Story & Clark Piano Co.
269 Quaker Drive
Seneca, Pennsylvania 16346

Owned by: QRS Music Technologies, Inc.

Pianos made by: Samick Musical Instrument Mfg. Co. Ltd., Bogor, West Java, Indonesia

Hampton Story began making pianos in 1857 and was joined by Melville Clark in 1884. The business settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan, in 1901, where it remained, under various owners, until about 1986. Around 1990, a new owner moved the company to its present location in Seneca, Pennsylvania. Over the years, pianos were manufactured under a number of different names, including, in recent years, Story & Clark, Hobart M. Cable, Hampton, and Classic. In 1993 QRS Piano Rolls, Inc., now QRS Music Technologies, Inc., purchased Story & Clark. (Ironically, QRS itself was founded in 1901 by Melville Clark, of the Story & Clark Piano Co. of old.) QRS, historically the nation's major source of music rolls for traditional player pianos, now manufactures electronic player-piano systems that can be retrofitted into any piano (see "Buying an Electronic Player-Piano System").

In an effort to offer unique and exclusive scales and styles, Story & Clark recently moved its source of manufacturing from China, where the pianos had for some time been made by Dongbei, to Indonesia, where they are now made by Samick.

The company now offers two series of vertical and grand pianos. The Heritage Series is a popularly priced line of verticals and grands with a Storytone II soundboard—Story & Clark's name for the veneer-laminated soundboard developed by Samick (see Samick).

The Signature Series also comes in both vertical and grand models. These pianos feature premium Renner hammers, Röslau strings, maple and mahogany rims, solid brass hardware, Bolduc tapered soundboards of solid spruce, sand-cast plates, and advanced low-tension scales. The pianos have cabinet designs that offer lots of detail for the money and coordinate with major furniture trends. In spite of their beauty, the company says, these pianos are also appropriate for school and commercial applications.

In keeping with the tradition begun by Hampton Story of integrating technology into pianos, all Story & Clark pianos are now equipped with an exclusive feature called PNOscan®. PNOscan is an optical sensor strip attached to the key frame directly under the keys. It senses the velocity and up/down movement of each key so that it can precisely re-create every detail of an original performance, including the force, speed, and duration of each note played, without affecting the touch or response of the keyboard. The data captured by PNOscan is then transmitted through either a USB connection or MIDI output to a computer, general MIDI sound module, or other digital device. The addition of PNOscan to every Story & Clark acoustic piano gives customers the potential to have all the features of a digital piano. When combined with various accessories, PNOscan gives users the ability to learn, record, compose, practice in silence, and more.

Warranty: 15 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser. Lifetime limited warranty to original purchaser and 25-year transferable warranty to subsequent purchasers on the Storytone II soundboard.


Suzuki Corporation
P.O. Box 261030
San Diego, California 92196

Pianos made by: Possibly Artfield Piano Co., Qingpu, Shanghai, China

Suzuki Corporation, the world's largest producer of musical instruments for education, has entered the acoustic piano business with a line of vertical and grand pianos made in China. The pianos are sold online at and through Costco, as well as through regular piano dealers. The company prefers not to be specific as to the source of its pianos.

Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.


SPRING 2010 -- page 206

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