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MMD > Archives > August 1997 > 1997.08.28 > 06Prev  Next

Comparing Piano Quality
By Craig Brougher

Robin Pratt had an interesting comment in regard to a Welte Mignon
Premier player.  So curious am I, and I would like to know what prompted
the comment.

> Hi All,  I am in the process of doing a full restoration on a Premier
> as we speak.  It is a Welte-Mignon Licensee from about 1929.  Although
> some think of it as a "low end" instrument, very few instruments
> produced in the era of the Premier were as bad as many being sold today.

Does that mean they were "pretty good" by comparison to the bad ones,
today?  But on the other hand, what is Robin defending the "Premier"
against?  Is he saying, "The Welte Mignon Premiers are  at least as good,
if not better than any mediocre piano today."

In my opinion, mediocrity has never been a criteria to judge mediocrity
upon.  So I am a bit curious as to what prompted Robin Pratt to compare
the Welte Premiere to the lowest quality piano today.  Why defend that
which was built to a price bracket?

I have never restored a Premier, but have restored other less expensive
instruments.  What bothers me a bit is the tendency to devalue other
instruments less than Steinways, Webers, and Mason & Hamlins.  And this is
precisely where it begins-- with comments denigrating the "lower-line"

I want to put my vote in for stopping the categorization of instruments
by "class envy" before it gets started.  They are all for fun, they are
just great, and each one has value on its own merit! There has _never_
been such a thing as "the best" piano in every category, and I hope that
Robin will do a thorough job, even on a small, rather "insignificant"

Craig Brougher

 [ What sort of standards of design and construction should we use for
 [ comparing piano quality?  For many years "quality" and "Steinway" were
 [ considered synonymous -- the result of careful advertising.  Likewise,
 [ "Cadillac" and "luxury" were equated, until one day folks decided
 [ there were other luxury cars around.  It's tough to separate facts
 [ from marketing fiction!  Maybe the best comparison, after all, is the
 [ "blindfold test" -- literally!  It's the "touch" and tone that matters,
 [ isn't it?!   -- Robbie

(Message sent Thu 28 Aug 1997, 23:06:06 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Comparing, Piano, Quality

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