The Pramberger name was used by Young Chang for its premium-level pianos under license from the late piano engineer Joseph Pramberger, who at one time was head of manufacturing at Steinway & Sons. When Pramberger died, in 2003, his estate terminated its relationship with Young Chang and signed up with Samick. However, since Young Chang still holds the rights to its piano designs, Samick has designed new pianos to go with the name.
The J.P. Pramberger Platinum piano is a higher-end instrument made in Korea, then shipped to the U.S. for inspection, tuning, regulating, and voicing before being shipped to dealers. Several American technicians who had known and worked with Joe Pramberger went to Korea at Samick's request to design this piano. Benefiting by work previously done by Bechstein engineers at the Samick factory, they began with a modified Bechstein scale, then added several features found on current or older Steinways, such as an all-maple rim, an asymmetrically tapered white spruce soundboard, vertically laminated and tunneled maple and mahogany bridges with maple cap, duplex scaling, and Renner action and hammers. One of the technicians told me that the group feels its design is an advancement of Pramberger's work that he would have approved of.
The Pramberger Signature (formerly known as J. Pramberger) is a more modestly priced instrument from Indonesia whose design is based on the former Korean-built Young Chang version. The grands start at the 5' model PS150, with a duplex scale starting at the 5' 2" model PS157 and continuing through the rest of the line, to the 6' 1" model PS185. This line uses Samick's Pratt-Reed Premium action, Renner hammers, and a Bolduc (Canadian) solid spruce soundboard. The institutional verticals in this line have all-wood cabinet construction and agraffes in the bass section, and the decorator versions include Renner hammers and a slow-close fallboard.
The Pramberger Legacy, the newest addition to the Pramberger line, has a veneer-laminated "surface tension" soundboard, and provides a reasonably priced option for the budget-minded consumer. These models were formerly sold under the Remington label. (The Remington brand is no longer a regular part of the Pramberger lineup, but is available to dealers on special order.)
[Note: Samick's Pratt-Reed Premium action should not be confused with the Pratt-Read action used in many American-made pianos in the mid to late 20th century and eventually acquired by Baldwin. Samick says its Pratt-Reed action, designed by its research and development team and based on the German Renner action, is made in Korea.]
see Samick for more information.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser; lifetime on "surface tension" soundboard where applicable.
Crafted in Scottsdale, Arizona by piano builder Michael Spreeman, the Ravenscroft piano entered the market for high-end performance pianos in 2006. Two models are available, the 7' 3" model 220 and the 9' model 275. The 220 made its debut at the Piano Technicians Guild Annual Convention in 2007, where it was very favorably received.
While the general trend in the industry seems to be toward outsourcing to less expensive suppliers, Spreeman says his concept is the exact opposite. Appealing to the niche market of high-end consumers, Spreeman's approach is more along the lines of the early European small-shop builders, with an emphasis on quality and exclusivity.
The case and iron frame of the Ravenscroft piano are constructed in Germany by Sauter to Ravenscroft specifications and shipped to the Arizona facility. The Renner action and Kluge keys of each piano are computer-designed to optimize performance. The scale design, Italian Fiemme spruce soundboard panels, and vertically laminated bridge bodies (maple, mahogany, and ebony) with solid caps are meticulously designed and built by Spreeman himself.
Initially, only four to six pianos will be produced yearly, with pricing beginning at $280,000 for a handcrafted model 220, and up to $350,000 for a model 275 with "all the extras," including exotic veneers, titanium bridge pins and hitch pins, and titanium front and rear treble duplex terminations. Most instruments are custom ordered and can take up to a year to complete.