Seiler SE186 Product Overview
At 6’2”, the Seiler SE186 grand piano occupies the incredibly important 6-foot size range and is built for both homes and institutions alike. In North America, the very obvious ‘high value’ options for this class are of course the Shigeru Kawai SK-3 and Yamaha CF4, but with a completely different musical experience and equally superb craftsmanship, the SE186 should be added to the list.
Seiler has been hand-making high-end German pianos in Kitzingen Germany since 1962, but their history stretches all the way back to 1849 in what was then Prussia, making them one of the longest standing of all piano manufacturers.
Samick acquired Seiler in 2008 and expanded their lineup into different quality levels, but Seiler still operates a small, elite team of craftsmen, producing premium quality pianos in Germany to this very day.
Their top-quality SE series grand pianos are quite unique among high-end German grands with a much brighter tonal profile that still manages to sing sonorously and never feels shrill. The sustain is superb, and the keysticks have recently been redesigned and extended to offer a greater level of control – a recent trend in the piano industry that’s been very well received.
Renner Action with Hornbeam Rail
A Renner action with a hornbeam rail is what you’ll find when looking under the hood of an SE186. Renner is the preeminent manufacturer of piano actions in Germany, and they supply the actions for many high-end German and European manufacturers.
The SE186 feels different than the standard Renner action however due to the extended length of the keysticks, and lighter than average key weighting. Excellent control, and supremely fast, the SE186 is more than capable of any repertoire thrown at it.
Triple-layered spruce makes up the strong keybed ensuring long-term stability.
Known For Brighter Tone
Seiler has always been known for a brighter tone than other German grand pianos. Super clear, and a recent redesign incorporating duplex scale has improved the sustain. Seiler’s special ‘Membrator’ soundboard design results in a fantastically resonance tone, which is also aided by a multi-layered beech bridge with a solid maple cap.
The tone is highly subjective which is why you should absolutely try the SE186 if you’re already considering another excellent, similarly sized piano like a Shigeru SK-3 since they sound equally great, but drastically different.
Abel Hammers – Top Quality German Wool
Seiler sources their hammers from Abel for use in the Seiler SE186, featuring top-quality German wool, ‘T’ wired for power.
Slow Growth Solid White Spruce Soundboard
Seiler selects slow-growth, high altitude, solid mountain white spruce for the SE186. Slow-growth solid spruce offers the perfect pulp to grain ratio for optimal acoustic potential.
The soundboard design itself is very notable, as Seiler approaches soundboard design differently from anyone else. As opposed to tapering out at the edges like the soundboards in other high-end grands, the SE186’s soundboard actually gets thicker and heavier at the edges, enclosing the inner portion of the soundboard. This allows the inner soundboard to vibrate in a more unrestrained manner, which Seiler says is the main reason their grand pianos sing so well.
A wider tail design facilitates a larger soundboard as well.
Beech & Mahogany Cabinet/Rim
The SE186 features a multilayered inner rim of beech and an outer rim of mahogany. Beech and mahogany is a very nice combination that provides both structural integrity and excellent sonic potential.
Seiler’s unique ‘Tone Volume Stabilizer’ is also featured for enhanced tonal projection.