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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125340 07/30/13 02:12 PM
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I don't think Hailun can be faulted for this. They simply had an OEM contract with Wendl & Lung, who promptly slapped the Feurich name on the Wendl & Lung scale design, made some cosmetic changes, retained the Feurich music desk design, and voila! - the Chinese Feurich.

I don't know the details of the Feurich/Wendl & Lung agreement, or why Julius Feurich terminated their licensing agreement and is now trying to make a go of it on his own with his new "JF" brand. If the JF pianos sound like the rebuilt Feurich in Musica71's (Judy's) video, I hope Herr Feurich is successful.

Last edited by Almaviva; 07/30/13 10:35 PM.
Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125352 07/30/13 02:48 PM
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Very nicely done, Judy!


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125362 07/30/13 03:11 PM
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I played a Chinese Feurich at the Chicago Amateru Competition 2012. I really liked it and could not believe the price. then I found out the difference between the German and Chinese Feurichs. I went home and looked online for any dealers of their European pianos. There were 2, one in Baltimore, one in Florida. Warfield Pianos in Baltimore had a refurbished 6' 7" piano. I flew out to look at it and loved it. It was a one owner piano that had been cared for at the Factory in Gunzenhausen. It was built in 1989 I believe. Anyway we found out every possible thing about it and heard from Julius Feurich etc. I remember it had new hammers, probably didn't need too much else..it was supposed to be as close to a new piano as possible. I had a 6' 3" Schimmel Classic that was rather unstable in the dry Bend Oregon climate. Shipped that to my son Seth Darst in NYC, this is for sure a wonderful piano.

Last edited by musica71; 07/30/13 03:45 PM.

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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125364 07/30/13 03:16 PM
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Beautiful recording Judy. Really captures the essence of the tone that the Feurich beholds.

I, too, am interested as to how old your Feurich is and what was actually carried out when it was restored?


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125368 07/30/13 03:24 PM
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Wow, sounds amazing. I'm so glad you're pleased with it. I honestly cannot wait to go to Peregrine's in London to try the Feurich now! However, I've got to wait a couple of weeks yet :-(


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125414 07/30/13 04:56 PM
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Beautiful!

Good example that German pianos can have a much darker, sonorous type tone than is commonly assumed.

But then so many things are "commonly assumed"...

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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125505 07/30/13 07:33 PM
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Not to dissuade your purchase, but when I lived in Germany, '81 - '98, we had 3 piano dealers in town. One of them carried the Feurich line. He also carried Grotrian, Hoffmann, Young Chang and a few others. At that time, the Feurich was considered more of a decorative instrument, on the same level as Sauter, Seiler, and a bit under Schimmel. Which is to say, in very fine company, but definitely not top tier.

In the USA, we tend to elevate these instruments more than the Germans do. You will have to be comfortable with your decision, but for heaven's sake, why don't you fly into Hahn or Koln(what is it these days, $20 each way?) rent a car and hit piano dealerships in Cologne, Frankfurt, Wiesbaden, Koblenz and Mainz; make it an extended weekend trip and enjoy yourself. Maybe take a Rhine River cruise while you're at it. BTW, if Oberlinger's have reopened (just off the A-61 at Windesheim), he has most of the brands on his extensive showroom floor. Don't know about the VAT situation, but most of these dealers will, if pressed, give you a 10% discount.


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125520 07/30/13 08:12 PM
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Quote
Not to dissuade your purchase, but when I lived in Germany, '81 - '98, we had 3 piano dealers in town. One of them carried the Feurich line. He also carried Grotrian, Hoffmann, Young Chang and a few others. At that time, the Feurich was considered more of a decorative instrument, on the same level as Sauter, Seiler, and a bit under Schimmel. Which is to say, in very fine company, but definitely not top tier.


I respectfully disagree with this.

Germans are no different than any people: they tend to judge things by "what they know".

In not one single incident have I ever come across one dealer, technician, music lover or pianist who would place Schimmel above the others mentioned.

I once brought over and employed a "Klavierbaumeister" who was trained by Feurich in Gunzenhausen.

