Schimmel has been building pianos by hand in Germany since 1885, with a reputation for quality and durability. One of the few German piano makers to survive the tragedy of two world wars, Schimmel once again rose to prominence in the decades that followed.
If there was ever a complaint about Schimmel, it was that their grand pianos were perhaps overly bright and lacking colour in certain dynamic ranges. In recent years. Schimmel was determined to silence all critics, and with a massive investment in new Computer Assisted Piano Engineering software and CNC equipment, the top quality Konzert series was born, usurping the Classic line as their top offering.
Schimmel focused their efforts on their concert grand, the K280, to design, implement and execute innovative new designs and technologies, with critical features trickling down to the smaller Konzert series grands.
The result of this effort is a concert grand with a litany of cutting-edge design features, like an extra-long keyboard action, enlarged soundboard, and triplex scaling, elevating Schimmel to a level they had never before achieved.
The Schimmel Konzert K280 is a triumph and undoubtedly stands with some of the world’s other fine 9-foot concert grands from manufacturer’s like C. Bechstein, Fazioli, Hamburg Steinway and Shigeru Kawai.
Schimmel extensively redesigned the action with their Konzert series and has the actions built by Renner in Germany to their exacting specifications.
They’ve extended the keysticks by 6cm over their previous concert grands, resulting in a whole new dimension of control that becomes especially apparent at dynamic extremes. The K280, along with the Shigeru Kawai SKEX, has the longest key length of any concert grand.
The keytops are made from specially selected minerals, and the black keys are made with genuine ivory for an unmatched keytouch.
Add in copious amounts of regulation before the piano leaves the factory, and you have a fluid, highly dynamic action that offers a level of control everyone, including the most accomplished of virtuosos, will appreciate.
Schimmel has been incredibly successful in dialing down the brightness with the Konzert series, as the K280 boasts a warm, lush, and incredible tonal profile, with one of the longest sustains of any concert grand.
Schimmel also incorporates their proprietary triplex scaling in the mid and treble ranges which brings out an incredibly complex array of harmonic partials. The speaking string length is also increased for added richness.
The bridge utilizes a dynamic groove for decreased mass, allowing the soundboard to resonate more freely. This is a key reason the sustain on this instrument is so magnificent.
The K280 uses double felted, stapled, mahogany core hammers from Wurzen. These hammers are strong, durable, and pair perfectly with the action.
The soundboards selected for the K280 are nothing short of special – AAA Bavarian White Solid Spruce sourced from high mountain ranges, extensively matured for optimal pulp to grain ratio.
The soundboard diameter is exceptionally large as compared to the standard soundboard size in other grand pianos – approximately 15% bigger. The soundboard is also tapered. This combination of larger size and tapering helps contribute to the K280’s powerful tone.
Schimmel also incorporates a dynamic bar into the soundboard which separates the soundboard into distinct zones, which improves the dynamic range of colours.
Lastly, the soundboard is crowned in 3 dimensional manner unique to Schimmel which contributes to fortress-like tuning stability.
The case of the K280 will stand out to anyone familiar with traditional grand piano design, as the angles are irregular to accommodate the extra-large soundboard.
The inner and outer rim are made of alternating laminations of beech and maple, resulting in a highly durable cabinet that also participates in the sound generation process by actively resonating. The thickness of this rim is shocking – easily one of the thickest grand piano rims on the market.
The soundboard is integrated into the keybed, which offers players an extra level of connection to the instrument.