Seiler's 52" upright is available with the optional Super Magnet Repetition (SMR) action, a patented feature that uses magnets to increase repetition speed. Tiny magnets are attached to certain action parts of each note. During playing, the magnets repel each other, forcing the parts to return to their rest position faster, ready for a new keystroke.
In mid-2011, Samick will be expanding the Seiler line to cover three different price points. The top-level instruments will be the German Seiler pianos just as they are made today. The second-level instruments will use grand rims and cabinet parts made and finished in Indonesia, but manufacture and assembly of all other components, and final musical finishing, will be done in Germany. The third-level instruments will be made entirely in Indonesia with high-quality parts. Models at all three levels will incorporate authentic Seiler German scale designs. Details and prices were not yet available at press time.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
including Falcone, Hobart M. Cable, Geo. Steck
1590 S. Milliken Ave., Unit H
Ontario, California 91761
Pianos made by: Sejung Corporation, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China
Sejung is a Korean-based company established in 1974. The musical instrument division of the business began production in 2001 with the creation of a partnership with Qingdao Sejung Musical Instruments in China. They began by building a 700,000-square-foot factory in Qingdao, a port city on the eastern coast with a temperate climate; hired dozens of managers who had once worked for Young Chang and Samick; and staffed the factory with some 2,000 workers. In order to attract skilled labor and reduce turnover, the company built dormitories to house and feed this labor force. The company has invested substantially in automated production equipment to achieve high quality standards, and produces just about every piano component in its own factories.
Sejung currently manufactures the Falcone, George Steck, and Hobart M. Cable brand names. These lines are technically similar and are differentiated mostly by their cabinet styles. Most of the models have a solid spruce soundboard, slow-close fallboard, cast pedals, and maple trapwork. In addition, an upscale Falcone Georgian (FG) series includes such features as Abel hammers on grands 5' 4" and larger, upgraded soundboard material, bubinga veneer on the inside of the grand rim, real ebony sharps, and gold-plated hardware.
The first pianos from Sejung were sold in the U.S. in fall 2002, less than one year after production began. A number of their first offerings were examined by technicians, and although still a little rough, they were definitely satisfactory, and remarkably good for such a new company. Since then, the factory has grown to become one of China's largest exporters of musical instruments, production has been refined, and quality has improved. After proper regulation and tuning, the pianos offer good value in an entry-level instrument. The 4' 8" grand and the continental console are most appropriate for those buyers whose primary considerations are price or appearance.
For model and price information, see under Sejung in the "Model & Pricing Guide."
Warranty: 12 years on parts, 10 years on labor, to original purchaser.
Persis International, Inc.
2647 N. Western Ave. #8030
Chicago, Illinois 60647
Founded by German immigrant Hugo Sohmer in 1872, Sohmer & Co. was owned and managed by the Sohmer family in New York City for 110 years. Having no descendants to take over the business, the founder's grandsons sold the company in 1982. As the company changed hands several times over the following decade, limited production of Sohmer pianos took place in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, finally ceasing in 1994 (see the Sohmer entry in The Piano Book for a more detailed recent history).
Pianos are once again being made under this venerable name, once considered among the finest of American-built instruments. However, for a number of years, there has been a dispute over the ownership of the Sohmer trademark.