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#2028671 - 02/07/13 10:37 AM Feurich or possibly Hailun?
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
I'm hoping to be in a position to buy a grand in the next couple of years and so have started looking at what's available. Unfortunately my budget is not huge. I should be able to find about 10k (uk pounds) which it seems doesn't buy you very much new piano over here. Initially I was thinking along the lines of a used Yamaha or kawai and might still go down that route as I have a nice U1 upright which I use daily for teaching and practice. It's served me well for a few years now and will be kept on as a teaching instrument.

As far as new pianos go I've been out of the loop for a while and haven't been keeping an eye on what's going on in the world of pianos. In particular Chinese pianos which in reality would be the only instruments available brand new within budget. A while back I played a nice wendl&lung 178 grand which I believe is branded Hailun in the US? Hailun seems to be well respected on these boards and I was impressed at the time. Looking at them now it appears that they are now called Feurich in the UK as the Feurich name was purchased by wendl&lung last year.

Does anyone know if there have been any changes since they became Feurich? Or if the 178 is exactly the same piano as a Hailun?

Also there is the similarly priced Brodmann to consider which I believe is slightly bigger.

I will of course be going to play them but it might be a while since neither is available locally so I would appreciate any opinions from people who have tried one.
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#2028674 - 02/07/13 10:47 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Steve Cohen Online   content
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I believe BoseEric, a regular here represents Feurich in the U.S.

You might want to PM him. He should be able to answer your questions.
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#2028708 - 02/07/13 11:51 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Mark... Offline
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Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
Why not a quality used piano? I bet you could get a very nice one with your budget.

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#2028788 - 02/07/13 01:59 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Seeker Offline
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Registered: 06/26/04
Posts: 360
Loc: Rockville, MD
There's a British ex-pat, Paul Barton, who plays (what I believe to be)a Feurich made in China. Barton lives in Thailand now. Here's a link to one of his videos where he plays his Feurich... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w49hnFQCA8Q. You might consider contacting him through his YouTube channel and ask him about his piano.
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#2028815 - 02/07/13 03:13 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Thanks seeker, that link didn't work for me but I did manage to find a video of Paul playing his Feurich 218 and it seems very nice indeed. That particular model is priced around 16k over here which I think is good value for a big piano. I can't really accommodate that size so around 6 foot would be good.

Steve, I'll try BoseEric a little nearer the time when I'm in a position to go and look. Thanks for that.

Mark, a used piano might still be the best choice. Only problem is that there are very few modern used grands on the market prices are very high. Today I played a 1978 Yamaha G3 which was 10k and to be honest it was twangy and horrible. There was also a nearly new C1 but it was priced only slightly less than a brand new C1X. I would like to find a bargain private sale and still might but it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. Dealers are all over sites like eBay and places where the public advertise their pianos so anything good gets snapped up quickly.

Not long ago I wouldn't have considered a new Chinese piano but these ones look like they could be worth serious consideration.

Any thoughts on Brodmann? I believe it's the 187 so slightly bigger than the Feurich and only a little more expensive.
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#2028857 - 02/07/13 04:34 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
turandot Offline
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Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
For you I recommend a Steinberg IQ 77 with heavily lacquered hammers. grin

Hi Chris,

When W&L first had the Hailun franchise for Europe, they touted their Vienna pass through where all their Chinese Hailun pianos were fine-tuned and regulated before release. When W&L neared the end of its run, there was some grumbling among Euro dealers that that procedure had been replaced by a warehouse in Holland that simply re-routed from China to the dealer. For whatever reason, Peter Velektsky opted out of W&L, and Feurich took over the franchise.I don't know exactly what their arrangement is.

As Steve Cohen suggested, Eric Johnson (Bose Eric here) would be a good one to contact. Eric has a hand in prepping the Chiense Feurichs for the US market. Since he's responsible for getting the brand off the ground here in open competition with Mother Hailun, I'd guess that our Chense Feurichs receive a high level of pres-sale attnetion. I'm sure Eric knows the set-up in Europe. The company is pretty small.

You might want to check Chris Venables also. Chris stocks the Hailun 180, a newer design, as a Venables Academy house brand. He posts sound clips and prices on his site. He also carries the Brodmann 187. It's another contender, but a little higher priced.

http://www.chrisvenables.co.uk/pianos/venables-and-son/venables-academy-180-grand-piano.htm
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#2028859 - 02/07/13 04:36 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Mark... Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 4372
Loc: Jersey Shore
I'm not a fan of Chinese pianos and someone who will seriously be using the piano to teach and play seems would be better off with a more quality product. Too bad the uk market makes it difficult to find what you really want and need.

Brodmann seems to be the best one on your list based on what I have heard. I found the Hailun to be sterile in sound, but that could be just me.

