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The Definitive Piano Buying Guide for
Cunningham Piano Company
5427 Germantown Avenue
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19144
Pianos made by: Ningbo Hailun Musical Instruments Co. Ltd., Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China; with Cunningham Piano Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Cunningham Piano Company began manufacturing pianos in 1891 and, in its time, was the largest piano maker in Philadelphia. The original Cunningham factory ceased production in December 1943. The company was reopened in December 1945 as a piano rebuilder and retailer. Today, Cunningham specializes in the restoration of high-quality American and European pianos, and produces the new Matchless Cunningham.
Designed by Frank Emerson, the Matchless Cunningham is based on the original Cunningham scale designs. "Matchless" is used in reference to an offer made by Patrick Cunningham over a century ago: that he would pay $10,000 to anyone who could build a better piano. Because no one ever took him up on his offer, Cunningham labeled his piano the Matchless. Today, Matchless also refers to a unique combination of high-quality parts and a successful American scale design, assembled in China at the world-class Hailun factory, and with quality control overseen by Cunningham in Philadelphia. The line consists of grands from 5' to 9' and two verticals, 44" and 50".
Cunningham grands have maple rims (arguably necessary for best sound), custom-designed German Abel Hammers, German music wire, agraffes, duplex scaling, and slow-close mechanisms on both the fallboard and lid. Cunningham regularly sends technical staff to the Ningbo Hailun factory to oversee production, and each piano undergoes a thorough final preparation by Cunningham in Philadelphia.
The special Heritage Series incorporates art cases that reflect late Victorian styling. Handcrafted cabinet parts are made and installed in Cunningham's Philadelphia facility, making each instrument unique. Customers have the option of customizing certain aspects of the cabinetry based on their personal preferences.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor.
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