The Hoffmann brand, which is owned by C. Bechstein, is positioned as a more affordable alternative to C. Bechstein's high-end grand and vertical piano lines. Hoffmann's low pricing are achieved by producing pianos in a huge, modern plant in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is home to Petrof and Detoa, a piano-key producer. Hoffmann pianos are produced by hand, with automated machinery utilised in areas where precision is more critical than human judgement, according to Bechstein.
Hoffmann provides three piano lines: Vision, Tradition, and Professional, in both grands and verticals, in ascending price order. The line is identified by the first letter of the model number: V, T, or P. The least expensive Vision pianos, such as the V120 and V183 featured here, are manufactured in Hradec Králové with backs imported from Asia, featuring a laminated soundboard. Traditional pianos, such as the T122 and T186 featured below, are constructed exclusively in Hradec Králové and have a solid spruce soundboard and C. Bechstein bridges. The Professional models (none of which have been reviewed) have more German-made components, including as bridges, backs, soundboard support, and a soundboard.
It's worth mentioning that all W. Hoffmann pianos are fitted with C. Bechstein hammers. These hammers are of extraordinary quality and are made of a very durable felt that produces a melodious and singing tone that lasts for a long time.
Bechstein enters the lucrative mid-level market with W. Hoffmann, which has been controlled for decades by Asian manufacturers, particularly Yamaha and Kawai. For years, these two brands' ubiquity looked unassailable—and they still do, without a doubt, dominate this market category. Can a little company like W. Hoffmann compete with these behemoths? Is it capable of producing a scalable, appealing, and reliable product that is distinct enough to stand on its own? One of the great advantages of its pianos, according to W. Hoffmann, is that they provide a tonal alternative steeped in the European tradition. Is this "European tone", however, a real benefit, and will the market prefer it.
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