August Förster Pianos


Estonia pianos have caused quite a buzz in the industry over the past ten years. For many of those years I was head of technical services for a large Estonia dealer, so I can personally attest to one of the biggest reasons for the company's success: It is owned by technically knowledgeable musicians who listen to—and actually implement—suggestions made by technicians both inside and outside their distribution network. As a result, the instruments are extremely well crafted and engineered, and quality control is excellent.

Characteristic of the Estonia piano is a round, singing tone—warm, rich, never harsh. This tone has a large and variable voicing range; in the hands of a good voicer, the tone can be sculpted and adapted to the client's preference. Movable duplexes offer technicians tonal options not always available with other high-end brands. The actions are well designed, easy to play, and responsive, though good action and tonal preparation by the dealer are necessary to achieve the best results from a new instrument. There are very few complaints or issues with this brand, and the relatively low price makes Estonia stand out in the competitive high-end market.

— Arlan Harris

Producing almost entirely for the American market, Estonia has come on as a formidable competitor in the market for moderately priced, performance-grade pianos. These rock-solid instruments feature the low-tension scale favored by most American pianists and exemplified by Steinway, and are less "European" by most other measures as well. Having regularly serviced several Estonias over the years, I find them to be strong workhorses, built like tanks, and much loved by their pianist owners. The Renner actions are as responsive as any on the planet, and the tone can be refined and hammers voiced to compare with those of far more prestigious instruments. Since musicians seldom earn great wealth playing the piano, it's necessary to find a high-quality instrument that is both affordable and satisfying to play. Estonia fills that bill very nicely.

— Steve Pearson


SPRING 2010 -- page 83

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