Common and Top Piano Makes In The UK

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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 500 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. 

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 Pianos 1828 Adam Wesel, Germany G+U 500 60-70 Generally well made pianos
Aeolian Pianos 1833 Aeolian Various G+U 1500 50-60 Varied. They made many player pianos
Ajello & Sons Pianos 1862 Ajello Manchester, UK U 1000 50-60 Mostly tall overstrung underdamped uprights with strong tone
Allison Pianos 1837 Allison London, UK G+U 15000 50-60 Varied – low to medium quality; some baby grands quite good
Amyl Pianos c1920 Coop CWS London, UK U 1500 40-50 Honestly made but mostly basic straight strung over dampers
Archibald Ramsden Pianos 1895 Ramsden London, UK G 800 45-52 Usually straight strung over dampers, but quite well made
Army and Navy Pianos Unknown Anyone England U 1500 40-50 Usually straight strung over dampers, but quite well made
Ascherberg Pianos 1865 Ascherberg Germany G+U 800 50-60 Low quality pianos, pre-war company
Baldwin Pianos 1862 Baldwin Cincinnati, USA G+U 300 55-68 Varied. Most of the ones imported to the UK were basic models
Barnes W.H. Pianos 1976 Barnes London, England G+U 2000 45-55 Nearly all uprights
Barratt and Robinson Pianos 1877 Barratt and Robinson London U.K U 15000 50-60 One of the last London factories. Satisfactory mid range uprights

Bechstein Pianos

1853 Bechstein Berlin, Germany G+U 30000 60-85 Prolific high quality maker. See specialist Bechstein page
Bell Pianos 1864 Bell Ontario, Canada U 800 50-60 Generally overstrung. Very varied, poor to medium quality
Bentley Pianos 1906 Bentley London, England U 20000 45-60 Very varied, poor to medium quality
Berry Pianos 1877 Berry London U.K G+U 3000 45-55 From very basic overdampers to medium quality overstrung
Blankenstein Pianos 1880 Blankenstein London & Berlin U 500 50-60 Varied, gernerally medium quality
Bluthner Pianos 1873 Bluthner Leipzig, Germany G+U 20000 70-90 Prolific make of high quality pianos. Please see our Bluthner page
Bord Pianos 1840 Antoine, Bord Paris, France U 4000 45-52 Mostly small straight strung overdampers c1890-1910
Bosendorfer Pianos 1828 Bosendorfer Vienna, Austria G+U 1500 50-95 Austrian pianos of high quality. pre 1900 grands have “Viennese” actions
Boston Pianos 1991 Kawai/Steinway Hamamatsu, Japan by Kawai G+U 1000 50-95 A little mellower in tone than medium priced Kawai. Touch is good.
Boyd (of London) Pianos 2005 Boyd London, UK G+U 20000 35-55 From very basic overdampers to fairly good overstrungs
Branston Pianos Unknown Branston London, UK U 200 50 Mostly basic pianos
Brasted Pianos 1823 Brasted England U 4000 50-65 Honest well made British pianos
Brinsmead, John Pianos 1836 Kemble London, UK. G+U 30000 50-70 Very varied prolific English maker
Brinsmead, Stanley Pianos 1894 Brinsmead London, UK U 500 40-50 Traditional and Modern uprights.
Broadwood, John Pianos 1728 Broadwood London, UK G+U 80000 40-85 Comprehensive range of high quality hand built pianos in various styles
Brock, Bernard Pianos 1890 Brock London, UK U 400 45-48 Traditional upright pianos
Brodmann Pianos 1812 Bosendorfer Vienna, Austria G+U 200 60-75 Mostly fair quality grand pianos
Browne, Justin Pianos 1870 Browne Euston Road, London U 500 40-50 Well made but most pre 1890 overdampers
Challen Pianos 1804 Challen London, UK G+U 80000 50-68 Can be quite reasonable but vary. They make the UK’s most common baby grands
Chappell Pianos 1811 Chappell, later Kemble London, UK G+U 80000 50-70 Varied but generally good. Old ones can be quite basic
Churchill Pianos Unknown Stencil Piano Bristol, England U 1500 Unknown Mostly basic straight strung overdamper pianos in a traditional case
Collard and Collard Pianos 1760 Collard London, UK G+U 65000 40-70 Extremely varied prolific British maker spanning over 200 years
Cramer Pianos 1824 Kemble London, UK G+U 10000 45-68 Plenty of variety. Many baby grands and post 1900 uprights
Crane Pianos Unknown Crane & Son Liverpool, UK G+U 2000 35-50 Mostly basic uprights
Dale Forty Pianos Unknown Dale Forty UK & China G+U 7000 35-50 Pre -1950 Dale Forty pianos are basic British pianos
Danemann Pianos 1892 Broadwood London, UK G+U 20000 44-68 Prolific and varied maker. Please click on name for more details
Duck Son and Pinker Pianos 1848 Bristol Piano Bath, England G+U 8000 35-50 Mostly basic straight strung overdamper uprights
Eavestaff Pianos 1823 Brasted London, England G+U 17000 35-68 Mini Pianos generally basic. Baby grands fair. Other uprights medium
Eberhardt Pianos 1800 Eberhardt Berlin, Germany U 800 40-45 Eberhardt Pianos are very basic pianos with half-plate iron frames
Elysain Pianos Unknown Morley & Co Ltd London, UK G+U Unknown 45-60 Name used mainly by Morleys of London. Varied
Erard Pianos 1777 Erard UK & France G+U 1000 40-68 Very varied
Estonia Pianos 1893 Estonia Piano Factory Tallinn, Republic of Estonia G+U 200 50-60 The Estonia grand piano produces a reasonable tone.
Eungblut, Rogers Pianos 1980 Kemble London, UK U 200 50-60 The name Rogers Eungblut was used by Kemble in about 1930
Fazer Pianos 1960 Hellas Helsinki, Finland G+U 3000 55-68 Modern pianos. Fazer are generally good with rich bass and firm touch
Fazioli Pianos 1980 The Fazioli Factory Sacile, Italy G 100 85-95 Fazioli was established in 1981

