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The Best Piano Brands in the World: Piano Buyers’ Guide 

 March 18, 2021

By  Zen Chung

Today, hundreds of piano makers are in the piano market, but only a few brands have stood out in quality and history. Some of the best piano brands have consistently produced pianos, and some have earned themselves a good reputation and are better choices because of their service. However, there is no metric to measure these instruments' quality value. Nevertheless, you can come close by finding the best piano brand that combines a good sound, tone, passion, history, and piano action making it top-notch.

Custom luxury pianos sometimes may incorporate gemstones, art graphics, rare woods, metals, and glass, and the best piano design and materials are limited by the piano maker's imagination. The choice of a piano is mostly personal as people look for different things, and the experience varies from one player to another. After plenty of research, we have come up with a list of some of the best piano brands and have included a detailed buying guide on picking the best piano brand in the piano market.


Do Piano Brands Really Matter?

Investing in a piano is a really intense decision with a dozen factors that will affect your decision. First, of course, the brand from which you purchase the piano is unquestionably one of the essential factors. Literally, hundreds of brands make pianos, and it is common to find pianos from brands you have never even heard of before.

The fact is not all brands make the best pianos, but some, on the other hand, will make very high-quality pianos. The great thing is you can effortlessly search about the brand you want o to settle for and see the reviews of customers who have used their products before.

We listed the best piano brands in the world as well as one best product of each.

1. Shigeru Kawai

Kawai is a Japanese piano brand known for pure sophistication and beautiful piano making. What makes Kawai one of the most recognized piano brands is that they combine traditional craftsmanship, high-quality material and technical modifications. As a result, this piano maker stands out for the sound quality of the pianos and the different piano models they make.

The Kawai piano makers use ten-year-old wood to build their soundboards. In addition, these amazing instruments have Millennium III, which is designed from advanced composite, which is one of the most meaningful improvements in the piano industry. Kawai pianos are created using the elements of tone and sound from their grand, upright pianos joined to convey them to the digital pianos with full attention to every detail. The improvement has made this brand a favorite among clients.

This piano maker has various types of musical instruments you could choose from. Most of the pianos the brand makes vary based on their style, color and design. Just like Yamaha brands, the Kawai piano maker provide pretty affordable pianos compared to Steinway sons and Baldwin pianos

Kawai ES110 Portable Digital Piano Black

Kawai ES110 Portable Digital Piano Black
  • "Harmonic Imaging sound technology 88-key piano sampling Responsive hammer...

If you are working under a tight budget, Kawai ES110 Portable Digital Piano is the best option. On the other hand, if you are a beginner looking to purchase your first piano or you love playing piano as you go, this is an ideal option. This Kawai ES110 Portable Digital Piano has 88 weighted keys designed to simulate an acoustic piano's action.

These portable Kawai pianos are simple and extremely easy to understand. It also has an easy control panel, petals and music rest. This music instrument from the best piano makers in the market offers you exceptional sound qualities that give you an excellent experience.

The Kawai ES110 digital pianos feature nine piano sounds and ten other voices. Additionally, this piano comes with loud stereo speakers, and even you can easily connect with smart devices via Bluetooth. The only downside is that you need to purchase a triple pedal and a stand separately.

Pros

  • Ideal for beginners
  • Suitable for performances and practice
  • Portable
  • The build is excellent.
  • Lower maintenance costs

Cons

  • They do not include a triple pedal and a stand, and you need to purchase them separately.

2. Yamaha

Yamaha is one of the most recognizable piano brands and is a suitable option for someone on a budget and looking for a baby grand. The Yamaha Arius series is one of their best models and is the line of Console pianos. In addition, the Yamaha brand had quality digital pianos and acoustic pianos. The Japanese piano brand has been endorsed by a couple of famous pianists like Alicia Keys and Elton John.

