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Will price affect consumers’ evaluation of commodities’ quality?

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Will price affect consumers’ evaluation of commodities’ quality?

September 05
00:44 2019

Dr Alejandro inadvertently gave me a little test a couple of days ago.

He gave me a pair of running shoes that cost less than $80. It feels comfortable to wear the shoes, but I don’t think they are as good as my ultra-boost (It’s $120) in wrapping and overall foot feeling.

Two weeks later, he gave me a pair of running shoes that he said were more expensive and asked me to estimate the price of the shoes.

I took off my Yeezys 350, and put on the new shoes ,it is so comfortable that it’s simply unparalleled, I reckoned.

It feels very similar to my Yeezys 350, even better in running flexibility.

“This is the Chinese running shoes from the same series and different styles that I gave you half a month ago,” Dr. Alejandro said with a smile. “The market price is $80.”

Yes, that surprises me. The shoes ARE almost the same quality as Yeezys. I felt a difference after that, but not a 200-dollar difference, and I bought Yeezys for $280.More importantly, why didn’t the first pair of shoes give me the real experience of high-end brand running shoes?

Because Dr Alejandro told me in advance that the shoes were expensive, then I had some expectations in mind.

I find that there is a universal and obvious factor, which can easily affect people’s evaluation of a commodity, that is price. This is a direct reflection of psychology. Generally speaking, people tend to evaluate higher-priced products better than lower-priced ones.

Will price affect consumers’ evaluation of a product? 

Is the fact true? We did an evaluation experiment on the piano to see if we could prove my conjecture.

In order to maximize the authenticity and objectivity of the experimental results, we chose two different places to carry out the experiment, shopping malls and conservatories.

Since the piano requires more professional music knowledge than ordinary goods, we adopt a 10-point system for the test standards in shopping malls and music schools, and ask piano amateur to grade the timbre and touch of different pianos.

The 15 upright pianos tested (in basically the same condition) were supplied by the association.

Bösendorfer 130 for $72,998, Steinway K-52 for $38,800,Schimmel k 122 for $30,118 and Petrof P125 F1 for $19,900,Bechstein B124 for $28,448, Kayserburg ka-121b for $12,990,Mason & Hamlin  M50 for $25,881,Boston UP-126E for $14,300,Baldwin BP5  for $7,590,  Walter Charles r. 1500 for $15,400, Bluthner D for $31,443; Yamaha U1, for $11,199, Kawai K300 for $9,900, Bush & Gerts AR 70 for $24,799, Brodmann PE 130 for $10,500. Price order is as follows:



Price (USD)





Steinway K-52



Blüthner D



Schimmel k122



Bechstein B124 Imposant



Mason & Hamlin M50



Bush & Gerts AR 70



Petrof P125 F1



Walter,Charles R. 1500



Boston UP-126E



Kayserburg KA-121B



Yamaha U1



Brodmann PE 130



Kawai K300



Baldwin BP5


In the first round of tests at the mall and Conservatory of music, we covered all the pianos’ logos and ensured that the price of any piano was not known to the experimenter, and scored the piano on-site by their own experience. After average statistics, the results are as shown in the bar chart: (Fig. 1 is the test results of piano amateurs in shopping malls; Fig. 2 is the test results of teachers and students in the Piano Department of Conservatory of Music)

The blind test of Shopping mall (Amateur of music)

The blind test of conservatory (Teachers and Students of Piano Department)

The second round of tests with knowing brand’s price:

The second test of Shopping mall (Amateur of music)

The second test of conservatory (Teachers and Students of Piano Department)

It can be observed from the figure that after knowing the price of each piano, the score given by the experimenter is basically decreasing in order, which is just consistent with the decreasing data of market price, indicating that consumers’ evaluation of the product is easily affected by the price.

At the beginning of the blind test, no matter the piano amateur or teachers and students of piano department of conservatory, everyone had a different understanding of each piano’s timbre and touch, Such as

“I prefer the tone of the schimmel, brighter and rounded”,

“They have completely different touch, the lighter I find more suited to Mozart and Haydn, whereas the heavier piano is better for late romantics”,

“Both U1 and k300 appear to be similar and perform equally well but their tone is a little bit tinny and bright contrast to these top tier brands,” etc.