She said exact same.

Hoping no offense here....

Norbert smile





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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
Norbert #2125526 07/30/13 08:23 PM
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Norbert, that is the reason I couched my response with reference to when I lived in Germany; I attended the Messe annually, frequently played all the German instruments, dealt with all the dealers in the area (I had 40 students, many of whom were interested in purchasing pianos). Things change, it's been 15 years now, and even though my daughter and family still live there, and we visit annually, I'm not going from dealer to dealer looking at instruments.

If you want to get a true feel of how the Germans rate their instruments, look at the Manufacturers required pricing. It's easily available now on the net.

I see no reason for a serious pianist in Essex not to fly over to Germany, roughly the same distance for you to fly down to Salem, OR, and try out a number of instruments. Can you?


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125549 07/30/13 09:24 PM
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Thanks John!

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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125559 07/30/13 09:43 PM
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Somehow this doesn't make sense. I don't believe I can fly to Germany for $20 (did you say?) I got this piano at roughly a little over half price of what a new one would be, plus they currently do not make the 197, (6' 6"). I understand they will again be producing this size, which is perfect for my smaller house. Phil Warfield had a new 5' 8" which was more expensive than my refurbished one. He also payed for the shipping, put a Dampp Chaser system on it and it was prepped to death. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I do NOT have unlimited funds,(otherwise might have been looking at Shigeru, Fazioli, etc.), this was perfect. Darrell Fandrich who used to be my technician in the Seattle area also was in touch with Julius to make sure it was a good deal. Fandrich considers the Feurich one of the very top pianos and is a dealer in northern Washington State. I consider Fandrich one of the best technicians ever.

Last edited by musica71; 07/30/13 09:45 PM.

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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
musica71 #2125639 07/31/13 12:32 AM
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I'm not sure why you posted what you did. I was answering the OPs questions. First, I thought you were the OP, but using a different name. Now, I'm not sure.

For the OP:

Check out RyanAir for their current pricing to Koln-Bann or Hahn, but a few years back, I was stunned to see the low prices. I see that it's 29 Euro now, but that's still plenty cheap, and quite a bit cheaper than AlaskaAir for the same distance! There may be other small airlines flying into Koln-Bann as well. I can tell you that there are many, many British tourists who vacation in towns along the Rhein and therefore, it's very easy to get around even for a non-German speaker.

Please note, I'm merely suggesting an alternate which will help you discover more instruments, some of which you may like even better than your Feurich. If you're not in a great hurry, you can attend the Frankfurt Musikmesse in March and have a chance to look at all the major manufacturers of the world all in one setting.

PS Being from Olympia, I'm quite familiar with the Fandrich reputation.

Last edited by John v.d.Brook; 07/31/13 12:36 AM. Reason: confusion over OP and musica71

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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
Norbert #2125703 07/31/13 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Norbert

Germans are no different than any people: they tend to judge things by "what they know".

In not one single incident have I ever come across one dealer, technician, music lover or pianist who would place Schimmel above the others mentioned.


I think there is no German consensus about the ranking of all the different German brands. Ok, you might be right that no one would rate Schimmel above Sauter, Seiler or Feurich. But not necessarly much under as well. In my opinion most German made pianos are high quality. On that quality level it´s a question of individual preferences. And it´s a question of comparing specific exemplars rather than brands. E.g., I can´t confirm that there is a specific Feurich or Sauter sound. If we would conduct a double blind test of listening to different piano brands, the result would not be above coincidence. BTW, I did such a double blind test with German beer brands. The result was, hmmm, let´s say I don´t remember crazy

I tune a lot of German pianos every week, some convince me absolutely, some not. But that´s not a question of the fallboard name. Even some "great name" pianos can be quite boring.


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
Gregor #2125710 07/31/13 06:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Gregor

I think there is no German consensus about the ranking of all the different German brands. Ok, you might be right that no one would rate Schimmel above Sauter, Seiler or Feurich. But not necessarly much under as well.


Thank you for this Gregor.

