PianoBuyer

SCHIMMEL

Including Wilhelm Schimmel, Fridolin Schimmel, Vogel, May Berlin

Schimmel Piano Corporation
306 Winding Hill Drive
Lancaster, PA 17601
800-426-3205
[email protected]
www.schimmel-pianos.de

Pianos made by: Wilhelm Schimmel Pianofortefabrik GmbH, Braunschweig, Germany (Schimmel), and Kalisz, Poland (Wilhelm Schimmel); and Guangzhou Pearl River Piano Group Ltd., Guangzhou, China (Fridolin Schimmel)

Wilhelm Schimmel began making pianos in Leipzig in 1885, and his company enjoyed steady growth through the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The two World Wars and the Depression disrupted production several times, but the company has gradually rebuilt itself over the past 70 years while earning a strong reputation for quality. In 2016, the Chinese piano maker Pearl River purchased a majority interest in Schimmel, in which the Schimmel family remains shareholders. One of Europe’s most prolific piano makers, Schimmel makes about 2,500 verticals and 500 grands per year.

Among European piano manufacturers, Schimmel has been a pioneer in the use of computer-aided design and manufacturing. The company has used its Computer Assisted Piano Engineering (CAPE) software to research, design, and implement virtually every aspect of making a piano, from keyboard layout and action geometry to soundboard acoustics and scale design. According to Schimmel, the combination of CNC machinery and handcraftsmanship leads to better results than handwork alone. Schimmel also believes that precision is aided by controlling as much of the production process as possible. For that reason, Schimmel produces its own piano-cabinet components and its own keyboards, which it also supplies to other German piano makers.

Schimmel’s model line distributed in North America is organized into four categories: Konzert (K) and Classic (C), both made entirely in Germany; Wilhelm Schimmel (formerly known as Vogel), assembled in Poland; and Fridolin Schimmel, made in China by Pearl River.

The company says that the purpose of the Konzert series is to expand the Schimmel line upward to a higher level of quality than it had previously attained, whereas the Classic series represents models that have been tested over time and are solid, traditional, high-quality instruments, but without all the latest refinements. The Konzert-series uprights — 48″ model K122, 49″ model K125, and 52″ model K132 — are based on a more sophisticated philosophy of construction than the Classics, and incorporate triplex scaling and other advanced design features. Schimmel’s philosophy for these uprights was to design them to be as much like the grands as possible. The treble scales, in fact, are exactly the same as in the Konzert grands. All uprights have adjustable gliders (to adjust to unevenness in the floor) and come with a matching adjustable bench.

All Konzert grand models are scaled to use the model 280’s concert-grand action. The case sides are angled slightly to accommodate a larger soundboard, and all have tunable front and rear duplex or triplex scales for greater tonal color. Other advanced features include: improved soundboard and bridge materials, more time spent voicing the instruments in the factory, sharps of real ebony, and mineral white keytops to mimic the feel of ivory. The largest grands have reinforced keys for optimal energy transmission.

Schimmel grand pianos historically had a very bright, clear tone that was a bit thin, and lacking in color in the treble. The grands were redesigned, in part, to add color to the tone, and the result is definitely more interesting than before. Sustain is also very good. The pianos are being delivered to U.S. dealers voiced less bright than in the past, as this is what the American ear tends to prefer. As for the verticals, the smaller models tend to have very big bass for their size, with a tone that emphasizes the fundamental, giving the low end a warmer character. The 52″ model K132, which features a grand-shaped soundboard, has a very big sound; listening to it, one might think one was in the presence of a medium-size grand.

In 2002, Schimmel acquired the PianoEurope factory in Kalisz, Poland, a piano-restoration and manufacturing facility. Schimmel at first used the Kalisz factory to manufacture its Vogel brand, a moderately priced line named for the company’s president. This line has now been replaced by the Wilhelm Schimmel brand, named for the company’s founder. Schimmel says that although the skill level of its Polish employees is high, the lower wages and other lower costs available in Poland result in a piano approximately 30% less costly than comparable Schimmel models. Wilhelm Schimmel models use rims, soundboards, and strings from Germany; actions sourced in Asia; and cabinet parts from Poland. Final regulation and preparation are done in Schimmel’s facility in Braunschweig, Germany. The Wilhelm Schimmel pianos, though designed by Schimmel, don’t have all the refinements and advanced features of the latest Schimmel models. Nevertheless, they have received praise from many quarters for their high-quality workmanship and sound.

The May Berlin line, made for Schimmel in China, has been discontinued. The Fridolin Schimmel line is named for Wilhelm Schimmel’s younger brother, who emigrated to America in 1890, and in 1893 established his own piano-manufacturing business, in Faribault, Minnesota. Fridolin Schimmel instruments feature scales, actions, and cabinets designed by Schimmel in Germany, and are made to high quality standards by Pearl River in China.