According to the statistical data, the histogram of the blind test does not increase or decrease according to the price completely, but it follows the independent score of the public sense, and the evaluation without the influence of price seems to be more objective and rational.

To most pianophile, a piano’s tone is probably its most important aspect, but also the most difficult to quanlify or describe. Voicing ,or tone regulation, comprises a variety of techniques that technicians use to change a piano’s tone. Most involve adjusting the hardness, density, tension, and surface of the hammer felt to produce a spectrum of tonal qualities ranging from bright to mellow. Slight repositioning of the strings may also be part of this process.

Timbre is the particular blend of harmonics in a piano’s tone, or in the tone of a single note. The timbre is said to have color when it contains a blend of harmonics that is pleasing to the ear.

The piano have a broad spectrum of tonal color when the hammers are voiced in such a way that the timbre changes with minor differences in touch by the pianist, making accessible a broad range of timbres ever the instrument’s full range of volume.

According many pianists, when they can be distracted by notes that stick out or are weak in the scale, he or she has to remember which notes don’t perform like the others. This inhibits the performance, and ultimately, the audience doesn’t get the full benefit of the artist’s interpretation of a piece.

Pianos with a broad spectrum of total color provide the pianist with a larger expressive range. However, producing the same degree of change in timbre for each hammers so the voicing is even across the keyboard and throughout the piano’s range of volume requires very high technics and skills. This is achieved by using hammers of very high quality that have been carefully voiced so that very slight increases in the speed of the hammer increase not only the sound’s volume, but also, slightly, it’s brightness.

In addition, the main measure of touching is speed. A grand piano has a mechanism in which you can hit the same key again when one-third of the key returns to its original position but in the case of an upright piano when you hit a key once you cannot play it again until it completely returns to its original position .So the speed of uptight piano per second is much lower than that of grand pianos. Upright piano does a weakness that it’s the movement of the keys. And this is why we choose the upright piano as the experimental test.

After listening to the above explanations, we will return to the new validation of the test results above – whether the evaluation results of blind test tend to be more objective and rational. As a professional piano technician, there is a more professional criterion to judge, rather than a 10-point system. The following is a classification according to the forte and piano of piano performance.

The p/f in the picture is not only the meaning of the forte and piano symbols recorded in the music score, and the rating given by us is not only about volume, but also includes pitch, timbre, and sustains as the test criteria. Piano tonal qualities are explained by separating the elements of tone into four categories as we just talked about.

The wider the range of capabilities between P-F, the higher the grade, and the level 5 may be the height that only a few pianos in the world can reach at present.

Our group has more than 40 years of experience in piano making, and we knew and tuned nearly a hundred piano brands. In our understanding, pianos made in Japan, Korea, Indonesia or China could rarely reach the level 1, that is, the lowest level. Pianos made in the United States and Europe, especially in Germany, are in the second to fourth level. Why the American and German pianos are the preeminent instruments because pianos been made in America and Germany since the invention of the piano essentially. It’s like no matter how much we study Chinese porcelain, we can’t do the great works of art that they do.

We listed the brands that reached the level 1 to the level 4, which was basically in line with the results of the public blind test except for one example of Bösendorfer 130. Surprisingly, a Chinese-made Bush & Gerts AR 70 (Bush & Gerts originated in Chicago in 1884) and a Japanese-made Boston UP-126E (steinway brand) not only ranked high in the blind test, but also reached the LEVEL-3 level. For consumers with a budget that is not particularly high but with high quality requirements, these two brands are good choices.

Level 5




Level 4

Steinway K-52

Schimmel k122


Level 3

Blüthner D

Bush & Gerts AR70

Boston UP-126E

Level 2

Mason & Hamlin M50

 Bechstein B124

Brodmann PE 130

Level 1

Yamaha U1

Petrof P125

kawai K300

It is concluded that consumers should not be guided by brand names, prices, awards, publicity and other external packaging, but return to the product itself and choose their favorite products.


Media Contact
Company Name: America Piano Manufacturers Association
Contact Person: David Andersen
Email: Send Email
Country: United States
Website: www.apmapiano.com

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