Common Piano Makes in the UK

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Key to piano ratings: We have taken as our benchmark U1H Yamaha upright and G3E Yamaha grand pianos made from 1970 to 1980, since they are very common. These are given a rating of 65 = good. Ratings assume the pianos to be restored or reconditioned and in good condition. It must be said, however, that there is a world of difference between a piano that has been well restored, tuned and the hammers voiced, from one of the same make and year that has not been carefully worked on.

0 – 40      = unacceptable
40 – 50    = passable
50 – 60    = fair
60 – 70    = good
70 – 80    = excellent
80 – 90    = superb
90 – 100  = dream piano

Estimates for the number of pianos in the UK vary wildly from 2 to 5 million (figures for 2013). We are using the conservative figure of 2 million. Availability figures are currently being added for each make; so for instance, we estimate that there is about one “Adam” piano for every 5,000 pianos. Therefore there are about 400 Adam pianos in the UK.

Disclaimer: This site is constantly being revised. If you’re in the piano trade and can add or correct any information please let us know. 

This video shows the four main types of upright piano mechanism.

NB grand pianos in the UK are about 98% overstung. They are also about 99% overdampers - being over the strings means that gravity helps them to dampen, and the dampers are also located immediately above where the hammer strikes. These factors mean that good grands dampen very abruptly, allowing a clean staccato.

New pianos made in the Far East (excluding Japan)
Many older names such as Waldstein, Bentley, Steinmeyer and Steinbach are now used by companies in China, Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. They are the same in name only and have nothing to do with the older style pianos.

Key to abbreviations:
s/o = Straight-strung over-damper. This style is on many basic upright pianos; about 35% of all upright pianos in the UK. Straight-strung means the strings go vertically and are not crossed over as with nearly all good and modern pianos, so the bass and tenor string length is shorter and therefore the tone is inferior (There are some exceptions to this rule – e.g. some Bechstein, Lipp and Bluthner.) Over-damper means that the mechanism that shuts off the sound of the string after it’s played is over the hammers, and is inefficient compared to the under-damper system found in good pianos from about 1860 and in all modern pianos. 
o/o  = Overstrung over-damper. Perhaps 5% of pianos in the UK. They are overstrung like most good pianos but the damping can be poor (see above).
o/u and s/u = overstrung under-damper and straight-strung under-damper. Underdampers are on most good pianos and modern pianos; you can assume that the pianos on the list are this type unless otherwise stated.

