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Blüthner, one of the world’s preeminent piano makers, has released its first line of digital pianos, called the e-Klavier. (For company background, see the Blüthner listing in the “Brand and Company Profiles” for acoustic pianos.) Engineered and manufactured in Leipzig, Germany, the e-Klavier line comprises eight models in five styles: a slab, three standard verticals, a decorator vertical called the Pianette, a vertical called Homeline with a solid wood cabinet, and two grand-shaped models.
Blüthner says it has developed a unique approach to sampling and sound modeling, called Authentic Acoustic Behavior, that allows the e-Klavier to reproduce the effect of the aliquot (fourth) string of Blüthner’s acoustic pianos. This system also permits the reproduction of advanced harmonics, such as the coincidental partials produced when two notes are played simultaneously, and the sound the dampers make when lifting off the strings. The e-Klavier actions, sourced from Fatar, feature escapement, and wooden keys with “ivory feel” in some models. In the near future, users will be able to download new sounds to the e-Klaviers via the Internet at no charge, and store the sounds of turn-of-the-century Blüthner pianos and other Blüthner models of interest.
The speaker system and amplifier are unique to the e-Klavier and were designed by Günter Philipp, of PCL Audio. The e-Klavier 2 and 3 also contain an actual piano soundboard, which enables these instruments to produce certain aspects of acoustic-piano tone that are difficult or impossible to simulate by purely electronic means.
Blüthner also makes a hybrid-piano system, called “e-volution,” that can be installed in any of its acoustic upright or grand models. For more information, see the Blüthner listing in the Acoustic Pianos: Brand and Company Profiles section of this issue.
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