The Kayserburg Artist Series is a crowning achievement by any definition. German craftsmanship complimented by 21st Century technical expertise have combined to create the ultimate in fine musical instruments. The Pearl River Piano Company commissioned famed Swiss piano designer Lothar Thomma and Swiss master production engineer Stephan Mohler to design and craft “the finest pianos in the world.” The result is the pride of Pearl River and a challenge to piano manufacturers everywhere.
For the first time ever, Kayserburg Artist Series pianos are being marketed internationally and we are proud to say we have already attracted the attention of some of the world’s most demanding critics. In fact, Larry Fine’s Piano Buyer deemed our KA132B a “staff favorite” and “musical standout” with a “lovely, singing tone.” The KA132B was compared in a blind test with European pianos costing up to three times as much. An amazing 90% of the judging panel, composed of musicians and technicians, believed the Kayserburg to be the most expensive.
Famed conductor, Ragnar Bohlin, Director of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, has lavishly praised his Kayserburg piano. Chinese audiences will be very familiar with the “Maestro” as he conducted the recent tour of China with the San Francisco Symphony to great acclaim. He is well known in Europe and is the conductor of the Royal Swedish Orchestra and the Stockholm Radio Choir. Mr. Bohlin has graciously allowed us to quote him and we are proud to have such a distinguished supporter. Thank you, Maestro.
“Both personally and professionally, I have found the Kayserburg Artist Series pianos to be a magnificent partner in making music. Having selected the Kayserburg Artist Series professional upright for my San Francisco residence, and even though I work daily with grand pianos at the San Francisco Symphony, I find the tone and performance capability of this professional upright piano to be astounding and I am happy to ‘sing’ its praises.”
Rim and Beam Construction. The Kayserburg Artist Series uprights have a select inner rim of solid maple with an MDF outer-core. Whether in your living room, or seated in the last seat of a large auditorium, the sound projected by the Kayserburg Artist Series rim design will be warm, clean and distinct. The craftsmen at Kayserburg are dedicated to protecting the beauty lying far beneath the surface of each Kayserburg Artist series piano, in its rim, for generations to come.
The beams on all Kayserburg Artist Series pianos are crafted only of top quality solid European Spruce. Then, each beam is strategically located to provide maximum strength and stability, insuring great tuning stability and decades of musical pleasure. It would, perhaps, be easy to simply affix each beam to its rim with screws or other fastening methods, as some manufacturers do, but the craftsmen at Pearl River individually mortise and dowel each beam to the rim. A time consuming and demanding job, this will insure the structural integrity of a Kayserburg Artist Series piano throughout the decades.
Pinblock. Kayserburg Artist Series pianos have a pin block constructed only of select quarter sawn hard-rock maple which is cross laminated to ensure maximum resistance on the tuning pin threads. Tuning pins are nickel plated to resist rust and insure string integrity.
Keys, Key Covers, Keybed and Introducing Ivolan®. The keys on all Kayserburg Artists Series pianos are made of solid, straight grained, spruce. This allows for a very light key of great strength. At the point where the center pins meet the key, the Kayserburg Artists Series keys have a solid hardwood keybutton and solid hard-rock maple inserts for the capstan and backcheck posts. The use of high grade spruce in the key more readily allows for an accurate transfer of the pianists intentions to the hammer, which greatly affects the resultant sound. The hardwood inserts ensure stability of the key even under the most stressful blow to the key. Each key is individually weighted so that an even touch is accomplished from Bass to Treble. On an upright piano, the keybed supports the entire action (playing mechanism) and must be extremely strong. Most important, for a piano to last throughout the generations, the keybed must resist warpage or movement of any kind, especially movement caused by changes in humidity. Therefore, every Kayserburg piano has a keybed of solid European spruce in “butcher block” construction and each plank is mortised (finger joint type).
