C. Bechstein – Concert 8 Upright
The Concert 8 Upright from C. Bechstein is consistently touted as the world’s finest production upright piano. With the nuance of a grand, but the footprint of an upright, the Concert 8 is truly in a class by itself.
Video Demo & Overview
The C. Bechstein Concert 8 Upright Piano is widely regarded as the finest upright piano money can buy, and for good reason. Virtually every best-practice in a piano building (grand or upright) is found on the instrument, from full agraffes, vertically-laminated bridges, tapered Val Di’ Fiemme red spruce soundboard, fanatically balanced and regulated action, and bass response similar to that of a 6’ grand.
Bechstein likes to crow about this model, but it’s hard to blame them after having played the instrument for several hours…it really is a mind-blowing piano that removes virtually all of the musical advantages that a similarly priced grand might have held otherwise.
C. Bechstein instruments, an unsurpassed professional piano that favored for more than 160 years for their unique sound, touch, and durability, hand-made in Germany to a concert level of perfection and C. Bechstein grand which is a concert grand that has been used by everyone from The Beatles to Simon & Garfunkel, and can be heard on countless recordings around the world because of such outstanding characteristics. This concert piano is the ideal working tool of many professionals, musicians mention it by name – from Simon Rattle and the Beatles to Simon and Garfunkel. C. Bechstein grands are the sophisticated dynamics, the colorful and even more subtly graduated timbre, and the optimized sound development. The C. Bechstein Piano Concert 8 as a concert upright piano does, in fact, contain the main engineering principles of C. Bechstein’s current grand piano production.
The tone of the C. Bechstein Concert 8 Upright Piano is complex, sustaining, and clear. Each note produces a vast array of well-balanced harmonics, and the soundboard is responsive enough to maintain the clarity of every tone even when pushed with thick chords at high volumes. The treble is strong with a beautiful singing attack with very low hammer noise, and the mid-range is lush with plenty of tonal palettes to play with. The bass is warm without being overly resonant, and the transition to the bass from the tenor is barely detectable, like a fantastic 6’ grand. Its acoustic assembly, sound volume, and colored voice, as well as its precise and highly responsive action, surprise even the most demanding musicians who are used to the touch and sound volume of grand pianos
The bell-tones on the attack overall produce a shimmer that gives a visceral effect on a player, and the delicate details at low volumes make it a sheer delight to explore on…these are aural artifacts and ‘easter eggs’ that most upright pianos simply can’t produce. But now the sound profile of the C. Bechstein Concert 8 upright has been improved and is now, even more, singing and enduring which makes the acoustic assembly of the C. Bechstein Concert 8 upright is similar to that of the grands in the Masterpiece class.
At the heart of this magical tone, of course, is the Italian Red Spruce soundboard, from the famed Val Di’ Fiemme. The very same source of spruce that Stradivarius used for his violins.
Just like the other Concert-series Grand Pianos from Bechstein, Concert 8 is equipped with Bechstein’s Gold Action, which is their top design combined with hundreds of hours of refinement. They feature highest quality matured hardwood materials, dark walnut hammer crowns, double-felting, super-premium felt, and of course voiced and regulated to the max. As a result, C. Bechstein Concert Actions (Gold Action) is near perfect out of the box. Perfectly balanced, beautifully fluid that is capable of the most subtle nuance without being lightly weighted or timid when pushed.
The C. Bechstein Concert 8 Upright Piano has agraffes bottom to top, a “double duplex” stringing technique, and a fully integrated frame and plate structure for maximum sympathetic resonance and also has a depth and volume that surpasses most grand Pianos. The entire frame of the instrument is designed to amplify the tone, much in the way a grand is, while deadening the less ‘attractive’ resonating components within the instrument.
As much as one must marvel at the high price tag for this instrument, at over $70,000, you must also pose the question: even in a grand piano, could you purchase an instrument with finer tone for less money? The answer, of course, is no. I’ve played the occasional Shigeru Kawai that may come very close, but by and large, most customers would, on average, need to spend 100k+ to achieve this level of finish and detail in a piano.
The C. Bechstein Piano Concert 8 upright concert piano has received a fundamentally new acoustic system that corresponds to the findings of the C. Bechstein grand piano masterpiece series. The C. Bechstein Concert 8 Upright Piano is as deserving of the claim “Finest Upright In The World” in 2019 as it was 50 or 100 years ago, and every bit worth a try if you can find one.