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Young Chang is a South Korean manufacturer of pianos and industrial wood working machinery, headquartered in Incheon, South Korea. Young Chang also currently holds 50% of the South Korean piano market.
Currently, Young Chang has more than 2000 full-time workers, designing and building its upright and grand pianos, and also the electronic Kurzweil Music Systems. Hyundai Development Company acquired Young Chang in 2006.
The company was founded in 1956 by three brothers, Jai-Young Kim, Jai-Chang Kim and Jai-Sup Kim. As South Korea emerged as a major economy and producer of high quality goods. Initially the company was manufacturing Yamaha brand pianos for Korea and other parts of Asia. Young Chang has also emerged as one of the largest manufacturers of quality pianos in the world. It produces and markets the hand built Albert Weber, Weber and (formerly) Pramberger, Bergman models, and used to manufacture the Essex line for Steinway & Sons.
In 1990, Young Chang purchased Kurzweil Music Systems, a maker of high end electronic and digital musical instruments.
Joseph Pramberger, a former vice president from Steinway & Sons (head of manufacturing) and an experienced piano designer, joined the company in 1995. Pramberger brought many innovations to piano design, including the "Platinum Touch Action" and the patented asymmetrically tapered soundboard. The Pramberger Platinum series, introduced in 2001, was Young Chang's top-of-the-line for three years. These models incorporated some German materials including Renner action parts. Joseph Pramberger died in 2003, and the following year, his estate sold the Pramberger name to Samick, but his patents and innovations are still exclusive to Young Chang.
During the late 1980s and early 1990s, Young Chang manufactured Squier electric guitars and basses for Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, and also manufactured acoustic, acoustic/electric, electric guitars and basses under their own "Fenix" brand. However, because of the similarities to the Fender brand and instruments, Young Chang could not sell the Fenix instruments due to licensing issues with Fender, and production stopped. In 1998, Young Chang built a new $40 million factory in Tianjin, China.
- Blue Book Of Electric Guitars 9th Edition Zachary Fjestad, Edited by S.P. Fjestad ISBN 1-886768-57-9