The first piano by the Yamaha piano brand was made in 1900 by Torakusu, the founder. Over the years, this brand has grown and has been known to produce all kinds of musical instruments. However, you should note that they mainly focus on producing pianos. Yamaha pianos have been improved over the years and equipped with the most recent technologies.

In 1960 Yamaha expanded their market to the United States, and then it became one f the most acknowledged brands in the world. The Yamaha pianos are perfect options for both professionals and beginners. The Yamaha piano makers crafted an amazingly responsive and quick action that does not need too much torque of the fingers, making it easy to play and learn.

Best Piano-Yamaha Arius YDP 181

Yamaha Arius YDP-181 Traditional Console Style Digital Piano with Bench,...
  • 88-key GH(Graded Hammer) weighted action keyboard
  • Dynamic Stereo Sampling AWM piano with 128-note polyphony
  • 2-track, 3-song recorder
  • USB TO DEVICE port
  • LED Display.Tempo Range:32-280

Yamaha Arius YDP 181 is a giant piano with a cabinet that looks like an acoustic piano and makes an excellent choice for people looking for a family piano. With a graded hammer action on the keyboard, you get a feel quite close to an acoustic piano.

It is aesthetically pleasing as it comes with a dark wood finish embellished with gold, even the three-pedal units. However, it's pretty heavy, and you will need someone to help you set it up and find a specific spot for it.

This Yamaha piano comes with all the convenience of an electric piano and does not compromise the performance of an acoustic piano. Your pianist's skill level will grow as you use it with this piano. It allows incredible dynamics and expressiveness with the realistic sound, similar to an acoustic piano.

Pros

  • LED screen for better interaction with the piano.
  • USB connectivity.
  • The cabinetry looks similar to the grand piano.
  • Does not need an adapter, and you can plug directly.

Cons

  • No weighted action.
  • Only 128 polyphony

3. Steinway & Sons

Steinway and Sons are possibly the most famous piano manufacturer in the world, with each of their pianos are made of over 12000 parts, taking a year to build their craftsman. Heinrich Steinweg started piano making in 1853 and made grand and Upright pianos over the years with his family. They are considered the best piano manufacturers by pianists and modern piano founders with 127 patents to their name.

The Steinways & Sons piano maker has received countless awards from Paris, New York City, and other organizations for their pianos' impeccable quality. Theodor Steinweg, son of Heinrich Steinweg partnered with Friedrich Grotrian to start the Grotrian brand in 1853. He sold his share of the partnership in 1865 to Wilhelm Grotrian, the son of Friedrich.

The best part is that artisans' Steinway & Sons grand pianos are carefully and delicately handmade to ensure their products stand out among other keyboards. Steinway pianos thereby are known for their uniqueness and impeccable quality. Unfortunately, Steinway & Sons make relatively expensive pianos, but you could find some like Essex and Boston, which are more affordable.

Best Piano- Steinway Model D-274

Arguably, Steinway Model D is the company's flagship model with a price range of between $30000 to $100000, so make sure you buy it from an authorized retailer. Steinway D-274 was designed by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema between 1883-1887 and is displayed in the art museum. It is an impressive piano used in concert halls and has featured in various recordings and tv programs.

The Steinway & Sons Model D has also been placed in the East Room, the largest room of the white house. This piano is handmade and took about two years to be complete. In addition, this piano boasts of its impressive artist roaster, which exclusively uses its piano and other instruments.

These Steinway grand pianos are 274 cm (8′ 11¾") in length and are a perfect option for concerts. In addition, this Steinway sons Model D is the perfect choice for anyone who needs the highest levels of musical expression.

Pros

  • They have an entry-level piano for the beginner.
  • Founders of the modern piano.
  • It's a handmade piano that is near perfect.
  • Variety of models depending on your space.
  • The Essex pianos can be purchased online.
  • These pianos can fit in a home studio or apartment.

Cons

  • Too large to use at home.
  • They are expensive pianos.

