Hailun's Mike Carraher receives Life Achievement Award
Friday, 10 May 2013 16:43
Mike Carraher has received the coveted Lifetime Achievement Award given to him at the recent Mid Atlantic Regional Conference of Piano Technicians.
Mike has been a beloved Hailun team member for many years and has been pivotal to raising quality control at all levels of the company. Together with Keith Bowman, Mike has contributed and relied on his extensive experience in servicing pianos, training piano technicians, rebuilding grand and upright pianos to infuse Hailun instruments with a new level of quality.
He has been a mentor to many technicians and aspiring piano professionals both in the US and in China.
We salute Mr. Mike Carraher for his dedicated service and congratulate him on this award!
Photo: Steven Taylor, CEO MARC Convention (left), Mike Carraher (right).
Hailun: Piano Line of the Year 2012
Friday, 10 May 2013 16:23
Hailun has been awarded the prestigious Piano Line of the Year Award 2012 by Music Merchant Review.
The award commemorates the viability, quality, and value of Hailun products which have become standard setting in the piano industry. Hailun instruments distinguish themselves primarily through their level of quality and workmanship while maintaining an very advantageous price/value ratio. They maintain highest quality, luxury features like beautiful bird's eye maple wood that are exactly book-matched to flawless symmetry. Such characteristics are usually only found in European makes of highest ranking. Hailun was also able to garner the coveted award because of its edge in innovation. Only Hailun grand piano are factory equipped with a system that allows for easy lifting of the grand piano lid and protects users from back strain or accidental drop of the piano lid.
Above all, Hailun pianos have become widely accepted by musicians of all genres. The Hailun USA Team was honored by the award of the industry and looks forward to continue its focus on quality and value.
Hailun Exhibits Pianos at Bellevue PTG
Saturday, 28 July 2012 15:33
It's been a real busy week and I just now got caught up enough to write about the tremendous
response that Hailun got at the recent Piano Technicians Guild national meeting in Seattle.
I would personally like to thank every tech that came by our booth to tell us how much they liked the line
and that they would surely recommend the brand to their tuning customers.
I also would really like to give a BIG shout out to all the techs who liked us enough to become tech/dealers.
With the great respect that I have for the abilities and skills that it takes to be a member of the guild it makes me
proud that they would think enough of our brand to choose to represent Hailun in their areas as a sales source.
As Hailun progresses towards it's goal to build the best piano to ever come out of Asia I would like to say
how happy I am to be affiliated with such a new force in the industry. It is fun and it keeps getting better.
Become part of the excitement. Get on the Hailun bandwagon now.
Thursday, 02 February 2012 06:02
Steve Wonder Visits Hailun Booth at NAMM 2012
Steve Wonder spend about 60 minutes at the Hailun USA booth and got glued at the new Hailun Grand 168 Vienna Series. Long conversations followed about how his performance and planned recordings.
Florida State University Students Visit Hailun Piano Factory
Wednesday, 21 December 2011 00:00
For several years, Vienna International, Inc. has been an ardent supporter of the only graduate level piano technology degree in the United States. This program is overseen by a visionary piano professional and academic, Prof. Anne Garee, at Florida State University. Every year two outstanding students are accepted into the program and as part of their capstone course they are given the opportunity to spend some weeks overseas at a piano factory. This year the two graduate piano technology students are Sharon M. and Katherine R. And for their final course they went on an apprentice / training session to one of the most important piano factories in Asia: Hailun Piano Co.
From Kate: Saturday, December 17, 2011
In Zhejiang province, the Hailun Piano factory hums with activity. Making quality instruments is everyone's business here. As we followed our liaison, Jack, through the factory departments, Hailun employees smiled and answered questions about what they were doing. They didn't seem to mind when we lingered for a while watching them work, or took notes and photographs.
One of the first things we saw was a demonstration of the HLPS-1 System in the grand piano finishing department. With the HLPS-1 System, the grand piano lid can be lifted easily with one finger! It has a slow fall mechanism that prevents the lids from slamming shut. Two employees were installing the system when we approached their station. With Jack as our interpreter, we discussed the calibration of the pistons, consumer expectations, and the reliability of the HLP System. When we returned the next day to see the final result, the employees invited us try out the system several times, and showed us how the lid of concert instruments can be removed easily for performance.