Feurich Pianos

1851 Feurich Germany, China & Austria G+U 1500 65-75 Old and modern ones well made
Forster, August Pianos 1851 Forster Lobau, Germany G+U 4000 55-70 Vary varied in quality – passed through “Iron curtain” phase
Fuchs & Mohr Pianos 1921 Eisenberger Pianofortefabrik Eisenberg, Germany U 4000 40-55 Coming soon
Giles Pianos Unknown Giles Pianos Ltd London, UK G+U 1000 50 Small uprights Giles was a name used by Zender
Godfrey Pianos 1885 Godfrey London, UK U 7000 35-48 Mostly basic uprights: straight-strung and over-damped
Gors & Kallmann Pianos 1877 Albert Meyn Berlin, Germany G+U 15000 50-70 Older uprights overdampers but good tone. Baby grands generally good

Grotrian Steinweg Pianos

1858 Grotrian Steinweg Braunschweig, Germany G+U 6000 60-90 Prolific make of high quality pianos. Uprights 1900 to 1930 outstanding
Haake, Karl Pianos 1903 Haake Hannover, Germany G+U 1000 50-60 Unique, warm and interesting tone; mostly 1880 to 1910
Hellas Pianos 1901 Hellas Piano co Helsinki, Finland U 500 50-60 Hellas are similar to Fazer but action generally not as good
Hickie & Hickie Pianos 1894 Hickie & Hickie London, UK U 15000 35-48 Mostly basic straight strung overdampers 1890 – 1910. later overstrung
Hoffmann Pianos 1893 Unknown Various G+U 800 50-75 Name used on both basic British and high quality German pianos
Hofmann & Czerny Pianos 1903 Hofmann Vienna, Austria G+U 150 60-80 Very high quality baby grand pianos with rich tone and well weighted touch
Hopkinson Pianos 1835 Bentley London, England G+U 20000 45-65 Very common British make. Older ones overdampers
Ibach Pianos 1794 Ibach Germany G+U 15000 50-80 Older ones overdampers but good. Grands generally fine quality
Kaps Pianos 1890 Ernst Kaps Dresden, Germany G+U 2000 55-80 Mainly one style of quality upright piano made from about 1898 to 1930
Kastner Pianos 1920 Barratt and Robinson London, UK U 700 45-55 Mostly small modern uprights 1960-1970. A few older ones 1890-1930

