The W. Hoffmann v120 stands 48” tall and is therefore the most affordable professional sized, hand-made piano available from C. Bechstein Europe, the largest maker of premium pianos in Europe today. The v120 genuinely offers the piano market a very high quality, European made alternative to the classic K300/U1 debate, and for a slight premium, offers the musician a far wider range of expression in both tone and touch, stemming from one of the oldest and most respected piano institutions of all time – C. Bechstein.
Besides the multitude of benefits that comes with limited production, hand-made pianos, the W. Hoffmann v120 achieves its gorgeous tone with the help of the following coveted features: Premium Solid Spruce Soundboards (White Spruce), double-felted Bechstein-made hammers (English Wool), top quality European strings and more!
The Vision series is the most affordable W. Hoffmann line, and features all European parts (except strung-back) and assembly. The Vision Series pianos are fully hand-crafted from the point of receiving the strung backs, and feature a very high level of European piano making expertise in the wood, metal, and finishing specialties.
The W.Hoffmann v120 is priced fairly close to a Kawai K300 or a Yamaha U1, but delivers a more musical experience, which benefits from the hand-voicing/regulating/prepping by some of the finest piano craftspeople anywhere in the world.
The action in the W. Hoffmann v120 upright is a Bechstein designed and made action, which they label their ‘Silver Action’. This action is also used in the rest of the W. Hoffmann lines and in the German-made Bechstein Academy line. Bechstein also makes a ‘Gold Action’ which is reserved for their concert level instruments, as well as a ‘Bronze Aaction’ which is manufactured by Hailun for their Zimmermann pianos.
For those familiar with Renner Actions, the Bechstein Silver Action is similar in feel, although does have the sense of a deeper key bed, and seems to be designed and regulated to provide more control in lower dynamic ranges. This is likely also enhanced by the extended key-stick lengths
The W. Hoffmann v120 model has a rich, clear tone with a wide variety of colours and shades available to the musician to draw on. The tone of each individual note is very well balanced by the voicing specialists at C. Bechstein Europe, and offers a singing tone quality to the instrument that will inspire and satisfy all players.
The musical benefits of a W. Hoffmann v120 upright in comparison to a 48” production Japanese upright would include: better tonal clarity, projection and sustain.
C. Bechstein Europe uses only bass strings of 95% copper purity in the W. Hoffmann v120 for an optimal tonal outcome.
There are only three piano manufacturers remaining today, who continue to make their own piano hammers: Kawai, Yamaha and C. Bechstein.
Bechstein designs and manufactures every hammer found in their W. Hoffmann and Bechstein branded pianos in Europe with the finest quality felts and woods available to maintain complete control over the quality of these integral components.
Its also interesting to note that Bechstein has a specific sized/scaled hammer set for each individual model they make (not just for the different lines) to get as much tonal efficiency out of each instrument.
All Bechstein hammers are made in Germany.
The W. Hoffmann v120 receives maple-core, double-felted hammers (English felt) which are carefully selected and hand-voiced by the voicing experts at C. Bechstein Europe.
The soundboard in the W. Hoffmann v120 is made of high quality, white spruce and provides the instrument with a beautiful sense of tonal clarity, without sacrificing the rich ‘bottom-end’, which isn’t common with midrange European pianos.
Hoffmann Vision Series soundboards are specially processed for use in any climate.
One of the various things which the Concert Class, C. Bechstein pianos are famous for, is how involved in the tonal production their cases and rims have always been. It therefore shouldn’t come as a total surprise that the W. Hoffmann v120 (which costs a literal fraction of what a Bechstein costs) is constructed of massive pinewood with a back frame made of solid braces (medium density wood).
Apart from the musical differences between Japanese and European pianos, there are also most certainly some cabinetry differences as well. Vision Series Hoffmann cabinets are finished to a higher standard than is usually seen in their instrument class, and feature among other things: bevelled edges, rounded corners, straight/clean lines on the fallboard, a half-opening top lid as well as European-style double caster wheels.