C. Bechstein – 124 “Classic / Elegance”
The C. Bechstein 124 Upright Piano stands as the finest institutional-sized upright piano in the world. Its accuracy and nuance make it a preference over most mid-range grands, and possibly higher. It’s cabinetry and quality of build make it a pure work of art. For any piano buyer with a medium budget and a need for quality, the 124 simply must be considered.
Video Demo & Overview
The World’s Premier 49” Upright Piano
Bechstein has a new silent-piano option, called Vario, that can be built into any of its instruments. This option allows you to mute the acoustic piano and turn on an extensively sampled sound of a C. Bechstein concert grand, which can be listened to through headphones for silent play. Optical key and pedal sensors transmit MIDI information for the control of music software.
The R124 is a 49” model from C. Bechstein Classic 124 and is made entirely in Germany using many similar construction approaches and techniques of their Concert Series grands. It is also closely related to the Concert 8, arguably the #1 rated upright piano in the world – essentially a shorter version of it. C. Bechstein pianos are masterpieces, producing the ideal sound for many high-end pianists worldwide.
This grand piano is notable for many reasons, from the hundreds of hours of hand craftsmanship it receives, to the types of wood, it’s constructed out of. Specifically, these are points that really stand out from the rest of the industry:
- Val Di Fiemme Spruce (same wood source as the Stradivarius violins)
- Dark Walnut Double-felted Hammers
- Pure Copper Hand-wound Bass Strings
- 180 Hours of Manufacturing Time
- Vertically-Laminated Bridges
The piano has a long sustain that goes well beyond that of a typical upright, as well as a clear, resonant bass with a high-end upright with a case design of timeless elegance. Balanced voice with powerful bass and rich treble. The action is highly controlled with an excellent repetition speed. The tone generally is very colorful with well structured upper partials, giving the player a wide palate to ‘paint’ with. The attack of the tone is bell-like, with a slight bloom as the instrument’s full cabinet activates. Finally, the piano produces ample volume, and an R124 pulled even slightly out from the wall, let alone with the lid partially or fully open will out-produce even a professional baby grand for sheer dynamics.
The action is Bechstein’s own “Gold Action”, which indicates both the level of regulation and voicing it receives, the precision of the componentry, and the hammers which are used. Bechstein is rare in that it produces both its own actions and its own hammers – common for Yamaha or Kawai, very uncommon in the high end of the industry. This allows for perfect matching and balancing.
C. Bechstein’s entire design philosophy centers around the concept of activating the cabinet to the max and minimizing as much energy loss as possible. This is done through triple joinery, long-aged woods that are highly stable and precision-fitted and using a mix of hardwoods to ensure that no biasing occurs. The R124 is no exception, showing the same kind of precise cabinetry as their top-end brands or Concert 8.
In an article dedicated to the C. Bechstein Classic 124, the French music magazine Diapason once stated: “Pleasant touch and charming sound with powerful bass. This distinguished piano makes an excellent overall impression.” In addition, the outer polyester and overall styling is sleek, contemporary, and built to last. Expect an R124 to perform well for 100+ years.
Here at Merriam Music, we have chosen one of the best current Bechstein models to add to the offerings in our upright pianos showroom.