*Review best according to redakciey. About the selection criteria. This material is subjective in nature, is not an advertisement, and does not serve as a guide to purchase. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
A Grand piano is a classical musical instrument. Now they are trying to replace it with digital variations that have a wider Arsenal of sounds. However, many musicians make their choice only in favor of real acoustic Grand pianos. In this regard, we decided to tell you about which companies are currently producing the best tools of this kind. We will talk about both elite manufacturers and creators of relatively inexpensive Grand pianos.
Recommendations for choosing one
Many people think that creating a Grand piano now should not cause any problems. Allegedly, it is enough for the manufacturer to get wood and metal, and even better — cast iron. But in fact, there are a lot of nuances. Assembling an acoustic Grand piano is only half the battle. If you stop at this step, you will get a low-grade instrument, from which you will not be able to achieve any high-quality sound. To make the piano “sing”, you will have to sweat, having invested your energy in working on thousands of small things. That’s why good acoustic Grand pianos cost hundreds of thousands of rubles, and even millions.
Perhaps the easiest way to choose a piano is to focus on the price. When you decide on the price, pay attention to the following parameters::
- Tool design— it should be as perfect as possible, because the service life and visual impressions depend on it;
- Sound– the acoustics should please you;
- Technologymanufacturing — all sorts of nicks and other problems should be excluded;
- Game qualities– the keys must have good sensitivity, as you should pay attention to the subtlety of nuance of the sound.
Unfortunately, to evaluate the piano can only be in the moment when you are directly in front of him. The dry characteristics listed on the site are unlikely to tell you anything. That’s why we decided to tell you about the manufacturers of acoustic Grand pianos. This will at least somehow allow you to understand which tool you should buy. Note in advance that often the best quality pianos are produced by small companies that use manual labor. But they produce no more than a hundred tools a year, so their cost is exorbitant. And this is not to mention the fact that you can find their products on free sale only in very rare cases — usually such companies produce a piano for specific orders. That’s why it’s much easier to buy something from multibillion-dollar corporations — they produce thousands of tools a year, and therefore the price tag does not bite so much.
Finally, we note that you should not forget to look at the size of the piano. It will be unpleasant if the tool simply does not fit in the room reserved for it. In terms of dimensions, Grand pianos are divided into the following types::
- Large concert Grand piano — usually the length of its body varies from 270 to 308 cm;
- Small concert Grand piano-the length of the body of this instrument is reduced to 220-250 cm;
- Salon (universal) Grand piano — its body has a length of 200 to 220 cm;
- Cabinet Grand piano-designed for a room with an area of up to 100 square meters. m, the length of its body varies from 175 to 195 cm;
- Small Cabinet Grand piano-suitable for a room with an area of no more than 50 square meters. m, the length of the body of such an instrument is 160-170 cm;
- Miniature Grand piano-can find a place in the children’s room, in the attic and in other similar rooms (body length – from 132 to 155 cm).
Now it’s time to go to the description of manufacturers of acoustic Grand pianos. Oddly enough, there are quite a few of them!
Rating of the best piano manufacturers
|The best manufacturers of pianos, high-class||1||Steinway & Sons||5.0|
|3||Mason & Hamlin||4.8|
|6||Steingraeber & Sohne||4.5|
|7||Pleyel et Cie||4.4|
|Best mid-range Grand piano manufacturers||1||Yamaha||5.0|
|5||Wm. Knabe & Co||4.6|
|The best manufacturers of consumer-grade Grand pianos||1||Petrof||5.0|
The best manufacturers of pianos, high-class
Steinway & Sons
This brand has been on the market for more than 150 years. Despite the name, the American company has long had nothing to do with the German Steinweg family. The company is now owned by Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. Unfortunately, now there is some confusion with its products. The fact is that the company produces both premium Grand pianos and consumer models. At the same time, it is extremely difficult for many novice musicians to understand what kind of instrument they are offered.
So, let’s get this straight! Steinway & Sons now has manufacturing locations in new York, Hamburg, Japan and China. Mid-range hybrid instruments (Boston series) and consumer Grand pianos (Essex series) are being assembled in Asian countries. The sound of these instruments will be far from ideal. The company does not hide it — on such Grand pianos it is indicated that Steinway is responsible only for the design of the instruments.