Make Est. Made by Made in G/U Est’d in UK Rating Description
Adam Gerhard 1828Adam Wesel, Germany Grand+Upright 400 60-70 Generally well made pianos
Aeolian 1833Aeolian Various Grand+Upright 1500 50-60 Varied. They made many player pianos
Ajello & Sons 1862Ajello Manchester, UK Upright 1000 50-60 Mostly tall overstrung underdamped uprights with strong tone
Allison 1837Allison London,UK Grand+Upright 15000; 15% grands 50-60 Varied – low to medium quality; some baby grands quite good
Amyl C1920British piano Co for Coop CWS London, UK Upright 1500 40-50 Honestly made but mostly basic straight strung over dampers
Archibald Ramsden 1895Ramsden London, UK Grand 800 42-52 Usually straight strung over dampers, but quite well made
Army and Navy Unknownvarious factories England Upright 1500 40-50 Usually straight strung over dampers, but quite well made
Ascherberg 1865Ascherberg Germany Grand 800 50-60 Low quality pianos, pre-war company
Baldwin 1862Baldwin Cincinnati, USA Grand+Upright 300 55-68 Varied. Most of the ones imported to the UK were basic models
Barnes W.H. 1976Barnes London, England Grand+Upright 2000 45-55 Nearly all uprights
Barratt and Robinson 1877Barratt and Robinson London U.K Upright 15000 50-60 One of the last London factories. Satisfactory mid range uprights
Bechstein 1853Bechstein Berlin, Germany Grand+Upright 30000 60-85 WE RESTORE ALL BECHSTEIN PIANOS. Prolific high quality maker. See specialist Bechstein page
Bell 1864Bell Ontario, Canada Upright 800 50-60 Generally overstrung. Very varied, poor to medium quality
Bentley 1906Bentley London, England Upright 20000 45-60 Very varied, poor to medium quality
Berry 1877Berry London U.K Grand+Upright 3000 45-55 From very basic overdampers to medium quality overstrung
Blankenstein 1880Blankenstein London & Berlin Upright 500 50-60 Varied, gernerally medium quality
Bluthner 1873Bluthner Leipzig Germany Grand+Upright 20000 70-90 WE RESTORE ALL TYPES OF BLUTHNER PIANOS. Prolific make of high quality pianos. Please see our Bluthner page
Bord 1840Antoine, Bord Paris, France Upright 4000 45-52 Mostly small straight strung overdampers c1890-1910
Bosendorfer 1828Bosendorfer Vienna, Austria Grand+Upright 1500 50-95 WE RESTORE ALL BOSENDORFER PIANOS. Austrian pianos of high quality. pre 1900 grands have “Viennese” actions
Boston 1991Kawai/Steinway Hamamatsu, Japan by Kawai Grand+Upright 1000 50-65 A little mellower in tone than medium priced Kawai. Touch is good.
Boyd c.1900Boyd London, UK Grand+Upright 20000 35-55 From very basic overdampers to fairly good overstrungs
Branston UnknownBranston London, UK Upright 200 50 Mostly basic pianos
Brasted 1823Brasted England Upright 4000 50-65 Honest well made British pianos
Brinsmead, John 1836Brinsmead. From 1967 Kemble London, UK. Grand+Upright 30000 50-70 Very varied prolific English maker
Brinsmead, Stanley 1894Brinsmead London, UK Upright 500 40-50 Traditional and Modern uprights.
Broadwood 1728Broadwood London, UK Grand+Upright 80000 40-85 Huge variety of quality; most well made and some superb
Broadwood White 1894Stanley Brinsmead London, UK Upright 500 40-50 Straight-strung overdamper half iron frame pianos.
Brock, Bernard 1890Brock London, UK Upright 400 45-48 Traditional upright pianos
Brodmann 1812Bosendorfer Vienna, Austria Grand+Upright 200 60-75 Mostly fair quality grand pianos
Browne, Justin 1870Browne Euston Road, London Upright 500 40-50 Well made but most pre 1890 overdampers
Challen 1804Challen London, UK Grand+Upright 90000 50-68 WE RESTORE SELECTED CHALLEN PIANOS. Can be quite reasonable but vary. They make the UK’s most common baby grands
Chappell 1811Chappell, later Kemble London, UK Grand+Upright 80000 50-70 WE RESTORE SELECTED CHAPPELL PIANOS. Varied but generally good. Old ones can be quite basic
Churchill Unknown Bristol, England Upright 1500 Unknown Mostly basic straight strung overdamper pianos in a traditional case
