Kohler & Campbell's upper-level Millennium pianos have higher-quality features than the regular series, now called New Yorker. The Millennium grands have a maple rim, premium Canadian Bolduc tapered solid spruce soundboard, Renner action and hammers, and satin wood finishes available in lacquer semigloss. The verticals have Renner parts on a Samick-made Pratt-Reed hornbeam action rail, Bolduc solid spruce soundboard, Renner hammers, lacquer semigloss wood finishes, and a sostenuto pedal on the 52" model. All Samick and New Yorker–series Kohler & Campbell pianos are made in Indonesia for the U.S. market. Smaller Millennium verticals and grands are made in Indonesia, larger ones in Korea. However, all Millennium-series pianos are shipped to the U.S. for inspection and tone and action regulation before being shipped to dealers.
[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 is made in Korea and designed after the German Renner action.]
In the Kohler & Campbell price list, KC models are Indonesian-made, New Yorker–series verticals; KM are Indonesian-made Millennium-series verticals; KMV are Korean-made Millennium-series verticals; KCG and KIG are Indonesian-made New Yorker–series grands; KCM are Indonesian-made Millennium-series grands; and KFM are Korean-made Millennium-series grands.
Quality control in Samick's Korean and Indonesian factories has steadily improved, especially in the last few years, and the Indonesian product is said to be almost as good as the Korean. Many large-scale issues have been addressed and engineers are now working on smaller refinements. The company says that new CNC machinery installed in 2007 has revolutionized the consistency and accuracy of its manufacturing. Climate control in the tropically situated Indonesian factory, and issues of action geometry, are also among the areas that have recently seen improvement. Samick's upper-level pianos—Kohler & Campbell Millennium series, J.P. Pramberger, and Wm. Knabe—have met with a very positive response from technicians as to their musical design and performance, exceeding comparably priced pianos from Japan in those regards. Workmanship is good, although still not quite as consistent as in the Japanese pianos. Many of Samick's Indonesian pianos are priced similarly to low-cost pianos from China, and technicians often report finding the Samicks to be more consistent than some of the Chinese. With dealer prep, Samick-made pianos are a good value for most typical uses.
[Note: Samick-made pianos have an odd system of serial numbers consisting of a series of letters and numbers. The system appears to vary from factory to factory. Please contact SMC for information on the date of manufacture of a Samick-made piano.]
Warranty: Samick, Kohler & Campbell, Conover Cable—10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser; lifetime on "surface tension" soundboard where applicable.
Pianos made by: Carl Sauter Pianofortemanufaktur GmbH & Co. KG, Max-Planck-Strasse 20, 78549 Spaichingen, Germany
The Sauter piano firm was founded in 1819 by Johann Grimm, stepfather to Carl Sauter I, and has been owned and managed by members of the Sauter family for six generations, currently by Ulrich Sauter. The factory produces about 800 vertical pianos and 120 grand pianos a year in its factory in the extreme south of Germany, at the foot of the Alps. Structural and acoustical parts are made of high-quality woods, including solid Bavarian spruce soundboards and beech pinblocks. Actions are made by Renner, and Sauter makes its own keys. The keybed is reinforced with steel to prevent warping, and all pianos are fully tropicalized for humid climates. The larger verticals use an action, designed and patented by Sauter, that contains an auxiliary jack spring to aid in faster repetition. Sauter calls this the R2 Double Escapement action. (Although the term double escapement does not apply here as it has historically been used, the mechanism has some of the same effects.)
SPRING 2010 -- page 196
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Hybrid & Player Pianos
New-Piano Buyers’ Reference