PIANO BRANDS: 7 Brands to Avoid & Top Ranking Brands in 2022 (Updated)

best piano brands


Your choice of the piano brand will determine your attitude toward musical instruments. Some pianists are pedants who only use a few brands of musical instruments. Others are pleased with the cheapest model they can find. You should also think about your piano maker’s area of expertise. This article contains a comprehensive list of the best piano brands, upright, ranking piano brands, and piano brands to avoid.

Many of these piano brand names are “stencil pianos,” meaning that the firm that owns the brand name is just adding the name to a piano made for them by another company and that the same or very similar pianos are offered under different “stencil” brands. This is especially true with ancient brand names that have been resurrected to lend a sense of history to a new piano line, as well as pianos made exclusively for individual dealers or shops. In addition, some brand names have models that are made in completely different factories or nations from other brand names’ models.

Best Piano Brands

Is there such a thing as the best piano brands? Yes, although earning such a title wouldn’t be so easy as there are so many other brands to compete with. In our list are the current best piano brands we could find.

#1. Sauter

It’s either the bright tone of Asian pianos or the polished sound of European pianos that some buyers prefer. Sauter, on the other hand, is a good place to go if you want a piano that sounds more American. It is a brand with nearly 200 years of ‘under the hood’ creativity and invention. Sauter has been making grand and upright pianos with a unique resonant sound and high-precision keyboard action since 1846. It perfected and patented the spherical concavity that gives the Sauter piano its distinct overtones over the years.

This German enterprise, founded in 1819, is still a family business and operates in the Alps. They’re noted for their unique decorative details and create over 1,000 pianos per year (800 uprights and 120 grand).

#2. Shigeru Kawai

In Japanese, kawaii means “cute, loveable, or adorable.” Pikachu or Hello Kitty come to mind. The Kawai piano line, on the other hand, is far from childish. Gospel musicians Steven Curtis Chapman and Joe Yamada are among the fans of this label. To assure quality, the firm produces only 250 pianos every year. Even in their acoustic piano models, they use local wood and materials.

Kawai and Yamaha are two of the world’s major piano brands, and they are on par with their peers. However, Kawai is regarded as one of the best companies in the world due to its focus on details and craftsmanship. Shigeru Kawai is the greatest of the Kawai lineup of wonderful instruments. Kawai embodies the legendary Japanese professionalism and beautiful execution in the piano world. Shigeru Kawai is without a doubt the best Japanese pianist on the planet.

#3. Grotrian-Steinweg

Heinrich Steinweg’s son Theodor and his friend Friedrich Grotrian formed Grotrian-Steinweg shortly after he arrived in America and remade himself as Henry Steinway. As a result, there has been significant controversy around the Grotrian piano brand, including court proceedings and rebranding. However, no other brand can equal its Grotrian Duo double-grand piano.

Grotrian is a German piano brand that was founded in 1835 and is presently run by a fifth and sixth generation of family members. Surprisingly, the Grotrian family joined with Heinrich Steinweg (future Henry Steinway – founder of Steinway Sons) and eventually took over his piano manufacturing. The first pianos had two names: Grotrian and Steinweg. Gortiran’s main values have always been making wonderful pianos and developing ways to improve on existing great instruments. Grotrian makes excellent upright piano brands with its patented star design at the back — an iron frame structured like a star that permits the vibrations inside the piano’s wood body to produce the most beautiful tone possible. This is the piano to have if you enjoy playing piano duets. This brilliant design is one of numerous Grotrian patents, and it is a sight to behold and a sound to hear.

#4. Blüthner

The same family that founded this German piano manufacturer in 1853 still owns and runs it. Every year, they release 500 grand pianos and 100 vertical pianos, and they’re noted for their dark, warm, lyrical sound, which is mostly achieved using aliquot stringing. It has a song-like tone thanks to the 4th string in the upper registers. Also popular are their see-through pianos.

Another magnificent German piano manufacturer has been continuously supplying magnificent instruments for nearly a century and a half. Julius Blüthner, in the German industrial city of Leipzig, opened his piano factory the same year as Bechstein — 1853. Blüthner’s distinctive “golden tone” is the consequence of Julius’ meticulous engineering, which has been passed down from generation to generation. Blüthner is still a family business today.

#5. Bösendorfer

Ignaz Bösendorfer founded this enterprise in 1827. Starting in 1830, Bösendorfer was the official piano builder for the Austrian Emperor, just as certain countries (even today) have an official poet laureate. The firm was noted for its luxury grand piano models and built a 97-key piano with 8 octaves. Concert pianists favor these extra-long keyboards.

