Estonia’s history is unique among piano companies, especially considering the meteoric rise in quality and popularity the company has experienced in the past decade and a half. While their current history can ultimately be traced back to the 1890s, everything really changed for Estonia in 2001 when Juilliard graduate Dr. Indrek Laul acquired full control of the company. Using his experience as a virtuosic pianist, Dr. Laul sought to execute radical redesigns of every piano model they offer to achieve a more dynamic, musical instrument, built to compete with the world’s best. A rousing success, in less than 20 years, Estonia has gone from a solid upper-mid-range manufacturer to one the most elite.
Today, Estonia makes 5 sizes of grand pianos, and the Estonia 225 occupies the ever-important 7 foot, semi concert grand size range. Handcrafted at the Estonia piano factory in Tallinn and extensively redesigned in the last several years, this 7’4″ will be nothing short of shocking to those who might not be familiar with Estonia pianos.
Powerful, rich, and capable of the subtlest of nuances, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’re playing a Tier 1 German-made piano when trying out the L225 for the first time. With a first-class action by Renner and Renner Blue hammers, the touch is just as good as the sound.
All of this should equal an exceedingly expensive piano with prohibitive pricing, right? Wrong. While Estonia’s, in general, have gone up in price over the last decade in step with their quality improvements, the L225 still costs a mere fraction of what some of the other 7 foot pianos it competes against costs, such as New York Steinway B or Yamaha CF6, despite the L225 delivering what many would argue is a superior musical experience.
Factor all of this in, and it’s no wonder Estonia elicits a level of devotion and comradery among their fanbase that few others can match. The best-kept secret in the piano industry isn’t a secret anymore.
German-built Renner actions of the highest grade are featured in every Estonia model, complemented by Kluge keys. Renner is widely recognized as the top action supplier for piano makers who don’t build their own actions and can be found in many high-end pianos, such as those from Bluthner and Fazioli. Only the best wool is selected for the hammer felts.
Estonia does a concert level regulation at the factory level, and the result is a fast, fluid action that’s very easy to control. Weighting is on the heavier side out of the box, but this can be adjusted by a competent technician to the final end-users preference.
This is a superb piano action ready to meet the demands of any music style.
Another testament to the level Estonia has achieved is the fact that there is already a signature sound associated with their instruments – something typically reserved for only a select few piano makers. The ‘Estonia Sound’ is known for being warm, rich with overtones, and incredibly colorful.
The L225 has a powerful bass register anchored by the longest bass wire measuring in at 5’6″. Hand notched maple capped, vertically laminated red beech bass bridge and treble bridge ensure optimal transmission from strings to the soundboard, going a long way in achieving this Estonian sound.
This is the perfect choice if you’re looking for a dynamic 7 foot piano for a recording studio, mid-sized performance venue, or of course, a fine home.
To complement the Renner action on every Estonia grand, Estonia selects Renner Blue hammers with precise specifications for hammer density. These are the highest quality hammers you can get from Renner.
With 19.59 square feet of soundboard area, the L225 boasts a soundboard of considerable size. ‘Clear grade’ solid spruce is specially selected and imported from Germany.
Dr. Laul implemented an upgraded soundboard design in recent years, which has been one of the critical improvements catapulting Estonia up the quality ratings.
Many laminations of Baltic birch make up the rim of the L225, resulting in a net weight that exceeds most out semi-concert grand pianos. This means this structure is truly built to last generations, especially when considering the red beech multi-laminated pinblock and highest quality tuning pins.
15 radial grain ribs and sand cast iron plates are also worth noting, as are the recently redesigned dovetailed spruce posts.