Hope you find a an inexpensive cherry out there...you teachers deserve the best.

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#2028870 - 02/07/13 04:55 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Turandot, don't joke about that IQ77! There is one for sale not too far from me in a dealership and I swear it's the same bloomin' piano I used to have, there seems to be a small scratch to the left of the keys which mine had haha! It's up for sale at a lot more than I let it go for but I wouldn't want to go back there anyway.

I would do things a little differently this time around as I'm still unsure if my smallish room is really a suitable environment. It will need careful research and lots of auditions which is no hardship. That steinberg was so bright and loud it used to make my ears ring if I played anything meaty so I want something more mellow in character.

I know chris venables has the Brodmann and have listened to the sound clips on his site. I think I prefer the 187 to the bigger one from the recording although it could be different in the flesh. Never knew about the Hailun being their house brand though. The showroom is a fair distance from me but my brother lives down that way so I might be able to combine visiting him with a trip to their dealership. As far as I know they are the only place to sell Brodmann in the UK.
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#2028876 - 02/07/13 05:05 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Mark, that kind of echoes the thoughts of my tech who looks after the Yamaha. He always pulls a face when I mention Chinese pianos but I thought things had moved on quite a bit in recent years? Much as I like my U1 it's hard to imagine that a brand new grand wouldn't be a step up.

I am generally a Yamaha fanboy and enjoyed playing the CX grands in London the other week. Even the small ones were lovely. These are probably beyond me but I have yet to try something like a GC2 which isn't too much more money. Then there's the kawai GE30 as well. It might be smaller but I don't mind that as long as the quality of sound is pleasing.
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#2028877 - 02/07/13 05:07 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
turandot Offline
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Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Chris,
I remembered that you found the IQ a little overbearing. That's why I added lacquered hammers to enhance your enjoyment. grin

Neither the Brodmanns nor the various children of Hailun are powerful in the way the IQ 77 is.

Chris Venables is the British distributor for Brodmann pianos. Chris is worth an in-person visit even if you have to walk there.
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#2028888 - 02/07/13 05:29 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Lacquered hammers? It was like firing bullets at steel cable. Shame really because in many ways it was a good piano, the action in particular. But it had to go for financial reasons as well, such is life.

I will certainly try the venables academy 180, it's bang on budget. And they also carry the full Yamaha range as well to try and tempt me into huge debt!
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#2028975 - 02/07/13 08:03 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
4evrBeginR Offline
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Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1602
Loc: California
I think for someone who likes the Yamaha action, I have been quite impressed with Brodmann. I think it is based on or is from Renner. A lot of the Chinese pianos are perfectly fine sounding for their price, but I find their action not nearly as good as Yamaha. My Essex upright (Steinway/Pearl River), to me sounds better than the U1, but the action is inferior without a doubt, and I had the entire action completely regulated at some cost even though it was brand new. I would never imagine a Yamaha requiring that much prep. Of course, now it is done I'm quite happy with it. Oh, yeah, two notes began to make strange clicking sounds due to defective glue joints at the hammer shank. Steinway happily covered the technician's cost for the repairs through warranty. No problem, but again, never had any such issue with our Yamahas.
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#2029011 - 02/07/13 09:34 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
PianoWorksATL Offline
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Registered: 09/19/09
Posts: 2630
Loc: Atlanta, GA
While it is not yet across the board for Chinese pianos, even the worst offenders 5-7 years ago are much improved. I could tell stories about any brand (even those most highly thought of, often mentioned on this forum), but in general, most problems we learn about now are related to a goof in production or shipping, not deep construction flaws from badly cut corners.

I remember Asian makers that sent us pianos that flared at the sides or had keybeds with ripples, pot metal action brackets, keys that gave kids splinters, true junk. It takes a long time to erase those memories - much longer than it took to change the manufacturing culture of some of these piano manufacturers.
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#2029015 - 02/07/13 09:42 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
BoseEric Offline
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Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
The Feurich 178, while originally based on the 178 plate, is quite different from the Hailun product. I don't mean to diss Hailun, just we are focusing on different touch and tone ideals. We now have our own assembly line withing the Hailun factory, with our own (Feurich) staff on site to oversee our production and QC.

Feurich is a separate company, and we use Hailun as a contract manufacturer. We have our own idea of how pianos should feel and sound and tweak some basic Hailun models to match that ideal. We have also developed some unique models, including the 115 vertical and the upcoming 179 grand that are ours alone. The piano world benefits from options.