I am not German, but I have spent time there in several factories. I have seen the care taken in design, process, material choices, etc. and I have to say that Schimmel, particularly the K series grands, impress.

I take nothing away from Sauter, Seiler, Feurich, Grotrian, etc., but based on the instrument itself, I think the days of Schimmel playing a second fiddle to these other names is gone.


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125717 07/31/13 06:45 AM
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Thanks for the information all, it's highly appreciated. I guess from where I'm standing, I can read information and interpret other's ideas on Feurich and what they think, but until I try the piano for myself it's incredibly hard for me to judge them as they are.

Unfortunately, it's not currently feasible for me to fly over to Germany (as much as I'd love to!). However, that's on my bucket list. So when I one day buy my Steingraeber, I'll fly out and meet Udo and hopefully get a tour of the factory where they're made.

Last edited by williambonard; 07/31/13 06:48 AM.

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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125733 07/31/13 07:54 AM
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The following is MY OPINION ONLY!

I'm pretty close to the whole situation and I wouldn't describe it the same way Norbert does...

Julius very unexpectedly withdrew from the licensing agreement he had after selling his company to Wendl & Lung. This means there are no more handbuilt Feurich's coming from Gunzenhausen as the factory was included in the sale to W&L.

The ones that came from there (Gunzenhausen) are quite beautiful (I have an ebony 172) with the characteristic Feurich dark eastern european sound.

Feurich (without Julius) is re-starting European manufacturing, based in Vienna as it appears now. I'm following the details closely and it is not yet clear to me in what country the JF pianos are made.

We showed the Feurich M series at the PTG Convention in Chicago, to great reaction. These are the Ningbo made series, customized here in the US.

Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125765 07/31/13 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by BoseEric
it is not yet clear to me in what country the JF pianos are made.


Being "pretty close to the whole situation", you might want to visit JF pianos webpage. A quick perusal of the "History" and "Contact" pages reveals that they are made in Germany.

I sense that there are many stories untold, somewhere in-between
... Norbert's version ("got screwed over royally"),
... your version ("very unexpectedly withdrew"),
... Larry Fine's company profiles,
... Feurich's (i.e. Wendl&Lung's) version, e.g. on feurich.com, and
... Mr Julius Feurich himself.


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125767 07/31/13 10:01 AM
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BoseEric, the F172 I've seen (pictured in the original post) is one of the Feurich pianos made in their Gunzenhausen factory if I'm correct.

Julius Feurich himself, as I'm sure you're now aware, has his own company 'JF' manufacturing what was the traditional Feurich pianos before the venture (and split) from Wendl & Lung/Hailun.

Of course, Julius Feurich cannot use the 'Feurich' brand name due to the laws and infringements set in place, hence the company now being known as JF. The Feurich name and brand was part of the agreement settled with Wendl & Lung when the two companies originally ventured together.


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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
williambonard #2125778 07/31/13 10:34 AM
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Not knowing the exact details is one thing but fact is that Feurich, like Seiler in Kitzingen, started years ago to use upright cases made in China.

They are not the only ones: several other manufacturers trying to stay competitive started to farm out work and bring in stuff made elsewhere.

This as opposed to those who stayed the course building everything 100% in Germany and aiming at highest possible quality.

Today, the verdict of "who was right" and doing well in today's economy is in. The result may surprise you.

It's for consumers to find out which is which and what "option" suits one best.

Not to say that this is always fully revealed to customers...

Norbert blush

Last edited by Norbert; 07/31/13 10:39 AM.

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Re: German hand-built Feurich F172
BoseEric #2125840 07/31/13 12:17 PM
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BoseEric, are you sure that Wendl & Lung owns the Gunzenhausen factory now? "Piano Buyer" still indicates that the JF company is still located in Gunzenhausen. It is entirely possible that Julius Feurich has established a new factory in the same town as the old Feurich factory. I wouldn't know.

Does Wendl & Lung own the rights to the Feurich scale designs? If that is the case, the current JF pianos use new scale designs.

Last edited by Almaviva; 07/31/13 12:19 PM. Reason: grammar
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