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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars research power
The salesperson in the piano store assured me that NONE of the pianos in their store were shipped with parts and actions that the Piano Book warned against. So I had them remove the wooden cover plate of a beautiful floor model piano to prove it. And there was the name of the "less confidence" action I had been warned by the Piano Book to avoid. The...
Published on Oct. 27 2002 by Paul S. Wilson

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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For JapanChina only; Not helpful for quality European pianos
I purchased this book based on the glowing reviews on Amazon as well as on other piano related sites. The book IS a great concept and appears to be quite comprehensive on first glance.
However, if you are shopping in Europe or are interested in including in your search quality European piano manufacturers (many of which have been around 100-150 years) the book is...
Published on July 16 2004


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars research power, Oct. 27 2002
By 
Paul S. Wilson "paul" (Highland Village, Texas USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
The salesperson in the piano store assured me that NONE of the pianos in their store were shipped with parts and actions that the Piano Book warned against. So I had them remove the wooden cover plate of a beautiful floor model piano to prove it. And there was the name of the "less confidence" action I had been warned by the Piano Book to avoid. The salespeople were shocked. Another piano of the same brand in the same store had the "higher confidence" brand name parts/action I had been told by the Piano Book to look for. I bought that piano, which was at a lower price than the first one (less fancy cabinet). The salespeople had assumed they were otherwise the same! They were not the same...on the inside. Thank you Larry Fine!
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For JapanChina only; Not helpful for quality European pianos, July 16 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
I purchased this book based on the glowing reviews on Amazon as well as on other piano related sites. The book IS a great concept and appears to be quite comprehensive on first glance.
However, if you are shopping in Europe or are interested in including in your search quality European piano manufacturers (many of which have been around 100-150 years) the book is hopelessly incomplete and, more than once, severely out of date and inaccurate. On the entries for various German brands Mr. Fine keeps repeating phrases such as "no pianos appear in our survey", "I have heard that...", "I played on one once...", "it is difficult to make distinctions" or simply copies text from the advertising brochures of the manufacturers.
The ratings and rankings in the summary section and classification of quality are clearly indicated to be the opinion of Mr. Fine, yet are based on only anecdotal evidence. Worse yet, information on changes in ownership or farming out of manufacturing which has taken place in some instances during the last years -- with an enormous impact on quality -- is not reflected in the rankings.
In summary, this is a great book if you know nothing of pianos and are shopping in the States on the low end for cheap Chinese knockoffs or consumer products from the likes of Young Chang, Kawai, Yamaha, etc. If you are trying to sort out the middle/quality or top of the market, include European brands, or buy a traditional grand piano, the book is incomplete and based on heresay/opinion rather than research. It is not terribly useful and can be at times misleading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Differences between editions..., May 24 2004
By 
Thomas W. Clement (Oakland, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
I own the first edition of this book and it has some advantages over the subsequent editions. In particular, he gives specific ratings for each brand of piano. As I understand it, some piano makers who felt offended by this (i.e. their piano's didn't rate as well as they wished) threatened to sue Mr. Fine, so the ratings were removed from subsequent editions.
Ideally, if you really want the best reference, get the latest edition and supplement, but augment it with the first edition if you can find a copy (yellow cover).
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5.0 out of 5 stars influences salespeople, Jan. 10 2004
By 
Michael J. Cashen (Glen Burnie, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
There's not much to add to the superlatives written about this book except to note that simply having it in your possession can influence salespeople!
I took this book with me in Sept. 2003 to buy a "nearly new" piano at the annual sale of the prestigious Peabody Institute in Baltimore. The salewoman noticed it and said, "I see you have Larry Fine's book. I bet you'll leave here with a good piano at a great price."
Throughout our tour of the many pianos on sale, I felt as though she was being more factual because I had the book! And, because I had read parts of it, I was able to ask more questions about the types of materials used in construction of the various parts.
I bought a 2 month old Kawai GM-10 for about 2/3 list price! Not only did the book give me independent in-depth information on the Kawai, but several paragraphs (p.118) to read comparing it to other brands in terms of sound, feel, durability, warranty, etc.
Now, every time I sit at my piano, I feel an added confidence that I'm playing the finest instrument I could afford.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very helpful!, Dec 19 2003
By 
C. M. Cha (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
After a hiatus of almost 20 years, I decided that the time was right to buy a piano for myself and my young son. Since I had learned on a piano puchased by my parents almost 25years ago, I wasn't really familiar with all the piano makers available or how particular models/brands compared. This book (and the supplement) does a great job of educating any potential buyers on practically every aspect of buying a piano. Thus armed with the book's information, I got a very good value on a piano that I hadn't originally considered. I recommend the book to everyone!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun as well as useful, Nov. 8 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
I agree with everything said above about how useful this book is--it was my bible when I bought my piano. Moreover, if you love pianos, The Piano Book is also quite a nice read--very informative and thorough. My favorite part is Mr. Fine's reviews of the finest pianos. These are often eloquent, and a stimulus for any reader who likes to daydream about owning a Steinway or comparably fine piano.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for piano customers and dealers, July 5 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
I own a music store and have used this book a lot when researching piano brands as well as what to look for in a used piano. There is a lot of valuable information contained in this book. For consumers, this will give a wonderful overview of the things to look for when purchasing a used piano. Highly recommended.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Biased, June 28 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
After studying the piano market for the past six years, I have found it continuosly changing and evolving. I have seen major manufacturers go bancrupt, while nominal brands explode onto the market. It is very disturbing when freinds are mislead by outdated information. This is not the fault of Mr. Fine, but the piano market changes very rapidly and no one would be able to give a definative reveiw of currently produced pianos. This book is an excellent text on how pianos work and what to look for when buying a piano, new or used. Mr. Fines rating is not a fair assessment of some of the brands that are on the market today. So read that part of the book with an open mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, April 25 2003
By 
Slava K. (Forest Hills, NY United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
This book has everything you need to know about how to buy and maintain a piano plus a lot of entertaining information about piano industry and piano mechanics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible!, June 30 2002
By 
This review is from: The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano (Paperback)
Well worth it! If you are even considering buying a piano, buy this book first.
Get the supplement too -- it has excellent price guidelines. How can you buy a piano if you don't even know whether it should cost $10,000 or $30,000?
Between this book and the supplement, you will be armed with knowledge of what to look for, and how much it should really cost. Worth every penny!
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The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano
The Piano Book: Buying & Owning a New or Used Piano by Larry Fine (Paperback - Nov. 1 2000)
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