When it comes to world-class pianos, the C. Bechstein Concert Series ranks among the top. A piano that is almost 100% hand-made, with no cost-cutting decisions with regard to either design or materials, the D282 is uniquely consistent at adhering to the best choices at every step.
The 9 foot D 282 model was designed and built after extensive discussion and collaboration with several of the world’s most elite concert pianists. A staple of many fine European concert stages, this instrument is known for its incredible dynamic range, an unparalleled degree of colors, laser-like clarity, and perfectly responsive, rapid-fire action. Quite simply, the D 282 concert grand piano embodies the legend of the C . Bechstein brand as a whole.
With a production time of over 15 months and close to 700 work hours, this handmade-to-the-extreme piano is a true labour of love. A recent re-design of the plate has further increased power and projection, bringing the D 282 to the cutting edge of what a 9-foot concert instrument is capable of. Any concert stage the world over would be elevated by the presence of a D 282 by C. Bechstein.
Bechstein’s finest action, the “Gold Action”, is only used in the upright and grand Masterpiece pianos, and this designation determines the quality of regulation and voicing that goes into the action. The “Gold Action” also defines the hammers that are used and the componentry precision. The hours and hours of refinement that go into these actions result in extreme tolerances, and a product that is almost perfect right out of the box. They are fluid, ideally balanced, and allow for incredibly subtle nuances, although not too lightly weighted.
The tone of the D 282 is in a word; singing. The colours are incredibly rich and varied, void of any of the metallic character often found in other German 9 footers, and the notes literally “bloom” as the strings are struck. The instrument was also built with a particular focus on brilliance, so that even folks seated at the very back of a concert hall will not miss even the quietest of notes. The tone is so dynamic that the D 282 is adaptable to virtually any style of music.
Bechstein pianos are known for their singular level of clarity, from the bass to the treble. The D 282 attests to the Bechstein clarity better than any other piano they build. The biggest reason for this clarity is due to the sheer precision of construction and design. An imperfect design or imperfectly executed construction will compromise even the finest of materials, sacrificing clarity.
Another component that is reflective of the design precision is the bridge. By using vertically laminated layers of high-quality sycamore maple, and by employing CNC technology that allows for hundredth of a millimeter precision, the subtlety of the strings is perfectly captured.
As the sole European piano manufacturer making their own hammerheads, Bechstein can maintain its control of the manufacturing process like few others. This allows them to create customized hammers for each specific instrument. In the globalized market in which we live, the fact that Bechstein built a production facility to make their hammerheads is quite unusual, but again shows their commitment to the control of each piano’s manufacture.
Using New Zealand wool and a top-secret, proprietary method to cover the dark walnut cores, each hammer of a D282 is voiced by expert technicians by hand while still in the factory. This results in a wider range of dynamics, and a broader spectrum of tonal colour.
When it comes to the design of the D282, the Val Di’ Fiemme Italian Red Spruce used for the soundboard is only part of the reason for this model’s “bloom-like” tonal nature. This wood comes from the same source as the one Stradivarius used to make his violins, and only the Masterpiece upright pianos use this in their manufacture.
Apart from the quality of the wood itself, the soundboard is designed with a taper whose membrane-like projection surface is tailored to each piano’s acoustic assembly. It’s because of this that you have a soundboard that is sensitive to even the smallest of vibrations while suffering no energy loss, and providing amazing resonance.
By using a mix of long-aged hardwood, and by implementing highly stable, precision fit, triple joinery, the entire body of the piano is activated. This minimizes any energy loss and eliminates any biasing.
To support the crown of the soundboard, the soundboard, bridge, and ribs are inserted and then glued into the inner rim. It is this complex procedure that helps optimize the resonance of the soundboard.
As for the outer rim, carefully selected horizontal and vertical beech layers are glued together and then shaped to create optimum solidity. This also ensures a highly stable case and the perfect frame for the soundboard.
By combining thick and thin solid plains of beech, maple, and mahogany at alternating angles, extremely even tension is created on the pinblock. The pinblock of the D282 is one of the most advanced in the world and maintains consistency in various climates, as well as superb durability.