4. C Bechstein

C Bechstein was founded in 1853 in Germany by Carl Bechstein and quickly became one of the best piano brands in Europe. By 1900, the piano builders were building over 5000 pianos every year. Bechstein comes in two series: C Bechstein and Bechstein, both are impeccable, but C Bechstein is of higher sound quality and price. Bechstein piano makers have made a name for themselves for creating a unique art case piano, and some of the art case pianos are museum pieces.

The company handcrafts each instrument and individually decorates piano cases to ensure that a player has an individual and unique piece according to their liking. They have built upright keyboards for a music lover with limited space and grand pianos producing unique voice-like sounds for the concert stage pianos. This brand makes grand pianos for concert stages and homes. Bechstein pianos also have incredible pianos for people who love to play pianos but with space considerations.

Bechstein pianos have new models and museum-quality copies of its vintage pianos built for European Royalty. Bechstein has 6th generation of piano craftsmen, metal masons, and woodwork specialists who ensure that each piano is made to perfection. Additionally, this brand is endorsed by many famous artists like the Beatles, Elton John and Freddy Mercury

Best Piano-C. Bechstein B212 Concert Grand Piano

C. Bechstein Concert Grand Piano
  • Size: 9' 2"
  • Serial#: 176470
  • Color: Ebony Polish

C. Bechstein B212 is among the most incredible 7-foot grand pianos, which has a build quality that guarantees durability while being a delight to your ears and fingers. This is the best comparison to the Steinway grand piano, and its wood comes from Val di Fiemme. This relatively elusive wood is not a common material used by many instruments.

These grand keyboards grow the sound a bit, distribute energy as you play the notes on the instrument, and include a tapered soundboard. You can achieve a good treble clarity and projection on this C. Bechstein B212, and it uses a treble bell.

There is no doubt that the B212 is a moderately less expensive grand piano that delivers high-quality sound but yet the largest concert grand piano. The best part is that the sound this piano produces grows as the energy dissipates throughout the whole structure of the piano.

Pros

  • The instruments have various series.
  • Produces a warm sound.
  • Tapered soundboard.
  • Good treble clarity

Cons

  • The B series is not held to the same standards.

5. Blüthner

Blüthner is another German piano manufacturer that started in 1853. The founder was Julius Blüthne, and the company is still run by the Blüthner family. Blüthner holds superiority when it comes to crystal pianos, but also, their grand concert line does quite well. Blüthner pianos come in various lines: the Julius Blüthner edition and the 150th Anniversary Edition. For baby grand pianos, the price range is $50000 and goes to a million dollars for the Lucid EXO version.

Bluthner has become the largest piano producer in Germany for forty-seven years. It produces around 5000 musical instruments a year. The fantastic thing is that they produce quality pianos with a clear tone. For example, the Blüthner grand was one of the first pianos made for a famous airship and used in an airborne recital.

Unfortunately, the piano company was destroyed during World War Two, but it was fortunately rebuilt in 1945. Over these years, it has built and sustained its reputation of making exceptional musical instruments. This brand has been awarded more than five medals for its handcrafted and remarkable pianos

Best Piano-Bluthner Model 10

This is one of the largest baby grands in the range and comes with an Aliquot system that combines the soundboard size with the optimal length of strings. As a result, the piano works best for tiny homes or small-sized music studios, and you can get it any color or wood finish, and you can color match.

Bluthner Model 10 can be used by professionals because it is pretty responsive and provides a robust, warm tone in a limited space. It also has good clarity in responsive medium action and can be used by pianists of all levels.

The Bluthner Model 10 is the perfect instrument for music studios, homes or .small concert halls. These pianos are carefully built and assure you maximum performance. Most pianists and composers like Shostakovich, Debussy, Prokofiev, Rachmaninov, and Mahler just to name a few love this Bluthner model.

Pros

  • The instruments come in several editions.
  • Left-handed availability.
  • The build is excellent.
  • Lower maintenance costs

Cons

  • Outdated website.
  • Difficult to purchase in some countries.