Kawai Pianos

1930 Kawai Pianos Hamamatsu, Japan G+U 10000 55-85 Japanese pianos (later ones made elsewhere too) of generally good quality
Kemble Pianos 1857 Kemble Milton Keynes, England G+U 120000 55-78 Varied in quality but best are very good
Kimball Pianos 1857 The Kimball Piano co USA G+U 3000 55-65 Those in the UK 1960-70 small uprights
Kirkman Pianos 1730 Kirkman, Collard London, UK G+U 500 30-55 Mostly very old British pianos. Many grands

Knight Pianos

1936 Knight London, UK U 30000 58-80 Respected British maker. Best between about 1960 and 1980
Lindner Pianos 1960 Lindner Shannon, Ireland U 1000 35-50 Irish pianos with revolutionary plastic action for which no spares are readily available

Lipp, Richard Pianos

1831 The Bentley Piano co Stuttgart, Germany G+U 6000 55-90 Lipp pianos made with great integrity. Rich warm tone. Baby and boudoir grands generally excellent
Marshall and Rose Pianos 1907 Whelpdate, Maxwell & Codd London, UK G+U 400 50-65 British pianos of medium quality
Mason & Hamlin Pianos 1854 Mason & Hamlin Massachusetts, USA G+U 100 60-80 Well made modern pianos
Mickleburgh Pianos 1903 Mickleburgh Bristol, England U 2500 Unknown Makes medium quality uprights
Minstrelle Pianos 1877 Barratt and Robinson England U 300 60-70 Small pianos made by Barratt and Robinson
Monington and Weston Pianos 1858 Monington and Weston London, UK G+U 18000 50-65 Many low quality baby grands made with “simplex” actions. Uprights can be very good
Moore and Moore Pianos 1838 Kemble Stoke Newington, UK G+U 1500 50-58 Coming soon
Morley, Robert Pianos 1881 Morley Lewisham, London G+U 40000 50-55 Fair quality British pianos
Murdoch Pianos 1862 Spencer & Murdoch London, UK G+U 2000 35-55 Common basic British pianos
Neindorf Pianos 1900 Neindorf, Gebr Luckenwald, Germany G+U 2000 50-55 Mostly traditional upright and baby grand pianos
Neumeyer Pianos 1905 Neumeyer Berlin, Germany G+U 20000 50-65 Mid-range German pianos. Best ones have rich warm tone
Niemeyer Pianos 1890 Dongbei Piano Co Korea & Germany G+U 400 45-55 Low to mid range German pianos
Nordiska Pianos 1985 DongBei Piano Group Co Vetland, Sweden U 800 50-60 Mostly modern Sweedish uprights in the UK 1960-1970
Papps Pianos 1900 Papps Portsmouth, England G+U 20000 35-50 Mostly basic uprights. Portsmouth firm with specially designed metal wrest plank for environments with varying humidity
Pearl River Pianos 1955 Guangzhou Piano Factory Guangzhou, China G+U 2000 45-70 Huge variety; older ones (1990s) varied.
Petrof Pianos 1864 The Petrof Factory Hradec Kralove, Czechoslovakia G+U 200 60-70 Wide range of quality in uprights. Some early baby grands are outstanding
Pfeiffer Pianos 1862 Pianofortefabrick Leipzip company Stuttgart, Germany U 100 55-70 Fair quality upright pianos
Pleyel Pianos 1807 Pleyel Paris, France G+U 20000 45-68 Much varietly in quality from this French maker
Reid Sohn Pianos 1859 Samick factory Paris, France G+U 8000 45-60 Large Korean factory
Reisbach Pianos 1920 Rogers London, UK G+U 800 50-65 Fair quality British pianos made by Rogers with influence from Grotrian Steinweg
Ritmüller Pianos 1795 Pearl River Gottingen, Germany G+U 1000 55-70 Old ones mostly tall traditional
Rogers, George Pianos 1843 Rogers London, UK G+U 16000 55-70 Good factory with long history. Older ones may not be worth reconditioning
Ronisch Pianos 1845 Pfeiffer and Bluthner Dresden, Germany G+U 1000 45-75 Older ones very well made. Modern ones more varied
Russel (and Russell) Pianos 1842 Russell and Russell London UK U 1000 45-58 Honestly made cheaper uprights mainly from early 1900s
Sames Pianos Unknown F.Mills & Co Scotland G+U 900 50-55 Mostly overstrung uprights
Samick Pianos 1989 Samick Korea/ Indonesia G+U 10000 45-60 Large Korean factory
Sauter Pianos 1819 C. Sauter & Co Spaichingen, Germany G+U 10000 58-78 Well made German uprights and grands
Schiedmayer 1809 J.and P.Scheidmayer Neckarstrasse, Germany G+U 10000 58-78 Well made German uprights and grands
Schimmel Pianos 1885 W. Schimmell Neuschonefeld, Germany G+U 4000 55-68 Mid-range German uprights and grands
Seiler Pianos 1849 Eduard Seiler Liegnitz, Germany G+U 8000 58-78 Well made German uprights and grands
Spencer Pianos 1883 John Spencer & Co London, UK U 10000 45-62 Common British maker from about 1900 to 1940. Modern ones from different factories
Squire and Longson Pianos 1910 Kemble London, UK G+U 10000 50-60 Mid range British pianos
Steck Pianos 1857 Aeolian Weber & Pianola Co Cassel, Germany G+U 5000 55-70 Uprights have warm tone; baby grands vary in quality
Steinberg Pianos 1908 Steinberg & Co Berlin, Germany G+U 2000 60-75 Mostly well made modern pianos
Steingraeber & Söhne Pianos 1852 Eduard Steingraeber Bayreuth, Germany G+U 250 70-90 Mostly grands, see own page

