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August Förster GmbH
Jahnstrasse 8
02708 Löbau

The August Förster factory was founded by Friedrich August Förster in 1859 in Löbau, Germany, after Förster studied the art of piano building. During the years of control by the government of East Germany, the factory was managed by the fourth-generation piano builder, Wolfgang Förster. After the reunification of Germany and privatization, Wolfgang and his family once again owned their company. August Förster GmbH is now managed in the fifth generation by Wolfgang’s daughter, Annekatrin Förster.

With a workforce of 40 using a great deal of hand labor, Förster makes about 120 grands a year in four sizes, and 150 verticals a year in three sizes. The pianos are very well built structurally, and the cabinets are elegant. Rims and pinblocks are of beech, soundboards of solid mountain-grown spruce, and bridges are of hardrock maple (without graphite). Each string is individually terminated (single-strung). The actions are made by Renner with Renner hammers. A sostenuto pedal is standard on all grand models.

The tone of August Förster grands is unique, with a remarkable bass: dark, deep, yet clear. As delivered from the factory, the treble is often quite bright, and for some American tastes might be considered a bit thin — it is a less complex sound that emphasizes clarity. This, however, can be modified somewhat with voicing and a good dealer preparation. The instruments are quite versatile, at home with Mozart or Prokofiev, classical or jazz. The 6' 4" model is often said to have an especially good scale. The concert-quality 7' 2" and 9' 1" models are well balanced tonally, and over the years have been endorsed by many famous artists. The Renner actions are very responsive and arrive in exacting regulation. The new 53" model 134K anniversary upright, intended for pianists who don’t have space for a grand, has such grand-piano–like features as a full sostenuto; a large, adjustable music desk; and black keys of real ebony.

Most of the comments regarding the quality of materials and workmanship of the Förster grands also apply to the verticals. The cabinet of the vertical is of exceptional width, with extra-thick side panels of solid-core stock. Counter bridges are used on the outside of the soundboard to increase its mass. The verticals have a full set of agraffes, and all the hardware and handmade wood parts are of elegant quality. The actions are built by Renner. The verticals possess the same warm, rich, deep bass tone as the grands.

Warranty: 5 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.

Acoustic Piano: Model & Pricing Guide

* See the Introduction for an explanation of pricing.

Prices do not include bench. Euro = $1.09
Model Feet Inches Description MSRP* SMP*
Forster, August Verticals
116 C 46 Chippendale Satin Mahogany 26,975
116 C 46 Chippendale Satin Walnut 28,354
116 D 46 Continental Polished Ebony 20,457
116 D 46 Continental Satin Mahogany/Beech/Alder 20,959
116 D 46 Continental Polished Mahogany 20,959
116 D 46 Continental Satin and Polished Walnut/Oak/Cherry 22,388
116 D 46 Continental Polished White 21,961
116 E 46 Polished Ebony 23,917
116 E 46 Satin and Polished Mahogany/Beech/Alder 24,443
116 E 46 Satin and Polished Walnut/Oak/Cherry 25,822
116 E 46 Polished White 25,446
125 F 49 Polished Ebony 27,602
125 G 49 Polished Ebony 27,025
125 G 49 Satin Mahogany/Beech/Alder 27,602
125 G 49 Polished Mahogany/Beech/Alder 27,627
125 G 49 Satin and Polished Walnut/Oak/Cherry 29,583
125 G 49 Polished White 28,555
134 K 53 Polished Ebony 40,939
Forster, August Grands
170 5 8 Polished Ebony 56,307
170 5 8 Satin and Polished Walnut 59,717
170 5 8 Satin and Polished Mahogany 57,511
170 5 8 Polished White 59,742
170 5 8 Classik Polished Ebony 64,731
170 5 8 Classik Polished Walnut 74,458
170 5 8 Classik Polished Mahogany 69,093
170 5 8 Classik Polished White 68,617
190 6 4 Polished Ebony 63,578
190 6 4 Satin and Polished Walnut 66,812
190 6 4 Satin and Polished Mahogany 64,656
190 6 4 Polished White 66,761
190 6 4 Classik Polished Ebony 71,800
190 6 4 Classik Polished Mahogany 76,263
190 6 4 Classik Polished Walnut 81,553
190 6 4 Classik Polished White 75,711
215 7 2 Polished Ebony 76,338
275 9 1 Polished Ebony 138,136