When I reported on Estonia pianos for the fourth edition of The Piano Book (2001), it was a good piano with much potential, but as the company was still rebounding from problems suffered during the Communist era, some caution was advised. Since becoming sole owner in 2001, Dr. Laul has made so many improvements to the piano that it is practically a different instrument. These include: rescaling the bass, and upgrading the machinery for producing hand-wound bass strings; improving the method of drilling pinblocks; stronger plates and improved plate finishes; thicker inner and outer rims; improved fitting of soundboard to rim; concert-grand–quality soundboard spruce on all models; quartersawn maple bridge caps; adjustable front and rear duplex scales; wood for legs and keyslips heat-treated to better resist changing climatic conditions; Renner Blue hammers on all models; better-quality metal hardware that resists oxidation; suede-covered music-desk tray; improved, more scratch-resistant satin finishes; establishing a quality-control department headed by Dr. Laul's father (both of his parents are professional musicians); higher-grade and artistically matched veneers; and establishing a U.S. service center for warranty repairs. All pianos are now accompanied by a quality-control certificate signed by a member of the Laul family, and each piano is played and checked by them.

The Estonia factory has recently introduced a new custom line of pianos, offering exotic veneers such as rosewood, bubinga, and pyramid mahogany, and is willing to finish instruments to fit the desires of individual customers. The custom line also features a number of different Victorian-style legs and ornamental music desks.

In the short time Estonia pianos have been sold here, they have gathered an unusually loyal and devoted following. Groups of owners of Estonia pianos, completely independent of the company, frequently hold musical get-togethers at different locations around the country. The pianos have a rich, warm, singing tone; are very well constructed and well prepared at the factory; and there is hardly a detail that the company has not examined and impressively perfected. The price has risen over the years, but they are still an unusually good value among higher-end instruments.

Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.

EVERETT

including A.B. Chase and Vose & Sons
Wrightwood Enterprises, Inc.
717 St. Joseph Drive
St. Joseph, Michigan 49085
616-828-0618
www.everett-piano.com

Pianos made by: Dongbei Piano Company, Ltd., Yingkou, Liaoning Province, China

The Everett Piano Company originated in Boston in 1883 and moved to South Haven, Michigan, in 1926. It was acquired by Yamaha in 1973. Until mid-1986, Yamaha made a line of Everett vertical pianos in the Michigan factory alongside its U.S.-made Yamaha pianos. When Yamaha moved its U.S. piano manufacturing to Thomaston, Georgia, in 1986, it contracted with Baldwin to continue making Everett pianos. The contract terminated in 1989, and Yamaha dropped the line permanently. See the entry for Everett in The Piano Book for more information about pianos from that era.

The Everett name has been used by Wrightwood Enterprises, Inc. since 1995. The pianos are made in China by the Dongbei Piano Company (see Dongbei). The grands have duplex scaling and a bass scale that is custom made for the Everett brand, the company says. The same pianos are also sold under the A.B. Chase and Vose & Sons labels.

Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.

FALCONE — See Sejung.

FANDRICH & SONS

Fandrich & Sons Pianos
7411 Silvana Terrace Road
Stanwood, Washington 98292
360-652-8980
877-737-1422
fandrich@fandrich.com
www.fandrich.com

Pianos made by: Bohemia, Heintzman & Co., Dongbei (see text)

In the late 1980s, Darrell Fandrich, an engineer, pianist, and piano technician, developed a vertical piano action designed to play like a grand, for which 10 patents have been issued. You can see an illustration of the Fandrich Vertical Action™, an explanation of how it works, and some history of its development in the third and fourth editions of The Piano Book and on the Fandrich & Sons website. Since 1994, Fandrich and his wife, Heather, have been installing Renner-made Fandrich actions in selected new pianos, selling them under the Fandrich & Sons label. They also sell some grands (with regular grand actions) under that name.