Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.
The grand piano is a classical musical instrument. Now they are trying to replace it with digital variations, which 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 talk about which companies are currently producing the best tools of this kind. We will talk about both elite manufacturers and the creators of relatively inexpensive pianos.
- Selection recommendations
- Rating of the best piano manufacturers
- The best manufacturers of high-end grand pianos
- Steinway & Sons
- C. Bechstein
- Mason & hamlin
- Steingraeber & Sohne
- Pleyel et cie
- Grotrian Stenweg
- The best manufacturers of mid-range grand pianos
- Wm. Knabe & Co
- August foerster
- The best manufacturers of consumer grand pianos
Many people think that making a grand piano shouldn't cause any problems now. Supposedly it is enough for a manufacturer to acquire wood and metal, and even better – cast iron. But in fact, there are a lot of nuances. Assembling an acoustic grand is only half the battle. If you stop at this step, you will get a low-quality instrument, from which it will not be possible to achieve any high-quality sound. Getting the piano to 'sing' takes a sweat and a lot of work on thousands of little things. That is why good acoustic grand pianos cost hundreds of thousands of rubles, and even millions.
Perhaps the easiest thing to do when choosing a piano is to focus on the price. When you decide on the cost, pay attention to the following parameters:
- Tool design – it should be as perfect as possible, because the service life and visual impressions depend on this;
- Sound – acoustics should please you;
- Manufacturing technology – all sorts of jags and other problems should be excluded;
- Gaming qualities – the keys must have good sensitivity, as you should pay attention to the subtlety of sound nuances.
Unfortunately, you can only appreciate a piano when you are right in front of it. The dry characteristics indicated on the site are unlikely to tell you anything. That is why we decided to talk about the manufacturers of acoustic grand pianos. This will somehow allow you to understand which tool you should buy. We note in advance that often the highest quality pianos are produced by small companies that use manual labor. But they produce no more than a hundred instruments a year, so their cost is prohibitive. And this is not to mention the fact that it is possible to find their products on the free sale only in very rare cases – usually such companies produce a grand piano for specific orders. This is why it is much easier to purchase something from multibillion-dollar corporations – they produce thousands of instruments a year, and therefore the price tag does not bite so much.
Finally, we note that you must not forget to look at the size of the piano. It will be unpleasant if the instrument simply does not fit in the space allocated for it. In terms of dimensions, pianos are divided into the following types:
- Grand concert grand piano – usually its body length varies from 270 to 308 cm;
- Small concert grand piano – the body length of this instrument has been 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 up to 100 sq. m, the length of its body varies from 175 to 195 cm;
- Small office grand piano – suitable for a room of no more than 50 sq. m, the body length of such a tool is 160-170 cm;
- A miniature grand piano – can find a place for itself in a children's room, in the attic and in other similar rooms (body length – from 132 to 155 cm).
Now is the time to move on to the description of acoustic grand pianos manufacturers. Oddly enough, there are quite a few of them!
Rating of the best piano manufacturers
|Nomination||a place||Name of product||rating|
|The best manufacturers of high-end grand pianos||1||Steinway & Sons||5.0|
|3||Mason & hamlin||4.8|
|6||Steingraeber & Sohne||4.5|
|7||Pleyel et cie||4.4|
|The best manufacturers of mid-range grand pianos||1||Yamaha||5.0|
|5||Wm. Knabe & Co||4.6|
|The best manufacturers of consumer grand pianos||1||Petrof||5.0|
The best manufacturers of high-end grand pianos
Steinway & Sons
This brand has been on the market for over 150 years. Despite the name, the American company has long had nothing to do with the German Steinweg family. This business is now owned by Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. Alas, 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 figure it out! Steinway & Sons now has manufacturing locations in New York, Hamburg, Japan and China. In Asian countries, mid-range hybrid instruments (Boston series) and consumer grand pianos (Essex series) are assembled. The sound of these instruments will be far from ideal. The company does not hide this – such grand pianos indicate that Steinway is responsible only for the design of the instruments.
