The glockenspiel is a popular tuned percussion instrument, commonly used in solo performances, orchestras, marching bands, jazz bands and more.
Well-known around the world, there is an assortment of glockenspiel makers and brands to choose from, ranging from toys to professional-grade orchestra-ready instruments. With such a wide variety of glockenspiels on the market, knowing the top brands is useful.
Of course, the brand is far from the most important aspect of an instrument, though it's still worth considering for general knowledge and judgement. In this article, I’ll share my take on the top glockenspiel brands.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I’ve done my best to list out these brands based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Company reputation
- Performance of the glockenspiels
- Longevity of the glockenspiels
- Variety of glockenspiels available
- Accessibility of the glockenspiels (how easy they are to find/buy)
- The company must currently be in operation
With all that being said, let’s list out the brands.
The top 11 best glockenspiel brands are:
Let’s get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 11 best glockenspiel brands. I’ll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable glockenspiel, and a link to their official website.
Musical instruments made by musicians follow a different scheme and thought path than those that don’t have that input. This is Musser’s competitive advantage and what makes it one of the most sought-after brands in the world for glockenspiels.
But that’s only half the reason why you should give this brand a try before you buy. The other half is that they have joined forces with Ludwig to create a new concept that they named “Total Percussion”.
With this motto as the North in their compass, they innovated over classic designs to fill the gap separating what a musician needs from an instrument and what most instruments offer.
Musser is the brand for those who are serious about their playing.
Notable glockenspiel: Musser M645 (link to check the price at Sweetwater)
This 2.5-octave glockenspiel is made with the highest-grade high-carbon tempered steel. Moreover, this exclusive material is then carefully tuned by Musser experts with a bar mounting system designed entirely for this model. As a result, this instrument exudes resonance and tonal clarity while being spot-on regardless of the weather and the venue.
But that’s not all; the bars are nickel-plated with a satin finish to extend their lifespan. Finally, the vinyl-covered wooden case with dual handles is perfect for the musician on the road.
Official website: conn-selmer.com/en-us/our-brands/Ludwig-Musser
Musser was founded by Clair Omar Musser in 1948. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Yamaha classical instruments can be seen in the most demanding scenarios and exclusive stages globally. This is not a coincidence; it results from over a century of non-stop innovation over a core principle: a restless commitment to excellence.
The same precision that can keep a motorcycle rider safe while going 200km/h is used to tune and finish Yamaha musical instruments. The result is a company that can take your playing to the next level with modern instruments that flawlessly deliver classic tones.
Notable glockenspiel: Yamaha YG-250D (link to check the price at Sweetwater)
With a range covering F57 to C88, this glockenspiel is perfect for playing any style of music. Moreover, the high carbon steel materials used for the construction go through a special tempering process that makes the Yamaha YG-250D a very bright, pure-sounding instrument.
Also, the nodal point support string with a single pin bar used for mounting increases the instrument’s sustain while also maximizing resonance—finally, the case and deep frame work as a resonance chamber, enhancing the overall sound.
Official website: yamaha.com
Yamaha was founded by Torakusu Yamaha in 1887. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Hamamatsu, Japan.
André Adams found his passion after becoming an engineer. The preparation and know-how gathered during his college years allowed Adams glockenspiels to be technically superior and perform flawlessly.
That being said, André’s education as an engineer tells half the story since he is also a passionate musician profoundly in love with mallet instruments. This first-hand experience with players and instruments acted as the compass to direct André’s talent to the most musical results imaginable.
The result of this juxtaposition of knowledge and passion is a brand that sounds as good as it plays.
This 3.3-octave glockenspiel covers a wide range going from C5 to E8 using 1.25” high-grade steel round top bars that deliver crystal clear sound and huge projection. Moreover, the open rail system and Voyager Height-Adjustment mechanism ensure seamless on-the-fly adjustments.
Speaking of the Voyager frame, the oversized locking wheels make it easy to transport it, and its powder-coated finish makes it ideal for outside events. Finally, the vinyl-wrapped rails ensure durability and performance regardless of circumstances.
Official website: adams-music.com
Adams was founded by André Adams in 1970. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Ittervoort, Limburg, Netherlands.
Stagg is not just another glockenspiel brand, but it is a company with a mission: to make affordable, great-performing instruments for music students. In other words, Stagg instruments aim to close the gap that often exists between price and craftsmanship with products that perform flawlessly, stay in tune, and don’t break the bank.