As for American and German Grand pianos, they are also quite different from each other. So much so that they use a different design of the game mechanism! In Russia, the easiest way is to purchase a tool from Hamburg. It can have different sizes, and this will determine its cost and the splendor of the sound. For example, a Steinway & Sons O 180 Cabinet Grand piano (the model name indicates the length of its body) will cost you “only” 6 million rubles. Well, the flagship Steinway & Sons D 274 is a large concert Grand piano-it is asked for about 165 thousand euros! There is no doubt that about 40% of the cost is a marketing component, an overpayment for “air”. Although we must admit that the manufacturer has worked hard. This is evidenced at least by the case, in the manufacture of which 17 layers of hard maple were used. Of course, the creation of the case was carried out exclusively manually.
The company’s product range also includes designer models. For example, there is an instrument made in the style of the great Gatsby era. It has a shiny lacquer finish with a delicate shade of beige or white flowers. Additionally, the Grand piano received a finish that imitates pearl mother-of-pearl. The cost of a 180-cm model varies from 2.7 to 4 million rubles.
Foundation C.Bechstein also happened more than 150 years ago. More specifically, it happened in Berlin in 1853. Currently, the company employs approximately 170 people (or twice as many if we take into account its subsidiaries). But once the piano manufacturer consisted only of Karl Bechstein and a few employees. In five years, he sold just under two hundred Grand pianos. One of the first owners of the concert instrument was the famous pianist Hans von Bulow.
C. Bechstein Grand pianos quickly became popular because of the strength of the materials used. These tools withstood the mechanical load well, which was not the case with their competitors. Not surprisingly, Bechstein soon began exporting its products to the UK and Russia. Gradually, the factory began to produce about 500 tools annually. By the end of the 19th century, Bechstein had opened three additional factories. Business was so successful that in 1901, the company’s founder built his own concert hall in London. Later, similar sites were built in Paris and St. Petersburg.
Now C. Bechstein is a joint-stock company. The company annually produces more than 4 thousand instruments, and its turnover is two to three tens of millions of euros. Top Grand pianos are assembled in the Saxon city of Seifhennersdorf. It is interesting that this factory is open for group tours. A subsidiary of C. Bechstein also owns a factory located in the Czech city of Hradec Kralove. For some time, the company produced Grand pianos under the Euterpe and Wilh brand names, assembling them in Indonesia and China, but in 2009 their production was discontinued.
Beethoven, Bach, Boris Bloch, Paul Kuhn, David Bowie, Freddie mercury, and Elton John have all opted for C. Bechstein products. It is not surprising that many musicians still play the Grand pianos of this particular company. As for the cost of such instruments, it is close to the maximum. For example, for C. Bechstein A 228 (by the name of the model, you can understand how long this monster is), they ask for more than 4 million rubles.
Mason & Hamlin
Creating premium Grand pianos is only available to companies with a long history. Such as Mason & Hamlin. Its Foundation took place in 1854. It happened in the American city of Boston. At first, the company was engaged in creating melodeons. But quickly enough, the company switched to the design and production of harmoniums. The products were so successful that Mason & Hamlin had to produce up to two hundred tools a week, and the company’s staff grew to five hundred people.
Later, the American company began to produce pianos and Grand pianos. The Mason & Hamlin instruments were played by Sergei Rachmaninoff, who recorded the Second piano Concerto in 1924. However, the big success didn’t last long. In the middle of the 20th century, the company began to suffer from serious problems. She even had to stop making pianos in the United States. In the future, the company Mason & Hamlin passed from hand to hand, in connection with which the design of its musical instruments was regularly changed. The company is now owned by Burgett. Inc. For some time now, the company has resumed production of tools in the United States — the factory is located in Haverhill (Massachusetts).
Unfortunately, Mason & Hamlin Grand pianos are not produced outside the North American continent. This means that it is almost impossible to buy them in Russia. In the United States, hundreds of thousands of dollars are being asked for new products from this company. Interestingly, on the well-known eBay, you can easily find Mason & Hamlin Grand pianos released in the 1920s, and even in very decent condition — many musicians prefer to buy them.