As for the American and German pianos, they are also quite different from each other. So much so that they use a different game mechanism! In Russia, the easiest way to get an instrument is from Hamburg. It can have different sizes, it is on this that its cost and splendor of sound will depend. 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 – they ask about 165 thousand euros for it! There is no doubt that about 40% of the cost is a marketing component, an overpayment for 'air'. Although it must be admitted that the manufacturer has worked hard. This is evidenced by at least the case, in the manufacture of which 17 layers of solid maple were used. Of course, the body was created entirely by hand.
The assortment of the company also includes designer models. For example, there is an instrument made in the style of the Great Gatsby era. It has a glossy lacquer finish with a delicate shade of beige or white. Additionally, the piano has received a pearl mother-of-pearl finish. The cost of a 180-centimeter model varies from 2.7 to 4 million rubles.
The founding of C. Bechstein also took place over 150 years ago. More specifically, it happened in Berlin in 1853. Now about 170 people work for the benefit of the company (or twice as many, if we take into account the subsidiaries). But once the piano manufacturer consisted only of Karl Bechstein and a few employees. He sold just under two hundred grand pianos in five years. The famous pianist Hans von Bülow became one of the first owners of a concert instrument.
Bechstein pianos quickly became popular due to the strength of the materials used. These tools withstood mechanical stress well, which was not the case with their competitors. Unsurprisingly, Bechstein soon began exporting his products to the UK and Russia. Gradually, the factory began to produce about 500 instruments annually. Well, by the end of the 19th century, Bechstein opened three additional factories. Business went so well that in 1901 the founder of the company 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 equal to two or three tens of millions of euros. Top-of-the-line pianos are assembled in Saxon Seifchennersdorf. Interestingly, this factory is open for group excursions. Also, the subsidiary C. Bechstein owns a factory located in the Czech town of Hradec Králové. For some time the company produced grand pianos under the Euterpe and Wilh brands, assembling them in Indonesia and China, but in 2009 their production was discontinued.
At one time the choice in favor of C. Bechstein products was made by Beethoven, Bach, Boris Bloch, Paul Kuhn, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury and Elton John. It is not surprising that many musicians now play the 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 over 4 million rubles.
Mason & hamlin
The creation of premium grand pianos is available only to companies with a long history. Like Mason & hamlin . Its foundation took place in 1854. It happened in the American city of Boston. At first, the company was engaged in the creation of 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 grew to five hundred people.
Later, the American company began to produce pianos and grand pianos. The instruments Mason & Hamlin were played by Sergei Rachmaninov, who recorded the Second Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in 1924. However, the great success did not last long. In the middle of the 20th century, serious problems began to plague the company. She even had to stop making pianos in the USA. In the future, the Mason & Hamlin company passed from hand to hand, in connection with which the design of the musical instruments produced by it 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).
Alas, 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 states, hundreds of thousands of dollars are 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 150 years of existence is a long time for a piano manufacturer? No matter how it is. Some brands have been on the market for such tools even longer. For example, the Austrian company Bosendorfer was founded in 1828. The first years it was headed by Ignaz Bösendorfer.
In just a couple of years, the company managed to make a name for itself. In 1830 she became the official supplier of musical instruments to the court of the emperor of Austria. Well, in 1859 Ignaz was replaced at his post 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 performed here at one time.
Of course, now it is no longer a family business. Bosendorfer is a limited liability company that is taken over by Yamaha. 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 some of the best in the world. Now the company produces not only standard instruments, but also models with 92 and even 97 keys, expanding the lower case. The only problem with such grand pianos is that nowadays there are very few works that use these keys. All of them, by the way, are black so that the performer does not confuse them with the keys of the counter-octave.