6. Bösendorfer

As one of the oldest and best piano brands globally, Bosendorfer was started in Vienna, Austria, in 1828 by Ignaz Bösendorfer. Given the honor of the "official piano maker," he was famous for the invention of the 88-key keyboard extension with the Imperial Grand that has a 97-key keyboard, giving eight octaves. After the death of Ignaz, the company changed ownership more than once and finally was purchased by Yamaha. However, Yamaha maintains it as a separate business entity honoring its production methods.

Bösendorfer pianos have a rich, warm sound suitable for classical music regardless of their size and have a delicate treble because of the rims and scale design. They mainly produce grand pianos, but they also have a few upright pianos, and they have produced one of the best baby grand pianos in the market, which shares the same keyboard as the 5'8 concert grand piano models.

Bösendorfer has incredible and exclusive pianos and only makes a few hundred pianos in a year. Additionally, all their pianos are handmade, making them nearly perfect and offering a dark or rich sound.

Best Piano- 180 Grand Piano

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If you are looking to experience the qualities of a new VC technology in a compact grand piano, this should be your choice. It produces an impressive sound volume with brilliant colors and the exceptional ability to project a tone.

Like Bosendorfer pianos, the 180 Grand Piano features a warm and brilliant sound that ensures a pianist gets huge colors and a range of dynamics. As a result, the Bosendorfer pianos can make a good home piano and an excellent instrument for small halls with stable and robust mechanics.

Bosendorfer Pyramid Mahogany Grand Piano is a high-quality piano that is relatively affordable. The significant part is that this piano is perfect for professionals and beginners. Additionally, it offers a 5-year warranty for the major parts of the piano.

Pros

  • 5-year warranty.
  • Produces a rich, luscious, and warm sound.
  • It can be customized with rare woods.
  • Has a fourth pedal that brings hammers closer to the strings hence reducing the volume
  • Transferable to future owners within the warranty period.

Cons

  • Difficult to tune

Other Notable Mentions

1. Stuart & Sons

The Stuart & Sons pianos are the perfect options if you prefer Australian -sounding pianos rather than European pianos. The piano has been in the market for around 30 years now, and it is known for making high-quality pianos. This is one of the best brands in the world that was started and designed by Wayne Stuart. This brand is known for its high-end handcrafted pianos.

This fantastic Australian piano maker has produced a 108-keys keyboard, one of the largest concert grand pianos in the world. The fantastic thing is that this brand uses beautiful rare veneers for their piano's bodies. The acoustic effects of the elongated keyboard are astonishing and, without a doubt, will produce great music. This brand provides excellent performance and style for every user. Additionally, products from this brand are pretty easy to use, and they are perfect for professionals, and some are perfect for beginners.

2. Mason and Hamlin

Mason and Hamlin have been making pianos since 1881 and were founded by organ harmonium, and it is considered a major competitor of Steinway. This American piano brand makes pianos that make an American tone quality that is usually described as powerful and lush. In addition, these pianos are known based on their distinctive feature of having longer keys and great pedals leverage that gives a clear treble and strong bass.

Mason and Hamlin are among the top piano brands because their pianos are made by experienced craftsmen with extra attention to detail. The fantastic thing is that each handmade piano is inspected more than twelve times during production. As a result, the Mason & Hamlin pianos are the ideal option for people looking for unique pieces. The only downside is that most of the pianos from this brand are pretty expensive.

3. Fazioli

Fazioli is the ultimate luxury piano brand known to make the most unique and attractive pianos in the world. Unfortunately, they also have one of the most costly pianos in the market. This unique piano brand was started by Fazioli, a concert pianist and son of a famous cabinet maker, and this gave him a perfect background to come up with the best piano makers. The company aims to produce grand piano and concert grands exclusively, making around 170 per year in different sizes. However, Fazioli piano makers don't build upright pianos but only focus on grand and concert grand pianos.

