Including Ritmüller and Kayserburg
Pianos made by: Guangzhou Pearl River Piano Group Co., Ltd., 38, Xiang Shan Avenue, Yong Ning Road, Zengcheng, Guangzhou, China
Established in 1956, Pearl River Piano Group has become the largest and best-selling piano manufacturer in the world, its more than 4,000 workers combining traditional craftsmanship with advanced CNC digital machinery to produce over 150,000 pianos annually. Pearl River recently moved to a new, state-of-the-art facility of 1.2 million square feet—the world’s largest factory dedicated to building pianos. The best-selling piano brand in China, Pearl River also exports to more than 112 countries, and since 1995 has operated a European company headquarters in Braunschweig, Germany. The company builds pianos under the Pearl River, Ritmüller, and Kayserburg brands, as well as under a few other names for OEM contracts.
In recent years, with the assistance of European and American piano-design consultants, Pearl River has revised and streamlined its model line. Currently, they offer acoustic pianos in three series: Traditional verticals and grands, European verticals, and Prestige verticals.
Traditional Series verticals (UP and PE models) have Pearl River actions and hammers, some with imported felt, and veneered spruce soundboards. The model UP115E is a 45″ vertical in a school-friendly institutional style, with special casters and a full-length music desk. Model PE121 has a two-tone cabinet. Traditional Series grands (GP) come in four sizes, from 4′ 11″ to 6′ 2″, including the recent GP150SP and GP160SP models with silver plate and hardware, and have been redesigned over the last several years to include such features as vertically laminated beech bridges with solid beech caps, more responsive touchweights, refined hammers with German felt, beech rims, and new scale designs.
The European Series verticals (EU) come in streamlined cabinets originally designed for the European market, and have Pearl River actions and hammers, some with imported felt, and veneered spruce soundboards. Included in this line is the newly introduced 46″ model EU118S with silver hardware, available in seven finishes: three wood grains, three colors, and polished ebony.
The Prestige Series verticals (PH) feature the innovative PR 2.0 hammers—Pearl River’s answer to Renner hammers—with premium red inner felt from Germany and hammer cores of rare hornbeam wood; the company says that these hammers produce the depth and resonance of a much larger instrument. The models in this flagship line also include Pearl River actions, tapered and veneered spruce soundboards, real ebony sharps, silver hardware, and a decorative upper panel.
Pearl River also makes pianos under the Ritmüller brand, which originated in Germany in 1795. A European master piano designer was engaged in 2007 to design, from the ground up, a line of higher-end pianos under the Ritmüller name that would be distinct from the Pearl River line, and these new Ritmüller models were introduced to North America in 2009. The Ritmüller line currently includes the Classic verticals, Superior verticals and grands, and Premium verticals and grands. Piano Buyer’s reviewers have been consistently impressed by Ritmüller pianos, choosing the 48″ UH-121R vertical and the 4′ 11″ GH-148R grand as “Staff Picks.”
The Ritmüller Classic Series (UP and RN) verticals include most of the designer furniture models (with free-standing legs) previously made under the Pearl River name. The RN models have some innovative cabinets, available in polished ebony with silver hardware or in grained mahogany with brass hardware; and features such as real ebony sharps, tapered and veneered spruce soundboards, and Pearl River actions.
For the Superior Series (RS) of verticals and grands, Pearl River asked its European experts to produce a completely new design that would link the Ritmüller line to its German heritage, including modern European cabinet styling. The RS models contain Pearl River hammers with imported German felt, ebony sharps, silver hardware (some models), and Pearl River actions.
The Premium Series includes a number of important upgrades from the Superior Series. The RSH vertical models, made for institutional use, have grand-style music racks that, unlike those on most verticals, don’t interfere with a pianist’s hand movements when playing. These models also contain Pearl River’s high-end PR 2.0 hammers, ebony sharps, and a tapered soundboard of solid spruce. The UHX verticals, whose cabinets have sound-hole slits in the upper panel to let sound escape, are outfitted with German Renner hammers, ebony sharps, and a tapered, solid spruce soundboard. Most of the verticals also sport silver hardware. The GHR grands have been upgraded to German Renner hammers, ebony sharps, and a tapered, solid spruce soundboard. The grand models 160 and 170 have Pearl River actions, but the 212 and 275 grands have full German Renner actions—and German soundboards, pinblocks, keyboards, and strings!
