In the heart of Holland, near Amsterdam, Dutchgrand Ltd. is manufacturing the worlds lightest grand piano shell. Dutchgrand was founded by Joakim van Dijk, a musician that wanted to improve the looks of his stage-piano and boost his performance to a professional level.
The start of that development was the wish for a device that would turn any ordinary keyboard or stagepiano into something beautiful and representative, without the disadvantages of a real grand piano.
When keyboard-manufacturers, like Yamaha and Roland, introduced their digital pianos in the late eighties, the need for acoustic grand piano’s decreased.
But by taking away the traditional housing of a grand piano, it also became unclear to the audience where the sound came from, or how it was produced.
Nevertheless, people like to see what they hear: A piano sounds better when they see one. despite the tone source. That’s just how the human mind works.
At first, plywood and fibre-board seemed ideal to fabricate a shell that resembled a baby-grand. These materials are easy to process, not too expensive and available in any home-depot. But the big downside is the weight and the behavior of compressed woodfibre in thin-plated joints. In the end this makes the construction unpractical and sensitive to damage, during transport and on the stage.
After a long period of testing and prototyping Dutchgrand decided to go with engineered polyester for the upper-part and aluminium for the legs and bottom. Beside other improvements, this resulted in a weight reduction of 50%, compared to wooden models.
The Dutchgrand piano-shell turned out to be a succes. Currently Dutchgrand Ltd. is a household name for piano-shells, supported by an enthusiastic crowd of customers and fans worldwide!