A wide selection of new pianos appeared at the recent Winter NAMM 2020 show. The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) holds two popular trade events in America each year. However, it is the winter show, held each January at the Anaheim Convention Centre in California, that is the world’s largest exhibition for music and pro audio products.
Most, but not all, of the major piano manufacturers (acoustic and digital) choose to exhibit at this trade show. This article takes a look at some of the new pianos, starting with the acoustics.
Mason & Hamlin introduced three new piano lines: the VX (or Virtuoso X), Artist, and Classic Series. Based on the original Model CC, the VX Concert Grand features an entirely new scale design and provides greater control over the instrument’s dynamics.
The Artist and Classic Series, are the more affordable alternatives to the Virtuoso X, and will become available later in 2020. The Artist Series instruments feature the Wessel Nickel & Gross (WNG) composite action, whilst the Classic Series pianos have a traditional wooden action with WNG shanks and flanges (…more Information).
Pearl River released two new finishes (Blue Polish and Walnut Satin) for their popular EU118S studio upright. The company also produces the premium brand of Kayserburg. This year there were three new Kayserburg pianos appearing at NAMM for the first time – the KA180 (grand) and KA6 and KAM5 Studio uprights (…more Information).
Bol Pianos is a Dutch company operating a joint venture with Yantai Piano Manufacturing Co. Ltd. They have a large factory in the Far East where they make the Perzina branded range of pianos (originally founded in 1871). This year they unveiled their new UP-127 (50″) upright with an Ebony Polish finish (…more Information).
Seiler also introduced several new options to their existing range of instruments at Winter NAMM 2020. These include a Macassar finish for the Seiler SE-126 Attraction and a Bavarian White Spruce option for the SE-116. They also unveiled the SE-122 Passion with AdSilent (for silent playing and recording), and a special schools’ version of the SE-116 upright (…more Information).
Baldwin, now part of the restructured Gibson company, launched their new Academy Series with the Model BA146 designed to appeal to the educational market. They also exhibited their new attractively styled BP-X5 upright which is produced in their own factory in Zhongshan, China (…more Information).
The “brand” Ernst Krause Berlin first appeared in the late 1860s, but it is only now that these instruments are being formally introduced to the US market. The company produces a range of 5 “Master Series” uprights and 4 grands, and has facilities in Germany and China (…more Information).
Another long-established piano brand to be introduced to the US market is Gebr. Schulz. “Gebr.” is an abbreviation of the German word “gebrüder”, meaning brothers. Originally founded in 1888, the company is now based in Wiesbaden, Germany. And with Christoph Schulz at the helm, it is now in its fifth generation of ownership. Better known in Russia and China, the product line currently includes two uprights—the G-20 and G-30, and two grands—the G-58 and G-78 (…more Information).
The new Bösendorfer Secession 214VC concert grand piano was on display at the show. For more detailed information on this stunning limited-edition acoustic grand piano see our previous news item.
The Yamaha P22 is a popular “workhorse” upright piano known for its tuning stability and ruggedness. It has become well established in classrooms, teaching establishments and rehearsal studios the world over. Yamaha has now updated the P22 giving it a wider music rack and a soft-closing fallboard. It is also making available as an option its SC2 Silent Piano technology, for private recording and practice. Available March 2020 (…more Information).
When it comes to digitals, the star of the show was the Roland Facet GPX-F1 concept grand, which we covered in a previous article. But the company also had a new stage piano to show—the Roland RD-88.
This is the latest in the company’s long-running (30 years!) RD Series. It’s a compact professional digital with 88-note PHA-4 keyboard and is shipping in March 2020 (…more Information).
Korg launched the SV-2 stage piano. The SV line (Stage Vintage) has also been around for some time (10 years). The Korg SV-2 offers a range of world-class pianos, vintage instruments, and “period” effects all with a performance orientated user-interface. Available February 2020 (…more Information).
Yamaha introduced the CVP-800 range of Clavinovas to the NAMM audience. The line-up comprises the CVP-805, CVP-809 and the CVP-809GP. Each has a touch screen with the latter two featuring a new 9-inch screen the largest yet to be found on a Clavinova. They incorporate the new GrandTouch keyboard, and the keys are now individually weighted for improved response. In addition, a more powerful amplification system is installed (…more Information).
Several new digital pianos were to be found on the Dexibell stand. These included a new stage piano—the VIVI S7 PRO M, and two premium home pianos—the VIVO H10 MG (Mini Grand) and the VIVO H10 (console).
The Dexibell S7 PRO M is, in essence, an S7 PRO with speakers (M for Monitor), whilst the H10s on show were the production models, first seen as prototypes at last year’s NAMM show. The H10s have mic inputs, and the signal can be processed (reverb, etc.) before emanating from the onboard speakers, mixed with the piano sounds—a useful feature (…more Information).
These then are just some of the piano highlights of the Winter NAMM Show 2020. More about these, and other new instruments, will appear here over the coming months. Also, Piano Buyer has an excellent selection of piano photos taken at the NAMM show, which can be seen via their Instagram account.
The Summer NAMM Show takes place 9—11 July 2020 at the Music City Center, Nashville, Tennessee, USA.