Estonia Pianos Vs Steinway & Sons


photo credit creative commons license horaciogd

Probably a lot of you have, and on the other hand many others haven’t heard of the new kid on the block - The Estonia Piano.

Andy Quinn Playing an Estonia

According to the Columbus Dispatch, last year the Estonia Piano Factory in Tallinn exported 300 pianos both grands and baby grands, most of them to the united states.

In quality and reputation, Estonia pianos are giving Steinway & Sons a serious challenge. And many discerning musicians say that owning an Estonia piano — almost completely made by hand — is akin to owning a Stradivarius, the iconic violin famous for the high quality of its sound.

“It doesn’t get any better,” said Paul Graves, chief executive officer of Graves Piano & Organ Co.

Chris Foley Points out that it would be interesting and important to know how these piano age. Sounding wonderful in a show room is one thing - sounding great after a few years is quite a different matter.

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.


  • Robert Townsend: My technician says that my 6′3″ Estonia Grand is simply one of the best made and solid pianos he has ever seen. They weigh in at 360 Kg which is more than the 6′11″ Steinway Model B
  • Amanda: Do You own one?
  • Robert Townsend: Yesw I do. Mine is the only Estonia piano in Australia. I first played them in New York in 1996. I visited the factory in 2000 and again in 2007. On the second visit I purchased a 6′3″ model.
  • Amanda: I was wondering how they age... Yours is still pretty young.
  • Steve: Estonia is not as good as many say, My dad bought my mom one(after my encouragement) and for the first year it sounded pretty good but then the sound kind got brassy and seemed to be difficult to tune. Tuner came out and suggested voicing the piano and this cost alot but did not really help.
    The tuner said he had heard of these but never worked on one before. This made me think maybe there is not a lot of history about this piano. My dad should have bought the Yamaha or Steinway piano that my mom really liked.
    Live and learn. Dealer that sold us really sold us! Don’t listen to the dealers that sell them, ask someone who paid for one and has had some time with one, like my dad...He would tell you to consider a Yamaha or Steinway.
  • Jim: We have had the parlor grand for 1 1/2 years and absolutely love it. Love the sound (mellow, not bright/tinny), the touch (firm), and the look — it is a marvelous piece of quality furniture. My wife plays professionally and wouldn’t have anything else that she has played on, including Steinway.
  • ken: I’ve had mine for nearly 5 years
    6′ 3" Estonia.
    It still sounds beautiful - mellow, sweet, singing voice.
    Its sound has made many weep with the emotion that can be produced by this wonderful musical instrument in the right hands.
    It does require a "real" tuner to tune it. Get someone who works with Performance Quality pianos. Not a person who works with the cheaper Asian brands whose bright sound impresses many at a first hearing.
    The Estonia 190 is among the top grand pianos available.
  • Howard Whitton: I can concur with the comments that mention the Estonia grand’s superior tone and musicality. I attended a concert in Tallin in 2005 and was astonished by the difference between the Estonia’s tone and the ’standard’ sound of the Steinway concert grand. And the story of how Estonia was rebuilt from the ashes of WWII - literally - makes it the more remarkable.
  • Robert Townsend: Hi Howard - you might be interested to know that earlier this year Australia got it’s first Estonia Piano Agent - Lyra Pianos here in Melbourne. They brought out five Estonia pianos a month or so ago. The store owner ( a Ukrainian pianist who emigrated here in the 1990s) had played my Estonia L190 piano in 2009 and decided then to start bringing them in commercially. I had visited the factory while on working trips to Eastern Europe in 2002 and 2007 . Lyra are having their first piano recital this coming Saturday evening - pity you are not closer to Melbourne. Details are at
  • John: Having grown up with a most renowned brand in the house due to my father - as per his upbringing and that piano has stayed with me................. Then there’s my aunt - my father’s sister - who was good enough to make it into the Met, where she was under contract for 14 seasons in addition to Staatsoper contracts and even though she’s 74 years of age, the gal clearly still displays heavy formal training and owns two renowned brands and can play v. well and we love these piano...................
