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Piano Brands – About Famous Names and Great Instruments

Piano brands - Steinway is a big name - photo by Alan Levine

There are many piano brands floating around out there these days. There have been some technological developments in the world of piano that has made the task of browsing through brand names daunting.

With some basic expertise and some information behind the names you can look like a seasoned veteran while searching for your next piano.

Two things to consider when looking at piano brands are what you are willing to spend, and what your needs are. Yes, money and motivation will be the key deciding factors in which piano brands you will be looking over.

The criteria can be broken down into three schools of thought. These are: Most well-known names, best value, and biggest investment.

Each of these criteria has their merits. Maybe you want to invest in a brand name instrument, or maybe you are looking for the best balance between features and price. Many people simply want the best they can afford and are willing to shell out the money to have it.

Whatever your motivation, know that there is a piano out there for you. Sifting through the piano brands will make you a shrewder buyer. Always ask the piano technician any question that comes to mind, and most important, have fun with the process!

Most Well-Known

The Baldwin name is unsurpassed as one of the tried and true piano brands of all time. Named after Dwight Hamilton Baldwin, a famed music teacher, it stands for solid construction and dependable tone.

The other brands to bear the Baldwin pedigree are Cable, Chickering, Ellington, Hamilton, Haines Brothers, Estey, Knauss, Kranick & Bach, August Forster and Wurlitzer.

When people think of pianos, they think of Steinway and Sons. Since the 1850s, Steinway has been making a piano that has been considered by many to be the gold standard in musical instruments.

Names that grace the Steinway collection are Boston and Essex.

Best Value

Quality is often associated with expense. This does not always hold true. For over 60 years now Kawai has been balancing quality with affordability offering pianos to fit every budget and suit every taste.

The Kawai Company’s associated brand is Lowrey Organ Company.

Yamaha piano rises above the rest for the most enjoyable playing experience for the money. Boasting over 100 years of innovation and tradition, this Japanese company has created some of the finest digital and acoustical instruments the world over.

Keeping in pace with technology, Yamaha offers many of their pianos with midi-capability making composing, and learning the piano a truly interactive experience.

Biggest Investment

For over a century, Bosendorfer pianos has been considered one of the superlative piano luxuries in the world. Proudly crafted in Vienna since 1828, Bosendorfer is known for manufacturing the finest in grand pianos.

This is the piano kings and emperors and even has Franz Liszt and Johann Strauss on the list of admirers.

Since 1885, Schimmel pianos have been lovingly crafted in Germany. Known the world over for winning countless awards the proud tradition set forth by founder Wilhelm Schimmel lives on.

The family tradition of quality grands and uprights has been passed on through the generations making Schimmel pianos one of the few family-owned and operated piano companies in the world.

Whatever your musical needs are finding a reliable brand is as easy as doing a little research. Look over any awards and merits a piano may hold. Find first-hand reviews relating the experience of those who already play the brands that you are interested in. With so many options open to you, you are sure to find the piano brand you are looking for.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • claudia guglielmi September 28, 2010, 12:00 pm

    how about piano PETROF ?
    thks
    rgds
    claudia guglielmi

  • Robert December 8, 2010, 6:01 pm

    Great article. I also wrote an article about the best piano brands.

    I find the American made pianos tend to be the best. The United States only has 3 manufacturers left although there used to be hundreds of piano companies building in America. Today we have only:

    * Steinway, which makes about 2500 pianos a year
    * Mason & Hamlin which builds only 250 pianos per year
    * Charles Walter, a relative newcomer which builds only about 65 pianos each year

  • joseph desposito January 17, 2011, 10:58 pm

    Hi, I recently inherrited a piano from an estate and would like to know if it worth the expense to keep it. It is a Kendell & mason white upright piano.

    Thank You for your help

  • laurie riccio March 6, 2011, 7:17 pm

    We bought a Kranich & Bach Upright Piano from an old neighbor in 2000 so my kids could practice their piano lessons. We had it tuned once when we brought our house and the piano lessons only lasted a couple of years before the kids moved on to other things. The piano has been sitting in my living room since gathering dust. I would like to know if it is worth anything to try to sell or should I just give it away? Thank you for your thoughts.
    Laurie

  • Robert Moon March 16, 2011, 11:04 pm

    I trying to find a specific antique piano that had been my Grandmothers Aunt Katie in Athens, Georgia. Aunt Katie was very wealthy and she obtained antiques from all over the World. She owned a piano that the song “Home Sweet Home” was composed on. When she died she left it to my Grandmother Marguerette Booth who brought the piano to her home in Cross Plains, Texas along with hundreds of other rare antiques. When my Grandmother died the piano was stolen by the Exec. of the Estate. The piano and antiques were left to me but I was only a minor so the crooked attorney sold most of the antiques and kept the money. I barely remember seeing the piano one time and I think it was a Grand Piano, very large, and made from a light colored wood as best I can remember. If anyone has heard of this piano and its whereabouts I would be very interested in locating it.