From Sharon: Sunday, December 20, 2011
One of the highlights of our tour around the Hailun facility was being able to witness a soundboard press set up. There is only one grand soundboard set up for pressing every 12 hours, which is done within a climate-controlled room in a corner of the factory. There are two common ways to press a soundboard: a) attaching radial ribs (which describe the curvature of the long pieces of wood attached to the bottom of the soundboard), and b) a compression crown method (which involves pressing the soundboard itself into a shallow dish), or a combination of both. According to our guide at Hailun, they use a combination, pressing the soundboard into its home using “go bars”, in other words, against the overhang above the soundboard itself using flexible wooden bars once the ribs and bridges are glued on. As our guide, Jack, put it, “...[the soundboard] is the heart of the piano”. Hailun makes soundboards out of spruce, sourced from both Russia and Austria. The crown that is put on the board during this process affects an important aspect of piano manufacture called “down-bearing” among others, which in turn affects the overall tone and projection of the piano. At the Hailun facility, soundboard pressing is done slowly and with care, as it is recognized as one of the most important processes in the factory.
From Kate: Monday, December 21, 2011
A single piano is made from many parts, but where these parts come from, and who makes them is not always transparent. Because the Hailun Piano Company is operating at capacity in their current factory, case parts, actions, and keyboards are made to their specifications at facilities nearby. In addition to the main factory, we traveled off-site to tour these places during our trip to Ningbo.
An improved music desk was the order of business on the day we visited the upright case factory. We accompanied the upright piano manager--her design sheets in hand--a quality control technician, and our liaison, Jack, on the 20 minute drive to the facility. It's easy to share information electronically these days, but when it comes to building better pianos, employees at Hailun prefer meeting face to face.
On our drive back, we stopped by the site of the new factory, which will open in 2012. It has approximately 800 thousand square feet of production floor space, and will help the company meet the growing demand for Hailun pianos in markets world wide.
Hailun takes leadership in piano safety: Introducing HLPS-1
Friday, 21 January 2011 00:00
Since the dawn of the piano (yes – it is that dramatic), one part of the grand piano refused itself to safe, convenient, and elegant use: the grand piano lid. Over the last 300 years uncounted pianists have had their fingers, hands, and arms hurt by the accidental slamming of the grand piano lid. Today, tomorrow, and for the rest of the year hundreds of thousands of grand pianos will not see their grand piano lid opened simply because the weight of the lid makes it a major effort that is fraught with risk to the human body.
That is why we are introducing the Hailun Limb Protector System 1 – HLPS 1- which allows the lid to be opened and closed with no effort. Accidents are minimized as the HLPS 1 prevents the grand piano lid to smash anyone. Powerful gas cylinders replace the traditional grand piano hinges. Hailun USA holds the exclusive patent licence rights and will be the only manufacturer to offer this safety feature on integrated in its instruments.
Pictures of an Exhibition: NAMM 2011- Part II
Thursday, 20 January 2011 00:00
Pictures of an Exhibition: NAMM 2011
Tuesday, 18 January 2011 00:00
NAMM 2011: Thanks to the team that put together this great show.
Buyer’s Remorse: Another reason why you should consider Hailun
Sunday, 25 July 2010 00:00
Please find below a post originally published July 11th 2010 on http://pc.morganisms.net/ by Mr. Mike Morgan about his piano shopping experience in St. Paul, MN.
Wells Pianos and Hailun pianos
11 July 2010, 6:34 pm
And now for something that has nothing to do with politics. An unrequested endorsment for a piano store, a store owner, and a piano manufacturer.
Very recently, I met a diligent and hardworking young man, Kieran Wells, who owns a business selling pianos. His store, Wells Pianos, is located on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota. Kieran sells various pianos, new and used, including some of very expensive names like Steinway and Sons, but his best value, in my view, is the Hailun piano.
I’ve been shopping for pianos a lot lately. Unfortunately, I didn’t find out about Wells Pianos until after I decided to buy a higher end grand piano. More on the piano I did buy, elsewhere, later.
Suffice it to say that it is too bad I didn’t find out about Wells Piano sooner, because, among the sundry high end pianos Kieran offers is a brand called Hailun. Hailun is a Chinese made piano, which makes it a tough sell with so many inferior Chinese made products being sold in the United States, including very low end Chinese pianos. Indeed, when I was shopping for a piano, I had looked at some Chinese made pianos, and would have bought one if I had thought they were a good value. I looked at new and used Cristofori/Lyrica (a store brand made in China), Falcone, and some others. They were not, in my opinion, a good value, and I didn’t like their sound anyway.
