While Schimmel has exclusively built high-end, handmade pianos in Germany for over 100 years, over the past couple of decades due to the effects of globalization, the need to offer instruments at different price categories and quality levels became increasingly apparent.
Today, Schimmel offers no less than four distinct lines of pianos, with the Konzert and Classic series still built in Germany, the Wilhelm Schimmel built in Poland, and the Fridolin Schimmel assembled in China by parent company Pearl River, who acquired a controlling interest in Schimmel in 2016.
Despite the Chinese assembly, the Fridolin’s are a Schimmel instrument through and through. The F130 is based on the scale and cabinet design of the Schimmel Classic F130, and incorporates a Schimmel designed action, German hammer felt, and Rosslau strings. With supervision and close oversight by Schimmel Craftsmen from Germany, the F130 offers a true European-like alternative in a price point where Japanese made pianos reign supreme.
Within an action entirely designed by Schimmel in Germany, this is as close as you can get to a German piano action in a piano made outside of Europe.
Schimmel’s technical department is considered one of the most advanced worldwide, and they directly supervise and oversee the building, assembly, and installation of these actions. The result, a fluid action that’s easy controls, and actually feels quite similar to a Yamaha U3. With several hours of regulation from a good technician, you can get this action feeling quite close to its German counterpart.
The F130 does a great job of capturing the essence of German piano tone. There are a warmth and richness unheard in other Chinese-built instruments, and the transitions across the ranges of the instruments are all smooth, which is indicative of a great scale design and how well it’s been executed. Schimmel also uses German Rosslau strings here.
If you’re looking at something like a Kawai K500 or Yamaha U3 but would prefer something that sounds more European, you simply need to try the F130.
Schimmel uses German felt that’s cold pressed in all of the Fridolin Schimmel hammers, which helps contribute to the piano’s excellent tone.
Schimmel selects AAA solid spruce for the soundboards in the F130 to ensure the stellar design and execution isn’t wasted on a subpar soundboard. High-grade solid spruce ensures excellent tonal response and sustain.
Schimmel’s trophy case is literally overflowing the cabinet design awards, and the same award-winning caring and attention is applied to the F130. The cabinet finish is leaps and bounds above what was previously thought possible for a piano coming out of China.