Do you think that 150 years of existence is a long time for a piano manufacturer? As it is not so. Some brands have been on the market for such tools for even longer. For example, the Austrian company Bosendorfer was founded in 1828. The first years at the head of it stood Ignaz besendorfer.
In just a couple of years, the company managed to make a name for itself. In 1830, it became the official supplier of musical instruments to the court of the Emperor of Austria. Well, in 1859 Ignaz was replaced by his son, whose name was Ludwig. Tom managed not only to expand production, but also to build his own concert hall. Many famous musicians have performed here in their time.
Of course, it’s no longer a family business. Bosendorfer is a limited liability company that is absorbed into the Yamaha group. At the time of the purchase, the company was valued at 15.7 million euros, then it had 180 employees. Interestingly, the Japanese practically do not interfere in the management of Bosendorfer, without affecting the production process.
Grand pianos under this brand are recognized as one of the best in the world. Now the company produces not only standard instruments, but also models with 92 and even 97 keys that extend the lower case. The only problem with such Grand pianos is that there are now very few works that use these keys. All of them, by the way, are black in color, so that the performer does not confuse them with the keys of the counter-octave.
The cost of an Austrian company’s tools varies depending on many parameters, including size. The largest is the 290-cm Bosendorfer Imperial. The purchase of this extraordinary Grand piano will cost 250 thousand dollars! No wonder they call it the ” rolls-Royce of Grand pianos.”
Fortunately, the Bosendorfer range also includes more affordable tools that belong to the consumer class. All of them are part of the Conservatory series. As is clear from the name of the line, these pianos are mainly intended for music schools.
Another company whose products regularly take the highest places in the ratings of the best Grand pianos. And this is despite the fact that it was founded not so far back in 1981!
Unlike many other companies, Fazioli does not place much emphasis on any inexpensive consumer Grand pianos. The Italians collected by elite models. And they are not at all afraid of the fact that the number of tools produced annually goes to a measly hundreds.
The founder of the company is Paolo Fazioli. In 1971, he received a diploma in Piano from the Rossini Conservatory. He went on to earn a master’s degree in music composition from the Academy of St. Cecilia. In short, this person understands a lot about music! Well, to establish a business for the production of Grand pianos, he decided after looking at his older brothers, who were then engaged in creating office furniture from exotic woods.
Despite the modest production volume, the company’s annual revenue reaches 10 million euros. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Fazioli concert hall was opened in 2004. It has numerous acoustic devices that allow you to test new instruments in every possible way, as well as record concerts.
Fazioli products can be seen at the performances of many musicians. In particular, these Grand pianos were used by Alfred Brendel, Ananda Sukarlan, Markus Schirmer, Angela Hewitt and many others.
Now in the company’s assortment there are six models of Grand pianos. The largest tool is the Fazioli F308, which is 3.08 m long. This makes it the largest Grand piano available on the market. This model even includes a fourth pedal that brings the hammers closer to the strings, which allows you to reduce the volume of sound without changing the tone.
Steingraeber & Sohne
Many great pianists come from Germany. It is not surprising that there are a very large number of piano manufacturers in this country. For example, one of the most famous companies of this kind is Steingraeber & Sohne. Its name allows us to understand that the founders are Steingraeber and his sons.
The company was founded in 1852. The company occupies a fairly small territory in Bavaria, in the city of Bayreuth. Music experts will immediately say that it was here that the great Wagner once lived and performed.
The size of the factory does not allow us to produce any huge number of musical instruments. But the company does not seek to impress anyone with numbers. Instead, the company tries to create elite-level pianos. All of them are truly German, and even an ardent professional who has tried more than a dozen Grand pianos will not be able to find fault with their sound. To achieve the magnificent beauty of sound, it is possible only through individual manual work with each instrument. As a result, any Steingraeber & Sohne Grand piano can boast a warm and expressive sound. It is not surprising that the products of this German company regularly receive awards at various international music exhibitions.
As expected, the company produces not only large concert Grand pianos, but also their more compact versions. The cost of Steingraeber & Sohne products varies from 60 thousand euros to 153 thousand euros. The piano can be finished in either black or white (this option will be slightly more expensive). Also in the company’s assortment there are tools with an anti-vandal coating.
