Knabe vs Steinway (The Truth!)




knabe vs Steinway

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

There’s always been a high degree of interest surrounding the topic of Knabe vs. Steinway pianos. Today, you’ll find endless debates about whether or not Steinway makes better pianos than Knabe.

Differences Between Knabe And Steinway

Often people wonder what the difference is between Knabe and Steinway. They are both pianos that look very similar, but the same company does not make them.

Knabe Piano
Steinway Piano

1. The Soundboard

The soundboards for Knabe pianos are built with Reinforced Spruce bracing throughout, while Steinway uses Sitka spruce in its soundboards.

While this may not seem like much of a big deal, it can make an impact on how your piano sounds when you hit specific notes along the upper range of your piano’s keyboard (specifically in regards to octaves 4-7).

Looking at these two brands side-by-side, you can see that Knabe has a larger soundboard, which enhances the resonance in the upper register of the piano keyboard.

2. The Case Design

Knabe pianos are designed with what is known as “open back.” This open-back design is meant to enhance the projection of sound throughout the room. This is by having an unobstructed passageway behind each string up to where it exits at the back of your piano.

Steinway cases are built with an enclosed notch that fits into a metal track on either side of your grand piano.

It holds it securely in place while still allowing for a proper acoustic response, resulting in a more prosperous, lush tone. Although Knabe has this feature, they do not have it to the same extent as Steinway.

3. The Pedals

Both brands use the standard three-pedal configuration (soft, sustain, and sostenuto). Still, Knabe only has the soft and sustain pedals.

Knabe pedal
Knabe pedal

At the same time, Steinway includes a third (sostenuto) pedal that enables you to hold down one note while playing other notes softly without having each note get affected by your initial keystroke on the held-down note.

steinway pedal

This can be useful when you want a rich sustained tone in your music without it being muddied up with all of the held notes sounding in unison with one another.

4. Price Point

Knabe pianos are generally less expensive than a comparable grand piano from Steinway’s lineup of pianos.

A Knabe grand piano can be purchased for around $25,000, while a comparable Steinway grand will start at about $45,000.

5. Quality

Often, you get what you pay for, and the same goes with these two brands as well. There have been hundreds of complaints about Steinway pianos from customers. This is mainly because they have all sorts of issues that show up early on.

For example, keytops not seating correctly (the fronts become detached from the keys over time), piano action keys sticking (and becoming sluggish), and speakers sounding distorted.

None of this happens to Knabe pianos. This is because it is built better overall and comes with more extended warranties than its competitors. Knabe offers warranties between 5-7 years depending on the model you purchase.

Steinway has a beautiful rich tone, but that does not come without issues. Knabe has produced a beautiful tone as well. If you are looking for a cheaper piano, then Knabe would be the better choice when deciding between these two brands.

Similarities between Knabe and Steinway

If you consider purchasing a new piano for your home or studio, it is essential to understand the similarities between Knabe and Steinway before making your decision.

If you are looking for a reputable company that manufactures quality instruments, these two brands should be at the top of the list when choosing which one will work best for you.

Here are three similarities that can easily be noted between Knabe and Steinway.

1. Both companies have been in the piano manufacturing business for over 150 years. Since its inception, Knabe and Steinway & Sons have been building world-renowned musical instruments.

Not only have they managed to stay consistent throughout the years, but both continue to dominate the industry while still being able to meet the needs of every customer who comes through their doors looking for a new piano.

2. The two brands offer a vast selection of pianos ranging from uprights to baby grand matches, which allows them to ideally any home or studio with an instrument that will suit all playing styles and skill levels.

Because both companies manufacture quality pian that play effortlessly, they should be a top choice in the decision-making process for finding a new piano.

3. Whether you are looking for a modern piano or one that provides vintage appeal, both companies will be able to give you precisely what you need, which is why they should be at the top of your list.

You can expect solid history and consistent results when choosing Knabe or Steinway & Sons as your new piano manufacturer.

Knabe vs Steinway – Which is Better?

The Knabe brand of pianos has been around for quite some time. The company has specialized in making high-quality instruments, but don’t expect them to break the bank either.

They are generally known as mid-range piano makers who can compete with other similar brands. Many people see Knabe pianos as more reliable than different types because their quality is impressive, though they also come reasonably.

Steinway & Sons are one of the biggest name brands for musical instruments, and yes, they make pianos too.

Steinway pianos are pretty popular among professionals who tour around playing their music. This is because these kinds of grand pianos take quite a beating while still providing consistent sounds.

They are also so well known and loved by many people that they have become something of a status symbol even among amateur piano players.

Knabe and Steinway are both known for producing high-standard pianos. Both companies’ models, such as the Knabe concert grand, Steinway concert grand, and Knabe baby grand, have been given awards by piano experts.


In short, you can’t go wrong with either brand when it comes to pianos. The Knabe vs. Steinway debate is ongoing with strong opinions from both sides, some love the sound of a Knabe piano while others swear by the quality of a Steinway.

Check out this article on Samick vs Yamaha to see how they compare.

About the author

Latest posts

  • What Piano Does Youtuber Rousseau Use?

    What Piano Does Youtuber Rousseau Use?

    Rousseau is one of the best pianists you can find on Youtube. The classical pianist delivers mind-blowing videos with a massive following of more than 4 million subscribers. This American pianist has covers of pop and classical songs, which he plays with a reactive visualizer. Rousseau launched his channel in 2018, and he has taken…

    Read more

  • James Pavel Shawcross (All You Need To Know)

    James Pavel Shawcross (All You Need To Know)

    Many pianists have existed in history. While some of them became legendary at old age, James Pavel Shawcross started as a young boy. In this article, we focus on the pianist – James Pavel Shawcross. Who Is James Pavel Shawcross  James Pavel Shawcross is a pianist and drummer in Pen Valley, California. He has sung…

    Read more

  • How Difficult Is Clair De Lune? (The Truth)

    How Difficult Is Clair De Lune? (The Truth)

    Clair de lune is a beautiful and complex piece of music. Claude Debussy wrote it in 1903. He wrote it for voice and piano, but many composers have adapted it to other instruments. Clair de lune has three acts. The first two are calm and tranquil, while the third act is more dynamic. The song…

    Read more

Digital Piano Planet