Warranty: Schimmel, Wilhelm Schimmel, and Fridolin Schimmel — 10 years, parts and labor, to original purchaser.

Acoustic Piano: Model & Pricing Guide

* See the Introduction for an explanation of pricing.

Model Feet Inches Description MSRP* SMP*
Schimmel Classic Series Verticals
C 116 46 Tradition Polished Ebony 27,905 23,324
C 116 46 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 31,453 26,162
C 116 46 Tradition Satin Walnut/Cherry/Alder 27,905 23,324
C 116 46 Modern Polished Ebony 32,340 26,872
C 116 46 Modern Polished White 35,888 29,710
C 116 46 Modern Cubus Polished Ebony 32,340 26,872
C 116 46 Modern Cubus Polished White 35,888 29,710
C 121 48 Tradition Polished Ebony 31,030 25,824
C 121 48 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 34,665 28,732
C 121 48 Tradition Satin Walnut/Cherry/Alder 31,030 25,824
C 121 48 Tradition Marketerie Polished Mahogany w/inlays 38,410 31,728
C 121 48 Tradition Noblesse Polished Ebony w/Exotic-Wood Inlay Panels 36,303 30,042
C 121 48 Tradition Prestige Polished Ebony w/Exotic-Wood Inlay Panels 38,803 32,042
C 121 48 Elegance Manhattan Polished Ebony 29,968 24,974
C 121 48 Elegance Manhattan Super Matte Satin Ebony w/Chrome Hardware 36,303 30,042
C 121 48 Royal Polished Ebony 34,133 28,306
C 121 48 Royal Intarsie Flora Polished Mahogany w/inlays 38,410 31,728
C 123 48 Tradition Polished Ebony (limited edition) 33,445 27,756
C 126 50 Tradition Polished Ebony 36,773 30,418
C 126 50 Tradition Polished Mahogany 40,320 33,256
C 130 51 Tradition Polished Ebony 39,955 32,964
C 130 51 Tradition Polished Mahogany 43,278 35,622
Schimmel Konzert Series Verticals
K 122 48 Elegance Polished Ebony 40,765 33,612
K 125 49 Tradition Polished Ebony 43,723 35,978
K 125 49 Tradition Polished Mahogany 48,450 39,760
K 132 52 Tradition Polished Ebony 49,930 40,944
K 132 52 Tradition Polished Mahogany 54,660 44,728
Schimmel, Fridolin Verticals
F 116 46 Polished Ebony 8,623 7,898
F 116 46 Polished White 9,035 8,228
F 121 48 Polished Ebony 9,860 8,888
F 121 48 Polished Walnut/White 10,273 9,218
F 121 48 Queen Anne Satin Mahogany 10,988 9,790
F 123 49 Polished Ebony 11,098 9,878
F 123 49 Polished Mahogany/White 11,510 10,208
F 130 51 Polished Ebony 12,363 10,890
Schimmel, Wilhelm Verticals
W 114 46 Tradition Polished Ebony 19,185 16,348
W 114 46 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 22,143 18,714
W 114 46 Modern Polished Ebony 20,215 17,172
W 114 46 Modern Polished White 22,485 18,988
W 118 48 Tradition Polished Ebony 20,960 17,768
W 118 48 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 23,915 20,132
W 123 49 Tradition Polished Ebony 22,733 19,186
W 123 49 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 25,690 21,552
Schimmel Classic Series Grands
C 169 5 7 Tradition Polished Ebony 76,090 61,872
C 169 5 7 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 83,480 67,784
C 189 6 3 Tradition Polished Ebony 80,523 65,418
C 189 6 3 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 87,915 71,332
C 213 7 0 Tradition Polished Ebony 87,915 71,332
C 213 7 0 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 95,303 77,242
Schimmel Konzert Series Grands
K 175 5 9 Tradition Polished Ebony 108,588 87,870
K 175 5 9 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 118,198 95,558
K 195 6 5 Tradition Polished Ebony 118,198 95,558
K 195 6 5 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 127,808 103,246
K 213 7 0 Glas Clear Acrylic and White or Black and Gold 358,750 288,000
K 219 7 2 Tradition Polished Ebony 127,808 103,246
K 219 7 2 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 137,415 110,932
K 230 7 6 Tradition Polished Ebony 147,025 118,620
K 256 8 4 Tradition Polished Ebony 166,245 133,996
K 280 9 2 Tradition Polished Ebony 191,870 154,496
Schimmel, Fridolin Grands
F 156 5 1 Polished Ebony 19,238 16,390
Schimmel, Wilhelm Grands
W 180 6 0 Tradition Polished Ebony 46,383 38,106
W 180 6 0 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 52,295 42,836
W 206 6 10 Tradition Polished Ebony 56,728 46,382
W 206 6 10 Tradition Polished Mahogany/White 62,643 51,114

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