Collard and Collard 1760Collard London, UK Grand+Upright 35000 40-70 Extremely varied prolific British maker spanning over 200 years
Cramer 1824Kemble London, UK Grand+Upright 10000 45-68 Plenty of variety. Many baby grands and post 1900 uprights
Crane UnknownCrane & Son Liverpool, UK Grand+Upright 2000 35-50 Mostly basic uprights
Dale Forty UnknownDale Forty UK & China Grand+Upright 7000 30-50 Pre -1950 Dale Forty pianos are basic British pianos
Danemann 1892Danemann, 1982+: Broadwood London, UK Grand+Upright 20000 44-68 Prolific and varied maker. Please click on name for more details
Duck Son and Pinker 1848Bristol Piano Bath, England Grand+Upright 8000 35-50 Mostly basic straight strung overdamper uprights
Eavestaff 1823Brasted London, England Grand+Upright 17000 35-68 Mini Pianos generally basic. Baby grands fair. Other uprights medium
Eberhardt 1800Eberhardt Berlin, Germany Upright 800 40-45 Older Eberhardt Pianos are mostly half-plate iron frame pianos.
Elysian UnknownMorley & Co Ltd London, UK Grand+Upright 1000 45-60 Name used mainly by Morleys of London and also by Chappell. Varied
Erard 1777 Paris; 1792 LondonErard UK & France Grand+Upright 1000 40-68 Very varied
Estonia 1893Estonia Piano Factory Tallinn, Republic of Estonia Grand+Upright 200 50-60 The Estonia grand piano produces a reasonable tone.
Eungblut, Rogers c1930Kemble London, UK Upright 200 50-60 The name Rogers Eungblut was used by Kemble in about 1930
Fazer 1960Hellas Helsinki, Finland Grand+Upright 6000 55-68 Modern pianos. Fazer are generally good with rich bass and firm touch
Fazioli 1980The Fazioli Factory Sacile, Italy Grand 100 85-95 Fazioli was established in 1981
Feurich 1851Feurich Germany, China & Austria Grand+Upright 1500 65-75 Old and modern ones well made
Forster, August 1851Forster Lobau, Germany Grand+Upright 4000 55-70 Vary varied in quality – passed through “Iron curtain” phase
Fuchs & Mohr 1921Eisenberger Pianofortefabrik Eisenberg, Germany Upright 4000 40-55 Nearly all Fuchs and Mohr pianos in the UK are small modern pianos with mahogany cases.
Giles UnknownGiles Pianos Ltd London, UK Grand+Upright 1000 50 Small uprights Giles was a name used by Zender
Godfrey 1885Godfrey London, UK Upright 7000 35-48 Mostly basic uprights: straight-strung and over-damped
Gors & Kallmann 1877Albert Meyn Berlin, Germany Grand+Upright 15000 50-70 Older uprights overdampers but good tone. Baby grands generally good; modern Chinese ones not yet rated.
Grotrian Steinweg 1858Grotrian Steinweg Braunschweig, Germany Grand+Upright 6000 60-90 Prolific make of high quality pianos. Uprights 1900 to 1930 outstanding
Haake, Karl 1903Haake Hannover, Germany Grand+Upright 1000 50-60 Unique, warm and interesting tone; mostly 1880 to 1910
Hellas 1901Hellas Piano co Helsinki, Finland Upright 500 50-60 Hellas are similar to Fazer but action generally not as good
Hickie & Hickie 1894various factories London, UK Upright 15000 35-48 Mostly basic straight strung overdampers 1890 – 1910. later overstrung
Hoffmann 1893Unknown Various Grand+Upright 800 50-75 Name used on both basic British and high quality German pianos
Hofmann & Czerny 1903Hofmann Vienna, Austria Grand+Upright 150 60-80 Very high quality baby grand pianos with rich tone and well weighted touch
Hopkinson 1835Hopkinson; after about 1990 by Bentley London, England Grand+Upright 10000 45-65 Very common British make. Older ones overdampers
Ibach 1794Ibach Germany Grand+Upright 15000 50-80 WE RESTORE ALL IBACH PIANOS. Older ones overdampers but good. Grands generally fine quality
Kaps 1980Ernst Kaps Dresden, Germany Grand+Upright 2000 55-75 Mainly one height (130cm) of quality upright piano made from about 1898 to 1930
Kastner 1920Barratt and Robinson London, UK Upright 700 45-55 Mostly small modern uprights 1960-1970. A few older ones 1890-1930
