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The Definitive Piano Buying Guide for
Pianos made by: Carl Rönisch Piano Manufacture GmbH, Leipzig, Germany, and other factories (see text)
In 2009, the German piano manufacturer Blüthner purchased the Rönisch and Hupfeld brands and, to manufacture them, set up a new legal entity and a factory next door to the Blüthner factory in Leipzig, Germany.
Rönisch was established in Dresden in 1845 by Carl Rönisch. In his day, Rönisch was a pioneer in piano building, and his instruments were sold throughout the world. Rönisch's son sold the company after World War I, and production was moved to Leipzig after the Dresden factory was bombed in 1945. During the Communist era, the company was taken over by the state and combined with other piano factories; it became privately owned again in the 1990s.
Since purchasing the brand, Blüthner has redesigned the pianos, which are now made in three sizes of vertical and three sizes of grand, in dozens of styles, woods, and finishes. Musically, and in terms of their quality, Rönisch pianos are very similar to Haessler, another Blüthner brand, but the cabinet styles and finishes offered are different. The pianos are entirely made in Germany, with such parts as rims, beams, and cabinets supplied by Blüthner. The pianos also use high-quality parts such as Renner actions, Delignit pinblocks, soundboards of solid European mountain spruce, and Abel hammers. Although new to North America, Rönisch pianos have been very popular in other parts of the world for decades. Approximately 600 verticals and 300 grands are made each year.
Ludwig Hupfeld became involved in the musical-
instrument business in 1892, and purchased the Rönisch company in 1918. (Today, Hupfeld is a sub-
division of Rönisch.) Hupfeld was one of the earliest and best-known makers of reproducing pianos — advanced pneumatic player pianos of the early 1900s that faithfully recorded the nuances of the playing of recording artists — and other automatic musical instruments.
Hupfeld pianos are made in two editions: Hupfeld Europe and Studio. The Hupfeld Europe line is entirely made in Europe, with strung backs and cabinets from Romania, and key and action assembly, final regulation, voicing, and inspection done at the Rönisch factory in Germany. The Studio line is made in Indonesia, using cast-iron plates, actions, and keys from Indonesian suppliers, and hammers, strings, pinblocks, and felt from Germany. The instruments are then sent to the Rönisch factory in Germany for final regulation, voicing, and inspection.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
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