I also looked at other pianos, like Kawai, Yamaha, and Steinway. The Steiways were very impressive, but way out of my price league.
The Hailun piano, on the other hand, is a high end Chinese piano, offered at a very good price. It is more expensive than the ridiculously low priced Falcone, but it sounds better and is much higher quality.
Kieran at Wells piano is contracturally prevented from disclosing his prices on the internet, and so I won’t disclose what I learned about his prices while visiting his store. Suffice it to say that you could buy 2 or 3 new 5?10? Hailun pianos for the price of a 5?3? or 5?4? Japanese made piano.
Now, I am not a musician, and I am not a piano technician, but I have learned a lot about pianos recently, and I know a little something about manufacturing and quality. Kieran was kind enough to pull the action (keys/hammers) out of a 5?10? model, and show me the craftsmanship.
I was thoroughly impressed. The hammers were made of wood (not ABS like some Japanese models) but they were so meticulously and consistently constructed that they looked like they were molded. “Mechanical perfection” is the most apt description, as I couldn’t identify a single flaw. The touch weight, as judged by my admittedly uncalibrated fingers, was even and just right–not too heavy, and not too light.
The sound of the piano is very good, too, though I am not such a connoisseur that I could fairly compare it without having its competitors side by side. In general, I prefer the sound of a Boston or Steinway over a Kawai or a Yamaha, but that’s just me. I guess that the Hailun is closer and brighter than a Boston, but not as bright as a Yamaha or Kawai, but I am a layman, so let your ears be the judge.
It turns out that Wells Piano is also one of the sponsers of an upcoming event, the Second annual Chopin Celebration Concert at the Twin Cities Polish Festival (map). The concert will include, from what I understand, a very talented 8 year old boy, who, among other artists, will play on a Hailun piano provided by Wells Piano.
More on Chinese made pianos
In general, I am reluctant to buy chinese made products, though I do so from time to time as there are no other viable or economical alternatives. As a generalization, like Japan decades earlier, I think most Chinese manufacturers still have a lot to learn when it comes to quality control, and many Chinese made products are less than steller in this realm.
But it appears that Hailun is an exception to the generalization–and, yes, I know there are probably other exceptional Chinese manufacturers, and I also realize that as time move forward, other Chinese manufacturers will care enough about their reputation to institute better quality controls.
But there aren’t many pianos made in in the United States anymore. Steinway and Sons makes a fine piano, in New York, but it is orders of magnitude more expensive than the Hailun, and not in the window of affordibility for my family.
So, if you’re like me, you might have to make a tough decision: choose between no piano, a Chinese made piano, or stretch your finances and give up other perks in life like vacations, and buy a more established Korean or Japanese made piano. But Hailun seems to offer the craftsmanship and performance of a Japanese made piano at half the cost.
If you’re not exactly rich, but not exactly poor, there is no shame, I think, in purchasing a Hailun. It is a very high value piano (high craftsmanship and performance per dollar). Indeed, even if you could afford a more expensive piano, the Hailun may be the better choice. You could always offer a Hailun dealer more than his or her retail price, if paying a high price makes you feel better:)
Anyway, for reference, here is a sample of a pianist playing a Hailun:
Also, here is an excerpt from a recent purchaser of Hailun piano, found at pianoworld.com:
I love playing it. Anything I play sounds so much better. Thanks for all the advice on the lid etc.. I’ll read the article on how to make the room sound grand. … Still love the Hailun. However, I have a data point of one in the grand piano world. I only have had a couple of minor issues that were quickly corrected during the in home tuning. (squeaky unachord pedal and one damper not engaging all the time) These were certainly not factory defects, but just action parts that needed a quick adjustment. (JD)
J.D. brings up a good point. I bought a new piano, not a hailun, and am having similar and worse issues (mine did have a stuck key).
Fortunately, I bought it from a reputable dealer who is sending out a technician next week to address the remaining major issues.
While I do have some buyer’s remorse about not buying a Hailun, I discovered Hailun after I discovered the problems with the piano delivered to my home. I am trying to be as fair as possible with the piano and dealer I did choose. A deal is a deal. If they can make my piano, or an equivalent, behave like a new piano should, I will stick with my decision. It would not be fair to return the piano simply because I found a better deal elsewhere. So I am giving them the benefit of the doubt, and an opporunity to fix the issues my piano is having. If they cannot, and the dealer is not able to replace it with an identical piano, the piano I bought will go back.
If that happens, I will very likely end up purchasing a Hailun, from Kieran Wells at Wells Piano.