One Ritmüller line does not appear on the price list. At present, the Supreme Series comprises a single model, the 9′ 2″ RS280 concert grand, entirely designed and made by hand in Germany, and available only by special order.
In 2013, Pearl River brought to North America the Kayserburg brand of upper-level pianos, now available in five series: Excellent verticals, Heritage verticals and grands, Nuovo verticals, Artists verticals and grands, and Master verticals. All Kayserburg verticals have two interesting features normally found only on higher-end pianos: a slightly forward-tilting back, which aids in the faster repetition of notes by helping the hammers return to rest faster after each keystroke; and an asymmetric back-post structure that better corresponds to and supports the unequal distribution of string tension across the back frame than does a traditional back structure.
The Excellent Series (KX) verticals have PR 2.0 hammers with German felt, a tapered and veneered spruce soundboard, ebony sharps, and silver hardware.
The Heritage Series verticals (KH) and grands (GH) have similar specs to the Excellent Series, but with Renner instead of PR 2.0 hammers. The KHA models have more traditional cabinetry, the KHBs slightly fancier cabinetry, and the KHC models are in polished white.
The Nuovo Series (KN) has similar specs to the Heritage Series, but with different cabinetry.
The Artists and Master Series pianos are handmade, in a separate “factory within a factory,” by a team of Pearl River’s most experienced craftsmen, trained and closely supervised by Swiss master piano designer Stephan Mohler. These craftsmen complete a rigorous training that includes studying the world’s finest pianos and working side by side with visiting European specialists.
The Artists Series verticals (KAX) have PR 2.0 hammers with German felt, ebony sharps, a tapered solid spruce soundboard, and silver hardware. Depending on the model, the grands (KA) contain such high-end features as soundboards of tight-grained, solid European spruce; Renner hammers and actions; German Röslau strings; vertically laminated beech bridges with solid beech caps; German natural keytops; and German pinblocks and keyboards.
The Master Series verticals (KAM) have been upgraded to exceed even the high-end specs of the Artists Series verticals: from PR 2.0 to Renner hammers, and from a Pearl River to a Renner action.
Warranty: 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.
Acoustic Piano: Model & Pricing Guide
* See the Introduction for an explanation of pricing.
|Pearl River Traditional Series Verticals|
|UP 109D||43||Continental Polished Ebony||6,804||5,963|
|UP 109D||43||Continental Polished Mahogany||7,364||6,228|
|UP 115E||45||Satin Ebony (School)||7,896||6,612|
|UP 115M5||45||Polished Ebony||6,608||6,347|
|UP 115M5||45||Polished Mahogany/Walnut||7,168||6,612|
|PE 121||48||Two-Tone Polished Ebony w/Mahogany Accents||9,688||8,997|
|Pearl River European Series Verticals|
|EU 110||43||Polished Ebony||6,496||6,082|
|EU 118S||46.5||Polished Ebony w/Silver Hardware||7,728||6,877|
|EU 118S||46.5||Polished Mahogany/Walnut w/Silver Hardware||8,288||7,142|
|EU 122||48||Polished Ebony||8,456||7,672|
|EU 122||48||Polished Mahogany/Walnut||9,016||7,937|
|EU 122S||48||Polished Ebony w/Silver Hardware||8,456||7,937|
|EU 131||52||Polished Ebony||8,988||8,613|
