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 silvercolored 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.
In mid-2011, Samick will be expanding the Seiler line to cover three different price points. The top-level instruments will be the German Seiler pianos just as they are made today. The second-level instruments will use grand rims and cabinet parts made and finished in Indonesia, but manufacture and assembly of all other components, and final musical finishing, will be done in Germany. The third-level instruments will be made entirely in Indonesia with high-quality parts. Models at all three levels will incorporate authentic Seiler German scale designs. Details and prices were not yet available at press time.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
including Falcone, Hobart M. Cable, Geo. Steck
Pianos made by: Sejung Corporation, Qingdao, Shandong Province, China
Sejung is a Korean-based company established in 1974. The musical instrument division of the business began production in 2001 with the creation of a partnership with Qingdao Sejung Musical Instruments in China. They began by building a 700,000-square-foot factory in Qingdao, a port city on the eastern coast with a temperate climate; hired dozens of managers who had once worked for Young Chang and Samick; and staffed the factory with some 2,000 workers. In order to attract skilled labor and reduce turnover, the company built dormitories to house and feed this labor force. The company has invested substantially in automated production equipment to achieve high quality standards, and produces just about every piano component in its own factories.