The cost of the tools of the Austrian company varies depending on many parameters, including the size. The largest is the 290cm Bosendorfer Imperial. The purchase of this extraordinary grand piano will cost 250 thousand dollars! Unsurprisingly, it is called the 'Rolls Royce of Pianos'.
Fortunately, there are also more affordable consumer-grade tools in the Bosendorfer range. All of them are part of the Conservatory series. As it is clear from the name of the line, these grand pianos are mainly intended for musical educational institutions.
Another company whose products regularly take top places in the ratings of the best pianos. And this despite the fact that it was founded in the not so distant 1981!
Unlike many other companies, Fazioli does not rely heavily on inexpensive consumer pianos. Italians collect exclusively elite models. And they are not at all afraid of the fact that the number of instruments produced annually goes to miserable 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 musical composition from the Academy of Saint Cecilia. In short, this person understands a lot about music! Well, he decided to establish a business for the production of pianos after he looked at his older brothers, who were then engaged in the creation of office furniture from exotic woods.
Despite the modest volume of production, the company's annual income reaches 10 million euros. It is therefore not surprising that the Fazioli Concert Hall was opened in 2004. It contains numerous acoustic devices that allow you to test new instruments in every possible way, as well as to record concerts.
Fazioli products can be seen at the performances of many musicians. In particular, these grand pianos have been used by Alfred Brendel, Ananda Sukarlan, Marcus Schirmer, Angela Hewitt and many others.
Now the assortment of the company includes six models of grand pianos. The largest instrument is the Fazioli F308, which measures 3.08 m in length, making it the largest grand piano available on the market. This model even includes a fourth pedal that brings the hammers closer to the strings, allowing the volume to be lowered without changing the tone.
Steingraeber & Sohne
Many great pianists are from Germany. It is not surprising that a very large number of piano manufacturers are present in this country. For example, one of the most famous companies of this kind is Steingraeber & Sohne. Its name makes it clear that the founders are Steingreber and his sons.
The company was founded in 1852. The company occupies a fairly small area in Bavaria, in the city of Bayreuth. Music connoisseurs will immediately say that it was here that the great Wagner lived and performed at one time.
The size of the factory does not allow for the production of any huge number of musical instruments. But the company does not seek to impress anyone with numbers. Instead, the company strives to create high-end grand pianos. All of them are truly Germanic, and even an ardent professional who has tried more than a dozen grand pianos cannot find fault with their sound. Achieving the magnificent beauty of the sound 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 finish can be either black or white (this option will be slightly more expensive). Also in the assortment of the company there are tools with 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 grand piano makers can boast of having some of the greatest musicians using their instruments. For example, such a company is Pleyel et Cie. The pianos of this French company were used by Frederic Chopin himself! He composed music on them and played during his performance in Paris.
The company was founded by Ignas Pleyel in 1807. Later, his son began to help him, becoming a business partner. It was Pleyel et Cie who became the first company to introduce a piano, making the familiar grand piano much more compact, since the strings were now vertical. Such instruments were a great success, and the company began to produce approximately 1000 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, presenting new types of seemingly familiar instruments. And some of them were considered successful. For example, the French 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, she 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 revive the name Pleyel. A new factory was built right there in the south of France, which began to produce improved and very beautiful pianos. However, in 2008 the factory was closed and production was moved back to Paris. The tools were produced here, in the development of which famous designers took part. Materials for their production were often brought from other countries – for example, the red spruce reached Paris from Italy. Alas, at the end of 2013, the production of tools under the Pleyel brand was discontinued. But this does not mean that they cannot be found in stores – there is no doubt that they will be sold for a long time, because the cost of pianos cannot be called humane.
Lovers 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 that has been producing grand pianos for a century and a half. It was founded by Julius Blütner back in 1853. The factory was built in Grosslezne, a suburb of Leipzig. At first, she was in a rented room, and three people were engaged in the assembly of the piano. The first copy was sold about a year later. Well, since 1855, sales began to grow significantly, as a result of which the number of employees increased to 14 people.
