The xylophone 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 xylophone makers and brands to choose from. With such a wide variety of xylophones 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 xylophone brands.
Though obviously subjective and prone to biases, I’ve done my best to list these brands based on the following metrics (in no particular order):
- Company reputation
- Performance of the xylophones
- Longevity of the xylophones
- Variety of xylophones available
- Accessibility of the xylophones (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 xylophone brands are:
Let’s get into each of these brands in greater detail and explain why they belong in the top 11 best xylophone brands. I’ll share their country of origin, a bit of history, an example of a notable xylophone, and a link to their official website.
Related My New Microphone article:
• Best Microphones For Miking Xylophone
Adams is a company born out of a need: balancing love for what you do and making a steady income. Indeed, André Adams was an engineer who felt a profound love for mallet and percussion instruments. Fueled by his passion, he soon started fixing instruments for fun.
Soon, his passion started taking time from his work, and before he could do anything about it, Adams was a reality. The results were amazing enough to shake the world. Thus, André started making a profit and was able to dedicate himself entirely to the art of instrument making.
If you want to buy an instrument that offers the uncanny tone of passion in every note, trying an Adams xylophone before buying is a must.
Made of hand-rubbed Honduras rosewood, this 4-octave xylophone represents the pinnacle of Adams’ craftsmanship. Indeed, from a visual perspective, the company joined forces with legend KesslerGranger Design Works to develop a superior-looking instrument. In the same vein, the French oak used for the instrument’s woodwork is nothing short of stunning. Finally, the brushed aluminum nameplate rounds up a stunning instrument that sounds as good as it looks.
Official website: adams-music.com
Adams was founded by André Adams in 1970. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Ittervoort, Limburg, Netherlands.
Adams is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
To say that Torakusu Yamaha was a piano maker is very important to understanding why Yamaha is a major name in xylophones. Indeed, the art of making keyboard instruments has been a core part of the Yamaha culture since day one. Furthermore, the leverage of making state-of-the-art pianos for more than a century can be heard in every note.
Still, Yamaha is much more than a piano maker; it is a company that applies the same principles, commitment to excellence, obsessive attention to detail, and passion to everything they do, from the fastest motorbike to the finest xylophone.
Notable xylophone: Yamaha YX-500R (link to check the price at Thomann)
To say that Yamaha is a restless innovator isn’t to blow up any scoop. Indeed, the company is well-known for improving on the quintessential design of instruments to come up with something new, refreshing, and better. This xylophone is no exception; the two-position resonator slots, new and improved bar sizes for a more consistent tone quality across the spectrum, and the gas shock height adjustment make this a one-of-a-kind instrument.
Finally, the rosewood bars generate the xylophone tone you’ve always wanted, making this a great-sounding instrument with a few modern touches.
Official website: yamaha.com
Yamaha was founded by Torakusu Yamaha in 1887. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Yamaha is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
The life course of Ron Samuels changed forever the first time he heard a marimba. He was hooked to the degree of leaving college to concentrate on making marimbas.
This passion for amazing-sounding instruments made a reputation for Marimba One as the go-to option for mallet and percussive instruments for the most demanding players in the world.
One of the main reasons is that all Marimba One instruments, including xylophones, are 100% designed and made in sunny California under the highest quality standards.
If you want to know what passion can do when mixed with decades of hard work and dedication, you have to try a Marimba One xylophone today.
Notable xylophone: Marimba One M1 Wave Xylophone (link to check the price at Guitar Center)
This xylophone by Marimba One builds upon the JC Deagan’s curved rails and resonators design, taking it to the next level.
To begin with, Ron Samuels himself went down to Belize to select the rosewood used for its construction in 2012. He chose it because it is so hard it is almost unbreakable by mallet use extending the instrument’s life drastically. Moreover, his choice was also tone-based because that specific rosewood type offers depth and warmth to every note with a brilliant top-end that rounds up the world-class tone this xylophone offers.
Finally, this uncanny keyboard sits comfortably on a lightweight aluminum frame with four 4” casters. If you want an easy-to-carry, great-sounding instrument, try the Marimba One M1 Wave.
Official website: marimbaone.com
Marimba One was founded by Ron Samuels in 1986. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Arcata, California, USA.
Marimba One is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Carl Orff’s history with xylophones started with a random encounter with a sailor who brought an early model from Cameroon. The year was 1929, and Carl was haunted by the amazing sound of this strange instrument.