Meanwhile, save yourself some grief, and before you buy a piano, at least take a look and listen to a Hailun. If you’re in Minnesota, do a small local business and family man a favor, and stop into his store to take a look. It is located at 1330 Grand Avenue in St. Paul, MN, and I understand that he will deliver to the 7 county area.
One warning: You will have reverse sticker shock. The price is so low compared to other pianos of similar quality and sound that you may think there must be something wrong with the piano. But you have to remember, the piano was constructed in China, where craftspersons who make pianos earn much less than similarly skilled persons in Japan or New York. The savings is due entirely to wage disparities, and I expect that as Chinese wages rise, so too will the cost of this inexpensive but high valued piano. The prices are so low that it might even be worth a trip to Minnesota if you don’t have a Hailun dealer in your area.
Disclosure: I did not (yet) buy a Hailun piano, Kieran Wells did not know I’d be writing this (it is an unsolicited endorsement), and I have no connections whatsoever to Hailun pianos.
What the Hailun Warranty is all about: Product Certainty and Investment Security
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 00:00
Recently, a customer contacted us in regards to our philosophy of piano service and product warranty. As this topic might be of interest for Hailun Piano aficionados across the United States, it should be useful to share more about this important topic and our views on it.
The warranty of piano should be at the heart and on the forefront of a company’s concern long before the instrument is actually built. Engineers provide scale designs that seek to transmit certain tonal qualities and that create instruments that are stable over many, many years. The next step is that – again- experienced managers use their skills to select appropriate materials and suppliers. This task is not all that easy but becomes a key ingredient in building a reliable piano. We at Hailun rely on engineers like Peter Veletzky, who is the fourth generation of a family committed to piano building, Frank Emerson, currently Hailun’s Chief Design Engineer who helped develop many models for Baldwin during its golden years, as well as Stephen Paulello a concert pianist and master piano builder himself to create templates for our instruments. Differently from other industry colleagues, our instruments are not copies of previously successful designs. Therefore, each engineer that designed one of our instruments was (and in some cases still is) contractually obliged to spend a tremendous amount of time at our factory in China. As a matter of fact, for a visitor to our factory, it would almost seem that the factory is run by Europeans and Americans in close cooperation with our Chinese engineers who are very bright and eager to learn and contribute. Maintaining close and constant involvement of our European and American design engineers ensures also that the materials are sourced, treated correctly, and masterfully assembled.
Thus when you purchase a Hailun Piano almost 99.9% of issues related to factory workmanship, design and selection of materials have long been resolved. However, to ensure superb customer service Hailun USA has put in place procedures and structures that ensure that every single service call is taken note of and followed up. Some of the finest piano technicians in the U.S. are part of the Hailun Service Organization. In order to measure our success, we instituted a quantitative benchmark: the Customer Product Satisfaction Standard (CPSS). We measure any service call connected to a piano sold to a final customer in relation to pianos sold in that respective calendar quarter. For Q1 2010 we had a CPSS Product Satisfaction Level of 99.6%. In Quarter 2 2010 the CPSS Customer Satisfaction Level was at 100%. We believe that service is an integral part of product quality and remains of utmost priority for Hailun USA.
Hailun’s warranty document seeks to provide two important values for our customers: 1. Product Certainty. We want you to know that your piano is excellently built utilizing materials that in many cases can only be found in pianos of European manufacturers. Your Hailun piano will last you for many years. 2. Investment Security: Purchasing a piano is a major investment. It is our job to ensure that your investment stays sound. We do so by providing you with a limited 15 Years Warranty. We also do it by honoring the warranty in full should you sell it to another party- making the warranty completely transferable. As an additional advantage, we also secure your investment by providing you, as the original owner, with a Lifetime warranty on certain parts should you choose to make your Hailun piano a family heirloom. Hailun’s warranty covers any instrument purchased from any Authorized Hailun Merchant in the U.S.A.
Last but not least, we encourage our Authorized Hailun Merchants to provide pre-sale service and post-sale service. Every piano – even the most expensive ones- needs to be serviced by a skilled and well-trained technician. We believe that our instruments will provide you with more satisfaction when they are cared for by a professional. This is not generally part of warranty work but rather part of sales service and our expectation of a good dealer is that he will ensure that you are completely satisfied. Such service includes tuning, or resolving any minor issues that pianos naturally develop when being shipped into different climates. Remember a quality piano is a living entity. You will have more joy with your Hailun piano if you provide it with proper care.