Among all the piano brands, the renowned Viennese maker is the oldest. Founded in 1828 by Ignaz Bösendorfer, the Bösendorfer piano has become a prized cultural export of the Austrian Empire, having been officially endorsed by the Emperor’s Royal House. This extraordinary piano is quite different from its luxury piano counterparts in that it features a very different set of innovations. Today, Bösendorfer is wholly owned by Yamaha while remaining completely faithful to its heritage.

#6. FAZIOLI

The name of this piano brand comes from Paolo Fazioli, a pianist, and engineer who set out to construct the perfect piano for himself. The business prefers to keep things modest, with only 170 pianos released each year. They specialize in grand pianos, which are available in six sizes ranging from 5 to 10 feet. To compensate for the piano’s vast size, their largest model has a fourth soft pedal.

Unlike Bösendorfer, which is the world’s oldest lineage piano brand, Fazioli is the world’s newest. However, this in no way detracts from the stunning originality and exceptional craftsmanship of these dream pianos. Paolo Fazioli, a concert pianist, and mechanical engineer started the company in 1981 with the goal of creating a piano with the gentlest, most delicate action capable of producing the gentlest yet resonant tone. A pianist’s dream is a piano that can project the complete range of forte-piano (loud-soft) evenly and equitably without losing tone quality. Fazioli also makes the world’s largest concert grand, the Model 308, which stands at 10 feet 2 inches. It also has a fourth pedal that moves the hammers closer to the strings, reducing volume without sacrificing tone richness.

#7. Bechstein

Manufacturers of pianos frequently have grand-sounding names that may readily be associated with legal offices. In 1853, this French-trained German piano artisan founded the firm. There are three types of Bechstein pianos: a budget B series, a high-end C series, and a digital line.

Vario technology is used by Digital Bechsteins to provide ‘silent playing.’ It’s not necessarily a fake if you see a Bechstein piano that just says “Bechstein” without the C… it’s just part of the “B series.” Bechsteins with a higher price tag are referred to as ‘C.’ Bechstein’. Moreover, Bechsteins come with a 5-year warranty.

Hence, Bechstein is one of the most trusted piano brands in the world after its founding in 1853 in Germany. It has created grand pianos for performance halls and homes for more than a century and a half, as well as magnificent upright pianos for music lovers with limited room. Bechstein now concentrates not only on the development of new models and technological advancements but also on the creation of museum-quality copies of its historic pianos, created for European royalty on the eve of the twentieth century. The Sphynx grand piano comes to mind as an example. It took more than 1600 hours to construct. Bechstein is currently on its 6th generation of piano makers, woodwork specialists, and metal masons on staff, ensuring that every component of these precious museum pianos is created in-house and to exacting standards.

#8. Yamaha

The world’s largest piano manufacturer is also one of the most well-known piano brands. Torakusu Yamaha, the founder of Nippon Gakki Co., produced the first Yamaha piano in 1900. Yamaha emerged as a global giant, creating a wide range of musical instruments during the next 100 years. The piano, however, remains the main focus of this amazing brand, and it holds a prominent position among its fellow piano producers.

You’re probably under the impression that Yamaha solely makes digital keyboards. They’re well-known for their silent piano software, which is widely used by other manufacturers. Yamaha, on the other hand, provides a high-quality variety of both acoustic and digital keyboards.

#9. Steinway & Sons

When they arrive in the United States, many immigrants anglicize their names. Heinrich Engelhardt Steinweg was one of them. When he arrived in the United States in 1850, he founded Steinway & Sons, which is still in the family today. The 6′ Steinway B has been voted the best model by many technicians, but the corporation prefers to present the 8′ Steinway D Concert as the flagship.
Over the course of its legendary presence in the music world, Steinway accumulated over 125 patents, completely dominated the piano world, and produced some of the world’s most lauded and beautiful pianos. Today, Steinway is also at the forefront of technological advancements. This piano manufacturer has grown into a global behemoth that caters to all segments of the piano industry, from the entry-level Essex brand to the 2.5 million dollars Fibonacci masterpiece.

#10. Steingraeber & Söhne

Eduard Steingraeber founded a piano firm in 1852 with the goal of becoming innovative. He created the world’s first cast iron grand piano, which he displayed at a Paris exhibition in 1867. Richard Wagner and Franz Liszt, both romantic era composers, commissioned it there.

The company only makes grand pianos—about 80 per year, including one customized for pianists with special needs. This type is a design present for pianists who are unable to use their legs. It includes a specific Bluetooth pedal that the pianist can use while playing with their wireless dentures.

Because the piano’s invention is in the DNA of the country’s rich musical culture, it’s not surprising that Steingraeber & Söhne are turning to a legacy German family piano brand. This legendary piano company is one of the most well-known in the world for its groundbreaking advancements that allow the modern grand piano to play period music from Mozart onwards.

The piano brands mentioned above produce extremely great instruments, and picking one from this illustrious list would be an excellent decision. On the other hand, below are some of the piano brands you should avoid.