|Pearl River Prestige Series Verticals|
|Ritmuller Classic Series Verticals|
|UP 110R2||43||Polished Ebony||7,028||6,347|
|UP 110R2||43||Polished Mahogany||7,588||6,612|
|UP 110RB||43||French Provincial Satin Cherry||8,350||7,288|
|UP 110RB1||43||Italian Provincial Satin Walnut||8,350||7,288|
|UP 120RE||47||Satin Mahogany||10,080||8,348|
|UP 121RB||48||Polished Ebony||8,400||7,937|
|UP 121RB||48||Polished Mahogany/Walnut||8,400||8,202|
|UP 121RB||48||Polished White||9,072||8,202|
|Ritmuller Superior Series Verticals|
|RS 120||47||Polished Ebony||9,520||8,467|
|RS 125||49||Polished Ebony||10,724||8,997|
|RS 130||51||Polished Ebony||11,144||9,527|
|Ritmuller Premium Series Verticals|
|RSH 119||47||Polished Ebony||10,752||10,057|
|UHX 121||48||Polished Ebony||11,984||10,587|
|UHX 121||48||Polished Grained Mahogany||12,656||10,998|
|UHX 121C||48||Polished Ebony||13,048||10,852|
|UHX 121C||48||Polished Grained Mahogany||13,720||11,263|
|RSH 121||48||Polished Ebony||11,368||10,322|
|RSH 123||48.5||Polished Ebony||11,984||10,587|
|UHX 126||50||Polished Ebony||14,196||11,647|
|UHX 132||52.5||Polished Ebony||15,456||12,707|
|Kayserburg Excellent Series Verticals|
|Kayserburg Heritage Series Verticals|
|KHB2||48||Polished Grained Mahogany||12,253||9,527|
|Kayserburg Nuovo Series Verticals|
|Kayserburg Artists Series Verticals|
|Kayserburg Master Series Verticals|
|Pearl River Traditional Series Grands|
|GP 150||4||11||Hand-rubbed Satin Ebony||17,332||15,376|
|GP 150||4||11||Polished Ebony||16,324||14,521|
|GP 150||4||11||Polished Mahogany/Walnut||17,332||15,376|
|GP 150||4||11||Polished Grained Mahogany/Walnut||18,004||15,946|
|GP 150SP||4||11||Polished Ebony w/Silver Plate/Hardware||16,604||15,376|
|GP 160||5||3||Hand-rubbed Satin Ebony||18,788||16,801|
|GP 160||5||3||Polished Ebony||17,780||15,946|
|GP 160||5||3||Polished Mahogany/Walnut||18,788||16,801|
|GP 160||5||3||Polished Grained Mahogany/Walnut||19,460||17,371|
|GP 160SP||5||3||Polished Ebony w/Silver Plate/Hardware||18,060||16,801|
|GP 160SP||5||3||Polished White w/Silver Plate/Hardware||19,180||17,371|
|GP 160SP||5||3||Polished Red w/Silver Plate/Hardware||19,180||18,511|
|GP 170||5||7||Hand-rubbed Satin Ebony||21,140||19,081|
|GP 170||5||7||Polished Ebony||20,132||18,226|
|GP 170||5||7||Polished Grained Mahogany/Walnut||21,812||19,651|
|GP 188A||6||2||Polished Ebony||25,368||21,931|
|Ritmuller Superior Series Grands|
|RS 150||5||0||Polished Ebony||20,944||17,941|
|RS 160||5||3||Polished Ebony||22,624||19,366|
|RS 173||5||7||Polished Ebony||27,216||22,216|
|RS 183||6||0||Polished Ebony||30,576||27,916|
|Ritmuller Premium Series Grands|
|GH 160R||5||3||Hand-Rubbed Satin Ebony||28,140||22,786|
|GH 160R||5||3||Polished Ebony||25,956||21,361|
|GH 160R||5||3||Polished Grained Mahogany||28,140||22,786|
|GH 170R||5||7||Polished Ebony||32,424||25,351|
|GH 212R||7||0||Polished Ebony||85,456||66,961|
|Kayserburg Heritage Series Grands|
|GH148C||4||10||Classic Polished Ebony||21,616||19,936|
|GH148||4||10||Polished Grained Mahogany||22,176||19,665|
|GH160C||5||3||Classic Polished Ebony||22,736||21,047|
|GH160||5||3||Polished Grained Mahogany||23,296||20,520|
|GH160YJ||5||3||Crystal Transparent Plexiglass with Silver Plate/Hardware||148,900||142,500|
|GH170||5||8||Polished Grained Mahogany||27,216||22,800|
|Kayserburg Artists Series Grands|