The region of Estonia has an over 200-year tradition of piano-making, despite not regaining its independence until 1991 after the fall of the Soviet Union. Between 1849-1950, there were roughly 20 piano makers in Estonia, and the most prolific of there, Ernst Ihse, had been selected by the communist Estonian government in 1950 to lead the state-run piano facility while the remainder of the smaller piano makers got consolidated. Ernst Ihse studied piano making at Hamburg Steinway as well as Bluther, and brought the knowledge and quality standards he learned there to Estonia. After Estonia regained its independence, the company was privatized and the employees became owners. Then, a very prolific Estonian pianist, Dr. Indrek Laul, purchased the company back from the employees and in 2001, became the sole owner of Estonia Pianos. Today, there are less than 300 Estonia pianos made yearly, which allows for the utmost attention to detail and quality, as well as being able to use only the finest raw materials, which are absolutely necessary to produce pianos of this caliber.
The Estonia 190 Grand Piano is 6’3″ or 190cm in length and therefore provides more than enough string length and soundboard surface area for professional musicians to work with. This size piano provides more than sufficient bass clarity and tonal sustain for even the most demanding of classical repertoire. The Estonia 190 is a great piano for many situations including but not limited to: home use, studios (teaching or recording) as well as institutional settings.
The material and part selection on Estonia’s 190 models is impressive on its own, but when considering the price point of the piano, is nothing short of remarkable. Pianos with this level of materials quality generally cost at least twice as much as Estonias. Some of these features include: amazing rim construction made of thick Baltic wood (birch), Red Beech and Maple Vertically Laminated and Hand Notched Bridges, highest grade ‘Bule’ Renner action and hammers, sand cast iron plate, pin blocks, or red beech as well as specially selected European Solid Spruce Soundboards.
Over the past two decades or so, Estonia pianos have developed what many refer to as a ‘cult following’, which has never before been seen with any piano brand. People who have Estonia’s love them, and prefer them to pianos such as Hamburg Steinway and Fazioli. In other words, if you’re considering a six-foot or larger piano, and would normally go for a Kawai or Yamaha, then put the Estonia 190 on your list, you will not be disappointed.
Estonia’s Model 190, like with all Estonia pianos, receives The highest quality Renner Action made in Germany. Renner Actions are the most respected actions in the piano industry, and most of the world’s top-rated pianos use it. The action is then regulated extensively at the Estonia factory to not only the strict demands of the craftspeople but also to the demands of Dr. Indrek Laul, a very accomplished pianist and recording artist. The keys on the Estonia 190 are made in Germany by Kluge Keyboards.
The tone of the Estonia 190 Grand Piano is both wonderfully complex, yet still warm and clear. This piano’s sounds cover a very wide tonal spectrum and can be used to play pretty well any style of music. The bass sustain on this instrument is particularly impressive, and the whole piano sounds larger than 6’3″. Each Estonia piano has its “own voice”, which when comparing to Asian-made pianos in this price range, is a big differentiator. Particular mention needs to make out this piano’s dynamic range and capabilities, since again, generally, you need to spend twice the amount to get a piano that. you have this much control over musically.
The hammers on the Estonia 190 are ‘Renner Blue’ Hammers, which are German Renner hammers and the best that the company makes. The felt is of premium quality and offers tons of voicing potential. Estonia pianos get voiced extensively prior to being shipped. The hammers in a piano are the instrument’s first point of contact with sound (stings), and therefore Estonia pianos only use the best.
A premium quality European Spruce Soundboard is found in the Estonia Model 190. The soundboard wood is imported from Germany and then carefully selected for use in Estonia pianos. It is solid spruce as well as clear grade, for optimal tonal efficiency. The soundboard in the Estonia 190 is 14.96 sq. ft. or 1.39 square meters.
The Estonia 190’s cabinet is as impressive as its musicality. These grand piano cases stand out from across a showroom, and many argue are on par quality-wise with the world’s best pianos. The cabinet has some distinctly European cuts and is available in eight gorgeous finishes. Of course, the Polished Ebony is the most popular, but a close second is a finish that Estonia calls ‘Hidden Beauty’ which is a blend of Polished ebony finish and Bubinga. Many clients with an eye for design also really love the ‘bird’s eye maple’ finish on the inner rim.