Schimmel has 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. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Schimmel’s Konzert series.
The Konzert series instruments have only been on the market for a few years, and were designed to establish a higher quality level than Schimmel had ever before achieved. Despite its “professional” size of 48” inches, the K122 is actually the smallest of the three Konzert series uprights. That said, it’s almost unfair to think of the K122 as the entry point to the series given the magnificent musical potential it’s capable of.
Hand made by a small cadre of experienced piano craftsmen, the K122 also boasts a host of modern design features, such as a soundboard outfitted with dynamic bars for greater resonance, extra-long keysticks for greater control, and triplex scaling for greater sustain and tonal complexity.
A singular music experience, the K122 was designed for those who wish to truly reward themselves.
The K122 features Schimmel’s top action, with the design aided by Schimmel’s proprietary Computer Assisted Piano Engineering (CAPE) software. Renner builds the actions to Schimmel’s precise specifications, and the results speak for themselves – this is a highly fluid, refined action that reeks of finesse.
The keysticks have been extended to offer a greater level of control, especially at dynamic extremes. This feature has started to become a trend among more forward-thinking piano manufacturers, and its presence here is very welcome.
The white keytops are made from a combination of specific minerals to replicate the feel of ivory, and the black keys are genuine ebony.
A criticism Schimmel had occasionally received in the past is that the tonal profile of their pianos was sometimes too bright, and lacking in depth. While this may have been true in the past, it certainly isn’t the case here – the K122 features a rich, warm and highly dynamic tonal profile, capable of a wide range of nuances. Schimmel deserves credit for addressing and fixing these criticisms and not simply resting on their laurels like many other manufacturers.
The treble scale design, with features triplex scaling, is identical to the treble scaling in the Konzert series grand pianos. The sustain is very good, and again, the overall tonal colour is much warmer than what Schimmel has been known for in the past.
The hammers featured in the K122 action are double felted to prevent distortion and are built with a mahogany core. The hammers are supplied by German company Wurzen as very few piano manufacturer currently makes their own hammers. While mahogany is not as premium material as Walnut is for hammer construction, this is still an undoubtedly high-end hammer configuration.
The K122 features a soundboard of AAA Bavarian spruce. These soundboards have been extensively aged, and are tapered to for greater resonance and tonal projection.
The soundboard is the heart of any great piano tone, and Schimmel has certainly made it a priority to offer a soundboard of high-quality, aged wood.
The cabinet is robustly built, and there were clearly serious aesthetic considerations made as the cabinet combines the classic appearance of an upright piano, with a contemporary touch to some of the finer details.