It remains to add that Steingraeber & Sohne is still a family business. Now the production is controlled by Udo Steingreber, a representative of the seventh generation of the piano dynasty.
Pleyel et Cie
Some piano manufacturers are able to boast that their instruments were used by the greatest musicians. For example, such a company is Pleyel et Cie. The Grand pianos of this French company were used by frédéric Chopin himself! On them, he composed music and played during his performance in Paris.
The company was founded by Ignace Pleyel in 1807. Later, his son began to help him, becoming a business partner. It was Pleyel et Cie that became the first company to introduce the piano, making the usual Grand piano much more compact, since the strings now had an upright position. Such instruments were a great success, and the company began producing approximately 1,000 pianos a year. At that time, 250 workers were engaged in their creation.
It should be noted that Pleyel et Cie has repeatedly performed various experiments, introducing new types of seemingly familiar tools. And some of them were recognized as successful. For example, it was the French who were the first to use a metal frame in the piano.
At the end of the 20th century, Pleyel et Cie absorbed two other French piano companies. Thus, it got rid of competitors. However, this did not help her. Soon the company was bought out by the family, who also bought the Salle Pleyel concert hall. It was planned that this would allow the name Pleyel to be revived. Immediately in the South of France, a new factory was built, which began to produce improved and very beautiful pianos. However, in 2008, the factory was closed and production was moved back to Paris. It produced tools that were developed by well-known designers. Materials for their production were often brought from other countries — for example, red spruce reached Paris from Italy. Unfortunately, at the end of 2013, the production of instruments under the Pleyel brand was discontinued. But this does not mean that they can not be found in stores — you can be sure that they will be sold for quite a long time, because the cost of Grand pianos can not be called humane.
Fans of classical music can see live the very instruments that Chopin used. They are still kept in several museums. In particular, one of them is located in the Fryderyk Chopin Museum in Warsaw.
Another German company engaged in the production of Grand pianos for a century and a half. It was founded by Julius Blüthner in the distant 1853. The factory was built in Grosslesna, a suburb of Leipzig. At first, it was located in a rented room, and three people were engaged in assembling the piano. The first copy was sold about a year later. Well, since 1855, sales began to grow seriously, as a result of which the number of employees increased to 14 people.
By 1863, the five-hundredth instrument was assembled. Popularity grew, including through participation in world exhibitions. And if the products of the companies discussed above were in demand among famous musicians, then Bluthner Grand pianos were also bought for heads of state. Julius Blutner was a supplier to the court of Queen Victoria, Turkish Sultan Abdul Hamid II, German Emperor Wilhelm II and Russian Emperor Nicholas II. This special status of the enterprise allowed the construction of a second plant in 1870, which already had steam engines. Well, just two years later, the third factory was opened, which employed 170 employees.
Bluthner has introduced a number of its own inventions throughout its history. For example, she created an aliquot system with additional resonant strings.
Now Bluthner products are actively sold in almost all countries of the world. Of course, the Grand pianos of this company were used to record a huge number of musical compositions. They are also often used to record soundtracks for popular movies. These pianos are so famous that they regularly appear in the frame. For example, it was the creation of the company Bluthner that was destroyed in one of the scenes of “Iron man”.
The range of the German company consists not only of elite tools, the cost of which is estimated in millions of rubles. You can easily buy a relatively inexpensive model with a price of 600-700 thousand rubles. However, it will be a hybrid Grand piano, the components of which were created not only in Germany, but also in Asian countries — China, Indonesia and Japan. As is usually the case, Bluthner itself is only involved in the design of such tools. Not surprisingly, they are usually sold under the Haessler and Irmler brand names. By the way, we will talk about the first one separately.
Another manufacturer of premium Grand pianos. The company was founded by Georg Friedrich Karl Grotrian in 1835. Before that, the German entrepreneur sold musical instruments in a small store located in Moscow. The products were manufactured by the St. Petersburg factory. Seeing its success, Friedrich decided to go to his homeland to start his own company. He started making the piano right at his home in Essen, on the outskirts of the Harz mountains. This choice was made because of the proximity of the forest, which consisted of beeches and firs.
