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Casio & Bechstein: The Perfect Collaboration?

by Richard Blenkinsop. Posted on 2017-09-19 17:12:46

The Casio Bechstein collaboration is a fairly recent partnership that saw two huge names in music come together to create something truly unique. The best of both worlds in terms of tradition and technology means that the Casio Bechstein Grand Hybrid really lives up to its name. It's got modern technology to give you an authentic piano sound, but has Bechstein's tried and tested hammer action - it doesn't feel like an acoustic piano action - it actually HAS an acoustic piano action.

Browse Casio Bechstein Grand Hybrid Pianos

Casio are giants of the tech industry and have been for some time - did you know that they made the first ever calculator in 1957? They even made the first ever digital camera too. In the 80s, they made a huge mark on the music industry and since then, have continued to innovate and pioneer. To this day, you'll see them alongside other big names in the world of keyboards and digital pianos.


The first Casio calculators in 1957

At the start of the Grand Hybrid's inception, Casio realised that they could create something really unique if they worked with an external acoustic piano brand. Enter Bechstein. Bechstein are an acoustic piano manufacturer founded in 1853 and, in the years between then and WWI, were Europe's main supplier of acoustic pianos. Debussy claimed that "piano music should only be written for the Bechstein" - high praise indeed! Bechstein are another company full of firsts - in the 19th century, they were the first to try iron frames in acoustic pianos. Also, not many people know this, but Bechstein actually made the first ever electronic piano in 1930 (though it's very different to digital pianos today). Check out the video below to see the Neo-Bechstein in action.

What Did Bechstein Contribute to the Grand Hybrid Pianos?

Now it would be very easy for Bechstein to simply stick their name on the piano and not contribute much to it, but that's absolutely not the case. It really is a collaboration split very evenly. Within the Grand Hybrid pianos is a Bechstein key action, using real hammers - as you would get in an acoustic grand piano. It also has full length wooden keys, cut from the same material as Bechstein's (quartersawn Austrian spruce) - it is a Bechstein grand piano key.

'What's the benefit of this?' you may ask. Well, if you play a digital piano all the time, you'll get used to that feel so, when you go to take a piano exam or go to play a concert and you're sat at an acoustic piano, it can feel quite different. You're probably nervous enough when taking a piano exam so you don't want any surprises as you play your first note! The Casio Bechstein Grand Hybrid has an acoustic hammer action inside of it and uses the right sized wooden keys, so there's much less discrepancy between this and an acoustic piano.


The key action from within a Grand Hybrid piano

Bechstein contributed the wonderful key action and key design - just like you would find on their acoustic pianos. They also gave an incredible sample of their D282 concert grand piano (usually around 130,000) that forms the GP's Berlin piano sound. Classical players such as the aforementioned Debussy and Franz Liszt were huge fans of the Bechstein sound, but it's also rife within popular music too: songs including Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen, Hey Jude by The Beatles and Life On Mars by David Bowie were all recorded on a Bechstein. With the action borrowed from a Bechstein acoustic grand and the sound having been sampled from a Bechstein grand, you know you're going to get a really authentic playing experience so that when it comes to exam, or concert time - you're ready!


The Bechstein D282 in a concert hall - get all of this in your Grand Hybrid

What Did Casio Contribute?

The collaboration is pretty much 50/50. Casio benefit from having decades of experience being a leader in technology. They know how to sample pianos properly so that you get a realistic sound when you play. Also, Bechstein's mechanical hammer action is all well and good, but it needs to trigger sensors to play those samples - Casio's technical know-how links the action to the sensors so that the way in which you press the keys is represented by what comes through the speakers.

Their experience in building products that stand the test of time also shows itself within the Grand Hybrid pianos. These are incredible quality instruments, and they come with a five year warranty, just to give you peace of mind. It's interesting to note too, that Casio helped Bechstein with the tech side of their silent pianos so it's a collaboration that really benefits both sides.

Conclusion

Both Casio and Bechstein have put forward some of their best features over the years to make a digital piano that feels incredibly close to an acoustic grand. Bechstein have been making acoustic pianos for over 150 years for some of the greatest players in the world and now you can get that wonderful feel in a digital package at an affordable price. The Grand Hybrid pianos have real hammers inside that follow the same trajectory as an acoustic grand piano, and the keys are made in the same way, from the same materials as an acoustic - it's very authentic. The samples are fantastic too, as is the functionality and build quality, thanks to Casio's technological prowess.

All of this means that you get a better experience when you're sat at your piano, and that it doesn't feel as different when you switch to an acoustic in lessons, at a concert or at an exam. Remember, if you buy any Casio Grand Hybrid from us, we use our own experienced, in-house delivery team that will bring it to your house and install it, free of charge! If you need any more information choosing the right piano for you, feel free to contact us!

Casio Bechstein GP400
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Casio Bechstein GP500
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By Richard Blenkinsop for Reidys. Posted on 2017-09-19 17:12:46