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The Definitive Piano Buying Guide for
Pianos made by: Artfield Julius Feurich Piano Co., Shanghai, China, and Altenstadt, Hesse, Germany
In 2002, the Chinese piano manufacturer Artfield purchased a majority interest in Feurich from its owner, Julius Feurich, whose company had been making pianos in Germany since 1851. Artfield made exact copies of all the Feurich equipment and scale designs, and has since been manufacturing and distributing pianos in China under the Julius Feurich name. In 2008, Artfield transferred the Feurich company back to Julius Feurich in exchange for additional production equipment, but retained the right to use the Julius Feurich name in China. In 2011, Julius Feurich sold the remaining rights to the commercial use of his name to another party, and attempted to establish a new piano-building firm under a different name in Gunzenhausen, Germany, but that business failed. (See under Feurich for more information.) Now Artfield has hired Stephan Kühnlein, a production manager in Julius Feurich's former company, and other former Feurich employees, to complete the manufacture of pianos in Altenstadt, Germany, to the original Feurich designs. These pianos are to be called "J.F. Hessen," the "J.F." referring to Julius Feurich, and "Hessen" referring to the German state, Hesse, in which Altenstadt is located. Julius Feurich is not involved with the company.
Most of the assembly of J.F. Hessen pianos is performed in China by Artfield, and the pianos are similar to those Artfield makes under the Julius Feurich name. For the J.F. Hessen pianos, however, the nearly completed instruments are shipped to Germany, where the hammers are installed and all musical finishing work, such as tuning, voicing, and action regulating, is performed to German standards. The pianos contain the usual high-quality components often found in German pianos: Renner actions (standard in grands, optional in verticals), Renner or Abel hammers, Strunz Bavarian spruce soundboards, Röslau strings, and sharps of real ebony wood. Due to the amount of German materials and labor in the final product, the pianos qualify for "made in Germany" status under German law. At present, three vertical models (47", 48", and 52") and one grand model (5' 8") are available.
Warranty: Ten years, parts and labor, transferable between individuals with notification to dealer within the warranty period.
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