He not only started building them but founded an entire school around the “Orff instruments,” as people called them after WWII. Soon after, they got some TV exposure, and sales went soaring high. Since then, Studio 49 has kept innovating on the original design to create some of the best xylophones in Europe.
If you haven’t already, check a Studio 49 xylophone today, it might be a random encounter that can change your life too.
Notable xylophone: Studio 49 AX2000 Alto Xylophone (link to check the price at Guitar Center)
This instrument oozes tone coming from the 16 bars of hand-picked rosewood. Moreover, the multiple resonance chambers create a superior tone with quality oomph. In the same vein, the 12mm pine used for the resonance box not only looks good but also helps enhance the overall sound.
Finally, the textile-coated bar seating ensures longevity, and the dual handles help easy transportation. The newest creation by Studio 49 is the perfect xylophone for the player on the move.
Official website: studio49.de
Studio 49 was founded by Carl Orff in 1949. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Gräfelfing, Germany.
Studio 49 is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Clair Omar Musser was, before anything else, an accomplished musician and a bandleader. As such, he had a trained ear that served as a compass to create some of the best-sounding instruments in the world. Indeed, this first-hand experience gathered playing in countless stages became Musser’s most important competitive advantage.
But that’s not the whole story. Musser joined forces with Ludwig to create a new concept they named “Total Percussion”. Under this new motto, they created some of the best marimbas, xylophones, and percussion instruments on the planet.
If you haven’t already, and your budget allows it, you should try Musser xylophones.
Notable xylophone: Musser M51 (link to check the price at Woodwind Brasswind)
This portable, professional-oriented xylophone features a keyboard made of Musser’s exclusive Kelon bars. This material can withstand temperature and humidity changes maintaining tonal quality and dynamic response. Furthermore, the aluminum resonators received a silver coating, making them perfect to complement the Kelon bars sound. Finally, the foldable aluminum legs and detachable resonators make this the perfect choice for the pro musician on the move.
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.
Musser is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
The Van der Glas Company got its first big jump into the mainstream market with the rock and roll revolution of the 1960s. It provided the drum kits for most major acts in Europe. During that period, the company grew in popularity and increased production to satisfy an ever-growing demand quickly with great-sounding instruments. As a result of this uncanny growth, by 2003, musical instruments giants KHS acquired the company elevating its leverage drastically.
Nowadays, Majestic Percussion offers world-class percussion instruments combining a long European heritage with state-of-the-art Asian manufacturing processes. If you haven’t already, give Majestic Percussion a chance.
Notable xylophone: Majestic X8540H (link to check the price at Percussion Source)
This 4-octave instrument offers the warm and deep tone only rosewood bars can provide. In the same vein, every X8540H selected rosewood bar is quint-tuned by experienced craftsmen making every xylophone in this series a perfectly in-tune instrument that can perform flawlessly in any scenario. Finally, the company employs wider bars in the lower register to add presence and strength to those notes.
This great-looking instrument is perfect for the professional xylophone player looking for reliability, great tone, and amazing looks.
Official website: majestic-percussion.com
The year was 1921, and the Van der Glas B.V. family business founded by Willem Klazes, was getting started. Nowadays, the company known as Majestic Percussion possesses headquarters in Heerenveen, The Netherlands.
Majestic is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Xylophones are a core element of Bergerault’s story. Indeed, as a natural-born innovator, bold businessman, and curious musician, Albert Bergerault was the first and only xylophone maker in France. In other words, he created a business where there wasn’t one by making amazing instruments that could haunt listeners and players alike.
The legacy of Albert Bergerault still fuels every decision made by the brand that continues to make some of the best xylophones in Europe. If you want to hear the difference almost a century of non-stop innovation makes in musical instruments, you have to try a Bergerault xylophone today.
Notable xylophone: Bergerault BX40 (link to check the price at Lone Star Percussion)
This xylophone belongs to the highest category Bergerault makes: Signature. That sole fact makes it one of the best xylophones on the market. It is also made of the highest-grade materials in the market, like the hand-picked, grade AAA Honduras Rosewood for the keyboard. Moreover, the silver epoxy coating applied to the aluminum resonators gives the dark sound of rosewood a musical high end that defines the sound in every scenario.
The Bergerault BX40 is the ultimate xylophone for any collection or professional musician. Beware, if you try one, you might not spare expenses in taking it home with you.
Official website: bergerault.com
Bergerault was founded in 1932 by Albert Bergerault. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Ligueil, France.