By 1863, the 500th instrument was assembled. Popularity grew, including due to participation in world exhibitions. And if the products of the companies discussed above were in demand among famous musicians, then Bluthner pianos were also bought for heads of state. Julius Blütner 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 hired 170 workers.
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 pianos of this company were used to record a huge number of musical compositions. They are also often used to record soundtracks for popular films. These pianos are so famous that they regularly appear in the frame. For example, it was the creation of the Bluthner company that was destroyed in one of the Iron Man scenes.
The assortment of the German enterprise consists not only of elite instruments, the cost of which is estimated at millions of rubles. You can easily buy a relatively inexpensive model at 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 herself is only involved in the design of such tools. Unsurprisingly, they are commonly sold under the brand names Haessler and Irmler. By the way, we will talk about the first separately.
Another manufacturer of premium pianos and pianos. The company was founded by Georg Friedrich Karl Grotrian in 1835. Prior to that, the German entrepreneur sold musical instruments in a small store located in Moscow. The products were manufactured by a St. Petersburg factory. Seeing her success, Friedrich decided to go home to found his own company. He started making piano right at his home in Essen, on the outskirts of the Harz mountains. This choice was made due to the close location of the forest, which consisted of beeches and spruces.
One of the first instruments created was the square piano intended for Friedrik Grotrian. It is now in the Braunschweig Museum. The musician liked the instrument, and therefore the products of Grotrian Stenweg began to be in demand. In the middle of the 19th century, Steinweg decided to move to New York, while the factory passed into the hands of his eldest son. My father continued to do his favorite thing in the United States, Americanizing his last name and founding Steinway & Sons, which we have already talked about.
Grotrian Stenweg products were bought not only by musicians, but also by all sorts of royal houses. It is not surprising that at the end of the 19th century the owners of the company were awarded the Imperial and Royal Orders of Austria-Hungary. By 1913, 550 people were working for the benefit of the company, producing about 1600 musical instruments a year. Some problems for the company began only during the First World War, when Kurt Grotrian was captured and his father died. Willie Grotrian, the son of Kurt, had to head the enterprise. However, in the next decade, things got better – the company began to produce 3000 pianos a year. And then came the Great Depression, in the course of which the number of tools created decreased sixfold.
As for the current state of affairs, the company is still a family business. It is currently owned by the daughters of Erwin Grotrian. Every year the company produces 500 pianos in six sizes and 100 grand pianos in five sizes. Approximately 20 grand pianos are of the concert type – such monsters take about eight months to make. Interestingly, many people claim that Grotrian Stenweg products are of higher quality than New York Steinways products. The choice in favor of German instruments was made by Jean France, Julie Andrews, Paul Hindemith, John Lord, Ellie Ney and many others.
It should be noted that the Grotrian Stenweg range even includes double pianos designed for duet performances. Moreover, you can play a solo on such an instrument by closing the lid of the second half of the grand piano.
The best manufacturers of mid-range grand pianos
The Japanese company Yamaha is a full-fledged concern, familiar from several very popular products. For example, Yamaha motorcycles are well known all over the world and are very fast. Also, the Japanese know a lot about electronic sound, creating excellent synthesizers and digital pianos. Few know that Yamaha also makes 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 precisely the piano and harmonium. This is why the company logo uses a trio of intertwined tuning forks.
It was only after the Second World War that the company started producing motorcycles. The leadership was forced to take such a step by the presence of military equipment at the factories designed to create metal products. Well, towards the end of the 20th century, digital technologies began to develop. Yamaha noticed this when they started building synthesizers. And then digital pianos began to appear. Whatever one may say, but such instruments are much more compact and lighter than their acoustic counterparts, and therefore they do not imply an exclusively stationary installation.