Steinway Pianos

1853 Steinway & Sons Various locations G+U 65000 60-95 Mostly German Steinways found in the UK
Strohmenger & Sons Pianos 1835 Chappell London UK G+U 5000 50-65 Good quality British pianos
Stuart & Sons Pianos c1990 Stuart Piano Co Australia G 5 75-90 Hand made top quality grands
Waddington Pianos 1838 Waddington London, UK U 200 45-55 Basic British piano, can have a reasonable tone. Grands basic
Waldemar Pianos 1900 Waldemar Berlin, Germany U 600 45-55 Mostly traditional walnut upright overstrung with warm tones
Waldstein Pianos 1956 Pearl River China G+U 11000 45-58 Modern Chinese Waldsteins are nothing to do with the older pianos
Weber Pianos 1860 Weber Various G+U 6000 46-68 Older ones well made. Modern ones made in the Far East
Welmar Pianos 1925 Welmar London, UK G+U 25000 55-75 Good quality British pianos. Older uprights varied. Baby grands copy of Bluthner. Please see our makes list for more details
Wendl and Lung Pianos 1920 Wendl and Lung Austria G+U 800 60-75 Mostly modern pianos c2001 to 2011
Windover Pianos 1877 Smith Manchester & London, UK G+U 1000 45-60 Mostly mahogany overstrung underdamper pianos made 1900 – 1930.
Witton and Witton Pianos 1838 W&W Unknown G+U 800 45-60 Basic British piano. Grands not well made
Yamaha Pianos 1887 Yamaha Japan G+U 50000 48-90 Most prolific maker in the world. Huge range in quality
Young Chang Pianos 1956 Young Chang Seoul Korea G+U 8000 45-60 Large Korean factory
Zender Pianos 1892 Zender London, UK G+U 20000 48-60 Always very small pianos; Over 70,000 made in the UK, mostly 60s to 80s
Zimmermann Pianos 1884 Zimmermann Germany G+U 2000 45-70 Mostly modern baby grands and uprights of low to medium quality

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6,483 total views, 175 views today