If you are after a glockenspiel to get started or are a musician on a budget, Stagg might offer the instrument you are looking for.
Notable glockenspiel: Stagg Bell Kit (link to check the price at Guitar Center)
Featuring a 2-octave range (A to A), this durable, sturdy, and well-made glockenspiel is great for students. The durable metal bars mounted on a hardwood frame have printed note names and colour-coded keys.
Also, the package includes a deluxe hardshell case that can withstand student life and a pair of dual-headed mallets (rubber and plastic), so you can be playing the second you buy it.
This is a great option for the student or player on a budget.
Official website: staggmusic.com
Although Stagg started in the 1970s as a tiny endeavour in Japan, the version we currently know of Stagg was launched in 1995 by its parent company EMD Music. Currently, headquarters are in Brussels, Belgium, and production is carried out in Asia.
Malletech is a company unlike any other. The reason behind this statement is that Leigh Howard Stevens is one of the biggest names in the mallet and percussion instruments world. He’s not only the author of one of the most influential and widely used books on the topic but also a professional musician and an expert consultant. In this vein, saying that Musser-Ludwig hired him to improve their tuning system should be evidence enough.
Every Malletech glockenspiel leaving the factory is ready to make history; the company’s founder wouldn’t settle for less, given his trajectory.
Notable glockenspiel: Malletech Infinity Glockenspiel (link to check the price at Music & Arts)
Glockenspiels used to be made of the hardest steel available, and Malletech goes the extra mile in keeping that tradition available. In the same vein, the company doesn’t only replicate the formula in terms of steel but also the size of the bars.
Also, the oak case serves as a resonance chamber, and the patented suspension system allows the instrument to vibrate freely, enhancing the sustain and overall sound. Finally, the contact points with the case are insulated with neoprene rubber, and pure wool felt.
This glockenspiel offers the quintessential sound of the instrument in a modern package ready to shake your musical world.
Official website: malletech.com
Malletech was founded by Leigh Howard Stevens in 1982. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Neptune, New Jersey, USA.
As the maker of the first xylophones in France, Bergerault is a company based on only one principle: impossible is nothing. With the same bold approach Albert used as fuel for his first steps into a market that didn’t exist, the company branched out to make some of the best mallet instruments in the industry.
Today, Albert’s legacy, boldness, and commitment to excellence can be seen, heard, and touched in every glockenspiel leaving the factory. So, suppose you are after a great instrument made with next-level technology and the nuances proper to a musician’s taste. In that case, you have to try a Bergerault before buying anything else.
Notable glockenspiel: Bergerault Radio France Glockenspiel (link to check the price at Bergerault)
This instrument belongs to the “Professionnel” series by Bergerault, which means it was designed to be played live in front of an audience. Indeed, this 3.5-octave wonder covers the C5 to E8 range with a solid construction that can sit on top of the optional PXT stand. Speaking of solid construction, as you would expect from a brand like Bergerault, the bars are made of the highest-grade steel and tuned to perfection by in-house experts.
If you are a gigging musician, this might be the perfect glockenspiel to add to your collection.
Official website: bergerault.com
Bergerault was founded in 1932 by Albert Bergerault. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Ligueil, France.
Rock and roll and its revolution transformed Willem’s small family endeavour into a big company ready to supply the growing demand for good-sounding drum kits. Although the company experienced a meteoric ascend, the quality and impeccable craftsmanship was never compromised.
Because of that relentless approach, in 2003, the company was added to the KHS family of brands taking the manufacturing process to the next level and allowing Majestic Percussion to branch out into keyboard instruments with the know-how of the best in the world.
Tradition meets innovation to create unique instruments; check Majestic Percussion today.
Notable glockenspiel: Majestic B3525S (link to check the price at West Music)
Three items define the quality of this instrument. To begin with, the thick, high-grade steel used for the bars is among the most durable and resonant in the market. Secondly, the bells are tuned to perfection by experts at Majestic so that you can ensure a spot-on performance every time. Finally, the single pin mounting coupled with the deep wood case creates warmth and deep resonance, a perfect combination for any player.
If you are after a 2.5-octave glockenspiel that sounds amazing and plays flawlessly, check this model out before buying.
Official website: majestic-percussion.com
Willem Klazes founded the Van der Glas B.V. family business in 1921. Nowadays, the company known as Majestic Percussion possesses headquarters in Heerenveen, The Netherlands.