The most famous concert grand piano, F308, is one of the best pianos from this brand, and it is cumbersome and weighs around 570 kgs and measures over 10 feet. Nevertheless, Fazioli pianos are made by the youngest piano maker, and they are have earned an unrivaled reputation and respect over the years.

4. Steingraeber & Söhne

Steingraeber & Söhne is a German piano manufacturer that provides warm and sweet sounds similar to Bösendorfer with several unique pianos with more keys. In addition, the brand makes custom pianos with decorative designs, and they make over 1ooo grand and upright pianos in one year. Steingraeber Söhne was founded in 1852 by Eduard Steingraeber in Bayreuth, Germany that produces a unique sound that is a mixture of clarity and warmth with a wide tonal pallet. They produce less than 80 pianos every year.

This stellar piano manufacturer is one of the most recognized and best piano makers in the world of unique piano innovations. This brand features concert grands like Mozart Rail and Sordino with the modern machine's softest and quickest repeated notes action. Most of the concert grand pianos from this brand are usually meant for professional use. The german pianos are constructed with a carbon fiber soundboard which is weather resistant making the concerts or semi concerts piano perfect for outdoor events.

Steingraeber & Söhne also focus on delivering Profi grade upright machines with fascinating action, which produces an excellent feel more like the grand piano. This excellent and fast action while exclusive aluminum and carbon fiber components make the pianos' tone rich and loud. In addition, they have exquisite instruments that will ensure you have a great experience.

5. Charles R Walter

Charles R Walter is another American company that signs and inspects each piano they make and has studio, grand, and vertical pianos. The Charles R Walter pianos have excellent features that reduce energy loss and increase sustain, producing beautiful tones.

The Walter Piano brand began informally when its founder Charles Walter took over the abandoned line of Jansen pianos in 1969, before developing this line of pianos in 1975. All Walter Pianos come with a 12-year warranty. The pianos for this best brand highlight include nickel strings, brass trim, diligent pin blocks, spruce soundboards, and cast iron piano plates.

6. Schimmel

The Schimmel brand began making pianos in Leipzig in 1885, and the brand has become a leading producer of the best pianos in the world. This brand was founded by Wilhelm Schimmel. The brand produces grand pianos and concert pianos using their proprietary CAPE system (Computer Assisted Piano Engineering) and traditional techniques.

The pursuance of supremacy coupled with a national heritage of hundreds of years building pianos allows Schimmel to contemptuously stands as one of the best piano makers in the piano world. As we speak, this brand is one f the most awarded and one of the largest piano companies in Germany.

7. Grotrian Duo

Grotrian is another German piano brand founded in 1835 and is now a family company in the 5th and 6th generations. Grotrian family merged with and later took over a piano company built by Heinrich Steinwegad formed the name Grotrian-Steinweg. The primary value of this brand is to make the most excellent pianos and other musical tools while at the same time making improvements on already excellent instruments.

Grotrian makes magnificent upright pianos with its patented star pattern in the back. The iron structure is shaped like a star which enables the vibrations inside the body of the piano to deliver a beautiful tone. This brand is known because it makes grand piano, ut also it has become significantly recognized because of the fantastic duo piano it produces. The duo piano is two grand pianos joined together at the side so you can play the pianos as one instrument.

These two grand pianos will vibrate as one creating an exceptional soundscape for the duo pianists. The astonishing thing is that you can play this piano as a stand-alone piano.


What to Consider Before Buying the Best Piano Brands

1. Price

If you are flexible with the type of brand to go for, make sure to ask or check if there's any price increase or decrease based on the cabinet finish. Some piano brands are less expensive because of the polished ebony finish than polished mahogany or walnut. Ensure you find out how the best piano brands are rated and known, either quality or budget pianos.

Sometimes the low price range will give you brands that don't have the best quality and make sure, even if you are on a budget, choose a brand that will give you service.

