“Made in Germany”

BVK Made In Germany certificateThe Bundesverband Klavier (BVK) — the German piano manufacturers’ association — has created a new “Made in Germany” certificate of quality to distinguish pianos that are 100% made in Germany from those that are claimed to be but are not. The BVK hopes that the new certificate will provide more security and clarity for customers, and help the German piano industry better compete with Asian makers of lower-priced pianos. More …

In the Shop with Bob Moog: A Personal Account

From 1986 to 1988, I worked with electronic-music pioneer Robert Moog (rhymes with vogue), custom-building experimental keyboard instruments. In 1993, I wrote this account of our work together, and an abbreviated version was published around that time in Piano & Keyboard magazine, no longer in business. This is the first publication of the unabridged version. A Postscript with updated information about Moog and his family follows the article.—L.F.

Moog and Fine, with completed Yamaha MTS keyboard. Photo Credit: Bob Moog Foundation

When Bob Moog called me in January 1986 to ask if I would work with him on a small project, the last thing I needed was another job. I was running a piano-service business, finishing up work on The Piano Book, writing a regular monthly magazine column, and doing about ten hours a week of charitable volunteer work. I couldn’t see fitting another activity into my schedule, so I said no. Then, after hanging up the phone, I thought, “Larry, you fool—how often do you get the opportunity to work with someone of this caliber?” So a few days later, I called back and said maybe.  More …

How to Determine the Value of a Used Piano

The purpose of this article is to comment on and clarify the information in Piano Buyer on determining the value of a used piano. (The Piano Buyer article has since been revised to include these comments.)

Fair Market Value

Fair market value is the price at which an item would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither of whom is compelled to buy or sell, and each of whom has reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.

Appraisers of used pianos and other consumer goods typically use three different More …

Piano Brand Ratings

From time to time I receive an e-mail or phone call inquiring why a particular piano brand is not rated higher or lower in Piano Buyer. Usually the caller has recently played or serviced a piano, been either smitten with or disappointed by it, and disagrees with the rating I’ve given it. Sometimes the questioner simply wants to better understand how I arrived at that rating, or at the ratings in general. More …