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.
||Est’d in UK
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