One of the first instruments created was a square piano designed for Friedrik Grotrian. Now it is in the Braunschweig Museum. The musician liked the instrument, and therefore Grotrian Stenweg products became in demand. In the middle of the 19th century, Steinweg decided to move to new York, and the factory passed into the hands of his eldest son. My father continued to pursue his favorite business in the United States, AMERICANIZING his last name and founding the company Steinway & Sons, which we have already described.
Grotrian Stenweg products were bought not only by musicians, but also by various Royal houses. It is not surprising that at the end of the XIX century, the owners of the company were awarded the Imperial and Royal order of Austria-Hungary. By 1913, the company employed 550 people, producing approximately 1,600 musical instruments a year. Some of the company’s problems only started during world war I, when Kurt Grotrian was captured and his father died. The company was headed by Willy Grotrian, Kurt’s son. However, in the next decade things got better — the company began to produce 3,000 pianos a year. And then came the Great depression, during which the number of tools created was reduced by six times.
As for the current state of Affairs, the company is still a family business. It is currently owned by the daughters of Erwin Grotrian. Each year, the company produces 500 pianos in six sizes and 100 Grand pianos in five sizes. Approximately 20 Grand pianos belong to the concert type — such monsters require about eight months to produce. Interestingly, many people claim that Grotrian Stenweg’s products are of a higher quality than those of new York’s Steinways. The choice of German instruments was made by Jean France, Julie Andrews, Paul Hindemith, Jon Lord, Ellie Ney and many others.
It should be noted that the Grotrian Stenweg range even includes double Grand pianos designed for duet playing. At the same time, you can play a solo on this instrument by closing the lid of the second half of the piano.
Best mid-range Grand piano manufacturers
The Japanese company Yamaha is a full-fledged concern, familiar with several very popular products. For example, Yamaha motorcycles, which are very fast, are well known all over the world. The Japanese also know a lot about electronic sound, creating excellent synthesizers and digital pianos. And only a few people know that Yamaha also produces acoustic Grand pianos.
The history of the Japanese brand began in 1887. However, then the company was called Nippon Gakki Co. Ltd. Surprisingly, at first the company created a piano and harmonium. That is why the company’s logo uses a trio of intertwined tuning forks.
Only after the Second world war, the company began to produce motorcycles. The leadership was forced to take such a step by the presence of military equipment at factories designed to create metal products. Well, towards the end of the XX century, digital technologies began to develop. Yamaha noticed this when they started creating synthesizers. And then digital pianos began to appear. Like it or not, but such instruments are much more compact and lighter than their acoustic counterparts, and therefore they do not assume exclusively stationary installation.
Now the Japanese are paying less and less attention to Grand pianos. Their circulation is small, and therefore you can only buy a Yamaha acoustic Grand piano with some difficulty. At the same time, it can be noted that the Japanese manufacturer has almost forgotten about the concert models. If Grand pianos are produced, then almost all of them belong to Cabinet modifications that have compact dimensions. As for the quality of workmanship and sound, nothing bad can be said about Yamaha products in this regard. This is not surprising, because, as we have already said, the Japanese know a lot about music!
As you know, some manufacturers of luxury Grand pianos have one or two subsidiaries that create cheaper instruments. The same can be said for Bechstein. She owns the Czech factory W. Hoffmann, which also produces pianos and Grand pianos. At the same time, its products cannot be called budget-friendly. The fact is that for its creation, selected materials of very high quality are still used. Each part is manufactured and installed manually. That is why the purchase of a W. Hoffmann Grand piano will have to be allocated at least 1.5 million rubles.
Now the company produces tools that are included in three lines:
- Professional-it includes pianos and Grand pianos of the highest class, designed for concerts;
- Tradition — it includes less expensive, but still professional tools;
- Vision-this series includes a mid-level piano.
As you can see, W. Hoffmann does not release entry-level tools. But all the Grand pianos of this company can boast excellent mechanics and excellent sound power. Would you like to get an instrument with a balanced balance of registers and a noble timbre? Pay attention to the products of W. Hoffmann. By the way, you can buy it in Russia without much difficulty — these pianos are delivered to our country on an official basis, and even in very large quantities. Of course, the company’s product range includes not only large monsters, but also Cabinet models.