  • Celina June 6, 2011, 5:21 am

    i was wondering about a piano brand ‘paul bluhdorn’????? i am curious now as i came upon one which was for sale but i cannot find anything on the web! which is a first! if anyone could help me in any information about them i would be really grateful.

  • tracy July 21, 2011, 10:08 pm

    hi Im interested in alip and sohn piano for my daughter and wonder if this is a sub brand of another piano manufacturer now .I wouId appreciate your knowedge of this make Its 3 years od Thank you

  • Michael October 9, 2011, 12:11 am

    Hello there, I too have an interest in finding more info about a Paul Bluhdorn Piano. I have one here in Adelaide thats undergoing restoration and cannot find diddlysquat on the WWW??? Did you get any feedback Celina???

    Cheers Michael

  • david wilknson July 23, 2012, 6:28 am

    We have an ‘August Klien” Piano serial # 14636. I was wondering about its value.

  • Christina September 11, 2012, 12:50 am

    Does anyone know anything about a Sidney brand piano?

  • Wayne Bluhdorn November 22, 2012, 7:50 pm

    Where did you get this Paul Bluhdorn piano? Vision Aus? One disappeared on me, the building was knocked down in Brisbane! I wonder how many there could be. wAyne Bluhdorn…w.

  • Michael M May 26, 2013, 11:16 pm

    Hi Wayne, well ur post from 2012 just come through today 27/5 2013. anyway I have had limited luck in the Paul Bluhdorn search. I did find someone from Brisbane who had a Paul Bluhdorn and she was in her sixties and it belonged to her grandmother who was a concert pianist in Perth WA. It lay in its original box for a few years and was unpacked and commissioned in 1912. She was told it was a badged Ronisch piano which would explain its great sound and attractiveness but I wrote to Ronisch in Germany who tried to help me with finding an origin but did confirm that no, it was not made by them. Meanwhile I did find another Bluhdorn that looked identical in our local trading post owned by a young couple not in the know and sold it to me with great stool for AUD$100. I thought I could use it for spares on my own Bluhdorn. Would you believe not one, even one part is interchangeable. parts are so close but different. I’m thinking that the pianos were hand made given all the subtle differences. To answer ur question I bought my Bluhdorn here in Adelaide from a dad with a growing daughter who was deserving of a new piano. god knows why?? it sounded beautiful. It did however needed some cosmetic work so did not have its former handsomeness. look forward to more info anyone has. I have rung almost every old piano tuner locally and only one has some recall but nothing more.

  • S Saunders June 20, 2013, 4:48 am

    I have a Paul Bluhdorn Piano and have been trying to find out some history about them, but seems like I have the same problem and can’t find any information. I am in New Zealand and I know one very similar to mine just sold on Trade Me recently.

  • Celina June 12, 2014, 5:29 am

    I ended up buying a Paul Bluhdorn Piano. My piano tuner Robert Tucker (he has a website) told me something when i bought it about 2-3 years ago. I think what he said was that it’s a german brand but the factories were blown up in ww2 or something. so they stopped making them once that happened. i think they are worth quite a bit. mines at least 100 years old apparently. sadly it’s missing the candle holders and needs a lot of fixing up but i simply don’t have the money. absolutely the most beautiful piano i have ever seen by far. so ornate! but this piano brand is a mystery, there is simply no info out there!

  • Caroline July 18, 2017, 9:25 pm

    I have a Bluhdorn too on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. I bought it for $250 from someone moving house and it was filthy, covered in sticky drink and food but the sound was amazing. My piano tuner tells me it sounds better than his Steinways and better than the Ronisch’s that he tunes – it has enormous sound and tone and lovely action on the keys. It’s quarter of a tone off pitch though from long years before my ownership of not being tuned, however the screws are still good and it holds it’s tuning very well. I’d like to know more about it but they seem to be a bit of a mystery. He has dated it to around 1902. It looks bashed up (and it is) but as soon as it’s played, it shuts everyone up.

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