The C. Bechstein Academy A 124 was developed to meet the requirements of the most demanding pianists. This is a premium upright piano, built by hand by master craftsmen with super high-quality materials at the state-of-the-art Bechstein production site. This a facility regarded in the industry for its impressive combination of classic German hand-craftsmanship with the best in modern technology.
Developed by the engineers of Bechstein’s R&D department in Saxony, the A124 represents the embodiment of Bechstein’s core tonal philosophy; all materials of a given piano contribute towards a common goal of unrestricted energy flow. When you play, none of the expended energy is wasted, and instead contributes towards the goal of getting the entire structure resonating.
With a construction time of over 7 months and 120 man-hours, the A124 is perfect for those seeking a large, German hand-built upright piano, available at a fraction of the price of other top German uprights.
As with so many other aspects of Bechstein’s precision and quality control, the Silver Line action of the A124 is completely made in Germany in strict accordance with their Action Engineering and Geometry standards. The design of this action is influenced by the Renner action that is found in the majority of upright pianos in Europe. It even achieves a smoothness and response that is similar, though more refined than those in other like-sized instruments.
One of the things that makes this action special has to do with the specific combination of weight and friction coefficients as part of Bechstein’s Friction Control System. There must be something to this as this action is incredible to play, and offers a very high level of control.
Power! This is the first thing that comes to mind when hearing this instrument, to the point that if you hear the instrument played without seeing it, there’s a good chance you’ll be convinced that you’re hearing a grand piano and not an upright. The A124 has a sustain that well outlasts what you’ll typically find in most upright pianos, with a bass that is very clear and distinct.
In every A124, bridges manufactured using CNC technology and made of German Red Beech guarantee the excellent transmission of sound as well as maximum frequencies to the soundboard. Because of this, we get a broad range of tonal colour with a distinctly European sound.
Custom-tailored hammers specific to each instrument, mahogany cores, New Zealand wool, all assembled using a proprietary process in a Bechstein-owned facility in Germany. This is what a commitment to quality and precision encompasses, and why Bechstein built their own facility, and why they make their own hammers. On top of this, each hammer is individually voiced by an expert technician while still in the factory.
What we find in the soundboard of the A124 is slow growth, European Alpine Mountain Spruce that lives between 800 and 1,000 metres of elevation. Because of their rate of growth at this elevation, the spruce trees have a high pulp to grain ratio, which gives the wood the ability to generate excellent sound and resonance properties. All of this gives the A124 a powerful yet complex sound.
The frame in many upright pianos simply plays a structural role and is generally not thought of as a key contributor to the tone in a given upright. With the A124, the frame’s role extends beyond providing structural integrity and actually plays a huge part in helping to shape the sound of the instrument. This is because the construction of the frame is crucial in achieving Bechstein’s energy flow concept.
Using a frame that is structurally stable will reduce distortion, support sound generation, and ensure consistent tuning while resonating along with the other parts of the piano’s structure. The A124 achieves this by using a sand cast iron frame that can withstand 15 metric tonnes of tension along with solid back posts that are secured using copper beech dowels at the joints. Combined together, this allows the partials in the upper treble range to be easily produced and modulated.