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Click here for an exhaustive gallery of Palatino models and finishes!

Click here for a virtual tour of the Palatino Piano Factory!

It is a rare day when the piano industry sees a manufacturer come along that redefines how far your money can go when seeking to purchase a piano based on value. 

Palatino PUP124 Piano ChicagoThe Palatino piano has earned that distinction in reviews and in the court of public opinion on the web -- especially in their 48"-50" uprights and in their 5'-6' grands.  It is a favorite among teachers who are respectful of parents' budgets and among consumers who want a professional upright -- but want more than just the "big black box". Where Japanese manufacturers only offer a few finishes (and charge $1000 or more for anything other than black), Palatino offers many styles and finishes, including several with the popular nickel hardware, with little surcharge.

Inside the Palatino piano, it is the most "cosmopolitan" piano in the world. A piano is always more than the sum of its parts, but in this case, the Palatino houses some of the best components from around the world.

The Palatino factory is located in Shanghai, China. There are more piano manufacturers in China today than there are in all other countries combined. Chinese pianos have been pouring into North America since 2002, but most of them haven't met the standards of discerning teachers, technician and pianists. Palatino on the other hand immediately broke away from the pack.

Even the author of "The Piano Book" indicated that the landed quality of the Palatino pianos he inspected "arrived in excellent condition, needing hardly any preparation". Any piano retailer would laugh at the notion of a Chinese (or otherwise!) piano arriving needing hardly any preparation -- unless that retailer is a Palatino dealer. At Cordogan's, we were shocked when we uncrated our first Palatino back in 2002. The action was regulated and it was even in tune -- after its trip half way around the world! Subsequent pianos ever since have arrived in the same condition.

How can this be?palatino hammers

First of all, Palatino wasn't new to musical instruments in 2000, they had been making string instruments for a many decades. The skilled labor and experienced management at Palatino created a great foundation for quality pianos. But without high quality components and precise machinery from all over the world, the Palatino could have easily been another nameless, faceless, Chinese piano.  Many brands have already come and gone in the first decade of the new millennium.

palatino factory - shanghai, chinaSome piano manufacturers make everything from scratch or purchase parts from the lowest bidder, and that certainly has its place in the piano industry. Palatino however, IMPORTS high quality components from Europe and manufactures their pianos using costly, precise and highly efficient machinery from Japan and Germany: Keyboards and solid spruce soundboards are from Palatino's mother country of Italy; Roslau steel string come from Germany, Mapes string are from the U.S., state-of-the-art Toyo machinery was brought in from Japan and German CNC routers were shipped over to China to help with production. As one piano technician said, "It's obvious those Toyo machines don't know or care whether they're in China or Japan!"

There is hardly a country in the world with a greater history in casting iron than China, who have maintained foundries since the 15th century. The resulting sound of the Palatino is warm, rich and complex combined with a precise action which should be the envy of piano manufacturers twice the price of a Palatino.

palatino grand pianoWhich brings us to another advantage to the Palatino: the price. Chinese-made pianos are not taxed as highly as Japanese pianos when imported. The 48"-50" uprights are an unbeatable value and the grands have been no less impressive.  Again, Palatinos come in a beautiful array of wood tone finishes for which the company does not impose a huge additional price tag.  Where Kawai or Yamaha might charge thousands for wood tone finishes when available, Palatino only charges a few hundred dollars.  Please visit our online Palatino gallery, where you will see more styles/finishes than on any other website, including Palatino's own website! Click here to see some of these finishes!

In the north suburbs of Chicago, there is a husband & wife teaching duo, both of whom have their masters degrees in piano performance from Northwestern University. They became familiar with Cordogan's / when of one our 6'3" Estonia grands edged out a new Steinway model L as their new teaching instrument. More recently, they came back to purchase a second instrument -- a vertical piano for their studio. The Palatino won hands down, over several other more expensive pianos from many renown makers.

A well known pianist / teacher from Northbroook, IL came in to our showroom in search of a piano for one of his students. He was sat down at a Palatino and asked what he thought. He loved it, but was naturally concerned that it must be waaaay too much money for his student, who he said wanted an "entry level" piano. Actually, what the teacher meant to say was that his student wanted an entry level PRICE. And to his surprise, the Palatino fit that price range -- but his student certainly didn't get an entry level PIANO. Neither will the teacher, who has made arrangements to purchase a Palatino for himself as well!

For more information about Palatino pianos, please contact us at or call 630-584-5000.



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