Pianos made by: AXL Musical Instrument Co., Ltd. Corp., Shanghai, China
Although Palatino may be a relatively new name to the piano world, it is not a newcomer to the music business. For almost 20 years, parent company AXL has manufactured a full range of musical instruments under its own name and under a variety of other, recognizable brand names, including cooperative ventures with Schimmel and Renner. The company has a highly automated factory that employs CNC routers from Japan and Germany, and imports high-quality materials and components for its pianos from around the world.
Palatino makes over 10,000 pianos annually in two categories: Classic and Professional. The Classic series includes the 48" Torino upright (PUP-123T) and 5' Milano grand (PGD-50); the Professional series includes the 50" Capri upright (PUP-126), the 5' 9" Roma grand (PGD-59), and the 6' 2" Firenze grand (PGD-62). Features common to all Palatino pianos include a German or Canadian solid spruce soundboard, German Röslau steel strings, and hard rock-maple pinblock. In addition, Professional-series pianos have a Renner-style action and hammers; the Classic series uses British-designed customized BPA-style actions and hammers.
Based on personal observation and dealer reports, Palatino pianos appear to have good quality control and are prepared well at the factory before being shipped to dealers. The AXL factory is known as being one of China’s higher-grade facilities for the manufacture of musical instruments. Our own reviewer tested a couple of the grand models and found them to be very musical and a pleasure to play (see review in the Fall 2009 issue).
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor. Benches and slow-close fallboard mechanisms are warranted for one year.