A couple of extremely unusual models bear mentioning. The 7' 3" model 220 has colored lines painted on the soundboard and white inlays on the tops of the dampers as guides for musicians performing music for "prepared piano," ultramodern music requiring the insertion of foreign objects between the strings, or the plucking or striking of strings directly by the performer. The 1/16-tone microtonal piano is an upright with 97 keys that has a total pitch range, from its lowest to its highest note, of only one octave, the pitch difference from key to key being only 1/16 of a tone (1/8 of a semitone). You can read more about these strange instruments in The Piano Book.
Sauter pianos are high-quality instruments with a lush, full, singing tone, closer to an "American" sound than most other European pianos.
Warranty: 5 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
SCHILLER — See Irmler.
including Vogel and May Berlin
Schimmel Piano Corporation
329 N. New Street
Lititz, Pennsylvania 17543
Pianos made by: Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany (Schimmel) and Kalisz, Poland (Vogel); unspecified factory in China (May Berlin)
Wilhelm Schimmel began making pianos in Leipzig in 1885, and his company enjoyed steady growth through the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The two World Wars and the Depression disrupted production several times, but the company has gradually rebuilt itself over the past 60 years with a strong reputation for quality. Today, Schimmel is managed by Hannes Schimmel-Vogel, the husband of Viola Schimmel. Schimmel makes about 2,500 verticals and 500 grands per year and is one of Europe's most important piano makers.
Among European piano manufacturers, Schimmel has been a pioneer in the use of computer-aided design and manufacturing. The company has used its Computer Assisted Piano Engineering (CAPE) software to research, design, and implement virtually every aspect of making a piano, from keyboard layout and action geometry to soundboard acoustics and scale design. According to Schimmel, the combination of CNC machinery and handcraftsmanship leads to better results than handwork alone. Schimmel also believes that precision is aided by controlling as much of the production process as possible. For that reason, Schimmel produces its own piano-cabinet components and its own keyboards, which it also supplies to other German piano makers.
Over the last few years, Schimmel has reorganized its model lineup into two categories: Schimmel Konzert (models beginning with K) and Schimmel Classic (models beginning with C). The Konzert series consists of some of the newer and larger vertical models, and the six most recently designed and advanced grand models. The company says that the purpose of the Konzert series was to expand the Schimmel line upward to a higher level of quality than it had previously attained, in order to compete with other brands of the highest quality. The Classic series consists of the rest of the verticals, the 6' model 182 grand, and the 6' 10" model 208 grand. This series represents models that have been tested over time and are solid, traditional, high-quality instruments, but without the latest refinements.
The Konzert series uprights — 48" model K122, 49" model K125, and 52" model K132 — are based on a more sophisticated philosophy of construction than the Classics. These models also incorporate triplex scaling and other advanced design features. Schimmel's philosophy for these uprights was to design them to be as much like the grands as possible. The treble scales, in fact, are exactly the same as in the Konzert grands. All uprights have adjustable casters (to adjust to unevenness in the floor) and come with a matching adjustable bench.
The Konzert grands consist of two model groups. The Trilogy I group consists of the 7' 6", 8' 4", and 9' 2" semi-concert and concert grand models. In this group, all three models have the same keyboard and action as the concert grand. In the Trilogy II group, Schimmel has married the front-end (keyboard) of its 7' grand to two smaller models: 5' 7" and 6' 3". The smaller models have the same treble scale, keyboard, and action as the 7' grand, so all three have a similar sound and touch. On all Konzert grand models, the case sides are angled slightly to obtain a larger soundboard, and all have tunable front and rear duplex scales for greater tonal color, real ebony sharps, and mineral white keytops to mimic the feel of ivory, among other advanced features. The largest grands have reinforced keys for optimal energy transmission.