Pramberger Piano Company
The Pramberger Piano Company was an American musical instrument manufacturer.
The Pramberger piano is a product of the world-renowned piano makers that trace their roots to the 18th Century in the Old World. Millions of pianos have been made under the brand JP Pramberger and J Pramberger. The Pramberger brand was sold to Samick Music Company (SMC) upon the death of the company founder, Joseph Pramberger.
The present makers of pianos with the mark JP Pramberger, produce these instruments in the United States and assures that their products are made with the utmost attention to detail and highest regard for quality. The rights to the original designs of Joseph Pramberger, however, are with the Young Chang Company.
The art of woodworking has been passed on through generations in Joseph Pramberger’s family since the 1700s. Joseph’s father, Anton had learned directly from his grandfather by working as an apprentice for him. Anton’s grandfather was not only a wellspring of knowledge as regards to woodworking skills but was also a strict guardian of traditions. While working with other artisans, he reared Anton to pay attention to the minutest of details and to apply only the best craftsmanship principles.
When Europe was still recovering from the devastation wrought by the Second World War, the Prambergens left for the United States. Some of Anton’s relatives have already been working at Steinway & Sons since the year 1913. It is through their advice and prodding that Anton and his family decided to migrate. He was offered a job at Steinway’s piano factory in New York. There, he spent a good chunk of his life (almost 25 years) working as a pattern maker and constructing the intricate machinery to manufacture pianos.
Anton’s son, Joseph Pramberger came with him to the U.S. in 1950. His role would be to connect the tradition handed down through generations within the Pramberger family and the technological innovations of the modern piano. Like father like son is how it can be described, for just as Anton spent a good deal of years at Steinway and Steins; Joseph spent 29 years in the company enabling him to hone his piano making technique. There, he initially worked as a Design and Project Engineer and later on as a VP for Manufacturing and Chair for International Exchange Group.
Through his hands-on experience in every aspect of making pianos and advancement in formal education (a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from the New York University in 1966), he was able to advance his knowledge and skills tremendously. His expertise brought him to various destinations around the world to visit and consult with the big names of the piano industry.
After more than a quarter of a century working for Steinway, Joseph Pramberger resigned and established his own company in 1987. With Pramberger Piano Ltd., Joseph alongside his father, Anton, was able to take with top notch pianos using the vast knowhow and skills they have acquired through the years.
Collecting Pramberger Pianos
There's a diverging view whether the present company that produces the Pramberger brand exhibits the same quality of sound and craftsmanship as the vintage Pramberger pianos.
When sixty-five year-old Joseph P. Pramberger passed away in 2004, his wife sold the Pramberger trademark, brand and logo to Samick Music Company (SMC). SMC is said to have paid the highest amount ever in the piano world to acquire the rights. SMC is also known for their Knabe, Kohler & Campbell, Remington, Sohmer, Conover Cable brands collection.
The rights to the original designs weren’t acquired by SMC though, as Joseph Pramberger chose Young Chang Piano Company to produce his JP Pramberger pianos. Joseph Pramberger was a believer in Young Chang Company’s superb craftsmanship and technology and directly supervised the creation of JP Pramberger pianos under the Pramberger Piano Ltd. license. The Young Chang Company is now owned by the Hyundai Corporation of Korea.
Samick features the JP Pramberger logo on some of their pianos that are manufactured in South Korea and later on the Pramberger logo (minus the “JP”) on the more economical, mass-produced pianos made in Indonesia. Though Samick has acquired the brand name, some critics have pointed out that the new pianos do not possess the same quality as the Joseph Pramberger-designed ones. They are not even the same dimension as the vintage JP Pramberger pianos. Some collectors do not consider the Samick-produced pianos as representative of the genius of Joseph Pramberger.
As they were made in only in a limited number, it is expected that vintage Pramberger pianos would appreciate in value and that they would be even more desired by aficionados, musicians, and collectors as time passes by. As for the Samick-produced pianos, the following have been posted as a general price guide: the vertical Legacy Series pianos ($ 2,800-3,700), the vertical Signature Series pianos ($ 4,600-5,200), the vertical Platinum Series pianos ($ 7,800-8,100), and the grand pianos ($ 8,600-16,800).
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