Kawai 1930Kawai Hamamatsu, Japan Grand+Upright 10000 55-85 Japanese pianos (later ones made elsewhere too) of generally good quality
Kemble 1857Kemble Milton Keynes, England Grand+Upright 120000 55-78 Varied in quality but best are very good
Kimball 1857The Kimball Piano co USA Grand+Upright 55-65 Those in the UK 1960-70 small uprights Those in the UK 1960-70 small uprights
Kirkman 1730Kirkman, Collard London, UK Grand+Upright 500 30-55 Mostly very old British pianos. Many grands
Knight 1936Knight London, UK Grand+Upright 30000 58-80 Respected British maker. Best between about 1960 and 1980
Lindner 1960Lindner Shannon, Ireland Upright 1000 35-50 Irish pianos with revolutionary plastic action for which no spares are readily available
Lipp, Richard 1831Lipp; modern ones by Bentley Piano co Stuttgart, Germany Grand+Upright 6000 55-90 WE RESTORE ALL LIPP PIANOS. They are made with great integrity. Rich warm tone. Baby and boudoir grands generally excellent
Marshall and Rose 1907Whelpdate, Maxwell & Codd London, UK Grand+Upright 400 50-65 British pianos of medium quality
Mason & Hamlin 1854Mason & Hamlin Massachusetts, USA Grand+Upright 100 55-80 Well made modern pianos; design of older grands show remarkable similarity to Steinway
Mickleburgh 1903Mickleburgh Bristol, England Upright 2500 Unknown Shop name; mainly low to medium quality uprights 1900-1930
Minstrelle 1877Barratt and Robinson England Upright 300 40-50 Small pianos made by Barratt and Robinson
Monington and Weston 1858Monington and Weston London, UK Grand+Upright 18000 50-65 Many low quality baby grands made with “simplex” actions. Uprights can be very good
Moore and Moore 1838Moore & Moore, then Kemble Stoke Newington, UK Grand+Upright 1500 50-58 Pre 1933 mostly tallish traditional cases
Morley, Robert 1881Morley Lewisham, London Grand+Upright 40000 50-55 Fair quality British pianos
Murdoch 1862Spencer & Murdoch London, UK Grand+Upright 2000 35-55 Common basic British pianos
Neindorf 1900Neindorf, Gebr Luckenwald, Germany Grand+Upright 2000 50-55 Mostly traditional upright and baby grand pianos
Neumeyer 1905Neumeyer Berlin, Germany/Modern ones made in China Grand+Upright 10000 50-65 Mid-range German pianos. Best ones have rich warm tone
Niemeyer 1890Dongbei Piano Co Korea & Germany Grand+Upright 400 45-55 Low to mid range German pianos
Nordiska 1985from about 1988: DongBei Piano Group Co originally Vetland, Sweden Upright 800 50-60 Mostly modern Sweedish uprights in the UK 1960-1970; from about 1988: Chinese
Osbert W. H. Barnes London, UK Upright 200 55 - 60 Traditional uprights with reasonable tone; some overdampers
Papps 1900Papps Portsmouth, England Grand+Upright 2000 35-50 Mostly basic uprights. Portsmouth firm; pianos around 1900 - 1930 with specially designed metal wrest plank for environments with varying humidity; some modern uprights too.
Pearl River 1955Guangzhou Piano Factory Guangzhou, China Grand+Upright 2000 45-70 Huge variety; older ones (1990s) varied.
Petrof 1864The Petrof Factory Hradec Kralove, Czechoslovakia Grand+Upright 1500 60-70 Wide range of quality in uprights. Some early baby grands are outstanding
Pfeiffer 1862Pianofortefabrick Leipzig company Stuttgart, Germany Upright 100 55-70 Fair quality upright pianos
Pleyel 1807Pleyel Prais, France Grand+Upright 2000 45-68 Much varied in quality from this French maker
Reid Sohn 1859Samick Factory Korea Grand+Upright 8000 45-60 Large Korean factory
Reisbach 1920Rogers London, UK Grand+Upright 800 50-65 Fair quality British pianos made by Rogers with influence from Grotrian Steinweg
Rippen 1937Rippen Frankeneng, Holland Grand+Upright 900 50-65 Generally well made pianos
Ritmüller 1795Pearl River Gottingen, Germany Grand+Upright 1000 55-70 Old ones mostly tall traditional
