Common and Top 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.




MakeEst.Made byMade inG/UEst’d in UKRatingDescription
A
Adam Gerhard1828AdamWesel, GermanyGrand+Upright40060-70Generally well made pianos
Aeolian1833AeolianVariousGrand+Upright150050-60Varied. They made many player pianos
Ajello & Sons1862AjelloManchester, UKUpright100050-60Mostly tall overstrung underdamped uprights with strong tone
Allison1837AllisonLondon,UKGrand+Upright15000; 15% grands50-60Varied – low to medium quality; some baby grands quite good
AmylC1920British piano Co for Coop CWSLondon, UKUpright150040-50Honestly made but mostly basic straight strung over dampers
Archibald Ramsden1895RamsdenLondon, UKGrand80042-52Usually straight strung over dampers, but quite well made
Army and NavyUnknownvarious factoriesEnglandUpright150040-50Usually straight strung over dampers, but quite well made
Ascherberg1865AscherbergGermanyGrand80050-60Low quality pianos, pre-war company
AtlasEst. 1955AtlasHammatsu, JapanGrand+Upright200Due to trade name copyright in the U.S.A, these were sold under the "Tadashi" name, but a few were still sold as Atlas pianos.Tadashi, Toronto, Canada went out of business on 1987.
B
Baldwin1862BaldwinCincinnati, USAGrand+Upright30055-68Varied. Most of the ones imported to the UK were basic models
Barnes W.H.1976BarnesLondon, EnglandGrand+Upright200045-55Nearly all uprights
Barratt and Robinson1877Barratt and RobinsonLondon U.KUpright1500050-60One of the last London factories. Satisfactory mid range uprights
Bechstein1853BechsteinBerlin, GermanyGrand+Upright3000060-85WE RESTORE ALL BECHSTEIN PIANOS. Prolific high quality maker. See specialist Bechstein page

Video Available

Bell1864BellOntario, CanadaUpright80050-60Generally overstrung. Very varied, poor to medium quality
Bentley1906BentleyLondon, EnglandUpright2000045-60Very varied, poor to medium quality
Berry1877BerryLondon U.KGrand+Upright300045-55From very basic overdampers to medium quality overstrung
Blankenstein 1880BlankensteinLondon & BerlinUpright50050-60Varied, gernerally medium quality
Bluthner1873BluthnerLeipzig GermanyGrand+Upright2000070-90WE RESTORE ALL TYPES OF BLUTHNER PIANOS. Prolific make of high quality pianos. Please see our Bluthner page

Video Available

Bord1840Antoine, BordParis, FranceUpright400045-52Mostly small straight strung overdampers c1890-1910
Bosendorfer 1828BosendorferVienna, AustriaGrand+Upright150050-95WE RESTORE ALL BOSENDORFER PIANOS. Austrian pianos of high quality. pre 1900 grands have “Viennese” actions

Video Available

Boston1991Kawai/SteinwayHamamatsu, Japan by KawaiGrand+Upright100050-65A little mellower in tone than medium priced Kawai. Touch is good.
Boydc.1900BoydLondon, UKGrand+Upright2000035-55From very basic overdampers to fairly good overstrungs
BranstonUnknownBranstonLondon, UKUpright20050Mostly basic pianos
Brasted1823BrastedEnglandUpright400050-65Honest well made British pianos
Brinsmead, John1836Brinsmead. From 1967 KembleLondon, UK.Grand+Upright3000050-70Very varied prolific English maker
Brinsmead, Stanley1894BrinsmeadLondon, UKUpright50040-50Traditional and Modern uprights.
Broadwood1728BroadwoodLondon, UKGrand+Upright8000040-85Huge variety of quality; most well made and some superb

