The C. Bechstein B212 is a blend of the traditional and the modern. While this 7′ piano derives much of its tonal pallette from very traditional hammer making techniques, hand-selected woods for the soundboard and rim, and hand-assembled actions, it also takes advantage of laser-precision soundboard tapering and resonance modelling, precision bridge notching, and one of the most resonant frame structures in the industry. Customers seeking the classic sound of a 7′, with a need for the absolute best from the piano industry, the B-212 will not disappoint.
Fanatically hand-made with a bursting register of the best piano manufacturing processes known to man, the C. Bechstein Concert Series acoustic pianos achieves a level of perfection few others will ever come close to attaining. Unlike the Bechstein Academy series which is marketed as a relatively affordable German handmade instrument, the Concert series is built with cost as a mere afterthought as these grand pianos display the pinnacle of German handcraftsmanship and engineering.
The C. Bechstein B 212 is the critical 7 foot entry in the C. Bechstein Masterpiece line. Besides being one of the most acclaimed pianos in the world, it’s also one of the most unique in terms of the engineering behind it, and one of the most rare. It takes 15 months to build a B212, and near 700 hours of labour, with many of the same features as the larger C. Bechstein C234 semi-concert grand and D 282 concert grand piano. Bechstein is a piano manufacturer that has consistently improved upon the design of their grand and upright pianos.
We’re thrilled to have a B212 on display at our Alphington showroom, and it always gets rave reviews from both ambitious players, connoisseurs and laymen alike who visit our showroom to try pianos. It’s often singled out as not only the nicest piano in our showroom, but the nicest piano many people have ever played – and that’s right after playing such luminary 7 foot grands like a Steinway Model B or Shigeru Kawai SK-6. Give us a call and pay us a visit to experience this masterpiece of the highest quality for yourself!
The B212 piano is equipped with C. Bechstein’s ‘Gold Action’, which is their top design combined with hundreds of hours of refinement. A very large portion of the instrument’s production time is dedicated to action assembly, refinement and regulation, ensuring a concert level experience directly out of the box.
Warp speed fast, easy to control, and weighted so perfectly that folks trying the B212 for the first time often remark that the connection between instrument and player is symbiotic – whatever you command of this action, it acquiesces.
Very few pianos have a ‘sound’ or ‘timbre’ attached to them, and the “C. Bechstein Sound” is long associated with refined clarity and luscious colour. The term clarity tends to conflate the concepts of purity and structure of tone, and separation of tone as a single quality, but in the case of the C. Bechstein B212, its appropriate. The purity of the tone, meaning that all harmonics and partials within a note are even, without phase, and consistent from note to note, is remarkable – and only achieved through precision of construction and design. This aspect has virtually nothing to do with wood quality or material selection – it’s all design and craft.
With a minimum of at least 7 audible harmonics on any given note, and treble notes comprised of three strings simultaneously resonating, that’s 21 distinct ‘pitches’ that must act as a single tonal unit. The hammer must strike perfectly, the strings must be exactly the same length and tension, and the strings themselves must be completely blemish-free. In addition, the duplex scale will add further complexity which must perfectly complement and enhance the tone coming off the primary resonating length. It’s not easy.
The pin block’s nine layers of high-quality wood ensure extra-precise regulations of the tuning pins and long-lasting tuning.
Outsourcing hammer supply is the norm for all German and European piano manufacturers, with the exception of C. Bechstein, who is the only remaining European piano maker who makes their own hammers. Not only does this allow Bechstein an additional level of quality assurance, but it also grants them the capacity to customize a unique set of hammers for every single instrument they build.
The B212 is one of the only 7 foot pianos in the world to feature hammers of ultra premium dark walnut – a material superior to even mahogany for use in piano hammers. Wool is sourced from the finest New Zealand stock, and fastened in an ultra secretive process unique to Bechstein.
After installation, the hammers receive a concert level voicing from Bechstein’s voicing experts, ensuring these hammers are maximized to achieve their potential immediately out of the crate.
Probably the feature with the most intrigue and mystique surrounding the Bechstein Concert series is the soundboard. Bechstein is one of only two piano makers, the other being Fazioli, to use solid Red Spruce sourced from the legendary Val Di Fiemme forest in Italy – the same spruce used in Stradivarius violins, widely regarded as the finest stringed instrument ever made. Only old, slow growth spruce grown at extreme elevations exceeding 1,000 meters is selected. Truly exclusive spruce for truly special instruments.
Now, beyond the rarity of the wood itself, Bechstein also utilizes an intricate, unique design to match. Bechstein tapers and fashions these soundboards in such as way that they function as a ‘membrane’, with the projection surface imitating that of a violin. This makes the soundboard incredibly responsive at all dynamic levels without sacrificing any energy for maximum sound duration.
While every high-end piano maker set out to make a rim that activates and resonates, Bechstein takes this to the extreme with one of the most lively cabinets of any grand piano. This is achieved with a very careful mix of aged hardwoods, fitted with precision cabinetry to ensure no energy is lost.
The inner and outer rims mix a multitude of layers of both mahogany and red beech, constructed in such a way as to be an extension of the soundboard. This specific mix goes a very long way in achieving the classic Bechstein tone, and maintaining long term structural integrity.
The B212 also features one of the most technologically advanced pinblocks of any piano currently in production. With alternating layers of maple, mahogany and beech laminations, the B212 has virtuallyimpregnable tuning stability in a variety of climates.
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