PianoBuyer

PEARL RIVER

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 piano manufacturer in the world, producing over 150,000 pianos a year, with a global market share of over 30%. The company builds pianos under the Pearl River, Ritmüller, and Kayserburg names, as well as under a few other names for OEM contracts.

Pearl River is the best-selling piano brand in China. It exports to more than 120 countries, and has been operating a European company headquarters in Germany since 1995. After a successful IPO in 2012, the formerly government-owned company built a new, state-of-the-art, 12-million-square-foot factory that combines traditional craftsmanship with advanced CNC digital machinery, and complies with European high-level technology and process standards.

In recent years, Pearl River has revised and streamlined its lineup of models with the assistance of European and American piano-design consultants. Many new models have been introduced, while older models have been reviewed and modified. Currently, Pearl River verticals begin with the 43″ console model EU110 leg-and-toe continental and the EU111 series in several traditional American furniture styles.

They continue with a series of studio models, including the 45″ model UP115M5 in a traditional institutional style (legs with toe blocks), and the 45″ model UP115E in a school-friendly institutional style with special casters and a full-length music desk. Finally, there are the upright models, including the 46½” model EU118, and the 48″ model EU122 and 51½” model EU131 concert upright.

Pearl River grands come in six sizes, from 4′ 11″ to 9′, including the new GP150SP with silver plate and hardware, and have been redesigned over the last several years to include features such as vertically laminated beech bridges with solid beech caps, lighter touch weights, German hammer felt, beech rims, and new scale designs.

Pearl River recently introduced an exclusive version of the Prodigy player-piano system by PianoDisc that includes a Galaxy tablet with a pre-installed, easy-to-use app with 600 songs preloaded. Customers can optionally download the regular PianoDisc app to build their own music library.

Pearl River also makes pianos under the Ritmüller name, a brand that 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 that would be distinct from the Pearl River line. The new Ritmüller line was introduced to North America in 2009.

Ritmüller pianos come in two distinct price categories: Premium and Performance. The Premium models feature solid spruce soundboards, Renner hammers, hornbeam wood actions, beech rims, and real ebony sharps, among other higher-quality features. The brand-new Premium UHX Series features an innovative new vertical piano action inclined at three degrees toward the player, allowing for a faster, more sensitive and controlled hammer blow, and improved dynamic range.

The Performance models feature unique scales, ebony sharps, high-quality hammers with German felt, and a veneered and tapered all-spruce soundboard. This year Ritmüller introduced the R8 SP, a 4′ 11″ conventional grand piano with silver plate and hardware.

Over the years, Piano Buyer’s reviewers have auditioned several Ritmüller grand models and have been very impressed. See reviews in the Fall 2009 issue of the grand models GH-160, 170, and 188; in the Fall 2010 issue of the GH-148R; and in the Fall 2011 issue of the GH-188R. In addition, the 48″ model UH-121R vertical and the 4′ 10″ model GH-148R grand have been chosen as “Staff Picks.”

In 2013, Pearl River brought to North America the upper-level Kayserburg Artists series. These instruments are handmade by a team of Pearl River’s most experienced craftsmen, personally managed by European piano experts, in what can be described only as a small “German” piano workshop inside a large Chinese piano factory.

The Kayserburg Artists craftsmen have all completed a rigorous training that includes studying the world’s finest pianos and working side by side with visiting European craftsmen. The Kayserburg Artists pianos contain such high-end features as soundboards of tight-grained, solid European spruce, Renner hammers, Laoureux (French) damper felt, German Röslau strings, vertically laminated beech bridges with wood cores and solid beech caps, German natural keytops, and genuine ebony sharps.

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

Acoustic Piano: Model & Pricing Guide

* See the Introduction for an explanation of pricing.

