieve even a 1-star ENCAP rating whereas the Toyota scores four ), better equipped, cheaper to insure, cheaper to tax, easier for a novice to drive, and driving the Aygo it doesn't look like you're selling crack to twelve year olds.
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Re: Kemble

Post by NewAge » 23 Apr 2009, 20:18

Excellent last post PianoGuy. You certainly won that round!
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Re: Kemble

Post by Kemble King » 23 Apr 2009, 20:50

I agree PianoGuy, but a wee Fazer is always a nice wee find. A bit like a Mk2 Golf 16v with BBS alloys.
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Re: Kemble

Post by PianoGuy » 23 Apr 2009, 20:58

Kemble King wrote:I agree PianoGuy, but a wee Fazer is always a nice wee find. A bit like a Mk2 Golf 16v with BBS alloys.
It is!

*Just* like that. Big bumper H-reg!
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Re: Kemble

Post by Kemble King » 23 Apr 2009, 21:13

in dark green? I used to have a golf driver MK2. My comparisson to it now is an old Bluthner with slightly slack pins....but somehow manages to stay in tune. Awesome cars.
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Re: Kemble

Post by PianoGuy » 23 Apr 2009, 21:21

Kemble King wrote:in dark green? I used to have a golf driver MK2. My comparisson to it now is an old Bluthner with slightly slack pins....but somehow manages to stay in tune. Awesome cars.
Oak Green metallic!

I had a GTI too, but in that nice metallic blue. A very comfortable driving position. Like an old well loved pair of shoes.

I like your Blüthner comparison!
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If you're buying a piano, try as many as you can and buy the one you like, not a similar one of the same type.

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