The C. Bechstein A 192 (M/P 192) Is Amongst the World’s Very Finest 6′ Pianos. Its Size Makes It Ideal for Most Home Settings, and Its Length Means that A Clear, Sustaining, and Full Bass Tone Is Always at Your Disposal. Few Instruments Will Match the Long List of Industry-Topping Design Techniques Used in This Piano…While the Fazioli F-183, the Bosendorfer 185, or The Hamburg Steinway All Have Common Elements with The M/P 192, None Combine as Many in A Single Instrument. And That’s Before Any Consideration for Equipment Modernity, Wood Processing, and The Incredibly Deep Pool of Talent that C. Bechstein Draws Upon. An Instrument of Complete Quality.
Video Overview & Demo
The C. Bechstein Concert Series grand pianos represent the pinnacle of piano building. Not a single design or material decision has been made with cost in mind. Virtually every inch of the piano is hand-made to the Nth degree. And while other instruments may feature one or two similarities, not a single production competitor comes even close to consistently selecting the very best at every turn.
The second piano of the Masterpiece Series is C. Bechstein’s transcendent 6’ piano, the A 192 Salon Grand Piano. The instrument has few peers to compare to; with a 15 month production time, Stradivarius spruce soundboard, exquisite finishing, and expert carpentry, the piano isn’t just an efficient sound-producing machine, but a thing of pure beauty. We hope you enjoy our discussion and exploration of this absolutely fantastic instrument!
Just like the other Concert Grand Pianos from Bechstein, the 192 is equipped with Bechstein’s Gold Action, which is their top design combined with hundreds of hours of refinement. They feature 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, and capable of the most subtle nuance without being lightly weighted or timid when pushed.
The tone of the C. Bechstein M/P 192 is colorful, 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.
Separation of tone is partially a function of the bridge and soundboard, and no different than comparing a high-quality speaker where you hear more detail even at higher volumes than a cheap speaker where sound tends to blend and distort as it becomes more complex or louder. And in this category, the A 192 is built around the world’s ultimate soundboard: a computer-milled tapered soundboard made of solid Val Di’ Fiemme spruce (more on that below.)
C. Bechstein’s commitment to ensuring as much control over the entire manufacturing process is like few others in the industry, and really shines through when it comes to the hammers. Bechstein is the only European manufacturer who produces their own hammerheads. Not only do they produce their own hammerheads, but every instrument throughout their lineup features a set of hammers custom tailored to that specific instrument. To do this, Bechstein built their own hammerhead production facility from the ground up located in Germany, which is of course highly unusual in a globalized world culture.
The A 192 features hammers of a dark walnut core, covered with New Zealand wool utilizing a top-secret, traditional proprietary method.The hammers are individually voiced by hand by expert technicians before the piano leaves the factory. The result of manufacturing their own hammers which are then each individually hand voiced? Greater dynamic range and spectrum of tonal colors.
At the center of the A 192 and the main reason for its specific tone is it’s Italian Red Spruce soundboard, from the famed Val Di’ Fiemme in Italy, grown slowly at elevations of 1,000 meters and higher. This same source of spruce that Stradivarius used for his violins, and C. Bechstein are one of only 2 manufacturers who utilize this exclusive wood for their grand piano soundboards, the other being Fazioli.
The soundboard design itself is also very interesting and one of the main causes of the “bloom” like nature of the tone; each soundboard is tapered and fashioned as a membrane with its projection surface adjusted to the pianos specific acoustic assembly, like in violin-making. This membrane design makes the soundboard responsive to the slightest of vibrations without energy loss, allowing for maximum resonance.
C. Bechstein’s core design philosophy revolves around the idea of activating the entire structure, including the frame and cabinet, and minimizing energy loss as much as possible. This is done through triple joinery, long-aged woods which are highly stable and precision-fitted, and using a mix of hardwoods to ensure that no biasing occurs.
The inner rim is made of massive horizontal mahogany and red beech layers. The combination of the soundboard, ribs, and the bridge is inserted and glued into the inner rim, which is then adapted so that it supports the board’s crown. This complex procedure contributes to the optimization of the soundboard’s resonance.
The outer rim consists of vertical and horizontal beech layers that are glued together and shaped to achieve optimum solidity. The material is carefully selected to ensure that the case remains highly stable, and perfectly frames the soundboard.
The pinblock needs to be mentioned here as well. The pinblock found in the A 192 is one the most advanced in the world, utilizing a combination of thick and thin solid plains of beech, mahogany, and maple woods, all at alternating angles. It creates an incredibly even tension on the pin which remains consistent in different climates, and with superb durability.
|Size||Length||6’4” (192 cm)|
|Width||5'1" (153 cm)|
|Height||3'4" (102 cm)|
|Weight||772 lbs. (350 kg)|
|Warranty||5 Year Parts & Labour Manufacturer’s Warranty|