Company Headquarters: J. B. Piano GmbH, Kudlichgasse 24, A-1100 Vienna, Austria. Phone: +43-1-890-3203; email@example.com
Pianos made by: various makers (see text)
Joseph Brodmann was a well-known piano maker in Vienna in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Ignaz Bösendorfer apprenticed in Brodmann's workshop and eventually took it over, producing the first Bösendorfer pianos there. Today's Brodmann is a new company, headquartered in Vienna, and founded in 2004 by two former Bösendorfer executives, pursuing a direction they say was planned as a possible second line for Bösendorfer a number of years ago, but never acted upon.
Brodmann says its mission is to produce a piano with high-end performance characteristics at an affordable price by using European components in key areas, strict quality control, and manufacturing in countries with favorable labor rates.
There are three lines of Brodmann piano. The Professional Edition (formerly with the model initials BU and BG, now with the prefix PE), is made in Yichang, Hubei Province, China, by a manufacturer affiliated with Parsons Music, a major retailer in Hong Kong and China. Brodmann says the scales and designs of these pianos are exclusive to the company. The pianos are designed in Vienna and use European components in critical areas of sound production, such as Strunz soundboards, Abel hammers, Röslau strings, and Langer-designed actions (Renner in the model 228, a Chinese action in the verticals). For quality control, Brodmann has its own employees from Europe in the factory. I've received positive feedback about these Brodmann pianos from many sources, the grands to a somewhat greater degree than the verticals. The scale design of 6' 2" model PE 187 is said to be similar to that of a Steinway model A and is often singled out for praise.
The second line of vertical and grand pianos, called the Vienna Edition, is made in limited quantities in a Brodmann facility in Vienna. The verticals come in stunning cabinetry and exotic wood veneers, such as pyramid mahogany and Brazilian rosewood. The Vienna Edition has the same high-quality components as the Professional Edition, but with Renner actions. The Vienna Edition was brand-new at press time; prices were not yet available.
The third line, called Taylor (named after the company's Technical Director), consists of six entry-level models, three grand and three vertical, made in China with Asian instead of European parts, and, the company says, subject to Brodmann's strict quality control. I played the 4'9" grand model at a trade show, and though the bass was understandably limited due to the piano's small size, the treble sounded surprisingly lovely, even ethereal.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, transferable to future owners within the warranty period.
Jordan Kitt's Music Schmitt Music
9520 Baltimore Avenue 2400 Freeway Blvd.
College Park, Maryland 20740 Brooklyn Center, Minnesota 55430
800-466-9510 x1267 800-920-9540 x5075
(Chris Syllaba) (Wayne Reinhardt)
Pianos made by: Guangzhou Pearl River Piano Group Ltd., Guangzhou, Guangdong Province, China
Originally issued under the name Opus II, the Cristofori piano is distributed by Jordan Kitt's Music, which owns and operates 11 piano dealerships on the East Coast and in the Chicago area; and Schmitt Music, which has more than a dozen locations throughout the Midwest and in Denver. At present, Cristofori pianos are sold only in their stores. Bartolomeo Cristofori (1655–1731) was, of course, the inventor of the piano.
Cristofori currently sources its acoustic pianos from Pearl River, in China. The Cristofori pianos are differentiated from Pearl River's own line of pianos by upgraded feature specifications such as the use of highest-quality Mapes strings from the U.S., soundboards of solid, premium Siberian spruce (instead of laminated soundboards) in the larger grands and taller verticals, a different selection of cabinetry, and an upgraded warranty. U.S. technicians in the factory inspect every Cristofori piano prior to crating and shipping.
Warranty: 12 years, parts and labor, transferable to future owners within the warranty period.
SPRING 2010 -- page 176
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Hybrid & Player Pianos
New-Piano Buyers’ Reference