Now the Japanese are paying less and less attention to pianos. Their circulation is not large, and therefore it is possible to purchase a Yamaha acoustic grand piano only with some difficulty. At the same time, it can be noted that the Japanese manufacturer has practically forgotten about concert models. If pianos are produced, then almost all of them belong to cabinet modifications with compact dimensions. In terms of workmanship and sound quality, nothing bad can be said about Yamaha products in this regard. This is not surprising, because, as we said, the Japanese know a lot about music!
As you know, some manufacturers of high-end grand pianos have one or two subsidiaries that create cheaper instruments. The same can be said for Bechstein. She owns the W.Hoffmann Czech factory, which also produces pianos and grand pianos. Moreover, its products cannot be called budgetary. The fact is that selected materials of very high quality are still used for its creation. Every detail is made and installed by hand. That is why at least 1.5 million rubles will have to be allocated to buy a W.Hoffmann grand piano.
The company now produces tools in three lines:
- Professional – it includes pianos and grand pianos of the highest class, intended for concerts;
- Tradition – it includes less expensive, but still professional tools;
- Vision – This series includes mid-range pianos.
As you can see, W.Hoffmann does not release entry-level tools. But all the grand pianos of this company are capable of boasting excellent mechanics and excellent sound power. Would you like to get an instrument with a well-balanced register and noble tone? Pay attention to the products of W.Hoffmann. By the way, you can buy it in Russia without much difficulty – these pianos are supplied to our country on an official basis, and even in very large quantities. Of course, the assortment of the company includes not only large monsters, but also cabinet models.
If you do a little research, it turns out that the largest number of piano makers were born in the middle of the 19th century. For example, Ronisch was founded in 1845. This trademark was registered by Karl Röhnisch, who lived in Dresden. Despite the modest start-up capital, the company's products were successful. However, at first the editions of the pianos were not huge. This all changed after 1867, when Karl came up with the idea of creating a tool base from a solid cast iron frame. Of course, this has a positive effect on the reliability of the transportation of the piano.
Gradually, the products of the German company began to receive gold medals at exhibitions in Melbourne, Amsterdam, Chicago and Paris. The pianos began to be supplied to the Saxon and some other European courts. Well, in 1897, the sons of Rönisch decided to open a factory in St. Petersburg. By that time, the company began to produce up to 2,000 instruments a year.
Unfortunately, the factory located in Dresden was destroyed in a bombing raid during the Second World War. But its owners were not taken aback by moving production to Leipzig. From now on, the factory created not only pianos, but also furniture. At the same time, the quality of musical instruments has even increased! By 1960, the company managed to achieve the previous production rate. Well, in 1986, the factory has already produced 21,000 instruments – a record number!
Now Ronisch does not manufacture grand pianos – the company's range includes only upright pianos. 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 bodies made of Indian apple, cherry, mahogany and Swiss pear. Of course, polished models have not been forgotten – they can be in black and white.
Sauter was founded by the young carpenter Johan Grimm. In the 1810s he studied the art of piano making in Vienna. Well, in 1819 he began to independently assemble a hammer piano, founding a small factory in Speichingen.
In the future, Johan's business was continued by his nephew Karl Sauter. It was he who turned the 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 Alb.
Unfortunately Karl died too early. 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 many new ideas. As a result, various innovations were introduced during his reign, speeding up the production process and improving the sound quality of musical instruments. It was also under him that the transition from hammer pianofortes to large pianos took place.
Subsequently, the factory was expanded several times. Sauter instruments became famous throughout Germany, because they had a clear sound and decent performance. And after the Second World War, the export of products to other countries began. Sauter now produces 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 piano Sauter Omega 220. But the greatest demand now is used by salon and office pianos, the length of which varies from 160 to 185 cm. All of them Crafted with carefully selected trees, they also feature an elegant one-handed music stand.