The best recommendation is to try any and all...and don't listen to those who make any kind of categorical statements ("don't buy any pianos made in Sri Lanka..only buy those made in Western Montana").
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#2029033 - 02/07/13 10:37 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: BoseEric]
ando Offline
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Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3319
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
The Feurich 178, while originally based on the 178 plate, is quite different from the Hailun product. I don't mean to diss Hailun, just we are focusing on different touch and tone ideals. We now have our own assembly line withing the Hailun factory, with our own (Feurich) staff on site to oversee our production and QC.

Feurich is a separate company, and we use Hailun as a contract manufacturer. We have our own idea of how pianos should feel and sound and tweak some basic Hailun models to match that ideal. We have also developed some unique models, including the 115 vertical and the upcoming 179 grand that are ours alone. The piano world benefits from options.

The best recommendation is to try any and all...and don't listen to those who make any kind of categorical statements ("don't buy any pianos made in Sri Lanka..only buy those made in Western Montana").



I've heard this line from several of the companies working with the Hailun 178, but no matter how many times I hear it, I never hear specific details about what makes their version of the Hailun so different, or any better. It's always intentionally vague stuff about "quality, touch and tone." As far as I'm concerned, they are all Hailuns and all resemble the original Hailun model - not that there's anything wrong with that.

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#2029183 - 02/08/13 07:30 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
BoseEric Offline
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Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
different hammers (Wurzen felt, different density, different pressing), different strings, different action ratios. Different options including the harmonic pedal, our own silent/midi system, and further customization options that we are offering in the US. The Distribution Center concept which requires that each and every Feurich gets set up and prepped. In fact, no Feurich gets ANY voicing or hammer work at the Hailun factory, allowing us to impart the specific European flavored tone we are looking for once the piano arrives. The Feurich 178 is morphing into the 179 which has a completely new plate design and casting.

BUT, a laundry list means nothing if one doesn't like the result. Try the pianos, buy the one you like. We're about offering an option, not taking over the world.
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#2029226 - 02/08/13 09:32 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: BoseEric]
Steve Cohen Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
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Originally Posted By: BoseEric
different hammers (Wurzen felt, different density, different pressing), different strings, different action ratios. Different options including the harmonic pedal, our own silent/midi system, and further customization options that we are offering in the US. The Distribution Center concept which requires that each and every Feurich gets set up and prepped. In fact, no Feurich gets ANY voicing or hammer work at the Hailun factory, allowing us to impart the specific European flavored tone we are looking for once the piano arrives. The Feurich 178 is morphing into the 179 which has a completely new plate design and casting.

BUT, a laundry list means nothing if one doesn't like the result. Try the pianos, buy the one you like. We're about offering an option, not taking over the world.


Great reply!

[I missed you at NAMM.]
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Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

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#2029231 - 02/08/13 10:12 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Thanks for the replies and Eric, that information is really useful. By the time I'm ready I imagine the newer model will be available. Can't wait to try them out!
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#2029278 - 02/08/13 12:24 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Norbert Offline
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Just back from a mid-sized town in B.C. where we just delivered a Chinese 50" upright and a 7' grand.

The owners invited their teachers in the evening who all took turns playing the pianos.

The Oohs and Aahs never stopped despite one of the teachers owning a well known high end grand.

Judging pianos by origin is one thing, judging specific models by what they deliver, quite another.

There would have been a number of pianos from "other points of origin" coming to mind that would have been almost toys in comparison.

As long as we keep talking in mere generalities as constantly suggested here by some, we're not talking about what's actually going on out there today.

When given the right opportunity, even experienced pianists will be able to tell how things have moved on.

From all I heard, Feurich pianos are just one of several other makes having made incredible progress offering a great instrument today.

Norbert


Edited by Norbert (02/10/13 11:02 PM)
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#2029419 - 02/08/13 05:25 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Norbert]
turandot Offline
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Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: Norbert
Just back from a mid-sized town in B.C. where we just delivered a Chinese 50" upright and a 7' grand.

The owners invited their teachers in the evening who all took turns playing the pianos.

The Oohs and Aahs never stopped despite one of the teachers owning a well known high end grand.
Norbert


You know the old saying 'round these parts Norbert -- if you don't have pictures, it didn't happen. grin
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#2029560 - 02/08/13 10:27 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
RX2Bunny Offline
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Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 112
Loc: Chicago
Hi BoseEric, when will the 179 be out in the US market?

