The story

In May 2021 I began the hunt for my first ever acoustic piano, something that would encapsulate the close-mic’d, intimate sound that I usually write with, but with the scope to expand into a louder, concert-like dynamic. The problem I had kept running into was that felt pianos have a tendency to hit a brick wall when the dynamics of the orchestration get to a certain point; I wanted a piano with a felt like tone that wouldn’t get drowned out when the piece went anything above an mf. I was on a relatively limited budget and assumed that I would have to either sacrifice playability, or some of the sonic quality at the price I was looking for. At least, that was until I stumbled upon this 1907 Bluthner Style VII, which was sat in the back room of a music shop awaiting restoration, and a bit of a sorry sight. It was clickety-clackety, and alot of the notes didn’t work, but it was love at first sound. It underwent a five-month restoration, leaving the exterior finish untouched, which to me was a big part of the character and charm of the thing, with the added bonus of saving a huge chunk of money. I sampled this piano with a pair of Soyuz 013 FETs in three dynamic layers, raising the ultra-soft, felt-like tone to be more easily playable.

My answer to the felt piano crisis

Reviews for Marcus Warner’s Blüthner

  • Sound
  • Character
  • Playability
  • Inspiration
  • GUI

Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

  • Thank You

    Dear Marcus

    Your piano is at the heart of the music I'm writing for a four-part TV series (nature-documentary). I'd love to tip you "a few coffees" - but you don't seem to be set up for it. Please advise.

    Best wishes and thanks



    Guay Tulliemet24 October 2022
  • Soft Dynamics

    This is what I've been looking for. A piano that sounds like it's playing softly, not just a volume change. Thank you for creating this.

    Father19 June 2023
  • Amazing Tone and Dynamics with some noise build up

    This piano sounds really fantastic. Its really dynamic, well recorded and well balanced. Its warm intimate and the frequency balance is pretty perfect. I never feel like it gets muddy even when playing close voicing down low and the highs cut through without being too bright. I seriously love the sound and playability of this.
    The one big issue for me is that if you hold down the sustain pedal and play a bunch of notes you get a pretty significant noise buildup which is really just too much to tolerate in my opinion. Also i see people mentioning a knob to switch between the felt and non felt sound. To me it seems like the knob is operating as a volume control and maybe a high cut filter. I don't mind though because i love the sound with it all the way up.
    This is one of my favorite pianos in a while and i would love for this noise issue to be felt with a little more. Apart from that its pretty perfect.

    septemberwalk25 December 2021
  • Delicate but dynamic

    I love the story behind the piano and I think it's clear that Marcus has achieved exactly what he set out to. The softest dynamic layer is muted and delicate just like the best felt pianos, but then it rises to a clear but still una-corda type tone and finally to a clear rich and confident - but never strident - tone. It's rich and well recorded with a good balance of mechanical sounds which never become problematic. Both extreme ends of the piano - so often neglected - are outstanding. To address the concerns raised in the other reviews - the copy I downloaded had a folder named Samples No NR - so clearly the raw samples have now had noise reduction applied and I can attest to the fact that I experienced no hiss no matter how many notes I held. The GUI "button" is in fact a knob which represents the Mod Wheel which is linked to a Low Pass filter - so the instrument should be played with the mod wheel fully "up" for its natural sound and levels should be set accordingly. Indeed it loads like this by default - so unless you move the mod wheel you're fine. I used to live near a studio that had a Bluthner and it was beautiful. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    Mark Lord27 December 2021
  • Piano with Character

    I've spent a few days playing around with this instrument and I like it. It's got a lot of character, and nice (and very different) colour options from the low register to the top end. It's fun and responsive to play. The GUI is ok, but lacks some options and clarity.

    I'm working my way through pianobook sample libraries and recording short one minute (ish) demos. Find a demo of this instrument here:

    JTN13 January 2022
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