🎹W. Hoffmann P162 Grand Piano Review & Demo by Merriam Pianos🎹

C Bechstein’s W Hoffmann brand offers an undeniably intriguing set of pianos. Consisting of three different lines of different quality, the W. Hoffmann is a fully European handmade alternative to a German piano for a fraction of the price.

In this article and review video we’ll be looking at the entry point to the Professional line – the top W. Hoffmann line – with the W Hoffmann P162 baby grand. We’ll do a rundown of the piano action and piano sound, as well as some other cool design/aesthetic tidbits.

W Hoffmann P162 – Playing Experience

Of all the instruments in the showroom right now, it’s worth mentioning that this one has really managed to grab our company President and resident piano reviewer Stu’s attention and inspire some very creative moments.

Anyone who spends a lot of time around pianos will know what Stu’s referring to here – “it’s very unusual for me to sit down in front of a piano that is less than $90,000 or $100,000 and have it genuinely take my breath away and cause me to play differently than I would normally. “ Stu opined.

He continued, “To me, that’s one of the most interesting effects that a great instrument can have.”

Read on for our in-depth review of the W. Hoffmann P162 baby grand piano!

Baby Grand Piano Background

The C. Bechstein Europe’s P162, produced under the W. Hoffmann Professional brand is a baby grand with a massive musical range, a clear precise tone, fluid, and expertly-prepared action, and an attractive and unique silver color scheme.

Professional Series vs Tradition Series

The W. Hoffmann Professional series along with their Tradition series are both highly regarded all-European grand pianos that offer a high-value alternative to more expensive German pianos. The Professional series differs from the Tradition series in subtle ways, but nonetheless important to mention.

Both pianos use a different hammer and voicing style, different plates (and therefore also slightly different scale designs) as well as different bridge designs. The result is that the Professional series produces a more bell-like attack with long-sustaining trebles, as opposed to the darker and warmer tone of the Tradition series.

C Bechstein Hammers
C Bechstein Hammers

Made in the Czech Republic

The W Hoffmann P162 is made in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic at the old Bohemia piano factory which Bechstein acquired in 2006. Bechstein made a considerable investment in modernizing the factory with new CNC machinery and modern technology while maintaining much of the experienced workforce.

We generally don’t spend too much time discussing specific piano factories in our reviews, but in this case, we’re behooved to highlight Bechstein’s Czech factory. This is a factory that’s currently at its maximum possible output with the staff working day and night to try and fill back-orders.

Between the workforce, equipment and the substantial investment Bechstein has made, the result has been a stable of incredible instruments that more than compete against high-end Japanese options from Kawai and Yamaha. The Professional Series W. Hoffmann pianos are right at the top of the heap when it comes to what that Czech factory is putting out for Bechstein.

Alternative to the C. Bechstein Academy A160

The P162 is essentially a sister product to the Bechstein Academy A160. If you are ever fortunate enough to be able to sit down in front of an A160 and a P162 side by side, you’re going to quickly notice that the scales designs and cabinets are virtually the same.

It’s quite clear that Bechstein have exported some of the designs and a lot of the expertise out of their Berlin factory down the road two hours to the Czech factory and are producing a very similar product to the Academy, for about 20-30% less money.

Let’s jump over to some specifics regarding the action.

Baby Grand Piano Action

Bechstein’s Silver Line Action

The P162 uses Bechstein’s “Silver Line” action. This action features essentially the same geometry as the top-end “Gold Line” Action, but with lesser quality materials on certain parts, while also receiving less voicing and regulation.

As is the case with virtually all Bechstein pianos, this action is very fast, and nicely straddles the fine line between power and dynamic control.

The keybed is not as deep as a Japanese action, so it gives the player the perception of being a little bit lighter. When weighing the action it turns out it’s pretty much down the middle, but that shallower keybed definitely makes it feel lighter.
We love this action and think it will be more than satisfying even for high-level playing.

Baby Grand Piano Sound

Nuanced Timbre

The sound of the P162 could aptly be described as both nuanced and delicate. The balance across the entire range is striking, and probably unmatched in this price and size range.

They have definitely achieved a real bell-like tone here, with characteristic mid and upper-mid-range Bechstein bloom.

The treble maintains the sense of delicacy while also boasting a remarkable sustain, and the ever-maligned ‘break’ area is very well executed.

Overall, the tone is more complex than the Tradition series, while also being brighter and clearer.

Design Features & Cabinet

W Hoffmann P162 Ebony Polish
W Hoffmann P162 Ebony Polish

The bridge on the P162 has some interesting contouring, which is accented with black paint and impossible to miss. It also has the duplex scale, capped maple bridges, beech/maple rims, solid Austrian white spruce soundboard, and a distinctive silver plate and nickel accents. The instrument is ONLY available in Ebony Polish and silver tones, it can’t be ordered in brass or in any other wood finish.


The W. Hoffmann Professional Series is one of the best-kept secrets of the piano world. In an industry that seems positioned between enormously expensive high-quality pianos, and hard-to-research lower-quality pianos from Asia, the Professional series might be entirely unique.

Designed entirely by C. Bechstein’s famous R&D team in Berlin, the Professional series shares many of the same materials and designs as the Bechstein Premium line of the same size.  And the pianos are hand-made entirely in Europe. All at a fraction of the price of what you normally pay for European-built and designed pianos.