12th March
written by Todd Harrison

This is a fun post, for me, about our 2004 German made
Schimmel SP189 Konzert Diamond Edition 6’3″ piano. (Man ain’t that a mouth full?) We purchased the piano in May of 2008, but these photos are from Oct. 2008 and March 2009 because I just didn’t get around to taking photos of it for the blog. I guess I was having to much fun enjoying it to take photos or post the lighting design my wife and I came up with for the piano room.  So these photos are just to enjoying the beauty of a wonderfully made piano and some tips on piano care and how to create the perfect lighting for a grand piano.

The diamond edition has all the extras including gold leaf on some internal design features

Schimmel crest design

Side view of the interior detail, WOW is all I can say.

Top view showing the gorgeous red bird’s eye maple finish

Fall board which shows the maker in the center and the model at lower right.

Another view of the Bird’s eye maple finish.

It’s big but we never had anything in the grand room other than Alex’s toys for 5 years anyway. We waited a long time for this and it fits prefect and sounds great in our vaulted grand room. The window behind the piano is north facing so it doesn’t get any direct sunlight.  Never put a piano close to a window with direct sunlight or you could destroy it in no time, plus you will have a very hard time keeping it in tune.

Alex loves the new piano! Update: Alex started taking private lessons the week he turned 6 and he is doing fabulous!

Alex starting to play: Age 5

One of the best things I added to my piano room was lighting. I always hated shadows on my music and keys or bright spotlights in my eyes or reflecting off my paper. To solve this I installed track lighting with 5 defused direct-able lights on the ceiling.

The track I picked was flexible. I designed the install myself so that two lights would be focused directly down and just in front of each of my shoulders evenly lighting my music and keys with no shadows or reflections. The other 3 lights on the flexible track circle around the side of the piano and direct lighting into the opened lid. Strangely the design came out to be a perfect shaped bass clef sign on the ceiling so I added two cheap white styrofoam balls to complete the bass clef look. It turned out really sharp looking and extremely effective lightly for a grand piano if you ask me.

I got the track lighting at Home Depot for $99 and Pam and I installed it ourselves with a dimmer switch so we can play with all 500 watts or dim it down to a soft glow for evenings. This photo shows the lights with the dimmer turned way down. We found this track lighting as a kit with 5 lights at our local Home Depot but the closest I can find online is to buy the Hampton Bay White Finish Standard Flex Track Starter Kit for $79 (free shipping) and then buy the 5
Hampton Bay White Finish Light Flexible Track Fixture at $19 each. But try to find the full kit like we found with the 5 lights included because you will save a ton of money that way.

This is the best photo I could take showing both the piano and ceiling light combination. This lighting solution is a must have for any grand piano owner and it cost under $150 for lights, wire, dimmer, light box and dimmer box. My wife and I did the install ourselves but I’m sure a pro could do the install for under $150 in labor. If anybody wants to know more about the lights or the way I calculated the design so it would perfectly direct light, just drop me a line. I’m sure I could come up with some figures you could use for a similar layout.

The piano came with a Dampp-Chaser Humidistat. This is the only part you see which tells you when to add water. Yes, I have to water my piano about once every 3 weeks. This keeps the humidity just prefect in the piano so it stays in tune and doesn’t dry-out or age to quickly. I would like my Schimmel piano to last more than 100 years and climate control is one of the best investments for a piano. My Dampp-Chaser came with my piano but if you don’t have one “GET ONE”.

Water is added through a tube to the black box hidden under the piano. There are also 2 heater bars that will heat the piano if the humidity gets to high. You can see one of the long black heater bars in this photo.

Photo of the Dampp-Chaser computer control module that is also hidden under the piano.

I took the extra time to install a longer cord to my Dampp-Chaser which allowed me to run the cord behind one of the legs and under the carpet.

This is where the cord for the Dampp-Chaser comes up from under the carpet and into a 90 degree plug I added. Having a cord dragging out from under a grand piano wouldn’t look so good so I wanted it to be as invisible as possible.

We used a two part dimmer switch rated for 1000 watts from Home Depot for $66 (free shipping). The top part is a dimmer slider and at the bottom is a sideways on/off switch. I thought this was the best designed dimmer switch on the market for my application.

Comments are closed.
This sponsor link is for sale. Contact ToddRHarrison (@) gmail.com