Video Available

Broadwood White1894Stanley BrinsmeadLondon, UKUpright50040-50Straight-strung overdamper half iron frame pianos.
Brock, Bernard 1890BrockLondon, UKUpright40045-48Traditional upright pianos
Brodmann1812BosendorferVienna, AustriaGrand+Upright20060-75Mostly fair quality grand pianos
Browne, Justin 1870BrowneEuston Road, LondonUpright50040-50Well made but most pre 1890 overdampers
C
Challen1804ChallenLondon, UKGrand+Upright9000050-68WE RESTORE SELECTED CHALLEN PIANOS. Can be quite reasonable but vary. They make the UK’s most common baby grands
Chappell1811Chappell, later KembleLondon, UKGrand+Upright8000050-70WE RESTORE SELECTED CHAPPELL PIANOS. Varied but generally good. Old ones can be quite basic
ChurchillUnknownBristol, EnglandUpright1500UnknownMostly basic straight strung overdamper pianos in a traditional case
Collard and Collard 1760CollardLondon, UKGrand+Upright3500040-70Extremely varied prolific British maker spanning over 200 years
Cramer1824KembleLondon, UKGrand+Upright1000045-68Plenty of variety. Many baby grands and post 1900 uprights
CraneUnknownCrane & SonLiverpool, UKGrand+Upright200035-50Mostly basic uprights
D
Dale FortyUnknownDale FortyUK & ChinaGrand+Upright700030-50Pre -1950 Dale Forty pianos are basic British pianos
Danemann1892Danemann, 1982+: BroadwoodLondon, UKGrand+Upright2000044-68Prolific and varied maker. Please click on name for more details

Video Available

Duck Son and Pinker1848Bristol PianoBath, EnglandGrand+Upright800035-50Mostly basic straight strung overdamper uprights
E
Eavestaff1823BrastedLondon, EnglandGrand+Upright1700035-68Mini Pianos generally basic. Baby grands fair. Other uprights medium
Eberhardt 1800EberhardtBerlin, GermanyUpright80040-45Older Eberhardt Pianos are mostly half-plate iron frame pianos.
ElysianUnknownMorley & Co LtdLondon, UKGrand+Upright100045-60Name used mainly by Morleys of London and also by Chappell. Varied
Erard1777 Paris; 1792 LondonErardUK & FranceGrand+Upright100040-68Very varied
Estonia1893Estonia Piano FactoryTallinn, Republic of EstoniaGrand+Upright20050-60The Estonia grand piano produces a reasonable tone.
Eungblut, Rogersc1930KembleLondon, UKUpright20050-60The name Rogers Eungblut was used by Kemble in about 1930
F
Fazer1960HellasHelsinki, FinlandGrand+Upright600055-68Modern pianos. Fazer are generally good with rich bass and firm touch

Video Available

Fazioli1980The Fazioli FactorySacile, ItalyGrand10085-95Fazioli was established in 1981
Feurich1851FeurichGermany, China & AustriaGrand+Upright150065-75Old and modern ones well made

Video Available

Forster, August1851ForsterLobau, GermanyGrand+Upright400055-70Vary varied in quality – passed through “Iron curtain” phase
Fuchs & Mohr1921Eisenberger PianofortefabrikEisenberg, GermanyUpright400040-55Nearly all Fuchs and Mohr pianos in the UK are small modern pianos with mahogany cases.
G
GilesUnknownGiles Pianos LtdLondon, UKGrand+Upright100050Small uprights Giles was a name used by Zender
Godfrey1885GodfreyLondon, UKUpright700035-48Mostly basic uprights: straight-strung and over-damped
Gors & Kallmann1877Albert MeynBerlin, GermanyGrand+Upright1500050-70Older uprights overdampers but good tone. Baby grands generally good; modern Chinese ones not yet rated.

Video Available

Grotrian Steinweg 1858Grotrian SteinwegBraunschweig, GermanyGrand+Upright600060-90Prolific make of high quality pianos. Uprights 1900 to 1930 outstanding

Video Available

H
Haake, Karl 1903HaakeHannover, GermanyGrand+Upright100050-60Unique, warm and interesting tone; mostly 1880 to 1910
Hellas1901Hellas Piano coHelsinki, FinlandUpright50050-60Hellas are similar to Fazer but action generally not as good
Hickie & Hickie 1894various factoriesLondon, UKUpright1500035-48Mostly basic straight strung overdampers 1890 – 1910. later overstrung
Hoffmann1893UnknownVariousGrand+Upright80050-75Name used on both basic British and high quality German pianos

Video Available

Hofmann & Czerny1903HofmannVienna, AustriaGrand+Upright15060-80Very high quality baby grand pianos with rich tone and well weighted touch
Hopkinson1835Hopkinson; after about 1990 by BentleyLondon, EnglandGrand+Upright1000045-65Very common British make. Older ones overdampers

Video Available

I
Ibach1794IbachGermanyGrand+Upright1500050-80WE RESTORE ALL IBACH PIANOS. Older ones overdampers but good. Grands generally fine quality

Video Available

K
Kaps1980Ernst KapsDresden, GermanyGrand+Upright200055-75Mainly one height (130cm) of quality upright piano made from about 1898 to 1930

Video Available

Kastner1920Barratt and RobinsonLondon, UKUpright70045-55Mostly small modern uprights 1960-1970. A few older ones 1890-1930
Kawai 1930KawaiHamamatsu, JapanGrand+Upright1000055-85Japanese pianos (later ones made elsewhere too) of generally good quality

Video Available

Kemble 1911KembleMilton Keynes, EnglandGrand+Upright12000055-78Varied in quality but best are very good

Video Available

Kimball1857The Kimball Piano coUSAGrand+Upright55-65Those in the UK 1960-70 small uprightsThose in the UK 1960-70 small uprights
Kirkman1730Kirkman, CollardLondon, UKGrand+Upright50030-55Mostly very old British pianos. Many grands
Knight1936KnightLondon, UKGrand+Upright3000058-80Respected British maker. Best between about 1960 and 1980

Video Available

L
Lindner1960LindnerShannon, IrelandUpright100035-50Irish pianos with revolutionary plastic action for which no spares are readily available
Lipp, Richard 1831Lipp; modern ones by Bentley Piano coStuttgart, GermanyGrand+Upright600055-90WE RESTORE ALL LIPP PIANOS. They are made with great integrity. Rich warm tone. Baby and boudoir grands generally excellent

Video Available

M
Marshall and Rose1907Whelpdate, Maxwell & CoddLondon, UKGrand+Upright40050-65British pianos of medium quality
Mason & Hamlin1854Mason & HamlinMassachusetts, USAGrand+Upright10055-80Well made modern pianos; design of older grands show remarkable similarity to Steinway
Mickleburgh1903MickleburghBristol, EnglandUpright2500UnknownShop name; mainly low to medium quality uprights 1900-1930
Minstrelle 1877Barratt and RobinsonEnglandUpright30040-50Small pianos made by Barratt and Robinson
Monington and Weston 1858Monington and WestonLondon, UKGrand+Upright1800050-65Many low quality baby grands made with “simplex” actions. Uprights can be very good

Video Available

Moore and Moore1838Moore & Moore, then KembleStoke Newington, UKGrand+Upright150050-58Pre 1933 mostly tallish traditional cases
Morley, Robert 1881MorleyLewisham, LondonGrand+Upright4000050-55Fair quality British pianos
Murdoch 1862Spencer & MurdochLondon, UKGrand+Upright200035-55Common basic British pianos
N
Neindorf 1900Neindorf, GebrLuckenwald, GermanyGrand+Upright200050-55Mostly traditional upright and baby grand pianos
Neumeyer1905NeumeyerBerlin, Germany/Modern ones made in ChinaGrand+Upright500050-65Mid-range German pianos. Best ones have rich warm tone

Video Available

Niemeyer 1890Dongbei Piano CoKorea & GermanyGrand+Upright40045-55Low to mid range German pianos

Video Available

Nordiska 1985from about 1988: DongBei Piano Group Cooriginally Vetland, SwedenUpright80050-60Mostly modern Sweedish uprights in the UK 1960-1970; from about 1988: Chinese
O
OsbertW. H. BarnesLondon, UKUpright20055 - 60Traditional uprights with reasonable tone; some overdampers
P
Papps1900PappsPortsmouth, EnglandGrand+Upright200035-50Mostly basic uprights. Portsmouth firm; pianos around 1900 - 1930 with specially designed metal wrest plank for environments with varying humidity; some modern uprights too.

Video Available

Pearl River 1955Guangzhou Piano FactoryGuangzhou, ChinaGrand+Upright200045-70Huge variety; older ones (1990s) varied.
Petrof1864The Petrof FactoryHradec Kralove, CzechoslovakiaGrand+Upright150060-70Wide range of quality in uprights. Some early baby grands are outstanding
Pfeiffer 1862PfeifferStuttgart, GermanyUpright10055-70Fair quality upright pianos

Video Available

Pleyel1807PleyelPrais, FranceGrand+Upright200045-68Much varied in quality from this French maker
R
Reid Sohn 1859Samick FactoryKoreaGrand+Upright800045-60Large Korean factory
Reisbach 1920RogersLondon, UKGrand+Upright80050-65Fair quality British pianos made by Rogers with influence from Grotrian Steinweg
Rippen1937RippenFrankeneng, HollandGrand+Upright90050-65Generally well made pianos
Ritmüller1795Pearl RiverGottingen, GermanyGrand+Upright200055-70Old ones mostly tall traditional

Video Available

Ritter S.1828 Germany 1995+ ChinaHangzhou Weidun Industrial Co. LtdChinaGrand+Upright100050-60Basic modern pianos of varied quality
Rogers, George1843RogersLondon, UKGrand+Upright1600055-70Good factory with long history. Older ones may not be worth reconditioning
Ronisch 1846Pfeiffer / BluthnerDresden, GermanyGrand+Upright100045-75Older ones very well made. Modern ones more varied
Russel (and Russell) 1842Russell and RussellLondon, UKUpright100045-58Honestly made cheaper uprights mainly from early 1900s
Russell, George1842R&RLondon, UKUpright200050-55Mostly basic straight-strung overdamped pianos, well made with a good tone
S
SamesUnknownF.Mills & Co.ScotlandGrand+Upright120050-55Mostly Overstrung upright pianos

Video Available

Samick 1989SamickKorea/ IndonesiaGrand+Upright1000045-60Large Korean factory
Sauter1819C. Sauter & Co.Spainchingen, GermanyGrand+Upright1000058-78Well made German uprights and grands
Schiedmayer 1809J.and P.ScheidmayerNeckarstrasse, GermanyGrand+Upright1000058-78WE RESTORE SELECTED SCHIEDMAYER PIANOS. Well made German uprights and grands

Video Available

Schimmel1885W. SchimmellNeuschonefeld, GermanyGrand+Upright400055-68Mid-range German uprights and grands

Video Available

Seiler1849Eduard SeilerLiegnitz, GermanyGrand+Upright800058-78Well made German uprights and grands

Video Available

Spencer1883John Spencer & CoLondon, UKUpright1000045-62Common British maker from about 1900 to 1940. Modern ones from different factories
Squire and Longson1910KembleLondon, UKGrand+Upright1000050-60Mid range British pianos
Steck1857Aeolian Weber & Pianola CoCassel, GermanyGrand+Upright800055-70Uprights have warm tone; baby grands vary in quality

Video Available

Steinberg1908various + Steinberg & Covarious locationsGrand+Upright200060-75Huge variety; some older English and German pianos, some modern German and Chinese.
Steingraeber & Söhne1852Eduard SteingraeberBayreuth, GermanyGrand+Upright25070-90Mostly grands, see own page

Video Available

Steinway1853Steinway & SonsVariousGrand+Upright6500060-95WE RESTORE ALL STEINWAY PIANOS. Best known top piano maker. Mostly German Steinways found in the UK

Video Available

Strohmenger & Sons1835ChappellLondon, UKGrand+Upright500050-65Good quality British pianos
Stuart & Sonsc1990Stuart Piano CoAustraliaGrand575-90Hand made top quality grands
W
Waddington1838WaddingtonLondon, UKUpright30045-55Basic British piano, can have a reasonable tone. Grands basic

Video Available

Waldemar 1900WaldemarBerlin, GermanyUpright60045-55Mostly traditional walnut upright overstrung overdampers with warm tone
Waldsteinc1895 (old) 1956 (modern)Pearl RiverChinaGrand+Upright1100045-58Modern Chinese Waldsteins are nothing to do with the older pianos; they only share the name.
Weber1860VariousLondon, England & Far EastGrand+Upright600046-68Older ones well made. Modern ones made in the Far East
Welmar1925WelmarLondon, UKGrand+Upright2500055-75WE RESTORE ALL WELMAR PIANOS. Good quality British pianos. Older uprights varied. Baby grands copy of Bluthner.

Video Available

Wendl and Lung1920Wendl & LungChinaGrand+Upright80060-75Mostly modern pianos 2003 to 2011

Video Available

Windover1877SmithManchester & London, UKGrand+Upright100045-60Mostly mahogany overstrung underdamper pianos made 1900 – 1930.
Witton and Witton1838Witton and WittonLondonGrand+Upright80045-60 Modern ones not ratedUprights fair; grands can cause problems
Y
Yamaha1887YamahaJapanGrand+Upright5000048-90Most prolific maker in the world. Huge range in quality

Video Available

Young Chang1956Young ChangSeoul KoreaGrand+Upright800045-60Large Korean factory
Z
Zender1892Various factoriesLondon, UKGrand+Upright2000048-60Always very small pianos; Over 70,000 made in the UK, mostly 60s to 80s
Zimmermann1884ZimmermannGermanyGrand+Upright200047-70Mostly modern baby grands and uprights of low to medium quality


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