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#2030031 - 02/09/13 07:16 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
BoseEric Offline
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Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
I'm hoping by fall
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#2030825 - 02/10/13 10:28 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
musica71 Offline
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Registered: 04/04/08
Posts: 410
Loc: Bend, Or.
I am really confused as to why Feurich would "sell" their name to a Chinese outfit. I recently purchased a German Feurich (refurbished by the factory) and was told that the German made Feurich is superior to the Chinese. I wonder which Feurich Mr. Barton plays?? I'll bet it is a German made. Mine is a glorious instrument, will need some work to get it and keep it where I want it to be...it is like a new piano. I can tell you there is a great difference in price between the Chinese and German made Feurich!!
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#2030839 - 02/10/13 11:24 PM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
RX2Bunny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/22/12
Posts: 112
Loc: Chicago
I think Paul Barton plays Feurich 218. I have seen a few videos of him playing on the 218. here's the spec of this particular model: http://www.feurichusa.com/index.php/model-218-grand

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#2030893 - 02/11/13 01:30 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: musica71]
turandot Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/27/07
Posts: 7089
Loc: torrance, CA
Originally Posted By: musica71
I am really confused as to why Feurich would "sell" their name to a Chinese outfit.


To get a toehold in the Chinese market. Piano sales are down in the US and down in Europe. The Chinese market is thriving and expanding. Entry by a foreign company is helped by partnering with a Chinese one.

If the Feurich/Ningbo partnership prospers, Feurich may be able to ramp up production a bit in Germany. There hasn't been much in the past few years. The name won't do much good if Feurich dies as a German brand, and it's not really fair to pre-judge the Chinese product without seeing and playing it. Hailun provides a good platform for grand pianos and big production capacity. Feurich is not alone in noticing that.
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#2030972 - 02/11/13 07:50 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Paul Barton plays the Chinese built feurich 218.

The German built feurichs do still exist as far as I know and are simply branded JF pianos.

JF pianos
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#2032320 - 02/13/13 08:03 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
BoseEric Offline
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Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Feurich did NOT sell to a Chinese "outfit".
Wendl & Lung, founded by Ernest Bittner is headquartered in Vienna. Hailun has no stake in the new Feurich except as a contract manufacturer and, recently, has been acting as distributor in China.

Feurich sold to Wendl & Lung because a tiny, high priced German maker needed resources in the form of cash and distribution to survive. Wendl & Lung needed a new name and wanted to add German made pianos to its product line supporting its European background and sensibilities.

With some surprise, two years after having sold his company, Julius Feurich has voluntarily withdrawn from his licensing agreement and apparently plans to make pianos under the JF name. The new Feurich, which I represent, will be adding German made pianos, under the Feurich name based on Feurich designs, to its product line.
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#2032336 - 02/13/13 08:32 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: BoseEric]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3319
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: BoseEric
Feurich did NOT sell to a Chinese "outfit".
Wendl & Lung, founded by Ernest Bittner is headquartered in Vienna. Hailun has no stake in the new Feurich except as a contract manufacturer and, recently, has been acting as distributor in China.

Feurich sold to Wendl & Lung because a tiny, high priced German maker needed resources in the form of cash and distribution to survive. Wendl & Lung needed a new name and wanted to add German made pianos to its product line supporting its European background and sensibilities.

With some surprise, two years after having sold his company, Julius Feurich has voluntarily withdrawn from his licensing agreement and apparently plans to make pianos under the JF name. The new Feurich, which I represent, will be adding German made pianos, under the Feurich name based on Feurich designs, to its product line.


I find it all a bit silly. The original Feurich name has nothing to do with the current one. How is this any different to all the stencil pianos which bare no relationship to their founders? I'd prefer to see a new brand enter the fray than to see "JF" pianos being made by the real descendant of the Feurich family, and "Feurich" pianos being made by a people with no connection to the original Feurich company other than a desire to trade on their name.

I get that contracts were signed and deals were made, but it just sits uncomfortably with me. I like things to be what they seem. Imagine having to explain that convoluted history to every new customer who wants to understand the heritage of the brand...

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#2032343 - 02/13/13 08:45 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
BoseEric Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 731
Loc: Fairfield County, CT
Both Ernest and I agree. It was certainly not the original intention. But, because of the rather baffling (to me) actions of one individual, it is now the situation.

Who says this is a dull business? You can read more at www.highendpianoguy.com
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#2032360 - 02/13/13 09:15 AM Re: Feurich or possibly Hailun? [Re: Chris H.]
Chris H. Offline
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Registered: 10/14/05
Posts: 2837
Loc: UK.
Eric, I thought I got all this but am now a little confused.

Are Feurich pianos built in China, Vienna or somewhere in Germany? And when you say that 'Hailun has no stake in Feurich pianos except as a contract manufacturer..' does that mean that the Feurich is made by Hailun, and if so does it not share the same basic design as a Hailun?

I'm just interested really. To me a good piano is a good piano and if it comes at a reasonable price then I'm not complaining. I don't really care where it was built. But I can see how some customers would be attracted to a Feurich because it sounds German or indeed they might think it is made in Germany. German pianos have always been thought of as amongst the best made and highest quality. I thought this was why Chinese manufacturers used German sounding names for their pianos.
_________________________
Pianist and piano teacher.

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