The smallest vertical made under the Heintzman name is 43½" tall, but pianos for export to North America typically start at 47½" and contain a mixture of Chinese and imported parts, such as pinblocks and treble strings from Germany and Mapes bass strings from the U.S. Verticals 48½" and taller use Renner Blue hammers, and the largest two sizes have Canadian Bolduc solid Eastern white spruce soundboards. All verticals have a middle pedal that operates a bass-sustain mechanism, as well as a Silent Switch that operates a mute bar for silent practice.
The grands — 5' 6", 6' 1", 6' 8", and 9' in size — also use German pinblocks and strings, Mapes bass strings, Renner Blue hammers, and Canadian Bolduc soundboards. The 9' concert grand comes with a full Renner action and Kluge keys from Germany. A Renner action is a higher-priced option on the other models. All grands come with a sostenuto pedal. A 6' 1" model patterned on the old Heintzman model D was introduced in 2007.
Heintzman Piano Company also makes the slightly less expensive Gerhard Heintzman brand. This line uses less expensive materials and components, such as Japanese hammers and a veneer-laminated spruce soundboard in the verticals (a Bolduc soundboard in some of the grands). The polished ebony grands have a silver plate and trim.
Warranty: Heintzman and Gerhard Heintzman — 10 years, parts and labor, from the factory, transferable to future owners within the warranty period.
Blüthner USA LLC
5660 W. Grand River
Lansing, Michigan 48906
In Canada, contact Bluethner Piano Canada Inc.
Pianos made by: Irmler Piano GmbH, Leipzig, Germany, and other factories (see text)
Irmler is a sister company of Blüthner, and Irmler pianos are distributed through the Blüthner dealer network. The brand has recently been reintroduced to the market in two series: Studio and Professional.
The Studio series is largely made in a factory in China owned by Irmler. The pianos are then shipped to the Blüthner factory in Germany, where Abel hammers are installed and the pianos are inspected and adjusted as needed, prior to shipping to dealers. The pianos have Delignit pinblocks and veneer-laminated spruce soundboards. The grand rims are of Chinese oak and the grand actions are made with Renner parts. The Studio-series verticals include a number of models with interesting, modern cabinet designs.
The Professional series, also known as Irmler Europe, is assembled in Germany using strung backs (structural and acoustical elements) from Samick in Indonesia and cabinets from Poland (suppliers are subject to change). The pianos have Delignit pinblocks and solid spruce soundboards. Grands have rims of maple and beech, action parts by Renner (U.S. distribution only), and duplex scaling. Vertical actions are by Detoa.
The Irmler Studio series is also available from some dealers under the Schiller brand name, with a slightly modified cabinet; prices are comparable to those for Irmler.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
including Shigeru Kawai
Kawai America Corporation
2055 East University Drive
Rancho Dominguez, California 90220
310-223-0900 (Shigeru Kawai)
Pianos made by: Kawai Musical Instrument Mfg. Co., Ltd.; Hamamatsu, Japan, and Karawan, Indonesia
Kawai was founded in 1927 by Koichi Kawai, an inventor and former Yamaha employee who was the first person in Japan to design and build a piano action. While Kawai is second in size to Yamaha among Japanese piano manufacturers, it has a well-deserved reputation all its own for quality and innovation. Nearly all Kawai grands and taller uprights are made in Japan; most consoles and studios are made in Indonesia. The company closed its North Carolina factory in 2005.