Reminiscent of some piano designs attempted 200 years ago, Chernobieff’s Mammoth is one of the most unusual pianos being built today. Dubbed a Vertical Concert Grand, Mammoth’s model VCG stands 7′ 2″ tall, weighs 1,200 pounds, and has the scale design and sound of a 9′ concert grand.
The piano’s immense structure includes six laminated wooden back posts and a welded steel frame, yet despite its bulk, the instrument appears quite attractive in its custom-made cabinet of Brazilian cherry. The soundboard and ribs are of Sitka spruce. The action, invented specifically for this piano, appears superficially to be like that of a vertical, but actually contains the double-escapement feature of a grand piano action.
Inventor-builder Chris Chernobieff got his start assembling dulcimer and harpsichord kits, and branched out into piano service and rebuilding about 15 years ago. Inspired by other technicians who built their own pianos, Chernobieff asked, “Why not me?” Having spent the last several years designing and building the Mammoth, he now has plans for a 6′ vertical and some innovative grand models.
Mammoth model VCG retails for $98,000.