Wm. Knabe & Co
The founder of this grand piano manufacturer is Valentin Wilhelm Ludwig Knabe, who was born in Kreuzburg in 1803. Initially, he wanted to follow in his father's footsteps, having trained as a pharmacist. Instead, however, he had to become an apprentice cabinetmaker. 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 bride's family to the United States. The head of the family died while sailing, while Knabe made it to Baltimore, although it was originally assumed that he would live in the city of Herman, where his brother had gone several years earlier. Knabe soon began working for the renowned pianist Henry Hartge. After that, he abandoned plans to become a farmer. Instead, he began selling and repairing used pianos.
The date of foundation of a full-fledged factory can be considered 1839. It was then that a partnership with Henry Gael for the production of piano was entered into. 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 assemble square pianos, which received a number of awards from the Maryland Institute for the Development of Mechanical Arts.
The size of the factory grew gradually. In 1852, at least 100 workers already worked for it. 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 to Wm. Knabe & Co (before that, the name included the name of Henry Gael).
Despite the difficulties, the products of this company have gained considerable popularity. For many years it was a family business. However, the brand is now owned by Samick Musical Instruments, Ltd. Assortment Wm. Knabe & Co is not rich – upright pianos are now offered in three sizes and pianos in four sizes. All are produced in a factory located in Gallatin, Tennessee. High quality materials are used to create pianos, and the design of the instruments has been tested over the years. In this regard, the products distributed under this trademark cannot be called any 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. Alas, such pianos are not sold in Russia. Now the easiest way to get a Wm grand piano. Knabe & Co., located in the USA, where this tool is manufactured.
Perhaps, now Samick Musical Instruments is the largest manufacturer of musical instruments. And this despite the fact that it was founded in the not so distant 1950! His secret is that the South Koreans managed to buy out a lot of other smaller companies that were then experiencing financial problems. So, this concern owns Wm. Knabe & Co, Seiler, Silvertone and many more 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 is produced by an Indonesian factory built in 1992. This company also has a separate headquarters located in the United States. All North American operations are carried out with it. An acoustic piano factory has recently been built here, but they are all marketed under the Knabe brand.
Samick mainly produces guitars. They are developed by the American master Greg Bennett. Moreover, the range of the company is very large. It includes not only acoustic and electric guitars, but many others, including Hawaiian ones.
Of course, all kinds of pianos are produced under the Samick trademark. Otherwise, this manufacturer would simply not have made it into our rating. South Korean pianos are notable for their low cost – you can buy such an instrument for only 250-300 thousand rubles. As for the pianos, they are more difficult to manufacture, so they ask for at least 700 thousand rubles. Often their bodies are made of solid spruce and the tailpiece is made of beech. The company pays most attention to cabinet models. Usually, the length of such instruments 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 there will be no point in this.
Another company specializing in the production of high and middle class grand pianos. However, now the company pays the greatest attention to premium tools. But you can find on sale pianos of yesteryear, the purchase of which will not cost a fabulous sum.
The founder of the company, as you might guess, is Friedrich August Foerster. For a time he worked as a cabinetmaker, repairing violins and guitars. Then he decided to study to be a piano builder. And he succeeded – in 1854 he successfully passed the corresponding exam. However, he was able to open his own workshop for the repair and creation of tools only in 1859. Well, a full-fledged factory was founded three years later. And it went! Förster soon received a Royal Patent for the piano. Well, by 1874, the thousandth instrument was released. So that you understand the pace of production at that time, the 2000th grand piano was born already in 1877!
For a long time, the enterprise was exclusively family-owned – the management was passed from father to son. And only in 1972 the company was nationalized. Later it became part of the German piano association Deutsche Piano – Union Leipzig. Fortunately, the company was later given a name again, in which the name of the founder appears. It can also be noted that it was during this period that August Foerster products began to be shipped to the United States.
