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Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 5
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I have recently purchased a Bechstein Academy 124 with the Vario System installed.
The acoustic part of the piano is truly great, but I am afraid I find the Vario System extremely poor quality for the money paid.
The problems I have are:
Notes played loudly and suddenly have a very inconsistent pitch of loudness
A particular note G and G# in the higher range is clearly out of tune
I have had to recalibrate the keys on two occasions when they do not function.

I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this problem. Bechstein do not seem to want to know!
I would definitely not recommend the Bechstein Vario System.

Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 3,806
AJB Offline
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Are you a good pianist? Bechstein Academy pianos are pretty good in my experience, but I have always hated player systems on pianos. Just play a CD or stream the music. If it does not work properly and is a new piano, then reject it or at least have the player system stripped out.


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action, customised, frequently tuned and regulated. Dedicated music studio. Teaching and working on advanced Beethoven, Rach, Chopin. Somewhat parked Bach and Grieg. Plus anything students want to study and pay me to help with!
Joined: Feb 2019
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Originally Posted by AJB
Are you a good pianist? Bechstein Academy pianos are pretty good in my experience, but I have always hated player systems on pianos. Just play a CD or stream the music. If it does not work properly and is a new piano, then reject it or at least have the player system stripped out.

As far as I know, the Vario is not a player piano mechanism, it just senses velocity and plays the results back using digital samples. It does not have solenoids to press the keys, like my DYUS5, a YUS5 with the Disklavier mechanism. Am I wrong?

Last edited by LarryK; 04/06/22 04:24 PM.
Joined: Oct 2005
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AJB Offline
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I expect you are right. Pianos in my view are a pure musical instrument that needs to be kept as simple as possible. If you want digital samples, what you need is a digital sound system. Not a piano.

I am aware that many people, especially in the US, disagree with this, but I have yet to play a piano tinkered around with like this, that does not feel compromised. Sorry (as we say in England :-)


Currently playing 2017 C212 with carbon fibre soundboard, WNG action, customised, frequently tuned and regulated. Dedicated music studio. Teaching and working on advanced Beethoven, Rach, Chopin. Somewhat parked Bach and Grieg. Plus anything students want to study and pay me to help with!
Joined: Apr 2021
Posts: 2,020
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What do you feel about playing the A124 without the silent system? Does it play well? Would you think of removing the silent system from your piano? I personally think it better to have a digital piano to practice silently on rather than to have any of these electronic gadgets attached to my piano.Surely CBechstein would try to remedy this problem with the silent mode? You should post this on the main Piano Forum.This is just the subforum, perhaps you will get more answers.I hope it all works out well.

Regarding Player Pianos, larry I am glad to hear your Yamaha DYUS worked out so well for you and your needs.

Joined: Nov 2020
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I thought the silent system on my K300 Aures was fantastic when I had it… not perfect though. I then had a Steinway A3 with an aftermarket silent system that did not feel good at all— it was horrible. At that point, I decided I would have to have a secondary keyboard or instrument as my practice piano. Currently I have a Yamaha P515 and an NU1X. Obviously the NU1X is better but the P515 is really more than adequate and likely less than the vario system. Also the p515 can easily fit into most spaces (I have it in my office at work right now for lunch break practice sessions)

If I HAD to have one instrument for both my acoustic and silent needs now, I would go with a K500 ATX4 or the comparable grand version.


Working on:
Bach Preludes and Fugues (Assorted)
Beethoven Appassionata Sonata
Chopin Scherzo #3

Practicing on:
Yamaha NU1X
Yamaha P-515

Playing on:
C. Bechstein Concert A192

Old Flames:
1987 Yamaha C2
2020 Kawai K-300 Aures

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