The need for piano manufacturers, even legendary ones, to diversify and offer competitive options at a plethora of price points is readily apparent in a highly globalized world. Like other German piano makers such as C.Bechstein, Schimmel now offers pianos in 4 distinct lines of quality.
Also like Bechstein, Schimmel offers two lines that are entirely made in Germany (Braunschweig) – the elite Schimmel Konzert series, and the less expensive but still handmade Classic series. After that, there’s the Polish-made Wilhelm Schimmel, and Chinese-built Fridolin Schimmel, which rounds out their 4 lines of piano models.
Where Schimmel is particularly successful though is in creating two distinctly different German lineups from a musical perspective to the point that for many, choosing a less expensive Classic series will not be a compromise, and the inherent musical experience of the Classic series will be preferred.
The C169 is the smallest of this lineup that stands three models strong and boasts some of the most competitive pricing of all German handmade grand pianos. And with a full-size concert grand action, the C169 can compete with any other grand in the class, making it the perfect access point for many entering the world of German artistry.
The C169 uses an action developed by Schimmel’s dedicated engineering team and built in another part of Germany by action aficionados Renner.
But the most important thing about the action has to do with the geometry – the C169 manages to integrate a full-sized concert grand piano action, the identical action geometry found in the 9 foot K280! This means that when playing the 5’7″ C169, it will actually feel as though you’re playing a 9-foot instrument.
Mineral keytops ensure an enjoyable playing experience even hours into a playing session.
The C169 uses a sound system (scale design) based on the K280 and reduced in size to accommodate its 5’7″ length.
The treble brims with clarity and the overall tonal profile are definitely bright with a sharp attack like the Schimmel grand pianos of the past. With a precision of execution by the experienced craftsmen at Schimmel, this classic grand like a larger grand piano.
While it may not use the triplex scale or the advanced bridge of the Konzert series K175, the C169 has its own personality that many will fall in love with.
Schimmel uses high quality, double felted wool from Wurzen for the hammers in the C169. A beech core is selected for its brighter tonal potential, rather than the mahogany found in the Konzert series.
Schimmel is studious in their soundboard selection in all of their instruments, and the C169 receives high-quality, double A solid Bavarian spruce that is tapered prior to installation. This is ideal soundboard wood.
The soundboard area itself is 10-15% larger than other comparably sized grand pianos in the class, which improves both sustain and projection.
Like other Schimmel models, the C169 features both protects the structure as a whole, and contribute to the music-making process.
The ebony high gloss finish (polished ebony) but it’s also available in white high gloss and mahogany.