Schimmel have been producing high-quality pianos in Germany since 1885. After years of steady growth were upended due to the onset and aftermath of two worlds, Schimmel has again enjoyed decades of growth and prosperity. While a majority interest of Schimmel was purchased by Chinese piano maker Pearl River in 2016, the 4th generation Schimmel family are still involved as shareholders, and all Classic and Konzert models are still made by hand exclusively in Germany.
Today, Schimmel is known as one of the more innovative and forward-thinking European manufacturers due to their integration of computer-aided design and manufacturing processes, combined with traditional hand craftsmanship. Schimmel’s classic series is exactly what the name suggests – a lineup of pianos handcrafted with Schimmel’s classic scale designs and style of the past.
The Classic series pianos are high-quality, professional instruments, positioned just below Schimmel’s top Konzert series pianos. The Konzert series pianos feature newer computer-aided designs with some upgraded features, while the Classic series pianos feature the traditional scale designs and features of Schimmel’s pianos of the past, though gradually innovations from the Konzert series have been appearing in the Classic series.
The C121 represents the classic line’s offering at the highly competitive 48” upright piano size. 48” is the most popular upright piano size worldwide, and this category is typically dominated by Japanese instruments such as the Yamaha U1 or Kawai K300. The C121 is a true step up in quality from the Japanese instruments given the extensive handcraftsmanship and is built for those seeking a German upright built in the legendary traditional style.
The C121 features a fluid, easily controllable action with extended keys, and there’s a massive tonal dynamic range that facilitates the playing of all types of music and repertoire.
This instrument is a perfect example of classic German piano making, and should surely be explored by those seeking a special 48” upright.
The C121 features a premium action designed by Schimmel and made in Germany by Renner. As a new upgrade over the C120, the C121 now receives the same extended length keysticks as the instruments from the Konzert series. The extra-long keystick length allows for greater control of the action, especially at dynamic extremes, and has been becoming a trend among more forward thinking manufacturer’s in recent years.
Schimmel also produces their own mineral based keytops, which provide a very nice texture. Overall, this action is highly fluid – quick and effortless. Getting around advanced classical repertoire will be no problem with this action.
Schimmel is known for the bright and clear tone of their instruments, along with the super immediate attack. They’re typically much brighter in tone than other German uprights, which is likely due to the heavier hammers Schimmel uses.
This holds true with the C121 – this instrument produces a powerful tone with laser-like levels of clarity, all the way from the bass to the treble.
The bridge caps are horizontally laminated, something entirely unique to Schimmel, which changes the overall harmonics of the tone with greater sustain. This design has also trickled down from the Konzert series.
The hammers featured in the C121 action are double felted to prevent distortion and are built with a beech core. The hammers are supplied by German company Wurzen as very few piano manufacturer currently makes their own hammers. As mentioned above, Schimmel uses a heavier hammer design than what is typical with most German pianos.
The C121 features soundboards of AA Bavarian spruce. These soundboards have been aged, and are tapered to for greater resonance and tonal projection.
The C121 features a redesigned cabinet with a much slicker, modern aesthetic than the C120. The C121 was clearly designed to be integrated with modern home interiors.