Piano Brands to avoid

The piano market in the United States has given room to a variety of brands, some of which are well-known around the world. However, not all piano brands give you the best of what you want. Further, there are many piano brands that you should avoid when purchasing a piano. Many customer testimonials from various forums have led us to learn about some low-cost piano brands, particularly from China, South Korea, and Russia, that you should avoid at all costs.

You should be informed that unknown cheap models from various Chinese production houses are among the worst pianos to have in your music room. Specifically, names such as Samick, Young Chang, Mason Risch, and Gulbransen are awful brands that you should avoid when shopping for a new piano.

The constructed quality and sound quality of these brands are the most disappointing aspects, and when you play them, you will hear a sound that is comparable to that of a toy piano. Because they generally use low-quality plastic to construct their pianos, they are constantly vulnerable to damage from a minor bump.

Nonetheless, some users who are unaware of these models often choose them because of the large list of functions they provide. However, the majority of these qualities are false, and they are just promoting them to entice buyers. Furthermore, even if it does manage to work, it does so for only a few days. The keys are essentially standard plastic keys with no sensitivity and no weighted function. The output quality is the worst flaw, and even with an amplifier, the overall quality remains low.

Disclaimer

Please note that we are not claiming that the piano brands listed above are the worst or that they only make squeaky pianos. That is not something we claim. To be honest, we’ve never put their pianos to the test. This page is simply a compilation of several people’s viewpoints. We’re only mentioning their review here for the sake of completeness. So please don’t take it personally. This essay is merely a reminder to inspect each piano you purchase from those manufacturers.

Best Upright Piano Brands

For decades, upright piano brands have been overshadowed by grand pianos, but we believe it’s time to reconsider. Upright piano brands were first introduced in 1805 and were called “Cottage” pianos because they took up less floor space. By the end of the 1800s, the upright piano brands had made their way into most houses due to lower production costs and smaller footprint sizes.

By the turn of the century, the vertical piano had established itself as a space-saving alternative to the grand piano. A vertical piano’s soundboard and string plane run vertically, perpendicular to the keyboard, from 36” to 60”, requiring less floor space than a horizontal grand piano.

  • Bechstein Pianos
    • C. Bechstein Concert 8
    • C. Bechstein  Elegance 124
  • Blüthner Pianos
    • Model S
    • Model B
  • Bösendorfer Pianos
    • Grand Upright 130
  • AUGUST FORSTER Pianos
    • AUGUST FORSTER  134K
    • Model 125G
  • Grotrian Pianos
    • Concertino
    • Classic 124
  • Sauter Pianos
    • 130 Master Class
    • 122 Master Class
  • Schimmel Pianos
    • Model K132
    • Model K125
  • Steinway & Sons Pianos
    • Model K52
  • Steingraeber & Söhne Pianos
    • Model 130
    • Steingraeber & Söhne 12
  • YAMAHA Pianos
    • Model SU7
    • Models U3 and U1

Ranking Piano Brands

During the latter half of the twentieth century, a large number of pianos, particularly low-end instruments constructed in the United States and developing nations, had substantial flaws that made distinguishing between good and terrible instruments very simple. That isn’t the case now. Almost all pianos today offered in the West are well constructed and free of serious flaws, thanks to globalization and computerization of manufacturing, and the variations between them are becoming increasingly minute and subjective. While it is still evident that high-end pianos are superior to entry-level pianos, comparisons of instruments with similar price ranges are less decisive, and far more sensitive to personal opinion, how well the pianos have been prepared for sale, room acoustics, and other factors.

Below is a list of top-ranking piano brands you should try out!

DISCLAIMER!

This article should NOT be used as a guide for purchase, it’s solely for informational purposes. We thereby emphasize that we do NOT endorse any of the brands in this post. They are subject to your choice of decision and verification. We are not sponsored by any of the brands and the information provided here is to the best of our knowledge.

What piano should I buy?

A digital piano with fully-weighted keys is regarded as the best alternative Because its keys have a close resemblance with that of an acoustic piano. It’s a wonderful choice for pianists who want to buy an acoustic piano in the future.

Is piano hard to learn?

If you’re wondering if a piano is difficult to learn, the quick answer is “maybe.” It all relies on what you’re attempting to do, your work ethic, the type of training you have, and your overall ambition. It can take hours to perfect the smallest details, but it’s all worth it in the end.

What is the best selling piano brand?

  • Mason & Hamlin.
  • Bosendorfer.
  • Fazioli.
  • Kawai.
  • Bechstein.
  • Baldwin.
  • Charles R.
  • Walter.
  • Grotrian-Steinweg.
  • Sauter.
  • Steingraeber & Söhne.
  • Steinway & Sons.
  • Shigeru Kawai.
  • Yamaha.
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