Bergerault is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Leigh Howard Stevens is a huge name in mallet and percussion instruments. Indeed, he is not only an accomplished player, an influential author, and a sought-after session musician, but he is also a very important name in the evolution of xylophones and marimbas. For example, he spent many years as a hired expert consultant for Musser-Ludwig, improving their tuning system.
Malletech is the result of this man’s long journey in the mallet instrument world and is one of the best-sounding brands in the market today. If you want to play the kind of instrument that professionals play and your budget allows it, you have to give Malletech a try before buying anything else.
Notable xylophone: Malletech XB4.0 Orchestral (link to check the price at Sam Ash)
Based on the Leedy instrument played by George Hamilton Green throughout his career, this is Malletech’s take on a timeless classic. The Honduran rosewood keyboard is specially treated to be dent-resistant. Also, it features tunable brass resonators, and a smooth height adjustment system that makes on-the-fly changes a breeze. Finally, the solid oak and brass frame make its tone ideal for ensemble and orchestral playing.
Official website: malletech.com
Malletech was founded by Leigh Howard Stevens in 1982. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Neptune, New Jersey, USA.
Malletech is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
As one of the oldest percussion brands in the world, Sonor was a major influence on many of the leading brands in the market today, such as Ludwig, who copied Sonor designs and replicated them upon moving to Illinois to found his company.
As a timeless classic, Sonor offers the quintessential Orff-style instruments but with some modern twists. Indeed, Sonor is a brand that seamlessly blends its rich heritage with modern manufacturing techniques.
From creating the first steel snare to making some of the best xylophones in the market, Sonor is a bold, innovative brand you can trust.
Notable xylophone: Sonor GBKX 10 (link to check the price at Music & Arts)
This xylophone by Sonor offers a body made of pinewood with 6 resonating chambers that make the notes in the bass section larger than life. Moreover, the rosewood bars add the mellow depth and warmth of the quintessential xylophone to the resulting sound. In the same vein, the 20mm thickness of the soundbars adds further detail and complexity to the sound.
Sonor calls this a deep bass xylophone for a good reason. It offers uncanny low end that can be a great addition to any ensemble.
Official website: sonor.com
Sonor was founded by Johannes Link in 1875. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Bad Berleburg – Aue, Germany.
Sonor is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Jan and Jan met at the Royal Concert Gebouw Orchestra, which means they are world-class musicians before even thinking of funding their brand. Far from being a mere detail, its founders' uncanny musical ear and experience are core characteristics of the brand.
Using great sound as a compass, Jan and Jan combined their experience to create the ultimate mallet instrument. Indeed, Vancore is a brand by musicians for musicians that oozes the right innovations to make it one of the best you’ve ever played from the first note.
Vancore is the perfect brand for the gigging professional needing a next-level instrument.
Notable xylophone: Vancore CCX 8003 (link to check the price at Music Mall)
This four-octave instrument is precisely tuned to be used in the most demanding symphonic or orchestral scenarios. Furthermore, the premium-grade Honduran rosewood bars are hand-picked for the ultimate resonance and deep sound, effortlessly offering the player a musical and mellow xylophone sound. Finally, the easy lifting mechanism makes it a joy to play for any well-versed player.
Official website: vancore.nl
Vancore was founded in 1985 by Jan Pustjens and Jan ter Heide. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in ZP Joure, The Netherlands.
Vancore is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!
Korogi’s competitive advantage is a simple one: finding superior-quality timber to make instruments with superior tone. This idea of going to the source to find perfection rather than refining manufacturing methods is not just a random occurrence but the outcome of five decades of making state-of-the-art instruments.
This is why the rosewood is first hand-picked and then dried and aged in-house. As a result, Korogi not only has complete control over the instrument’s resulting quality but also over the resonance, humidity, and density of its prime material.
If you haven’t already, you have to try a Korogi xylophone; the results might surprise you.
The slowly-aged AA+ and AAA-grade Honduras rosewood offers the player an uncanny resonance and sustain you will not find in any other brand. Moreover, the carefully-crafted keyboard sits on a unique frame featuring a gas-lift height adjustment mechanism. Furthermore, each bar is carefully insulated from the frame to generate maximum sustain and effortless playability.
If you are after a xylophone that sounds amazing and is easy to play, you have to check this one out before buying anything else.
Official website: korogi.co.jp
Korogi was founded in 1949. Currently, the company’s headquarters are in Japan.
Korogi is featured in other top brand articles at My New Microphone. Check out these articles here!