2647 N. Western Ave. #8030
Chicago, Illinois 60647
Sohmer pianos from this distributor are manufactured by Royale, a Korean firm descended from a former joint venture between the German manufacturer Ibach and the Korean manufacturer Daewoo, neither of which any longer makes pianos. During the German-Korean joint venture, the string scales, bridges, soundboards, rib dimensions, actions, keys, and hammers were redesigned by Ibach to German standards. Models include a 50" vertical and 5' 3", 5' 10", and 7' 2" grands. The pianos have high-quality European components, such as Renner actions, Abel hammers, Delignit pinblocks, Röslau strings, and Ciresa solid spruce soundboards.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
1329 Gateway Drive
Gallatin, Tennessee 37066
The Sohmer & Co. piano has traditionally been a higher-quality line with beautiful furniture, and under SMC's distributorship that tradition has continued. The grand piano scales have recently been updated, but the furniture still resembles that of vintage American-made pianos of the past, and the material specifications remain unchanged. The grands have maple outer rims, sand-cast plates, solid white spruce soundboards, Renner hammers, solid brass hardware, American hardrock maple pinblocks, maple or beech action rails, lacquer semigloss wood finishes, and other higher-quality features. The new 6' 10" grand uses in its construction computerized manufacturing technology, developed in cooperation with Bechstein. The grands are now made in Indonesia, though Korean-made models may still be on dealers' showroom floors.
The Sohmer & Co. vertical line has also been changed. When SMC began distributing Sohmer pianos, it started with a beautiful 42" console that was nearly an exact replica of the original Sohmer console of old, and with a 45" studio made in Korea. These turned out to be at price points that were too high for consumer demand. The Sohmer vertical line now consists of a 43" model 43 console in Traditional and French-style cabinets, a 46 1/2" model 47S institutional (school) studio in ebony and a variety of wood finishes, and a new 48" model 48P, offered this year in both polished and satin ebony with nickel hardware. All three models feature full-length backposts, a sand-cast plate, spruce veneer-laminated soundboard, American hardrock maple pinblock, hornbeam action parts, hardwood cabinet construction, maple or beech bridge caps, and a slow-close fallboard. These models are all made in Indonesia to specifications that are slightly lower than those for the Sohmer grands, and may be similar to some models sold by SMC under other names, such as Samick and Pramberger.
Warranty: 12 years, parts and labor, transferable to future owners within the warranty period.
Pianos made by: Thüringer Pianoforte GmbH, Eisenberg, Germany
This company, formerly known as Wilhelm Steinberg Pianofortefabrik, was formed by the merger of several East German piano companies following the reunification of Germany. These companies collectively trace their origins back to 1877. Steinberg also makes cabinets for other German piano makers, and makes several European piano brands under OEM agreement. The company also specializes in custom cabinets and finishes. Piano production is about 900 verticals and 50 grands per year.
Steinberg makes four models of vertical piano (46", 48", 48 1/2", and 51") and two sizes of grand (5' 8" and 6' 4") in its IQ series. These high-quality pianos have beech rims with spruce bracing (grands), solid Bavarian spruce soundboards, maple bridges with maple cap, Renner actions and hammers, and Kluge keys, and are entirely made in Germany.
The company says it plans to introduce two levels of less-expensive piano models. With the IQ as Level 1, the Level 2 pianos would be largely made in China from mostly German parts, then extensively refined and adjusted at the Wilh. Steinberg factory in Germany before being shipped to dealers. Level 3 pianos would be entirely made in China, though with many German parts.
Warranty: 5 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
FALL 2009 -- page 177
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