Are all Chinese pianos terrible?
Updated: Sep 12, 2018
By Stewart Kelly
From the comments of many teachers and customers I meet, there seems to still be a common belief that pianos made in China are of poor quality and won’t deliver the same performance as those from Japan, the US or Germany. This post asks the question, are all Chinese made pianos terrible?
The answer is most definitely no. Much of this belief comes from an outdated understanding from a time when Chinese companies were very inexperienced in the art of piano making and were almost universally building very ordinary instruments. But times have changed.
To understand the situation in 2018, the first thing to know is that Chinese piano manufacturing is a massively diverse industry now with more than 1000 factories producing several hundred thousand pianos each year. Given that more than 35 million children are learning the piano in China alone there is immense domestic demand for instruments.
There is a vast chasm between the best and worst of these makers as you might expect and some laughably woeful pianos are not that hard to find. On the other hand, the most sophisticated Chinese factories now produce instruments that perform extremely well and rank competitively against pianos from all over the world. The biggest manufacturers are extremely professional operations, some producing more than 100 000 pianos each year.
Many companies employ consultants from the US or Germany to improve and advise their processes and who supervise production consistency.
So if you are considering a new piano purchase don’t let anyone tell you that ‘Made in China’ is a bad idea. But go in with eyes open and make sure you get good advice and do your homework.