Schulze Pollmann uses both sophisticated technology and handwork in its manufacturing. The pianos contain Delignit pinblocks, solid European spruce soundboards, and Renner actions and hammers. Interesting features include a one-piece solid lock (laminated) back made of beech on the verticals, agraffes on the larger vertical, and finger-jointed construction of all soundboards to prevent cracking. Many of the cabinets have beautiful designs and inlays.
The uprights are well built and have a sound that is warm and colorful with a good amount of sustain. The treble is not nearly as brittle sounding as in some of the other European uprights. Schulze Pollmann grands are likewise very nicely crafted and arrive at the dealer in good condition. However, they need solid preparation by the dealer to sound their best.
In 2005, Italian auto manufacturer Ferrari Motor Car selected Schulze Pollmann as a partner in the launch of its new Ferrari 612 Scaglietti series of automobiles. For the occasion, Schulze Pollmann crafted a limited-edition version of its 6' 7" model 197/G5 grand piano, still available, with a case that sports the Ferrari racing red and a cast-iron plate in Ferrari gray carbon, the same color as the engine of the Scaglietti. The car and the piano have been exhibited together in cities around the world.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, transferable to future owners within the warranty period.
Pianos made by: Ed. Seiler Pianofortefabrik, Kitzingen, Germany
Eduard Seiler, the company's founder, began making pianos in Liegnitz, Silesia, Germany in 1849. By 1923 the company had grown to over 435 employees and was producing up to 3,000 pianos per year—it was the largest piano manufacturer in Eastern Europe at that time. In 1945 and after World War II, the plant was nationalized by the Polish Communist government, and the Seiler family left their native homeland with millions of other refugees. In 1954 Steffan Seiler reestablished the company in Copenhagen under the fourth generation of family ownership, and began making pianos again. In 1962 he moved the company to Kitzingen, Germany, where it resides today. Steffan Seiler died in 1999; the company was managed by his widow, Ursula, until its sale to Samick in 2008. Seiler produces about 1,000 pianos annually. Samick says it plans to continue Seiler's tradition of making the highest-quality pianos.
Seiler uses a combination of traditional methods and modern technology. The scale designs are of relatively high tension, producing a brilliant, balanced tone that is quite consistent from one Seiler to the next. Although brilliant, the tone also sings well, due to, the company says, a unique soundboard feature called a Membrator—a tapered groove running around the perimeter of the board—that gives the soundboard flexibility without losing necessary stiffness. The grands have wide tails for greater soundboard area and string length. The pianos feature Bavarian spruce soundboards, multi-laminated beech pinblocks, quartersawn beech bridges, Renner actions, and slow-close fallboards. A few years ago, the grands were redesigned with a duplex scale for greater treble tonal color, and with longer keys and a lighter touch. Musically, these redesigns were very successful. They retained the typical Seiler clarity, but with longer sustain and a marvelously even-feeling touch.
Seiler pianos come in Classic and Trend models. The construction and specifications are the same, but the Trends look a bit more modern and sport a silver-colored plate and chrome hardware, whereas the Classics have the traditional gold- or bronze-colored plate and brass hardware. Both versions are available with either the Seiler or Eduard Seiler name. The only difference is that Seiler pianos use Renner actions, whereas Eduard Seiler pianos use imported actions and are therefore slightly less expensive. Both the Seiler verticals and 6' 1" grand are available in dozens of special furniture styles with beautiful, exotic woods and inlays.
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.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
SPRING 2010 -- page 199
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