For decades piano manufacturers have been developing new technologies and utilizing materials that range from gold leaf, Swarovski crystals to most advance carbon fiber and lucite. As new materials become sophisticated enough to be used to create as complex a machine as piano is the possibilities of what a modern luxury piano can look like are truly endless.
The crystal acrylic pianos are among the most beautiful luxury pianos in the world and within that category there is a great variety of styles from traditional to ultra modern.
Today we will introduce you to the best crystal acrylic pianos in the world. These instruments are marvels of modern design, craftsmanship and technology and are extraordinary addition to the interiors of those who only seek to have the very best the world can offer.
What Are Crystal Acrylic Pianos?
Though frequently called crystal pianos these aren’t the instruments bedazzled with Swarovski crystals (Strass) but rather made of lucite, or acrylic.
Acrylic isn’t a revolutionary material – it had been around since about 1900s. By 1930s the technology developed so that the various object could be made in any shape from it. Thus was the birth is lucite resin, which became all the rage in products such as jewelry, home furnishings and in auto industry.
Eventually piano manufacturers realized the potential of this glass-like transparent material that didn’t yellow over time or oxidize from sunlight and the first transparent piano lid was patented in 1976 for Libby-Owns-Ford Company. It was special ordered by Boston Pops Orchestra and Toledo Symphony Orchestra with the idea that when opened it didn’t obscure the view of the musicians during the performance.
As crystal acrylic pianos began to gain popularity for their remarkable style and novelty and number of leading piano manufacturers embarked on exploration of new possibilities for piano design that lucite afforded.
Unlike the traditional wooden instruments crystal acrylic pianos are not susceptible to humidity fluctuations and are pretty easy to care for. Just wipe it with the special solution and it is shiny and clean. Small surface scratches can be buffed off and reasonable care for such precious piano will guarantee that you will have a stunning instrument for many decades. Reputable manufacturers also offer a separate warranty on the acrylic elements which insure the safety of your investment.
The cost of crystal acrylic pianos ranges from tens of thousands of dollars to millions.
Best Crystal Acrylic Pianos
For many years two German companies dominated the market for crystal pianos – Blüthner and Schimmel. But as the demand grew new players entered the field so there is a true variety of style and budget available today.
1. Blüthner Lucid Piano Line Iconic Quality
With over 165 years of piano building experience Bluthner is an industry leader when it comes to glass pianos. In their DNA is the innovation and craftsmanship which fully embraces new technologies that allow piano design to go where no piano has gone before.
If you are looking for a fully transparent grand piano Lucid iDyllic is your perfect choice. All of its body is made entirely from acrylic – which makes for an ethereal floating presence. The remarkable action and soundboard are on full display and the piano truly amazes with its complete transparency. Though it may seem fragile the industrial strength of the acrylic guarantees durability. Lucid iDyllic also has an upright version – which is fully transparent as well.
Another great option is PH Piano. Available in two sizes: 5 feet and 6 feet 1 inch. The lid of this piano is made with lucite and has metal exoskeleton while the body is wrapped in leather that can be customized to any color or print.
Lucid Enzo is the newest addition to the ultra-luxury lineup. It rests on an aluminum pedestal with the v-shaped curve. It’s lid comes with customizable acrylic panes. This proprietary design details are carefully guarded and are available by request from interior designers and architects.
Pricing of Lucid pianos begins at around $50,000 and goes up to $850,000. Endless customization options are available. Whether you like leopard print piano with crystal lid or metal exoskeleton – Bluthner Lucid can build the piano of your dreams.
2. Kawai CR40 Crystal Piano Consumer Grade
Japanese piano maker Kawai has also created it’s own crystal piano. Their early models of transparent pianos were based on KG-3C grand model and they strove to create a clear piano that would feature a display of the action elements of the piano.
The industrial grade acrylic is remarkably strong. The classic proportions of the lines of the piano really give you the impression that this is a transparent twin of the performance pianos found on concert stages worldwide. Laconic and measured its appearance is a testament to Japanese craftsmanship and attention to detail. It is available in one size – 6 feet 1 inch and is 59 inches wide.
It weighs-in at 935 pounds due to industrial-grade reinforced acrylic – which is 30% heavier than same-sized traditional instruments. It’s worth mentioning that it is not a fully transparent piano – it utilizes traditional piano rim that is covered with acrylic.
Kawai only makes 3 CR-40 per year – and it costs over $200,000.
3. Kawai CR-1 M Consumer Quality
Kawai’s anniversary edition creation is a unique and extraordinary CR-M1. Made of a reinforced industrial grade acrylic and polished silver plates this 200cm semi-transparent grand piano is a gem. Designed to refract light into a rainbow of colors due to its mirror-polished silver details it is also carrying some heft weighing-in at 1100 pounds.
There will only be 5 of these ever made – which reflects in the price it commands – $920,000 and up based on your customization. Upon special order the piano is hand built in Japan.
4. Schimmel Glass Distinguished Quality
Schimmel brand is synonymous with super quality pianos and in fact is a pioneer of the transparent pianos. The first model was designed by Arno Schimmel back in 1951 and later revised by Nikolaus Schimmel in 1980s. The material Schimmel uses for their transparent instruments is plexiglass – which is use for bulletproof windows. This results in a very durable and sturdy piano that weighs as much as a 9-foot concert grand while it’s size is 7 feet.
The piano has an iconic classic design and this is the esthetic Schimmel remains faithful to. The price is between $250,000 – 300,000 depending on your customization options.
One can choose from white or black acoustic piano body, select between gold or chrome metal hardware or, better yet add internal lighting which transform this glass piano into a virtual creature from Avatar.
A truly exciting options and guaranteed quality from Schimmel – who has earned its reputation in over a century of piano excellence.
5. Steinhoven SG-170 Entry Level
Steinhoven’s success is a result of recognizing the growing demand for crystal pianos and providing a very viable option at a substantial discount as compared to the leading luxury brands.
For a relatively affordable $20,000 you can get an acrylic semi-transparent piano that is factory-built in China. It utilizes a spruce soundboard, German wool hammer-felts, soft-closing fallboard to protect your fingers and consumer grade strings and action.
Some choices are available such as color of the metal hardware. It measure 5.58 feet by 4.92 and weighs ~850 pounds.
6. Heintzman Crystal Piano One-of-a-kind
Known as the most-expensive-piano-ever-sold this one of a kind creation by a leading Canadian piano builder sold at an auction to an anonymous bidder for $3.22 million. Originally built for the dazzling opening of Chinese Olympics its only public performance was during that historic opening ceremony. Since it has been auctioned off – and now resides in a secret private residence. Thought we don’t know much about this pianos and its details – suffice it to say that this story symbolizes the very essence of an ultra luxury custom piano: to be a passion acquisition of a collector.
Such is the exciting world of crystal acrylic pianos. We hope this overview gives you a better understanding of the instruments, what to look for and what different pricing affords in terms of customization, quality and design.