If you do a little research, it turns out that the largest number of piano manufacturers were born in the middle of the XIX century. For example, the founding of Ronisch took place in 1845. This trademark was registered by Karl Renisch, who lived in Dresden. Despite the modest start-up capital, the company’s products were a success. However, at first the circulation of Grand pianos was not huge. Everything changed after 1867, when Karl came up with the idea of creating the basis of the instrument from a solid cast-iron frame. Of course, this has a positive effect on the reliability of transportation of the piano.
Gradually, the German company’s products began to receive gold medals at exhibitions in Melbourne, Amsterdam, Chicago and Paris. Piano began to be supplied to the Saxon and some other European courts. Well, in 1897, the sons of Renish decided to open a factory in St. Petersburg. By that time, the company began to produce up to 2000 tools per year.
Unfortunately, the Dresden factory was destroyed in a bombing RAID during the Second world war. But its owners were not at a loss, moving production to Leipzig. From now on, the factory created not only a piano, but also furniture. At the same time, the quality of musical instruments has even increased! By 1960, the company managed to achieve its previous production rate. Well, in 1986, the factory produced 21,000 tools – a record number!
Currently, Ronisch does not produce Grand pianos — only pianos are available in The company’s product range. All of them are still produced by the same factory in Leipzig. To create such tools, high-quality and rather rare materials are used. In this regard, the purchase of such a piano will be very expensive-usually the price tag starts from 950 thousand rubles. The Ronisch range includes instruments with a body made of Indian Apple, cherry, mahogany and Swiss pear. Not forgotten, of course, and models with polishing — they can be in black and white versions.
Sauter was founded by a young carpenter, Johan Grimm. In the 1810s, he studied piano production in Vienna. Well, in 1819 he proceeded to the self-Assembly of a pianoforte hammer, founding a small factory in Spaichingen.
In the future, Johan’s work was continued by his nephew Karl Sauter. It was he who turned a small workshop into a real manufactory. At that time, there were 12 students in the factory. The company soon became the largest piano manufacturer in the Swabian Alps.
Unfortunately, Karl died too soon. In this regard, the company was urgently headed by Johan Sauter and his mother. It should be noted that Johan regularly visited America, from where he brought a lot of new ideas. As a result, during his reign, various innovations were introduced that speed up the production process and improve the sound quality of musical instruments. It was also during his time that the transition from mallet pianofortes to large pianos took place.
In the future, the factory was repeatedly expanded. Sauter instruments became famous all over Germany, because they had a clear sound and decent performance quality. And after the Second world war, the export of products to other countries began. Now Sauter produces both pianos and Grand pianos. The latter have different dimensions. The largest is the Sauter Concert 275, designed in 2000. As its name implies, this is a concert model, the length of which is 275 cm. Also in the assortment of this company there is a small concert Grand Sauter Omega 220. But the greatest demand now is for salon and Cabinet Grand pianos, the length of which varies from 160 to 185 cm. All of them are made using carefully selected trees, and they also have an elegant music stand, controlled with one hand.
Wm. Knabe & Co
The founder of this piano manufacturer is Valentin Wilhelm Ludwig Knabe, born in Kreuzburg in 1803. Initially, he wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps by training as an Apothecary. However, he had to become an apprentice cabinetmaker instead. Then he worked for a couple of years as a master apprentice, and then for another three years as a pianist. In 1831, Knabe moved with his fiancee’s family to the United States. The head of the family died during the voyage, while Knabe reached Baltimore, although initially it was assumed that he would live in the city of Herman, where his brother went a few years earlier. Knabe soon began working for the renowned pianist Henry Hartge. After that, he abandoned his plans to become a farmer. Instead, he started selling and repairing used pianos.
The date of Foundation of a full-fledged factory can be considered 1839. It was then that a partnership was formed with Henry Gael to produce the piano. A couple of years later, Knabe managed to move to a larger workshop and open warehouses. In those years, each piano sold for between $ 180 and $ 400. And even then Knabe began to collect square pianos, which received a number of awards from the Maryland Institute for the development of mechanical art.