Model Feet Inches Description MSRP* SMP*
Pearl River Verticals
EU 110 43 Polished Ebony 4,950 4,600
EU 110 Silent 43 Polished Ebony w/Silent System 8,195 6,960
EU 111PA 43 French Provincial Satin Cherry 6,095 5,433
EU 111PB 43 Mediterranean Satin Walnut 6,095 5,433
EU 111PC 43 Italian Provincial Satin Mahogany 6,095 5,433
UP 109D 43 Continental Polished Ebony 4,795 4,487
UP 109D 43 Continental Polished Mahogany 4,995 4,633
UP 115E 45 Satin Ebony/Mahogany (School) 7,995 6,815
UP 115M5 45 Polished Ebony 5,095 4,705
UP 115M5 45 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 5,295 4,851
EU 118S 46.5 Polished Ebony w/Silver Hardware 5,595 5,069
EU 118S 46.5 Polished Mahogany/Walnut w/Silver Hardware 6,095 5,433
EU 122 48 Polished Ebony 6,895 6,015
EU 122 48 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 6,995 6,087
EU 122 48 Satin Cherry 6,995 6,087
EU 122S 48 Polished Ebony w/Silver Hardware 6,995 6,087
EU 122 Silent 48 Polished Ebony w/Silent System 9,295 7,760
PE 121 48 Two-Tone Polished Ebony w/Sapele Mahogany Accents 7,495 6,451
EU 131 52 Polished Ebony 7,895 6,742
Kayserburg Verticals
KA1 48 Polished Ebony 15,995 12,990
KA1 48 Polished Walnut 16,795 13,590
KA2 48.5 Polished Ebony 16,995 13,595
KA2 48.5 Polished Walnut 17,795 14,235
KA3 49.5 Polished Ebony 18,495 14,795
KA3 49.5 Polished Walnut 19,995 15,995
KA5 51 Polished Ebony 20,995 16,190
KA6 52 Polished Ebony 21,495 16,495
Ritmller Performance Verticals
UP 110R2 43 Polished Ebony 5,495 4,663
UP 110R2 43 Polished Mahogany 5,595 4,730
UP 110RB 43 French Provincial Satin Cherry 7,195 5,797
UP 110RB1 43 Italian Provincial Satin Walnut 7,195 5,797
UP 120RE 47.3 Satin Mahogany 8,395 6,597
UP 121RB 47.6 Polished Ebony 7,295 5,863
UP 121RB 47.6 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 7,795 6,197
Ritmller Premium Verticals
UH 121R 48 Chippendale Polished Ebony 10,295 7,863
UH 121R 48 Chippendale Polished Sapele Mahogany 10,695 8,130
UH 121RA 48 Polished Ebony 10,195 7,797
UH 121RA Silent 48 Polished Ebony w/Silent System 13,695 10,130
UH 132R 52 Polished Ebony 12,495 9,330
Pearl River Grands
GP 150 4 11 Hand-rubbed Satin Ebony 12,795 9,824
GP 150 4 11 Polished Ebony 12,195 9,410
GP 150 4 11 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 12,795 9,824
GP 150 4 11 Polished Sapele Mahogany/Artisan Walnut 13,495 10,307
GP 150SP 4 11 Polished Ebony w/Silver Plate/Hardware 12,795 9,824
GP 160SP 5 3 Polished Ebony w/Silver Plate/Hardware 14,295 10,859
GP 160 5 3 Hand-rubbed Satin Ebony 14,295 10,859
GP 160SP 5 3 Polished White w/Silver Plate/Hardware 15,295 11,548
GP 160 5 3 Polished Ebony 13,795 10,514
GP 160SP 5 3 Polished Red w/Silver Plate/Hardware 16,295 12,238
GP 160 5 3 Polished Mahogany/Walnut/White 14,295 10,859
GP 160 5 3 Polished Sapele Mahogany/Artisan Walnut 14,995 11,341
GP 170 5 7 Hand-rubbed Satin Ebony 16,995 12,721
GP 170 5 7 Polished Ebony 16,295 12,238
GP 170 5 7 Polished Sapele Mahogany/Artisan Walnut 17,295 12,928
GP 188A 6 2 Polished Ebony 19,495 14,445
GP 212 7 0 Polished Ebony 33,495 24,100
GP 275 9 0 Polished Ebony 96,995 67,893
Kayserburg Grands
KA151 5 0 Polished Ebony 38,995 31,195
KA160 5 3 Polished Ebony 47,995 38,395
KA180 5 9 Polished Ebony 59,995 52,990
Ritmller Performance Grands
R8 4 11 Polished Ebony 14,495 10,663
R8 SP 4 11 Polished Ebony w/Silver Plate/Hardware 15,395 11,263
R8 4 11 Polished Mahogany/White 15,395 11,263
R9 SP 5 3 Polished White w/Silver Plate/Hardware 17,495 12,663
R9 5 3 Polished Ebony 15,995 11,663
R9 5 3 Polished Mahogany/White 16,495 11,997
Ritmller Premium Grands
GH 148R 4 10 Polished Ebony 17,195 12,463
GH 148R 4 10 Polished Sapele Mahogany 17,795 12,863
GH 160R 5 3 Hand-rubbed Satin Ebony 20,795 14,863
GH 160R 5 3 Polished Ebony 19,995 14,330
GH 160R 5 3 Polished Sapele Mahogany 20,795 14,863
GH 170R 5 7 Polished Ebony 21,995 15,663
GH 188R 6 2 Polished Ebony 26,995 18,997
GH 212R 7 0 Polished Ebony 33,495 23,330
GH 275R 9 0 Polished Ebony 96,995 65,663

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