Over the past couple of years, Pearl River has revised and streamlined its model lineup with the assistance of Lothar Thomma, a well-respected German scale designer. Some new models have been introduced, and older models have been reviewed and modified. Currently, Pearl River verticals begin with the 42 1/2" console model 108 in continental style (no legs) and a style with legs and toe blocks, and with the 43" model 110 in a variety of American furniture styles. They continue with a series of studio models, including the 45" model 115 in a traditional institutional style (legs with toe blocks), and the 45" model 115E in a school-friendly institutional style. Finally, there are the upright models, including the newly designed 48" model EU122 and the 51 1/2" model 130, both in institutional style. Three additional newly designed vertical models — T1 (46"), T2 (47 1/2"), and T3 (48") — are available only by special order.

Pearl River grands come in six sizes, from 4' 11" to 9', including the three newly designed models GP160 (5' 3"), GP170 (5' 7"), and GP188A (6' 2").

Until a couple of years ago, Pearl River's Ritmüller line used the same strung back (structural and acoustical components) as the Pearl River line, but with different cabinets. Piano designer Lothar Thomma, mentioned above, was hired to completely redesign the Ritmüller line from the ground up so that it would be distinct from the Pearl River line. All the new models feature solid spruce soundboards, Renner hammers, and Röslau strings, among other higher-quality features. Piano Buyer's reviewers have tried out several of the new grand models and have been very impressed (see reviews in the Fall 2009 and in the Fall 2010 issues).

A new, lower-cost line of Ritmüller pianos, introduced in 2011, consists of vertical models 43 1/2" UP-110RB, in several furniture styles, and 47 1/2" UP-121RB, and 4' 11" grand model R8. These models, also designed by Lothar Thomma, contain an all-spruce, veneered soundboard and Röslau strings; the grand uses Abel hammers.

Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.


Piano Empire, Inc.
13370 East Firestone Blvd., Suite A
Santa Fe Springs, California 90670

Pianos made by: Yantai-Perzina Piano Manufacturing Co., Ltd., Yantai, Shandong Province, China

The Gebr. Perzina (Perzina Brothers) piano company was established in the German town of Schwerin in 1871, and was a prominent piano maker until World War I, after which its fortunes declined. In more recent times, the factory was moved to the nearby city of Lenzen and the company became known as Pianofabrik Lenzen GmbH. In the early 1990s the company was purchased by Music Brokers International B.V. in the Netherlands. Eventually it was decided that making pianos in Germany was not economically viable, so manufacturing was moved to Yantai, China, where both verticals and grands were made for a number of years by the Yantai Longfeng Piano Co. under the Perzina name. In 2003 Music Brokers International established its own factory in Yantai, called Yantai-Perzina, where it now builds Perzina pianos. The Carl Ebel and Gerh. Steinberg brands made at this factory are no longer distributed in the U.S.

Perzina verticals have several interesting features rarely found in other pianos, including a "floating" soundboard that is unattached to the back at certain points for freer vibration, and a reverse, or concave soundboard crown. (There may be something to this; the Perzina verticals sound very good, their bass being particularly notable.) Soundboards are of solid Austrian white spruce. A premium series of verticals (model numbers ending in R) come with Renner AA or Abel Deluxe hammers.

A new line of Perzina grand pianos was introduced in 2011, designed and manufactured by Perzina in cooperation with a major European manufacturer. All contain solid Austrian white spruce soundboards, duplex scaling, and Renner AA or Abel hammers, among other high-quality components. A Perzina action is standard, with Detoa and Renner actions optionally available at additional cost. All models come with a slow-close fallboard, and most come with an adjustable artist bench.

The company's European headquarters says it ships many European materials to Yantai, including Degen copper-wound strings, Röslau strings, Delignit pinblocks, Renner hammers, English felts, European veneers, and Austrian white spruce soundboards. New machinery is from Germany, Japan, and Italy. According to the company, all the piano designs are the original German scales. The Renner actions used by Perzina are ordered complete from Germany, not assembled from parts.

Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.