Gradually, the size of the factory grew. In 1852, it already employed at least 100 workers. A second factory was opened. But, unfortunately, two years later, both of them burned down. However, this did not stop Knabe from resuming production. And it was at that moment that the company was renamed Wm. Knabe & Co (before that, the name included the name of Henry Gael).
Despite the difficulties, the products of this company gained considerable popularity. For many years it was a family business. However, the brand is now owned by Samick Musical Instruments, Ltd. The range of Wm. Knabe & Co is not rich — now vertical pianos are offered in three sizes and Grand pianos in four sizes. All of them are manufactured in a factory located in Gallatin, Tennessee. High-quality materials are used to create Grand pianos, and the design of the instruments is proven over the years. In this regard, the products distributed under this trademark cannot be called cheap. In terms of Russian currency, the purchase can easily cost 1.5 million rubles. And this is a Cabinet model, the length of which does not exceed 174 cm. Unfortunately, such Grand pianos are not sold in Russia. Now the easiest way to buy a Wm. Knabe & Co. Grand piano is in the USA, where this instrument is produced.
Perhaps now it is Samick Musical Instruments that is the largest manufacturer of musical instruments. And this is despite the fact that it was founded not so far back in 1950! His secret is that the South Koreans managed to buy out a lot of other smaller companies that were experiencing financial problems at the time. So, this concern owns Wm. Knabe & Co, Seiler, Silvertone and many other brands.
As already mentioned, Samick is headquartered in South Korea. However, this does not mean that the production of tools is also carried out here. Perhaps the largest number of them is produced by an Indonesian factory built in 1992. The company also has a separate headquarters located in the United States. It is used for all North American operations. A factory producing acoustic pianos has recently been built here, but all of them are sold under the Knabe brand.
Samick mainly produces guitars. They are designed by American master Greg Bennett. At the same time, the company’s product range is very large. It includes not only acoustic and electric guitars, but also many others — up to Hawaiian.
Of course, all kinds of pianos are also produced under the Samick trademark. Otherwise, this manufacturer simply would not have been included in our rating. South Korean pianos have a low cost — you can buy such an instrument for only 250-300 thousand rubles. As for Grand pianos, they are more difficult to manufacture, so they are asked for at least 700 thousand rubles. Often their body is made of solid spruce, and the string holder is made of beech. The company pays the greatest attention to Cabinet models. Usually, the length of such tools does not exceed 185 cm. This is due to the fact that concert Grand pianos are produced by subsidiaries — Samick is not going to compete with them, as this will not make any sense.
Another company specializing in the production of Grand pianos of the upper and middle classes. However, now the company pays the most attention to premium-class tools. But you can find on sale a piano from previous years, the purchase of which will not cost a fabulous amount.
The founder of the company, as you might guess, is Friedrich August Foerster. For a while, he worked as a cabinetmaker, repairing violins and guitars. Then he decided to study piano engineering. And he succeeded — in 1854, he successfully passed the relevant exam. However, he was able to open his own workshop for repairing and creating tools only in 1859. Well, a full-fledged factory was founded three years later. And it went! Soon Foerster received a Royal patent for the production of a piano. Well, by 1874, the thousandth instrument was released. So that you can understand the pace of production at that time, already in 1877, the 2000th Grand piano was born!
For a long time, the company was exclusively family-owned-the Board was passed from father to son. And only in 1972 the company was nationalized. A little later, it became part of the German piano Association Deutsche Piano-Union Leipzig. Fortunately, the company was later again provided with a name that includes the founder’s last name. It can also be noted that it was during this period that August Foerster products began to be delivered to the United States.
In 1991, Wolfgang Foerster managed to privatize the factory, returning the business to his family. Now he is proud of the fact that the instruments of the German company were used by Sergei Prokofiev, Erwin Schulhof, Richard Strauss and other famous musicians. And relatively recently, the products of August Foerster got into the movie “the Pianist” — it was on it that the main character played. However, in this film there are also pianos from other manufacturers.
The company now focuses on premium instruments, producing approximately 250 Grand pianos a year. These are mostly Cabinet models, but there is also a concert 275-cm Grand piano in its assortment. The soundboard of the top model is made of selected mountain spruce, and the frame is made of pure cast iron. The cost of a large concert Grand piano August Foerster is 137 thousand euros. As for the small Cabinet model, it can be purchased for only 48 thousand euros. But you will need to think about delivery, as tools under this brand are practically not represented in Russia.