The keys are then fitted onto the keybed. Besides housing the entire action unit, one of the keybed’s functions is to absorb the shock of the pianists blow and must therefore be strong, but in order to minimize action noise, it must also be somewhat absorbent of sound. The Kayserburg Artist Series has a keybed of solid spruce. All pins are of solid brass and are driven into solid beech wood inserts which are inlaid into the keyframe. This construction provides the greatest stability and noise-free sound production.
Kayserburg Artist Series keys are covered in Ivolan®, an eco-friendly ivory substitute with a gentle gripping surface and sharps are made of genuine natural Ebony wood. Kayserburg Artists Series designers searched the globe for a key cover that mimics the desirable traits of Ivory, but meets today’s standards of “earth first” responsibility in manufacturing. Made in Germany, completely of mineral and synthetic materials, Ivolan mimics Ivory’s color and breathability, while providing the pianist with a gently gripping surface not previously available in plastic key tops.
Soundboard, Ribs and Bridges. Perhaps no other aspect of piano crafting is as important as the construction of the soundboard unit (soundboard, ribs and bridges) which is truly the heart of the piano. All Kayserburg Artist Series pianos have soundboards crafted entirely of tight grained European quarter sawn solid spruce.
Each piece of spruce, depending upon the climate in its growth area, will produce a slightly different sound. It is the Craftsman’s experienced eye which can instantly recognize the special characteristic of the “first amongst equals” which will produce a sound that sets it apart from others. These special boards are used only in the Kayserburg Artist Series instruments and come from remote regions as varied as Siberia to the mountains of Central Europe.
Each board is then given years of special seasoning, and then, as the vintner who carefully chooses which wine to uncork, the Kayserburg Artist Series craftsmen individually select the boards from which to craft a complete soundboard. Each soundboard is handcrafted to ensure precise crown (natural bowing).
The RIBS, which are graduated in width and thickness and feathered for flexibility and frequency response, are also made of select quarter sawn spruce. They are glued and hand doweled to the soundboard and then mortised into the rim.
The responsibility of the bridge is to transmit the vibration of each string to the soundboard. It must be extremely strong and rigid but yet resonant. Historical analysis has proven that all stringed instruments, whether a violin, cello or piano, using a bridge of maple, produces the richest resultant tone. Kayserburg Artist Series pianos use a hard rock maple bridge, vertically laminated, with a layer of Rosewood for increased rigidity, and a solid Beech cap. Specifically designed for each Kayserburg Artist Series instrument, each bridge (one treble and one bass) is then strategically placed on the sound board to produce maximum frequency response. The Kayserburg craftsmen have the responsibility to see that the bridges are glued, dowelled and screwed to the soundboard.
Strings. The pianos are strung with the highest grade of solid steel musical wire from Rosslau, Germany. Treble: Röslau, solid surgical grade steel. Bass: Röslau, core, solid copper hand-wound wrap.
Hardware. All Kayserburg Artist pianos have Nickel hardware.
Action. Kayserburg Artists Series piano actions, as designed by Mr. Thomma, have set this spring in parts constructed of hard rock maple and affix the entire piece to a rail of sturdy hardwood construction. By using this method the Kayserburg has superior strength, durability and stability. Only top quality pins, felts and buckskin are used to ensure precision and noise reduction throughout the action. All action felt is crafted of 100 percent wool of the highest quality which has been treated to be moth-resistant.
Hammers. The hammers on the Kayserburg Artist Series are specially designed by the world renowned Renner company of Stuttgart, Germany to produce warm, clear legato tone. The hammers are crafted only of top grade felt which has been formed over select hardwood cores and then fastened to the cores with t-shaped steel wires for the maximum resilience and structural integrity. Only when coupled with the superb Thomma scale design, and cabinet of a Kayserburg, can the resultant sound of the supreme Kayserburg Artist Series hammer be faithfully duplicated.
To learn more about the The Kayserburg Artist Series, click here to view or download the KA Artist Series brochure.