Ritter S. 1828 Germany 1995+ ChinaHangzhou Weidun Industrial Co. Ltd China Grand+Upright 1000 50-60 Basic modern pianos of varied quality
Rogers, George 1843Rogers London, UK Grand+Upright 16000 55-70 Good factory with long history. Older ones may not be worth reconditioning
Ronisch 1846Pfeiffer / Bluthner Dresden, Germany Grand+Upright 1000 45-75 Older ones very well made. Modern ones more varied
Russel (and Russell) 1842Russell and Russell London, UK Upright 1000 45-58 Honestly made cheaper uprights mainly from early 1900s
Russell, George 1842R&R London, UK Upright 2000 50-55 Mostly basic straight-strung overdamped pianos, well made with a good tone
Sames UnknownF.Mills & Co. Scotland Grand+Upright 900 50-55 Mostly Overstrung upright pianos
Samick 1989Samick Korea/ Indonesia Grand+Upright 10000 45-60 Large Korean factory
Sauter 1819C. Sauter & Co. Spainchingen, Germany Grand+Upright 10000 58-78 Well made German uprights and grands
Schiedmayer 1809J.and P.Scheidmayer Neckarstrasse, Germany Grand+Upright 10000 58-78 WE RESTORE SELECTED SCHIEDMAYER PIANOS. Well made German uprights and grands
Schimmel 1885W. Schimmell Neuschonefeld, Germany Grand+Upright 4000 55-68 Mid-range German uprights and grands
Seiler 1849Eduard Seiler Liegnitz, Germany Grand+Upright 8000 58-78 Well made German uprights and grands
Spencer 1883John Spencer & Co London, UK Upright 10000 45-62 Common British maker from about 1900 to 1940. Modern ones from different factories
Squire and Longson 1910Kemble London, UK Grand+Upright 10000 50-60 Mid range British pianos
Steck 1857Aeolian Weber & Pianola Co Cassel, Germany Grand+Upright 8000 55-70 Uprights have warm tone; baby grands vary in quality
Steinberg 1908various + Steinberg & Co various locations Grand+Upright 2000 60-75 Huge variety; some older English and German pianos, some modern German and Chinese.
Steingraeber & Söhne 1852Eduard Steingraeber Bayreuth, Germany Grand+Upright 250 70-90 Mostly grands, see own page
Steinway 1853Steinway & Sons Various Grand+Upright 65000 60-95 WE RESTORE ALL STEINWAY PIANOS. Best known top piano maker. Mostly German Steinways found in the UK
Strohmenger & Sons 1835Chappell London, UK Grand+Upright 5000 50-65 Good quality British pianos
Stuart & Sons c1990Stuart Piano Co Australia Grand 5 75-90 Hand made top quality grands
Waddington 1838Waddington London, UK Upright 200 45-55 Basic British piano, can have a reasonable tone. Grands basic
Waldemar 1900Waldemar Berlin, Germany Upright 600 45-55 Mostly traditional walnut upright overstrung overdampers with warm tone
Waldstein c1895 (old) 1956 (modern)Pearl River China Grand+Upright 11000 45-58 Modern Chinese Waldsteins are nothing to do with the older pianos; they only share the name.
Weber 1860Various London, England & Far East Grand+Upright 6000 46-68 Older ones well made. Modern ones made in the Far East
Welmar 1925Welmar London, UK Grand+Upright 25000 55-75 WE RESTORE ALL WELMAR PIANOS. Good quality British pianos. Older uprights varied. Baby grands copy of Bluthner.
Wendl and Lung 1920Wendl & Lung China Grand+Upright 800 60-75 Mostly modern pianos 2003 to 2011
Windover 1877Smith Manchester & London, UK Grand+Upright 1000 45-60 Mostly mahogany overstrung underdamper pianos made 1900 – 1930.
Witton and Witton 1838Witton and Witton London Grand+Upright 800 45-60 Modern ones not rated Uprights fair; grands can cause problems
Yamaha 1887Yamaha Japan Grand+Upright 50000 48-90 Most prolific maker in the world. Huge range in quality
Young Chang 1956Young Chang Seoul Korea Grand+Upright 8000 45-60 Large Korean factory
Zender 1892Various factories London, UK Grand+Upright 20000 48-60 Always very small pianos; Over 70,000 made in the UK, mostly 60s to 80s
Zimmermann 1884Zimmermann Germany Grand+Upright 2000 47-70 Mostly modern baby grands and uprights of low to medium quality

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