Pianos made by: Yantai Kingsburg Piano Co., Ltd., Yantai, Shandong Province, China
Yantai Kingsburg, formerly known as Yantai Longfeng, was established in 1988, and at various times made pianos under the Steigerman and Perzina brand names. It is located in a temperate area of northern China that, the company says, is ideal for piano making because of its moderate humidity level.
All Kingsburg pianos have been designed by well-known piano designer Klaus Fenner, and include components sourced from around the world, such as Röslau piano wire, Abel hammers, Detoa or Renner actions, and Japanese tuning pins. Interesting design features include longer keys on upright models for more grand-like performance, brass-bar duplex scale, and the company's exclusive Tri Board solid spruce soundboard, which, for better bass tone and improved tuning stability, is unattached to the piano back at the bottom.
At present, the Kingsburg line comprises larger uprights and two sizes of grand, with plans to possibly expand into the market for home console pianos. Custom styles and finishes are also available.
A key focus of Yantai Kingsburg is that the final factory preparation of the pianos be done in such a manner that the dealer can deliver the instrument to the customer's home with very little additional work being required. To that end, the U.S. distributor's Japanese affiliate sends highly trained technicians to the factory to fully tune, voice, and regulate each Kingsburg piano to their high standards before it is crated for shipment.
Warranty: 12 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
See also Samick.
Pianos made by: Samick Musical Instrument Mfg. Co. Ltd., Inchon, South Korea; and Bogor, West Java, Indonesia
Wm. Knabe is an old, distinguished American piano brand that dates back to 1854 and eventually became part of the Aeolian family of brands. Following Aeolian's demise in 1985, the Knabe name became part of Mason & Hamlin, which was purchased out of bankruptcy in 1996 by the owners of PianoDisc. For a time, a line of Knabe pianos was made for PianoDisc by Young Chang in Korea and China. That line has been discontinued, and Samick has acquired the Wm. Knabe name. (Note: "Knabe" is pronounced using the hard "K" sound followed by "nobby.")
Samick began by using the Wm. Knabe name on some of the pianos formerly sold as the World Piano premium line of Samick instruments. The 5' 8" and 6' 4" grand models have been redesigned, however, and the new models are based on the original 19th- and early 20th-century Knabe scale designs and cabinet styles in use when the company was based in Baltimore. Features include sand-cast plates, lacquer semigloss wood finishes, Renner actions and hammers, and rims of maple and oak. The company has added 7' 6" and 9' 2" models for the American market. The verticals include unique cabinet designs with bird's-eye maple and mahogany inlays, rosewood key inserts, and tone escapement.
For several years, SMC completed assembly of Wm. Knabe grands in its Tennessee facility, with strung backs made in Indonesia or Korea. Now, most Wm. Knabe pianos are made in their entirety in Indonesia, but are still uncrated in the U.S., where they are inspected, tuned, regulated, and voiced before being shipped to dealers.
For more information, see Samick.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser; lifetime on "surface tension soundboard" where applicable.
KOHLER & CAMPBELL — See Samick.
MASON & HAMLIN
Mason & Hamlin Piano Company
4111 North Freeway Blvd.
Sacramento, California 95834
Pianos made by: Mason & Hamlin Piano Co., Haverhill, Massachusetts and Sacramento, California
Mason & Hamlin was founded in 1854 by Henry Mason and Emmons Hamlin. Mason was a musician and businessman and Hamlin was an inventor working with reed organs. Within a few years, Mason & Hamlin was one of the largest makers of reed organs in the U.S. The company began making pianos in 1881 in Boston, and soon became, along with Chickering, among the most prestigious of the Boston piano makers. By 1910, Mason & Hamlin was considered Steinway's chief competitor. Over the next 85 years, Mason & Hamlin changed hands many times. (You can read the somewhat lengthy and interesting history in The Piano Book.) In 1996 the Burgett brothers, owners of PianoDisc, purchased Mason & Hamlin out of bankruptcy and set about reestablishing manufacturing at the factory in Haverhill, Massachusetts. At present, the company manufactures about 350 pianos per year at this factory.