The ED Seiler 168 is the smaller Indonesian-built replica of the Seiler SE168 full german 5’7” grand piano. The entire ED Seiler project is a novel one in the industry, as what has been attempted is an Asian-built copy of a current German-made product. Plenty of companies have attempted to extend a flagship German brand further down the product line into inexpensive Chinese or Indonesian-built instruments, but it often takes the form of loosely worded and vague connections between the two products. In this case, Seiler owns both factories, owns both brands, and has the luxury of transplanting machinery, designs, and expertise without restriction.
The piano’s design, scale, and parts, therefore, mirror that of the German product, at approximately 50% of the cost.
The instrument uses a wide-tail design, which allows a longer bass string to be placed on the piano. They also use Roslau blue piano wire (the best OEM product available), Abel hammers (the premium rebuilders’ hammer of choice), solid alpine quarter-sawn spruce soundboard material, maple, and beech rim, duplex scale, and Seiler’s patented membrator planing method.
It produces a massive, warm tone that doesn’t lose any detail to lower-mid woofiness or an overly-blended sound. A sheer delight to play, and a mark of excellence in any home.
Renner Action Components
Ed Seiler’s use Renner action components, ordered to Seiler spec, as well as hornbeam / aluminum frames that are rigid and amongst the best in the factory-class pianos – certainly at a similar construction level to a Yamaha CX action frame.
The motion is fluid and the keybed is nicely reinforced, with no “knock” or additional lost energy through the cabinet of the piano.
All other components are directly manufactured by the company, so it’s an entirely ‘in-house’ product. The repetition is quick and beautifully controlled mid and upper dynamic ranges.
The ED168 tone delivers a depth and breadth of partials that defies its size. An unexpected level of cabinet warmth and wonderfully balanced inharmonicities create a delicate shimmer around the mid and upper range of the piano, while the bass notes have a huge pallet to offer, ranging from dark and buttery to brassy and upfront, all without unwanted overtones or metallic bark.
Overall the piano could be described as powerfully dark, an instrument that will ultimately deliver the kind of depth that pianists yearn for in a smaller piano, without the accompanying shrillness that “loud” pianos so often arrive with. A near-perfect grand for a smaller space within a mainstream budget.
The ED168 uses Abel hammers from Germany. The hammer that Seiler selected is a heavier weight, with medium brightness, contributing to the piano’s overall character. The selection of German hammers – the same as what can be found on the full German counterparts – ensures that the Seiler character is authentically preserved, while also giving buyers longevity and performance normally associated with far more expensive instruments.
Austrian White Alpine Spruce Soundboard
The type of wood that a soundboard uses has a major influence over its behavior as well as its longevity – after all, all soundboards over time flatten and lose their luster. However in the case of Seiler, it’s not just the wood (in this case Austrian white alpine spruce), but the way in which it’s cut.
Seiler developed a planing technique called the “Membrator” which augments the sustain and makes the board more active at lower energy levels. It’s entirely unique within the industry, and can visually be seen on all ED Seiler and SE (German) Seiler pianos on both uprights and grands.
Beech & Hard-Rock Maple Rim/Cabinet
ED Seiler uses an inner/outer rim structure and makes use of beech and hard-rock maple material, a similar composition to that of Kawai’s well-known Shigeru Kawai line. The resonance is the highest we’ve ever observed on a non-Japanese Asian-built piano, and could easily be mistaken for a traditional German piano such as August Forster or…more aptly, the German Seilers.
The aesthetic treatment of the ED Seilers are perhaps the most obvious part of what sets them most apart in their category or price range. Thick high-quality polyester, authentic brass, and nickel hardware, beautifully cast and sprayed plates, and elegant styling augments the entire body of the piano