Across most industries, Chinese manufacturing has and continues to rise to an extraordinary level and rate. From creating various intricate components to incredibly high quality cabinets, China has become the world leader in terms of output for piano manufacturing.
Today we’re going to outline where the Chinese piano manufacturing market stands, why we believe that certain brands have progressed leaps and bounds and why European designed, Chinese produced pianos from brands such as Ritmüller and Zimmermann should definitely be on your radar!
Millers was formed in 1856, just 3 years after three of the four big manufacturers in the world were (Steinway, Bechstein, Blüthner). Ever since then, we have innovated within the piano world. When British piano manufacturing took off, we introduced quality British piano names into our showroom. When Japanese manufacturing quality improved in the 70s and 80s through the likes of the Yamaha U-series and Kawai K-Series, we introduced their ranges into our lineup and when the mighty C.Bechstein began their resurgence in the 80s, we were there to continue bringing the finest pianos in the world to our customers.
Now, as the world of Chinese manufacturing has stepped into a new phase, we’re here once more. Our team have travelled the world to see these factories and have witnessed first hand the level of quality production coming from Chinese manufacturing when overseen by European design teams. We are now proud to innovate again into high quality chinese manufacturing and bring them into our showrooms.
Whether it be toys, consumer electronics or in our case pianos, Chinese manufacturing has been booming since their industrialisation for global exports. When it comes to pianos however, China has a distinct advantage and reasoning to hone their craft to new heights.
Music as a whole is accelerating enormously within China, from 2013 to 2017, it’s believed that the number of orchestras in China has leapt from 32 to 82. Likewise, within education, an estimated 40 million children in China take piano lessons, compared to less than 10 million across the rest of the world. In fact it’s believed that around 60-80 percent of children and young people playing the piano are from China.
This in turn has led to two things, firstly, China has become the largest manufacturer in the world for pianos - With the Pearl River factory being the largest piano manufacturer in the world. Secondly, due to the sheer volume of pianos coming out of the country, the quality and craftsmanship has grown at an exponential rate and today Chinese instruments are quickly becoming comparable to those that are associated with high quality asian manufacturing from Japan.
Part of this innovation has come from the Chinese integration of European design teams with Chinese volume production. This combination has allowed for the creation of pianos that feature some of the best designed sound qualities in the world with the affordable price that is associated with Chinese production costs.
Technological Innovation and Development
At Millers, we are extremely fortunate to have travelled the world and seen the rise of technological innovation within the piano world come to life. We believe that only by seeing with our own eyes the level of care, technology and precision in piano manufacturing can we develop understanding as to what goes into these brands.
The first of these brands that cannot go without mention is that of Zimmermann by C.Bechstein, produced in Ngibao, China but overseen by Bechstein's technicians as part of C. Bechstein's Quality Management System, Zimmermann pianos carry the same level of quality control and care that goes into any C.Bechstein piano. The result is an instrument that carries a rich history of piano manufacturing and ensures some of the finest and most consistent pianos from China, at an incredibly affordable price point.
Perhaps one of the other best examples of European design combining with high quality Chinese manufacturing is that of the Ritmüller range by Pearl River. Produced in production with world renowned German piano designers and utilising traditional German manufacturing and components, Ritmüller pianos produce instruments that have traditional German souls, but at a fraction of the price.
Pearl River has one such incredible story and one that when we visited, had a real connection with. At our time of visiting (back in 2018) the brand was transitioning between their historical factory to their new state of the art facility. By having these two factories side by side and going from the old to the new, you were literally able to see the leaps in advancement of quality control, production and care that has gone into these instruments. With state of the art equipment to produce precision that only machines can achieve to still combine quality craftsmanship, Pearl River have been able to successfully integrate the very best of both worlds and produce instruments that are consistent, durable and highly reliable.
For those looking for the high quality of piano manufacturing at sensational prices, Chinese manufacturing has now built enough experience and technological advancement to be considered a real contenter.
No longer do you receive instruments of highly varying quality and tonality, but consistent, durable instruments that have been built with quality control and Germanic and European heritage in mind. By having oversight from some of the leading piano manufacturers and designers in the world, high quality Chinese manufacturing is now presenting an incredibly exciting position in the market that should definitely be on any piano enthusiast’s radar.
Want to explore our own range of high quality Chinese manufactured pianos? Contact our experts today or visit our showroom to learn more!