Over the past month I have struggled to explain what it is that I’m doing to a customer’s piano when I talk about voicing and regulation. I’ve worked up at least 3 different ways to explain how I’m making a piano better, more reliable, and more musical. Each description falls short of how wonderful the results will be.
Luckily for me, I’m not the only one who faces this struggle and I found other, more eloquent, articles on the topic at Piano Buyer. I use this as a resource for valuing instruments and also for their insightful articles. Here’s Larry Fine’s article on care for a piano, encompassing everything from climate control, tuning, the touch and feel of the keys, and voicing. Here’s one specifically on Voicing.
Everyone I’ve had try out the New Hailun pianos has very much enjoyed the experience. The key touch, the sound, the price…these are all rather great qualities to admire, but there are some other details you might have overlooked in the experience.
1. Hailun Dream Assurance.
The company owners, Mr. Hailun Chen and Mrs. Faye Chen, are graduates of the Piano Technology School where they met and embarked on their dream to guarantee that each piano they build is crafted with the finest materials and highest quality craftsmanship. They don’t just own the company, piano technology is their passion and putting their talents to good use they have surrounded themselves with other expert professionals in the piano industry.
With so much of their own hard work in their product to uphold their reputation, they offer the “Hailun Dream Assurance”:
“For Many, having a piano in their home is a dream come true. We know you will love the beautiful sound of your Hailun piano so we protect you with Dream Assurance. If you are not completely happy with the tone of your Hailun piano, we will exchange it for you!”
2. The President and Vice President
Basilios Strmec and Joe Defio have been purveyors of fine pianos globally for most of their lives. Basilios has staked his reputation on Hailun as a transplant from being an executive with Bösendorfer. Joe has been a lively face in the American piano and music industry for decades as both a performer and company representative to several different American piano brands; you can still catch performances of his talents.
3. Hailun Innovates
When designing the Hailun pianos, there is an emphasis on making the instrument better is several aspects with some of the latest technologies:
HLPS Lid Safety – the Hailun Limb Protection System removes the majority of the weight from the lid and allows the lid to glide shut from being dropped off the prop-stick. The wonderful benefit to this is how easy on your back and limbs it is to open the instrument; no more heavy lifting!
Five-Axis Machining – Hailun has long been the world’s largest parts manufacturer. Even when using the highest quality materials for action and case parts there are often slight deviations from production to production in traditional practice; the precision of this system is so exacting that Hailun has become the only company where you can take the action out of one piano and put it into another of the same model and just play. Precision!
Permanent Action Stability – Permanent Action Stability is a Hailun patented design which employs cast aluminum to ensure no flex or sagging in the keybed which leads to uneven touch. Hailun pianos are going to play the same way every time. Reliability!
XS Tuning Pins – eXceptional Stability (XS) in tuning is achieved in part due to these tuning pins which offer greater friction in the pinblock to hold a tuning longer between tunings.
String Optimization – Another Hailun patent allows for greater threshold for vibration intensity of the strings and provides a clearer tone for better musical expression
4. Quality Materials Used in the Right Way
Many of the designers and engineers of the Hailun product line have a strong affinity towards the sounds of top tier American and European pianos. Here are some things they borrowed and improved upon:
Full Perimeter Plate – Enhancing the bass and clarity of the instrument overall, full perimeter, cast iron plates have been a strong European tradition for over a century. Where there is less floor space the piano owners required a better upright and this is the most successful vertical plate design in Europe, where most pianists own upright pianos. Hailun optimized their plate by utilizing their CNC technology to exact the string lengths for a clearer, more pure sound.
Agraffes – There are agraffes from the bass right through the treble to provide precise string termination points and enhance sound quality. The metal composition of these agraffes vary as each tonal range needs so that the tenor has a beautiful color and the treble can still produce a nice clear tone.
Hammers and Strings – The hammer felts are sourced in Germany and produced through cold pressing which provides musical space for an artist to create warm, expressive, dynamic tone in their works. The strings are German Roslau, not as stiff as most Asian built pianos, which pair nicely with the Cold-Pressed hammers for a warmer, more welcoming tone.
5. The Elite Engineers
The greatest reason Hailun pianos are such great instruments is the top quality engineers and technicians Mr. and Mrs. Chen were able to bring together to create such a spectacular product.
Zeng Xinghua – 30 years experience in piano manufacturing, highly awarded in China for piano production and design
George F. Emerson – 32 years of piano engineering experience going back to Baldwin and Mason & Hamlin; 2 behemoths in the American Piano Industry
Zlatkovic Sibin – Director of tuning and voicing with over 20 years experience and a good history with Bosendorfer
Peter Veletsky – Senior Technical Advisor, a piano building prodigy and near legend, he was the youngest person in Austria to become a licensed piano producer at age 22 who began at a young age to learn the family craft from earlier generations
Stephen and Claire Paulello – Custom piano designer and professor of music
Ema Shigeru – 35 years experience perfecting hammer voicing in Japan, more recently set to work creating top tier Kawai concert pianos
Mike Carraher and Keith Bowman – 2 of America’s most respected technicians with around 80 years experience between them, Hailun brings them to the factory several times a year to help continually improve and modify the production for the North American market.
Even after all those details, the most impressive piece is being able to have a dream piano in your home for a price that can’t be beat by anyone. That’s my contribution to the Hailun Dream Assurance.
For years I’ve been telling customers that the biggest factor in a piano going out of tune is humidity. For most of us, this is true because we maintain our home’s temperature with climate control maintaining a small variance between maximum and minimum temperatures.
However, stage situations and venues where a constant temperature is not maintained can see wild fluctuations in their tuning. This video shows the effect a slight temperature change can have on your piano: