Guide To The Best Piano Brands Of 2017
Bartolomeo Cristofori, an Italian maker of musical instruments, created the piano in the year 1700. Since then, it has become one of the most sought after instruments in making music.
Today, different piano makers from all over the world offer exceptional piano features and characteristics.
If you think of a piano brand, some of the biggest names are Yamaha, Fazioli, Bosendorfer, and a lot more. Find out more about these brands and why most musicians consider them as the best.
Piano Features To Look For
- Piano Case
There are numerous premium pianos available in the market that are built not only for the purpose of making music but also for interior designing purposes. Some prefer pianos that have professional, artistic, and sophisticated look.
Some of the most expensive quality piano cases have engraved details and even hand painted art. Some of the oldest Bechstein piano models, for instance, are now exhibited in museums because of their aesthetic and historical characteristics.
This is one of the pianos preferred by musicians who performed in castles for the entertainment of royalties.
- From a Trusted Brand
Choose a trusted brand from the best piano makers. Always look for something that has been proven to have withstood time. Some brands have existed way back in the first and the second World Wars.
Some of the most trusted brands ensure durability and long term use. There are even users that claim they have owned a grand piano as an heirloom from their great grandparents.
The oldest ones are traditionally made and handcrafted. This is one of the reasons why they are really expensive. If you want something that lasts a lifetime, choose the one that has already established a name in the market.
- Number of Keys
The standard number of keys for a grand piano is 88. However, there are already brands that have extended the number of keys to up to 92 keys. This extends the octave of the piano allowing for sound versatility.
- Size and Soundboard Area
Some of the best concert grand pianos have exceptional magnitude because of soundboard space.
Classical grand pianos like the Baldwin and Steinway are massive in size for clear and shapeable tone. These go along musically well with a full orchestra and instrumental ensemble in large venues such as concert halls, coliseums, and large performance stages.
- Tone Shaping
Whether you will purchase a digital piano, a portable, or even pipe organ, examine its tone shaping ability.
Professional pianists claim that the best pianos do not require many adjustments with tone settings. This ultimately saves money from paying a registered piano technician to have everything fixed.
However, I would highly recommend that when buying a grand piano, regardless of the brand, a technician be employed to have all settings checked.
- Resale Value
You do not have to buy the oldest and most expensive piano, but make sure it has high resale value.
Other brands do not create instruments for the mass market. Instead, they focus their market on collectors and professional pianists. If you purchase some of these collector’s models or units, then certainly, they offer high resale value.
These are expensive, though so you need to work harder if you are to invest in this kind of piano. The quality and resale value would highly depend on how you handle it with care before, during, and after use.
- Hammer Settings
The hammer should have an inertial relationship with the strings so it is important to set the hammer settings properly to create great sound. A professional technician is the only one who can adjust the hammer regulation of your piano properly.
So I highly recommend to consult a professional when tuning your piano. Revamped or reconstructed pianos need rechecking especially in terms of sound quality. If you plan to buy a second hand piano, employ a technician to have the hammer settings checked for a comfortable piano playing experience.
Although you control the touch and strike of the hammers, a competent technician is the only one who is skilled in hammer voicing and regulation.
The Five Best Piano Brands of 2017 Reviewed
Kawai brand by Koichi Kawai, a Japanese piano maker, has some of the most sophisticated looks in today’s piano market. They have acoustic and digitals that are proven to last for a very long period.
If I can rate Kawai, I would say it is rated Asian. Meaning that each piano is made perfectly in a meticulous manner. This company has been around since the late 1920s, making it one of the most sought after and trusted piano brands of all time.
- They use some of the best materials such as mahogany and brass.
- The Kawai grand piano is perfect for large-capacity concert halls.
- Proven to last through time.
- Sophisticated finish.
- Needs tuning and adjustment of hammer settings during first use.
Founded in the year 1862 in Cincinnati, USA, it is one of the largest producers of quality made keyboards and grand pianos.
Dwight Hamilton, a music teacher, created this piano. Thus, it could be one of the best in the market for musical study. Baldwin is popular for exceptional craftsmanship, so its products are expensive.
Cat Stevens, Billy Joel, and even the classical pianist Igor Stravinsky have played Baldwin before.
- Preferred by some of the best American artists. Amy Lee, the vocalist, and pianist of Evanescence often uses Baldwin in her performances, both live and recording. She owns one in her home where she uses to compose her songs.
- Purely American made.
- The brand has a splendid reputation in the market with its quality and performance.
Named after its maker, this piano brand has started making a name in the mid-1970s. It is particularly attractive because of the quality of wood it uses.
The brand claims to create pianos that can last for generations, having a mission to pass on the music as an heirloom to next generation musicians.
- Charles R. Walter grand and upright pianos are perfect in large concert halls and performance theaters.
- It produces excellent sound quality with its properly arranged hammers.
- The soundboard area is spacious that allows for proper tone shaping and voicing.
- The quality of wood creates an incredible resonance that is not overwhelming no matter what the size of the room or space it is played.
- To achieve tonal balance, there is a need for a technician’s aid in adjusting the tonal balance by working on the hammer setting.
Regarding overall quality and popularity, this could be my top choice. This award-winning piano brand has been around for years - dating back to 1853 and manufactured in the city of New York.
This may not be my number one choice, but that is simply because these pianos are quite pricey. I have no quality issues with this brand based on my experience, but I am not quite sure with the newest models.
This is my first piano ever so I am feeling as if I am betraying myself for not picking it as my number one choice. You will understand better when we get to the top spot.
- Steinway and Sons grand and digitals are some of the most popular in the market because of their technical and aesthetic characteristics.
- They are known for smooth, Ebony finish and great sound quality.
- It creates versatile tones, so this piano is perfect in playing blues, jazz, or some upbeat tunes.
- It produces lighter and brighter tones and is amazing both live and in the studio recording.
- Very expensive.
Yamaha pianos, digitals, and portable keyboards are popularly known for their user-friendly features. I recommend this brand for beginners but this is also a trusted brand of instruments for the pros.
Some reviewers criticize its lifespan, comparing it to other Western-made but really, it all comes down to usage. If handled improperly, any brand, even the most expensive and the best quality, would fall apart or get completely out of tune.
- The most recommended brand for beginners.
- Widely used because it has all the necessary features and characteristics of grand pianos and digital keyboards.
- One of the most advanced, versatile, and cost-efficient pianos.
- Issue in shorter lifespan compared to Western-made brands.
- Can get out of tune easily without proper hammer adjustments.
Always Keep In Mind
These are the top ten best piano brands in my opinion, but always remember that the decision to choose which one to buy is dependent on your level of skill and budget.
I would strongly recommend Yamaha because it is perfect for any skill level. The brand also has a lot of models to choose from compared to the other brands listed. You can even buy portable keys that you can take anywhere you go.
If you find this list helpful, please make sure to share it on your social media account or comment down below. Which one do you think should be on the top spot?