2. Length of the warranty

A warranty is a crucial feature to consider when choosing a brand because it guarantees the piano's durability. Brand new pianos should have a warranty of not less than five years. However, some unauthorized private retailers selling pianos like Yamaha or Steinway don't offer a warranty. Therefore, always confirm the piano has a warranty before purchasing to avoid being a victim.

3. Maintenance and Repair

When it comes to repair and maintenance, purchasing a famous brand is wiser because they are well known and can be serviced by most technicians. When it comes to unfamiliar brands, you can choose one but make sure you find a technician and spare parts are readily available before you invest.

Popular repairs include tuning, cleaning, buffering, key replacement, voicing, and pitch regulation. The only repairs that are constant are the voicing and tuning.

4. The Piano User

The brand you go for should be determined by who will be using the piano and how often. There is no need to go for an expensive brand for an occasional piano player and function well with a budget piano. However, for proficient players, the quality of the piano matters, and therefore you should choose a quality piano brand.

Students might need a functional piano with an A-440 standard pitch and one that can hold their tuning for an optimal time. However, even for the students, it is better to learn on a good instrument than a bad one, so choose a good piano to avoid demotivating the student resulting in poor musical education.

5. Getting a Professional to Advise

Before you decide to make the final purchase and are unsure, get a professional to check out the best piano makers you are interested in and advise accordingly. You can also get a piano technician because they know the downsides of all brands out of repairing them, and they understand each piano maker's history. Getting a technician is most important, especially if you are interested in an instrument with a lot of history.

Get your technician to go to the retail store you intend to buy from and check out the instrument to help you determine if it's worth it. Additionally, technicians can give you a more accurate review of all piano builders than the sho attendant depending on whether you are shopping for a second-hand instrument or a brand new one.


Digital vs. Acoustic Piano

In the piano industry, two different piano types produce almost comparable sound quality, but in the real sense, they are different. Mostly some factors make these two factors include easy handling, automation and sound quality.

A digital piano is pretty different from an acoustic piano. First, it is relatively cheaper, lighter, smaller, and more technologically advanced than the traditional piano. Additionally, these pianos are easy to maintain and pretty easy to use, making them a perfect option for beginners. What's more, these pianos are portable since they weigh less, and you could quickly move them from one space to another. Lastly, a digital piano will only require very little space since it is smaller.

On the other hand, acoustic pianos are heavy, oversized, loud, and expensive than digital pianos. Therefore, unlike a digital piano, this piano will require regular maintenance. Also, you will need to keep tunning the piano regularly, unlike the digital ones that do not require tunning.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Steinway Sons better than Yamaha?

Both the Yamaha and Steinway piano brands are a good investment because both the piano brands offer top-notch quality. However, Steinway pianos have a unique sound that varies from one piano to another, even if they are similar. On the other hand, Yamaha is considered a stable sound because it doesn't change from model to model and what you see is what you get.

2. Are grand pianos louder than an upright pianos?

Grand pianos are louder because they emit their sound from above, while upright keyboards emit sound from the back end, usually against a wall. Additionally, grand keyboards have longer strings and larger soundboards, making a difference in tonality and generally achieving a more excellent dynamic range.

3. How much does a good piano cost?

The price of a piano will vary based on various factors such as brand, size, current market, material and components used to make the piano. These vocal instruments can be affordable and still very expensive based on the requirements. On average, a digital piano will range between $100 to $300. Good keyboards will typically cost between $3000 to $5000. The entry-level grand keyboards are usually relatively pricey, and they will range from $5000 to $10000. If you are a beginner, it would be best to buy a relatively cheaper option and upgrade it when you learn how to play the piano.

Zen Chung


I'm Zen Chung, a piano and violin teacher based out of Plano, Texas. I started this blog because my students (and their parents) kept asking about the best musical instruments to buy online. Look no further I'm here to save the day! 

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