See separate listings for Wm. Knabe, Pramberger, and Seiler.

Samick Music Corp. (SMC)
1329 Gateway Drive
Gallatin, Tennessee 37066
[email protected]

Pianos made by: Samick Musical Instrument Mfg. Co. Ltd., Inchon, South Korea; and Bogor, West Java, Indonesia

In 1958, in South Korea, Hyo Ick Lee founded Samick as a Baldwin distributor. Facing an immense challenge in an impoverished and war-torn country, in the early 1960s, using largely imported parts, Lee began to build and sell a very limited quantity of vertical pianos. As South Korea’s economy improved, Lee expanded his operation, and in 1964 began exporting to other parts of the world, eventually becoming one of the world’s largest piano manufacturers, now making most parts in-house. Over the next several decades, Samick expanded into manufacturing guitars and other instruments and opened factories in China and Indonesia, where it shifted much of its production as Korean wages rose. The Asian economic crisis of the late 1990s forced Samick into bankruptcy, from which the company emerged in 2002; it is now on a sound financial footing.

The company says that “Samick” means “three benefits” in Korean, symbolizing the management’s wish that the activities of the company benefit not only the company itself, but also its customers and the Korean economy.

Samick Music Corporation (SMC), the North American sales and marketing arm of the Korean company, distributes Samick, Pramberger, Wm. Knabe, and Seiler pianos in North America (see separate listings for Wm. Knabe, Pramberger, and Seiler). Samick no longer distributes pianos under the names Bernhard Steiner, Conover Cable, Hazelton Bros., Remington, or Sohmer & Co. The Kohler & Campbell line has been discontinued in North America but is still sold elsewhere. (For historical information about the original Kohler & Campbell piano company, see The Piano Book.) Most Samick-made pianos destined for the U.S. market are made in Indonesia. Some of the company’s upper-level Wm. Knabe and J.P. Pramberger instruments are still made in South Korea. SMC has a warehouse and office facility in Tennessee, at which it uncrates, inspects, tunes, regulates, and voices its upper-level pianos before shipping them to dealers.

In the 1980s Klaus Fenner, a German piano designer, was hired to revise the Samick scale designs to make the pianos sound more “European.” Most Samick pianos now being made are based on these designs. Most Samicks also have veneer-laminated soundboards, which the company calls a “surface tension” soundboard — essentially, a solid spruce soundboard sandwiched by two very thin veneers. With Klaus Fenner’s technical advice, Samick pioneered the use of this soundboard in early 1980, and it is now used by others as well. Tonally, it behaves much like a solid spruce soundboard, but won’t crack or lose its crown.

Quality control in Samick’s South Korean and Indonesian factories has steadily improved over the years, and the Indonesian product is said to be almost as good as the Korean. The company says that new CNC machinery installed in 2007 has revolutionized the consistency and accuracy of its manufacturing. Climate control in the tropically situated Indonesian factory, and issues of action geometry, are also among the areas that have seen improvement. Many of Samick’s Indonesian pianos are priced similarly to low-cost pianos from China. The musical design and performance of Samick’s upper-level pianos — J.P. Pramberger, Wm. Knabe, and Seiler — have met with very positive response.

[Note: Samick-made pianos are identified using an odd system of serial numbers and letters that appears to vary from factory to factory. Please contact SMC for information on the date of manufacture of a Samick-made piano.]

Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, transferable to future owners within the warranty period.

Acoustic Piano: Model & Pricing Guide

* See the Introduction for an explanation of pricing.

Model Feet Inches Description MSRP* SMP*
Samick Verticals
JS-43 43 Continental Satin Ebony 8,549 6,158
JS-43 43 Continental Polished Ebony 7,719 5,638
JS-143F 43 French Provincial Satin Cherry 8,549 6,158
JS-143T 43 Satin Mahogany 8,549 6,158
JS-115 45 Satin Ebony 9,269 6,358
JS-115 45 Polished Ebony 8,549 6,158
JS-115 45 Polished Mahogany/Walnut 9,059 6,458
JS-247 46.5 Institutional Satin Ebony 11,019 7,598
JS-247 46.5 Institutional Polished Ebony 10,299 7,178
JS-247 46.5 Institutional Satin Walnut 11,019 7,598
JS-118H 46.5 Satin Ebony 9,989 6,978
JS-118H 46.5 Polished Ebony 9,269 6,558
JS-121M 48 Satin Ebony 11,019 7,598
JS-121M 48 Polished Ebony 10,299 7,178
JS-132 52 Satin Ebony 13,389 8,938
JS-132 52 Polished Ebony 12,359 8,418
Samick Grands
SIG-49 4 9 Satin Ebony 18,179 11,918
SIG-49 4 9 Polished Ebony 16,809 11,098
SIG-54 5 4 Satin Ebony 21,629 13,978
SIG-54 5 4 Polished Ebony 19,569 12,638
SIG-54 5 4 Polished Fire-Engine Red 26,469 16,858
SIG-54 5 4 Polished Ebony w/Bubinga or Pommele Accents 24,509 15,738
SIG-57 5 7 Satin Ebony 25,029 16,038
SIG-57 5 7 Polished Ebony 23,479 15,118
SIG-57L 5 7 Empire Satin Ebony 27,809 17,698
SIG-57L 5 7 Empire Polished Ebony 26,469 16,858
SIG-61 6 1 Satin Ebony 27,089 17,278
SIG-61 6 1 Polished Ebony 25,439 16,258
SIG-61L 6 1 Empire Satin Ebony 29,659 18,818
SIG-61L 6 1 Empire Polished Ebony 28,119 17,898
Samick NSG Series Grands
NSG 158 5 2 Satin Ebony 25,495 19,198
NSG 158 5 2 Polished Ebony 23,995 18,198
NSG 175 5 7 Satin Ebony 27,995 20,998
NSG 175 5 7 Polished Ebony 26,495 19,998
NSG 186 6 1 Satin Ebony 30,795 22,998
NSG 186 6 1 Polished Ebony 29,395 21,998

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