New Pianos at Musikmesse 2018

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Despite a good turn-out from the piano manufacturing industry, there were relatively few actual new instruments on show at this year’s Musikmesse in Frankfurt. A wave of new pianos were unveiled back in January at the NAMM show, so most companies didn’t have much left to announce. However a few digital and acoustic pianos made their debut.

August Förster Piano Bar

The tremendously popular August Förster “Piano Bar”! Photo: Messe Frankfurt GmbH / Petra Welzel

New Digital Pianos at NAMM 2018
The Bösendorfer Dragonfly Grand Piano [NAMM 2018]
New Product: Kurzweil SP1 Stage Piano [NAMM 2018]

I’ve already covered the Nord Piano 4 in a piece we ran earlier this month. Yamaha, however, did take the opportunity to launch their P-125 digital piano at the German show.  

Yamaha P-125 Digital Piano

This replaces Yamaha’s P-115, and is positioned as a compact, entry-level instrument ideal for the beginner pianist. This sleek, minimalist design has been re-styled, with an acoustic grand piano-like curve above the keyboard. The 3-pedal accessory also has the look something of a grand’s pedal lyre about it.

Yamaha P-125

Yamaha P-125, also available in white and brown

The P-125 integrates with the Yamaha Smart Pianist app (iOS) to access greater control over the piano’s voices and settings. The app also provides player-piano facilities, and using the P-125’s USB interface enables the recording of audio and/or MIDI performances into a computer.

In common with other of the company’s digital instruments, the P-125 uses digital samples of Yamaha’s  flagship CFIIIS concert grand piano. It also includes 24 instrument Voices (pianos, electric pianos, organs, strings, bass and more), 20 simple drums and bass Styles and 50 Classical Music Masterpieces.

The P-125 employs Yamaha’s excellent Graded Hammer Standard (GHS) keyboard, enabling nuanced performance of the piano’s sampled instruments.

The Yamaha P-125 will start shipping in April 2018, and has a US MSRP of $999.00.

Yamaha TransAcoustic and Silent Pianos Series

Yamaha's Silent Piano

Yamaha’s Silent Piano

Those familiar with these ranges will know that these pianos are essentially acoustic instruments that are engineered for the modern domestic environment. An acoustic piano isn’t always popular with neighbours at 3.00am! 

At the push of a button the Silent technology prevents the hammers striking the strings, and instead analyses the keyboard’s action and triggers an alternative  digitally generated sound, which can be monitored via headphones.

With the TransAcoustics, almost the opposite happens… the digitally generated sound is amplified by means of transducers attached to the piano’s soundboard. The soundboard becomes the loudspeaker, providing a more all-encompassing sound that doesn’t just eminate from point sources.

The new generation of TransAcoustic and Silent pianos at Musikmesse 2018 feature enhanced digital VRM (Virtual Resonance Modelling) to deliver a more authentic musical experience. There are also new voices, these include the Bösendorfer Imperial Concert Grand piano. All the new models work with Yamaha’s Smart Pianist app.

Bösendorfer 185VC Grand Piano  

Bösendorfer 185VC grand piano

The new Bösendorfer 185VC grand piano.

The “VC” stand for Vienna Concert, and the 185 is the latest addition to the series that was conceived exactly six years ago includes the 214VC and 280VC models. These pianos have the identity and tradition of a Bösendorfer grand but with every element analysed and re-imagined using the latest technologies to provide a classic acoustic instrument for the 21st century. 

The new 185VC offers the “Vienna Concert” experience in a compact package, and at a price of £76,867.00 (UK). US price to be confirmed.


One product range that was being kept somewhat under wraps was the Kawai AURES – a new hybrid upright piano. Unfortunately the final specs and design aren’t yet finalised, so Kawai haven’t released much info, but…

Kawai AURES project

A prototype of Kawai’s new AURES hybrid piano was at Musikmesse

The name AURES is from AUdio and RESonance, and as far as I can see is a technology much akin to Yamaha’s aforementioned TransAcoustic products. These instruments use  the solid spruce soundboard of a specially designed acoustic instrument to amplify digital piano (and other) sounds. Kawai are working closely with Onkyo on this project and I hope to be able to reveal more over the next few months.

More Exhibitors

Other piano firms at Musikmesse 2018 include:
Aidisier Piano Manufacture (Yingkou) Co. Ltd. (…)
Alpha Pianos GmbH (…)
August Förster GmbH (…)
Beijing Hsinghai Piano Group Ltd. (…)
Carl Rönisch Pianomanufaktur GmbH (…) 
Casio Europe GmbH (…)
Dynatone Corporation (…)
Fatar S.r.l. (…)
Fazioli Pianoforti S.p.A (…)
Fuzhou Paide Technology Co., Ltd. (…)
GEWA Music GmbH (…)
Grotrian-Steinweg GmbH & Co. KG (…)
Guangzhou Pearl River Piano Group (…)
Hailun Piano Co. Ltd. (…)
Hangxhou Worlde Music Electronic Co. Ltd. (…)
Heller Klavierbau (…)
Irmler Piano GmbH (…)
J.C. Neupert GmbH & Co. (…)
Julius Blüthner Pianofortefabrik GmbH (…)
Kawai Europa GmbH (…)
Korg Inc. (…)
Louis Renner GmbH & Co. KG (…)
Nanjing Schumann Piano Manufactory Co. Ltd. (…)
Niendorf Flügel und Klavierfabrik GmbH (…)
Orla S.r.l. (…)
Pearl Piano (restoration) (…)
Petrof, spol. s.r.o. (…)
PianoDisc USA (…)
Pianoforce s.r.o. (…)
Ringway Tech (Jiangsu) Co. Ltd. (…)
Rothedesign KG (…)
Seiler Pianofortefabrik GmbH (…)
Shanghai Glory Intl. Trade Co. Ltd. (…)
Shanghai Huaxin Musical Instrument Co. Ltd. (…)
Sounion Oy Ltd. (…)
Steingraeber & Söhne KG (…)
The One Music Group (…)
Thüringer Pianoforte GmbH (…)
Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH (…)
Xiamen Sterinborgh Piano Co. Ltd. (…)
Yantai Kingsburg Piano Co. Ltd. (…)
Yunyu Piano Manufacture Company (…)
Zhejiang Youyi Electronic Co.Ltd. (…)

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