including Tetsch & May
JF is the new brand name for pianos made by Julius Feurich, in Weissenburg, Germany.
In 2011, the Feurich company, which has been making pianos in Germany since 1851, was acquired by Wendl & Lung, headquartered in Vienna, Austria, which distributed a line of pianos under that name made to their specifications by Hailun in China. The Wendl & Lung pianos were rebranded as Feurich, and distributed along with Feurich pianos made under license by Julius Feurich in Gunzenhausen. In 2012, Julius Feurich terminated his licensing agreement with Wendl & Lung, choosing instead to manufacture pianos independently under the JF brand. (For more information about the history and current status of the Feurich brand name, see elsewhere in this publication under Feurich.)
The new JF pianos, both grands and verticals, are hand-built, entirely in Weissenburg, Germany, to the same scale designs as the Feurich pianos formerly made in Gunzenhausen, and by the same workers. The outer rim of the grands is made of abachi veneers, the inner rim of beech veneers, and all other cabinet parts are of solid wood. The plate is made by the wet-sand-cast method. The soundboard is of solid Bavarian mountain spruce, the bridges of solid or vertically laminated beech with maple cap. Keys are of spruce and made in Germany, and the action is from either Detoa or Wessell, Nickel & Gross (Renner action optional).
As part of his reorganization, Julius Feurich has taken on as partner master piano builder Hans-Ulrich Tetsch, whose family business, Tetsch & May, was established in 1867. To serve customers looking for a less-expensive instrument, the two will offer Tetsch & May pianos in cooperation with Shanghai Artfield Piano Co., Ltd., in China. These pianos will contain many materials from Germany, such as German solid spruce soundboards, German strings, and Delignit pinblocks. The Tetsch & May instruments will come in two categories: the TM line, made entirely in Shanghai; and the TM-G line, assembled in Weissenburg, with the strung back from Shanghai.
Warranty: 5 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.
One of Kawai's most important innovations is the use of ABS Styran plastic in the manufacture of action parts. More than 40 years of use and scientific testing have shown this material to be superior to wood for this purpose. ABS does not swell and shrink with changes in humidity, so actions made with it are likely to maintain proper regulation better than wood actions. The parts are stronger and without glue joints, so breakage is rare. These parts are present in every Kawai piano. In the current Millennium III action found in some models, the ABS is reinforced with carbon fiber so it can be stronger with less mass. Having less mass to move (that is, less inertia), the action can be more responsive to the player's intentions, including faster repetition. Certain contact surfaces on the action parts are also micro-engineered for ideal shape and texture, resulting in a more consistent touch. Although it took a number of years to overcome the idea that plastic parts must be inferior, there is essentially no dispute anymore among piano technicians on this subject.
Kawai's vertical piano offerings change frequently and are sometimes confusing. At present there are three basic series of Kawai verticals. The console series begins with the 44½" model 506N, a basic entry-level console in an institutional-style cabinet (legs with toe blocks). Model K-15 is a 44" version of this in a continental-style cabinet (no legs), and model 508 is a 44½" version in a simple furniture-style cabinet (freestanding legs). Model 607 is the same piano in a fancier furniture-style cabinet. All have the same internal workings. The action in this series is slightly smaller than a full-size action, so it will be slightly less responsive. However, it is more than sufficient for beginner or casual use.
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