The new Rocket 88?

I suspect this will cost many, many grand:

What’s actually going on here:

The Japanese company, which has been making musical instruments for 35 years, has collaborated with German piano maker C. Bechstein to develop the Celviano Grand Hybrid, a digital grand piano that takes up no more room than the average keyboard. The idea is to combine all the benefits of electric and acoustic pianos, while delivering the experience of playing a grand piano.

Replicating the sound of such an awesomely powerful instrument is no easy feat, but Casio has gone so far as to offer sound profiles of three different, but long-established instrument styles for pianists to choose between. The first of these sounds, the Berlin Grand, has been developed in conjunction with the piano makers C. Bechstein, who have been polishing keys and stretching strings for over 160 years. It is apparently “known for its elegant clear sound and a reverberation that gives each performance rich melodic colour”. The Vienna Grand style, on the other hand, “provides a calm and stately sound with rich bass and beautiful tones when the keys are played softly” and the Hamburg style “delivers gorgeous power and strength with plenty of string resonance”.

Why this might actually work:

Recreating the sound of a grand piano is just one element of replicating the experience of playing one, however; there is also the small matter of making the instrument feel like a grand. For that, Casio has incorporated C. Bechstein’s traditional wooden keys into the build of the grand hybrid, which make fingers less likely to slip or fatigue. It has also brought in a natural grand hammer action to enhance response and feedback, which should enhance the expressiveness of playing.

Still unexplained: why Casio, which makes this wondrous instrument, chose to show it off with a selection from the Random Trailer Music catalog.


  1. Don »

    3 September 2015 · 2:49 pm

    I found some sound samples here. They sound nice enough, but they are all annoyingly mellow and don’t show how the instrument handles Beethoven or Bartok. I suspect that if you have a reasonably capable computer, you can do at least as well with a better-quality MIDI controller, a good virtual piano, and decent speakers or headphones for a lot less money.

  2. McGehee »

    4 September 2015 · 8:47 am

    More German-Japanese collaboration. This is starting to look ominous.

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