The best manufacturers of consumer-grade Grand pianos
It may seem that Grand pianos under the Petrof brand are made in Russia. However, this is not the case. This trademark is Czech. But this does not negate the fact that the tools distributed under it are very popular in our country. This is due to the fact that during the years of socialist realism, Czechoslovakia established a mass supply of pianos to the Warsaw Pact countries. It is worth admitting that all those tools were complete consumer goods, collected in the shortest possible time. And this is not to mention the fact that they were hardly delivered with due care.
If you decide to buy a Petrof piano, you will find that some sellers write the brand name in Cyrillic. Moreover, they unexpectedly double the last letter. It’s just that we like to write this surname in French, where it really has a double “f”. So it turns out the same “Petroff”.
Now we live in a completely different era. If the Czechs had continued to produce inferior Grand pianos, they would hardly have been bought. However, this does not mean that their products are even close to the elite status. Experts believe that the sound of Petrof instruments is far from ideal. At the same time, the cost of such Grand pianos is very high, and therefore the purchase seems completely unprofitable. However, many Russians still hear The PETROF brand, and therefore they do not pay any attention to such words.
In short, now the Czechs produce pianos of average quality. However, they rarely do it from scratch. Most often, they take their product from the 1970s or 1980s, heavily modernizing it, using new German components. Interestingly, when buying the most expensive models, the customer can choose from a huge variety of finishes — they are offered up to 60 options.
Most of all, people are afraid of the cost of upgraded PETROF Grand pianos. It starts at 750 thousand rubles. A refined model Petrof Rococo in the style of Louis XV is sold at all for 2.9 million rubles! And this is not even a concert, but a small Cabinet Grand piano, the length of which is only 173 cm. That is why many people prefer to buy used tools, since some people have preserved them in a very decent condition. But you should not expect a masterpiece of appearance and sound from them.
Perhaps, this particular brand is the most little-known in our selection. But that wasn’t the case once. Vogel’s musical instruments were in high demand. However, gradually the German brand went down in history. Fortunately, in 2003, Hanes Schimmel-Vogel decided to bring her back from oblivion. He became the head of Schimmel Pianos, opening a branch of the factory, which began to create Grand pianos. All of them comply with strict European quality standards, and their Assembly is carried out exclusively by hand.
For the production of Grand pianos, German strings and hammers are used. Soundboards are most often created from high-altitude pine. Also, the tool body is covered with polyester varnish.
Still, the Vogel Grand pianos are not perfect. Not surprisingly, they are mostly modest in size — usually such instruments are purchased for music schools and small spaces. It is very difficult to purchase them, since the factory does not strive for any mass production. This is partly why there is no point in considering the products of this company in all their details.
We have already talked about Bluthner above. Then we mentioned that she owns several “daughters”. In particular, it will have the company Haessler, named in honor of Rudolf Blüthner-Hessler. It produces wonderful Grand pianos of excellent German quality. At the same time, tools often do not cost a record amount of money. It should be noted that the range consists not only of Grand pianos, but also of pianos.
At the moment, the company offers only three models that differ from each other in their size. But you need to remember that the finishing options can be very different — everything is at the discretion of the customer. The largest Haessler Grand piano is 210 cm long.
Perhaps this is one of those cases when it makes no sense to talk about the brand in as much detail as possible. It does not yet have a special history behind it. Yes, and to buy the pianos distributed under it in Russia is quite a challenge. Unfortunately, they rarely go beyond the borders of Western Europe. By the way, we should not assume that such tools are 100% made in Germany. In this case, they would be much more expensive, competing with the parent brand.
This is the list of the best manufacturers of acoustic Grand pianos. As you can see, their number is very large. At the same time, companies that create consumer-grade musical instruments are gradually withering away. They are most strongly influenced by the popularization of digital pianos. After all, buying an acoustic Grand piano is a costly idea. And many people want to take a digital tool that can offer a much larger number of features instead.
Attention! This rating is subjective in nature, is not an advertisement, and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.