Doug DeMorrow started his journey into keyboard percussion instruments with a dual approach that has since transformed into the competitive advantage of his company. Indeed, he was a percussion student at Henderson University and also a woodworker to pay for that education.
Soon, his skills with wood matched those of his playing, and he became a sought-after artisan, so he decided to open his own company. The results are among the best in the market because of this uncanny combination of a musician’s ear and sensitivity and the artistry of an accomplished woodworker.
If this sounds like the kind of instrument you’re after and your budget allows it, try a DeMorrow glockenspiel today.
Notable glockenspiel: DeMorrow Orchestra Bells Wooden Case (link to check the price at Steve Weiss Music)
Made of the highest-grade carbon steel, this instrument is available in two formats. You can choose the sound and feel of the original 1.5” wide bars or 1.25” bars for lighter weight and a smaller box. This is a superior instrument designed with silent bar suspension and 1” thick bar rails made of solid oak. Speaking of which, the case is also made of furniture-grade solid oak. Finally, you can play the F to D extended range standard for years since every bar receives electroless nickel plating.
If you can afford it, you have to try one of these before buying anything else.
Official website: demorrowinstruments.com
DeMorrow Instruments Ltd. was founded by Doug DeMorrow in 1991. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, USA.
A sailor going back to Germany from Cameroon gave Carl Orff his first xylophone in 1929. It was an encounter that changed his life forever; he was haunted by the sounds of that small instrument that he couldn’t stop playing.
Soon after, he decided to build them and found a school so others could enjoy that feeling as well. As a result of a TV appearance that granted his creation massive exposure, all keyboard percussion instruments started being called “Orff instruments” in Germany.
Studio 49 sold glockenspiels widely in Europe to great success. If you haven’t already, check one out today, it might be an encounter that changes your life too.
Notable glockenspiel: Studio 49 Alto Glockenspiel (link to check the price on Amazon)
With a weight of only 1 kilogram, this small, children-oriented glockenspiel is perfect for the youngest in any family to start playing a musical instrument. Moreover, with a tonal range going from C2 to A3 and the inclusion of F# and Bb bars, this is a small unit that can cover vast sonic ground. Also, the resonance box made completely with solid birch creates a resonance box that enriches the low registers. Finally, you get two PKS 3 mallets included with your purchase, so you can start playing from the minute you get it.
Official website: studio49.de
Studio 49 was founded by Carl Orff in 1949. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Gräfelfing, Germany.
To say that it was Sonor that influenced brand owners and natural-born innovators like Ludwig is to say that Sonor is a brand that has helped to shape the landscape of what we know as drum kits and percussion instruments today.
But that is only half the story because besides being a legendary brand, Sonor also offers modern instruments with modern twists to quintessential designs and innovative manufacturing techniques. You can opt for a timeless classic or a unique state-of-the-art instrument from this brand and obtain great results in all scenarios.
Sonor is a brand you can trust.
Notable glockenspiel: Sonor TAG 25 (link to check the price on Amazon)
Bearing 25 bars of a special metal alloy, a box made of solid and plywood beech, this unit can go from C2 to C4, creating in-tune sounds throughout the spectrum. In the same vein, the bars are covered with anthracite to enhance the lifespan and generate a more mellow sound. Finally, the unit comes complete with two sets of mallets so you can be playing from moment zero.
The Sonor TAG 25 is a great glockenspiel model for students and gigging musicians alike.
Official website: sonor.com
Sonor was founded by Johannes Link in 1875. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Bad Berleburg – Aue, Germany.
Dynasty is the only major drum company with strong roots in Texas that still manufactures all of its products domestically. This is not only an economical effort but also a statement about the core principles this brand is built upon. Plus, having control over the entire production cycle makes quality assurance a great asset for Dynasty.
Because of this strong commitment to excellence, Dynasty Glockenspiels are a must-try before you buy.
Notable glockenspiel: Dynasty Performance Glockenspiel (link to check the price at Columbus Percussion)
This is a true statement of what Dynasty is capable of as a brand. To begin with, the larger-than-average bars allow the instrument to deliver a warmer, bigger sound than most of the competition. In the same vein, the performance frame or gridiron field cart makes it a robust instrument that can withstand the hardships of the road. Also, the black powder finish resonators enhance this instrument’s lifespan while delivering an extra-smooth sound.
If you are after an instrument that can perform flawlessly day after day, you have to give Dynasty a chance.
Official website: dynastydrums.com
Dynasty Drums was founded in 1965. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.