Brand Focus: Ritmüller Pianos By Pearl River
Across the world, Ritmüller pianos are known for being sublime acoustic instruments that brilliantly combine Germanic design and heritage with modernity, cost efficiency and precision associated with Asian manufacturing.
Today we focus on what makes Ritmüller pianos so unique and why we believe they stand as an exceptional place to begin anyone’s acoustic piano journey. For those either looking for a first acoustic piano but aren’t sure where to start, or those who want to experience the warmth and breadth of European tonality and touch on a lower budget, the Ritmüller range is a fantastic choice.
Founded in 1795 in Gottingen by Andreas Georg Ritmüller & his son Gottlieb Wilhelm Ritmüller, Ritmüller pianos originated with the pursuit of passion in mind.
Gottlieb was a self taught artist in instrument making who year upon year and instrument upon instrument honed his talents into creating some of the best instruments of the 1800s. Though initially focusing on guitars, piano was Gottlieb’s true calling and due to his influential social circle, The Hardenberger Hof factory where the pianos were made was also a meeting place for artists and musicians. Here in the 1850s Johannes Brahms, Joseph Joachim and other well-known musicians met during the summer holidays to make music and discuss.
The business then passed to his son Johann Willhelm Ritmüller who propelled the business to new heights and made Ritmüller a staple name amidst Germanic piano culture. Although the company (like many other piano manufacturers) ceased production in the 1930s, it was later revived by the iconic Pearl River Piano Group. Pearl River are the largest piano manufacturer in the world and registered the trademark ‘Ritmüller’.
Using the basis of what Gottlieb and Johann set out, Ritmüller now stands as the premier piano line from Pearl River. To honour the German heritage of the brand Pearl River hired renowned piano designer Lothar Thoma to design what is in essence a German piano assembled with lower cost Asian labour.
The result today is a sound and touch that is entirely European, yet one that doesn’t reflect the traditional higher price points of European made pianos.
Notable Features Of Ritmüller Pianos
Being assembled in Asia, but being derived from Germanic heritage has left Ritmüller in an incredibly unique place compared to many other piano brands and as such there is a speciality to the formula of what makes up a Ritmüller instrument.
Kicking things off, the action within Ritmüller is manufactured with traditional European craftsmanship. Produced by advanced CNC digital machinery to ensure even touch, this is what helps drive the iconic European sound of the Ritmüller range and leaves them with a far warmer and richer tone than other traditionally Asian produced brands. A slightly heavier touch then also drives a further sense of power into your play, making this piano brilliant in the bass and mid ranges.
One of our personal favourite features of the Ritmüller range is the soundboard: All spruce with core assembled with vertical grain, these soundboards are crafted to provide maximum tonal response and structural integrity. Ritmüller takes pride in using state-of-the-art kilns to dry their woods. However, there is much more to “seasoning” woods than that. Both before and after the kiln drying, the woods are expertly cured to specific moisture contents, which reduces the natural tendency for wood to swell and contract with humidity fluctuation.
This attention on the soundboard combined with specially selected hammer felt, help create excellent balance of elasticity and firmness, formed to produce a rich assertive tone that is enhanced by German wire strings.
Slow close fall boards also add not only an added level of sophistication to these instruments but make them particularly safe for young learners or those with delicate hands. Slow close lids on acoustic instruments are rather uncommon on instruments around this price range, so it’s an incredibly welcome touch.
The Ritmüller Range is a triumph of variation and accessibility to the piano, with a model for nearly all playing styles and musical stylings alike.
The smallest of the group is the EU110S piano. Compact and sleek, this instrument combines a low profile compact design with a clear tone and ease of touch. A vertical side profile and split hinged top lid allows the full tonal expression to emerge giving the EU110 the power typical of larger pianos.
The EU112 then takes things a step further, not only with added height for further power, but it adopts a more ‘modern’ casework design with a contemporary twist of chrome fittings, making it ideal for those who are looking for a modern design that will fit sublimely into any home. This piano is comparable to the likes of the Yamaha B1 and Kawai K15, yet offers the slightly warmer and heavier tone of the European sound.
The EU118 is the biggest of the Ritmüller Classic line, standing at 118cm, combining the best of classical elegance and contemporary comfort with it’s slimline legs, castors and chrome hardware. Ideal for pianissimo and those who require a fast response to shift seamlessly into fortissimo playing, the Ritmüller Classic 118 is an excellent choice for piano players of all calibres and playing styles alike.
Last but certainly not least, as we leave the EU classic range, we then step into Ritmüller’s high spec showpiece, the Ritmüller RS122 is part of the Superior range within the Ritmüller lineup and thanks to it’s elegant and boastful design by European consultants, has a truly unique warming yet bright tone that is brimming with sound and character.
Being 122cm tall, this piano is ideal for the home or institutions looking for a taller, more powerful instrument that can still be housed in a compact, traditional frame and cabinet.
The RS122 sets new standards for price performance and is warmly welcomed by leading piano retailers and pianists around the world due to it’s incredible touch response, and perfectly balanced dynamic projection, the RS122 offers a superior alternative for those looking to continue experimenting with the fortissimo and pianissimo alike.