    I have played an Estonia on two occasion and was left, from the start with a pretty jaw dropping experience. The action was wonderfully alive, even and really responded to all manner of touch. The sound on both was immaculate. I took my aunt (who could almost care less and is set in her ways) to the broker and she too was most complimentary and coming from her that’s saying a lot. Both were their grand models, wonderfully finished, too.
    I do not see how anyone would not be wholly impressed and I’ve been around several famous marques in addition to the one at the house and its two siblings with my aunt. Estonia have every reason to be proud.
    I fully agree that proper tuning is beyond critical - imperative by a highly competent and experienced Euro piano tuner. I have seen that more than a few times to say the least. Further, proper humidity must be maintained. (Know a clown out in Colorado who bought a revered Euro marque that effectively dried up. And he was warned about same but would not listen. These things, the great one’s are not a play thing, no pun intended)
  • Phil: Hi, I have the fortune of owning a full size 9ft Estonia Concert series piano and am making available to the best buyer...
  • Sjoerd: Ik have an Estonia, I think parlor grand or boudoir grand, in the living room. It was my fathers, he bought it in ‘76 - ‘78, and at that time it was already about 10 years old.
    So that would make the piano about about 45 years old!!
    And let me tell you, I still haven’t found a piano that has such a gentle and warm tone, but also loud when needed.
    I tried Bechstein’s, the really really really expensive ones... didn’t even come close.
  • C. Anthony: measure your pianos so we know the size exact. estonia is pretty well received as a good sounding piano. hard to get a bit in the U.S. but here and there. Send photos of the piano for best appearance and showing detail with high resolution images (not phone cameras) . Send to <email> . we will do a marketing page for the web and put it on our national <email> /keyartsus . Look around the net for prices showing as a sale. But need to know the exact model and the sn. I can get info on it from the factory. If I have an estonia someone will want a euro. Have a lot of teachers in the Houston/Dallas area, but this piano should go national for best representation.
    Anthony <phone> .
  • iusemyheadwaytoomuch: Hi Estonia pianos are fairly new to the piano stage and as such have not had an opportunity to stand the test of time, so to speak. From all appearances it would seem like its a matter of taste, by sound, feel, overall impressions of quality. These are for the most part subjective and only time will tell. I have talked to a man who was a friend of the Estonia CEO and has high regard for all his instruments. As he should. Similiar piano names in this catagory might be Beckstein, Petrov, Schimmel.
  • C. Anthony: I agree...I like Estonia...they are a bit hard to get in the U.S. I don’t think there is a large dealer network yet. but...sure...i like them. Anthony
  • Matt: I’m not sure about the individual’s comment of having the only Estonia in Australia.
    My other half owns a 6′3 grand bought way, way back in 1994. It was bought from a lady who imported it into Australia from Russia. I think it is a pre 1980’s model.
    I can tell you for a fact that it is the most beautiful sounding instrument i have ever come across.
  • Ken: FIve years ago, our children’s grandma offered to buy them a grand piano, "cost no object". The kids were 16 and 18 at the time, having played piano since they were 5.
    We auditioned the famous names and had finally decided on a Bosendorfer, when someone told us about the Estonia.
    The 6′3" grand we played had everyone in tears. We returned to it another day, and it was still simply wonderful. The decision was made to get the Estonia, buy a new car for the older child, and still save grandma some money.
    Don’t get me wrong - the kids still felt that the Bosendorfer was the best of all the great brands they had tried. However, it was the Estonia which finally came home to stay, and "who" has moved every music lover that visited us - quite a few of them to tears.
  • Tom: Estonia former Soviet Union??? Not sure if these pianos are any good. The Russian Pianos I have seen were absolutely Terrible.
  • C. Anthony: Estonia that seems to be ok...i suppose there will always be an issue, but all in all, they are quite nice. I would take one to a desert island and would be happy with it.
    Most of the hand crafted pianos have to fit the player. If they like...that is fine.
  • Nana: I am the owner of a brand new Estonia L210. It is a fabulous instrument, beautiful tone, wonderful action. I fell in love with it over many other more expensive pianos and am so happy with it.

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