In 1991, Wolfgang Förster managed to privatize the factory, returning the business to his family. Now he is proud that Sergei Prokofiev, Erwin Schulhoff, Richard Strauss and other famous musicians used the instruments of the German company. And relatively recently, August Foerster products were featured in the movie 'The Pianist' – the main character played on it. However, this motion picture also contains pianos from other manufacturers.
The company is now focused on premium instruments, producing approximately 250 grand pianos a year. These are mainly cabinet models, but there is also a 275-centimeter concert grand piano in its assortment. The top model's deck is made of selected mountain spruce, and the frame is made of pure cast iron. The cost of a large August Foerster concert grand is 137,000 euros. As for the small cabinet model, it can be purchased for only 48 thousand euros. But you will need to think about delivery, since tools under this brand are practically not represented in Russia.
The best manufacturers of consumer grand pianos
It may seem that grand pianos under the Petrof brand are made in Russia. However, it is not. This trademark is Czech. But this does not negate the fact that the instruments spreading under it are very popular in our country. This is due to the fact that during the years of socialist realism, Czechoslovakia established a massive supply of pianos to the countries of the Warsaw Pact. It should be admitted that all those tools were a complete waste of time, 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 purchase a Petrof grand 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 continued to produce inferior pianos, they would hardly be bought. However, this does not mean that their products are in any way close to elite status. Experts believe that the sound of Petrof instruments is far from ideal. At the same time, the cost of such pianos is very high, and therefore the purchase seems completely unprofitable. However, many Russians still hear the Petrof brand, and therefore do not pay any attention to such words.
In a word, the Czechs now 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 for this. Interestingly, when buying the most expensive models, the customer can choose from a huge type of finishes – he is offered up to 60 options.
What scares people the most is the cost of the upgraded Petrof pianos. It starts from 750 thousand rubles. And the exquisite model Petrof Rococo in the style of Louis XV is sold for 2.9 million rubles! And this is not even a concert, but a small office grand piano, the length of which is only 173 cm. That is why many people prefer to buy used instruments, since some people have preserved them in a very decent condition. But you shouldn't expect a masterpiece of appearance and sound from them.
Perhaps this particular brand is the least known in our selection. But once it was not so at all. Vogel musical instruments were in good demand. However, gradually the German trade mark 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 pianos. All of them comply with strict European quality standards and are assembled entirely by hand.
For the production of grand pianos, German strings and hammers are used. Decks are most often made from high mountain pine. Also the tool body is coated with polyester varnish.
Still, Vogel pianos are not ideal. It is not surprising that they are mostly of modest size – usually such instruments are purchased for music schools and small spaces. It is very difficult to acquire them, since the factory does not strive for any mass production. This is partly why it makes no sense to consider the products of this company in all details.
We have already talked about Bluthner above. Then we mentioned that she owns several 'daughters'. In particular, it has at its disposal the Haessler company, named after Rudolf Blüthner-Hessler. She produces wonderful grand pianos with excellent German quality. At the same time, the tools often cost not a record high money. It should be noted that the assortment includes not only grand pianos, but also upright pianos.
At the moment the company offers only three models, differing from each other in their sizes. But you need to remember that finishing options can be very different – everything here is at the discretion of the customer. The largest Haessler grand piano is 210 centimeters long.
Perhaps this is one of those cases when there is no point in talking about the brand in as much detail as possible. He does not yet have a special history behind him. And to acquire the pianos that are spreading under it in Russia is still a task. Alas, they rarely get outside Western Europe. By the way, one should not assume that such instruments are 100% made in Germany. In this case, they would be much more expensive, competing with the parent brand.
This is a list of the best acoustic grand pianos manufacturers. As you can see, their number is very large. At the same time, the companies involved in the creation of consumer-grade musical instruments are gradually fading. They are the ones most influenced by the popularization of digital pianos. Whatever one may say, buying an acoustic grand is a costly idea. And many people want to instead take a digital tool that can offer a lot more possibilities.
Attention! This rating is subjective and does not constitute an advertisement and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.