In this article, we are putting Young Chang Pianos in the spotlight. The Young Chang Piano Reviews do not focus on any specific piano but talk about what happened to Young Chang, its history, and the current state of the brand.
Young Chang is a Korean piano manufacturer that many people are familiar with. If you’ve followed the history of pianos, you probably have seen information about Young Chang pianos because the piano manufacturer has been around for over 60 years. There are a lot of used Young Chang pianos out there. Just do a Google search, and you will see.
History of Young Chang
Young Chang was founded by three brothers in 1956 as a distributor of Yamaha pianos for Korea and other parts of Asia; therefore, it has a rich history with Yamaha.
The three brothers started assembling the pianos for Yamaha; then, they got into key cutting and action components. Eventually, they established the first Young Chang factory in Seoul in 1964. It was the first Korean piano brand.
Throughout the years, Young Chang has changed their manufacturing and design many times. The company gained momentum in the 70s and entered the US piano market. Those Young Chang pianos were highly affordable, and they looked great, played well, and sounded nice. Hence they became prevalent.
There is a timeline of Young Chang’s history on its official website.
The Pramberger Series
The late 90s was the time that Young Chang grabbed a lot of attention with its Pramberger line of pianos.
In 1995, Yough Chang brought on Joseph Pramberger, a former vice president from Steinway & Sons, head of manufacturing, and an experienced piano designer.
Pramberger brought many innovations to Young Chang’s piano design, including the platinum touch action and the patented asymmetrical tapered soundboard. Additionally, Pramberger made some scale changes, such as repositioning and redesigning the bridges, re-scaled strings, re-positioned ribs, etc. Hence Young Chang has its tone quality and harmonics.
One of the top Pramberger grand piano models was the PG-185 which was released in 1999.
The Pramburger pianos started showing up in music schools, in smaller universities and colleges, and even in some European schools. Those pianos were desirable because of their excellent action, nice sound, and affordable price.
In the late 90s, Young Chang invested in a massive facility in Tianjin, China. They were one of the first companies to build a piano factory in China. Most of the Young Chang Pianos sold in the US are made in China.
Even though Young Chang was the very first one who heavily invested in the Chinese manufacturing market for piano buildings, other piano manufacturers caught on pretty quickly, especially the Pearl River Piano Group, China’s largest piano manufacturer. During the same time, Pearl River Piano Group partnered with Yamaha and built its large plant in Guangzhou, China.
Other piano manufacturers perfected the idea that Young Chang pioneered in the Chinese manufacturing market. On the other hand, Young Chang lost momentum and its competitive edge. Eventually, in 2004, Young Chang had to deal with bankruptcy. However, they worked their way out of it.
State of the Brand Today
In 2006, Hyundai Development Company (HDC) purchased Young Chang, which enabled Young Chang to continue to make pianos. Since 2009, Young Chang has collaborated with the well-known American piano designer Delwin D. Fandrich as a technical consultant. The new Fandrich design has helped Young Chang to evolve into the premium Piano maker that it is today.
Presently, Young Chang’s Y-series includes both upright and grand pianos built in China. The top-of-the-line Y-185 professional grand piano is a six feet concert grand with a solid spruce soundboard that provides excellent tonal quality.
Kurzweil Digital Pianos
Under the HDC Young Chang umbrella, Kurzweil Music Systems specializes in electronic musical instruments, including digital pianos.
Kurzweil was founded by Raymond Kurzweil, a globally acclaimed scholar who invented the “Kurzweil K250”—the world’s first synthesizer—for the famous, blind music legend Stevie Wonder in 1983.
Kurzweil Music Systems specializes in digital musical instruments by achieving originality and innovation. Its home digital pianos offer three series: M/MP, KA, and CUP. Furthermore, all of them feature the following:
- 88-key hammer action keyboards and
- The acclaimed PC3X sound engine with high-quality acoustic piano samples.
Some models have charming key actions; for instance, the CUP 410 is equipped with an 88-key full keyboard with graded hammer action and a 3-point velocity sensor.
Summary of Young Chang Piano Reviews
In this article on Young Chang Piano Reviews, we shared the history of Young Chang’s roller-coaster journey. While the piano brand is still struggling to maintain its relevancy, the Fandrich design has given Young Chang a healthy recovery. Young Chang still makes good pianos and holds 50% of the South Korean piano market. The company is among the largest and most automated of the world’s piano manufacturers.
As a subsidiary of HDC Young Chang, Kurzweil Music Systems offers a variety of high-quality digital pianos with excellent key actions and great sound.
I hope this post helps you to know more about Young Chang and Kurzweil. I will do some detailed Kurzweil digital piano reviews soon. Meanwhile, please check out our Best Digital Piano Reviews.