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Estonia Pianos
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Joined: May 2006
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Larry and I were looking over the 2017 NAMM exhibitor list, and we're happy to see a larger contingent of new acoustic piano manufacturers listed as exhibitors this year, particularly some manufacturers on the high end that haven't been represented at the show in recent years:

A. Geyer
Bechstein
Bösendorfer
Beijing Hsinghai/Otto Meister
Fazioli
Grotrian
Pearl River/Ritmüller/Kayserburg
Hallet Davis
Baldwin
Hardman
Blüthner/Irmler/Rönisch
Kawai/Shigeru Kawai
Mason & Hamlin
Palatino
Perzina
Brodmann
Kingsburg
Story & Clark
Ravenscroft
Pramberger
Knabe
Seiler
Schimmel
Steingraeber
Hailun/Emerson/Cline
Petrof
Wilh. Steinberg
Yamaha/Yamaha CF
Young Chang/Weber

The show runs January 19th-22nd. I'm looking forward to a less subdued experience in "Lounge 88", unlike the last two years...and seeing a few screen names on the forum in person again!


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Can the general public (i.e Piano enthusiast) attend? Or must one be a dealer or employed by the industry.

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As far as I know it's industry only, or you need to know someone in the industry to give you an unused entry pass. There was a year where Sunday was open to the public, but I'm not sure they've any plans to do that again.


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Who's missing? I noticed no Steinway, Estonia, and Charles Walter.

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Steinway hasn't been showing at NAMM for years, and they have their own event at a different time of year, though you do see some of their people around in Anaheim. Estonia stopped a couple years ago, though I believe Indrek Laul still attends without a booth (miss those comfy couches they brought to the show!). Walter showed pianos last year, with Charles Walter there himself, along with his wife and daughter. Walter Piano Transport is always there. Anyway, it's significantly better than prior years when it comes to the number of piano companies represented on the 2nd and 3rd floors. It even appears that Casio will have booth space on the 3rd floor, in the same room as so many of the acoustics...a nice change from their screamin' loud location on the ground floor of the convention center.

For the show veterans, it doesn't appear there's an exhibitor between the 2nd floor piano rooms yet, so I guess it's possible there's room for 1-2 more.


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I think this will be #29 for me. I used to highly look foward to it every year. However the last few years it's been more of an ordeal then anything as the crowds, even on Thursday or Friday, are just overwhelming (to put it mildly) !

This makes it very difficult to hear/play any type of keyboard -- acoustic or electric. The ambient noise/din from the convention floor in the main showroom resembles sitting outside your car on the 405 freeway at peak rush hour…which is basically all the time. Actually the freeway might be more forgiving -- we have a lot of Priuses on the road here in LA. smile I now need earplugs just to walk around downstairs.

The upstairs main piano room used to be a safe haven from the electronic wars of downstairs but now, even that is getting to be unbearable. I recall playing a Bluthner larger grand, either last year or the previous, and to be honest, I couldn't distinguish the tonal difference between it and any cheap Asian piano.

The Yamaha smaller side room in the hallway of the Marriott is probably your best chance of hearing anything --- if you can catch it with a lull in the action - either early or late in the day.

Kawai usually has a separate room, which if you hit it at the right time, can be an oasis from the din.

I noticed Fazioli will be back after being absent last year. Pierre will most likely be in a tortured mode having to endure a marathon day of " who can play the Revolutionary Etude the fastest and loudest". I'm sure he's counting the days till 1/19... wink

Yeah, as you can probably tell, I can hardly wait... smirk


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Originally Posted by Dave Ferris
I used to highly look foward to it every year. However the last few years it's been more of an ordeal then anything as the crowds, even on Thursday or Friday, are just overwhelming (to put it mildly) !

This makes it very difficult to hear/play any type of keyboard -- acoustic or electric.


NAMM has become somewhat irrelevant as a trade show for piano merchants. I can remember, in the 70's, when the Chicago show at McCormick place, attracted international piano companies and pianos were a significant portion of the displays. But even then, and today, judging a piano's sound at a show was/is, well smirk , a fool's errand.

In the 80's, the Messe in Frankfurt became the prominent piano show, and you were considered a "serious" piano dealer only if you attended that show. Each manufacturer had a magnificent display, including Hamburg Steinway, and most had kitchens where various forms of cuisine were the norm, served with Champagne and/or schnapps.

Now, even Frankfurt (which is down to every other year) has been supplanted by Shanghai - sans food. But, the quality of the products is significantly, um, different. Today, one shouldn't give too much credence to what you see, hear and play at a show - or you're likely to be VERY surprised when it hits your front door! cry


Russell I. Kassman
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FORMER/Semi-Retired: USA Rep.for C.Bechstein & Sauter; Founder/R. KASSMAN Piano; Consultant - GUANGZHOU Pearl River Piano Co.

www.RussellKassman.com

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