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The Definitive Piano Buying Guide for
Pianos made by: Ningbo Hailun Musical Instruments Co. Ltd., Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China
This German piano manufacturer was founded by Julius Feurich in 1851, in Leipzig. At its height in the early 20th century, the company employed 360 people, annually producing 1,200 upright and 600 grand pianos. Feurich was the first German manufacturer to produce an upright with an under-damper system, and was also a member of the so-called Group of Five — the leading German manufacturers who joined forces to provide selected renowned pianists with concert instruments worldwide. Like many German manufacturers, however, Feurich lost its factory during World War II. Following the war, the fourth generation of the Feurich family rebuilt in Langlau, in what became West Germany.
In 1991, Bechstein purchased Feurich and closed the Langlau factory, but in 1993 the name was sold back to the Feurich family. For a time, production was contracted out to other German manufacturers, including Schimmel, while the Feurich family marketed and distributed the pianos. In 1995, Feurich opened a new factory in Gunzenhausen, Germany. Under the direction of the fifth-generation Julius Feurich, the family-owned company once again began producing its own pianos.
In 2011, Feurich was acquired by Wendl & Lung, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, which distributed a line of pianos under that name made to their specifications by Hailun, in China. The Wendl & Lung pianos went through further development, and additional models were added to the line, before being rebranded as Feurich. Julius Feurich was granted a license to make a line of Feurich-branded pianos in Gunzenhausen, but soon thereafter terminated that license agreement, choosing instead to manufacture pianos independently under another name in a venture that did not last long.
Under the name Feurich Pianoforte, Wendl & Lung continues to make and distribute Feurich pianos, working on the design of its instruments with original Feurich designers such as Friedrich Steinbauer, as well as with other renowned European piano designers such as Jan Enzenauer, Rolf Ibach, and Stephen Paulello.
There are currently two lines of Feurich instruments on the market. Utilizing a separate production line within the Hailun factory in Ningbo, China, Feurich produces a line of high-quality, affordable uprights and grands distinguished by their strict quality control, the use of European tonewoods, and modern innovations, such as Paulello rust-free music wire. Feurich experts are present in the factory at all times, in order to perform a full quality-control inspection before shipping. In 2015, a new Feurich-designed action and keyboard was introduced for all Feurich uprights. New improvements and design modifications were made on all the instruments; for example, the new Feurich model 179 Dynamic II has a lighter frame and various other modern features, such as an integrated LED lamp.
The second line is made in Vienna, Austria. The first model in this line is the 48" model 123 Vienna upright, designed by the Feurich Vienna team of experts managed by master piano builder Emil Dimitrov and including Stephen Paulello and Clare Pichet. The strung back for this model is made in China by Hailun, but with a new design, more advanced CNC milling, and with Paulello rust-free strings. All other parts are European. The level of detail in the design can be seen in features such as the compensation in the action for the different proportions and leverages required for black and white keys, owing to their different lengths. The Feurich High-Speed KAMM Action, designed by master piano builder Udo Kamm, also features a new, patented system of springs and rollers that enable extremely fast repetition for an upright piano. The pianos are meticulously regulated and voiced in Vienna. The 50" model 128 Vienna, due to enter production in 2017, was designed by Friedrich Steinbauer (original designer from the Feurich factory in Germany) and Jan Enzenauer, and is based on original Feurich designs.
Feurich offers an optional fourth pedal on their grand pianos. The Harmonic Pedal is essentially the inverse of a sostenuto: instead of holding up the dampers of notes struck prior to depressing the pedal, it holds up all but those notes. This allows the player to create sympathetic resonance between strings, even while playing staccato.
Warranty: 5 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
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