Designed by Jong Chan Kim as an entry to Roland’s 2015 Digital Piano Design Awards the GPX-F1 “Facet” Grand Piano is a sight to behold. After making its debut at CES 2020 it will now appear at the NAMM show.
GPX-F1 Facet Grand Piano
It’s quite the looker. But the design does more than raise eyebrows it’s built to deliver the sound of the digital piano engine to the player. The angular construction helps project the sound using a multi-speaker Acoustic Projection System. The speakers are housed deep in the base of the piano. Due to the lack of a conventional soundboard, the sound flows through the outer frame before reflecting onto the piano’s top board, projecting out towards the audience. An array of flat-panel speakers built into the frame and the base recreate the sonic resonance typically created by a piano’s frame. The resonators found in the top board further enhance the depth of the sound. Finally, the nearfield speakers project the sounds to the player including dramatic, dynamic overtones and a recreation of the noise the hammers make as they hit an acoustic piano string.
There’s more to it than just the form. A custom version of Android runs the screen and music applications. Even Alexa is on hand to let you control the piano without taking your fingers off the keys. It also generates visuals in response to your playing and projects them onto the top panel via a projector in the base.
This is a futuristic and slightly over-the-top performance experience.
Roland says the Facet is a bold metaphor for their Digital Piano vision. It includes many technological breakthroughs in areas including sound source, keyboard, speaker system, entertainment and educational solutions. And although they have no plans to release it commercially they hope it will act as an inspiration for the evolution of the digital piano.
And as this unique instrument evolves, we move closer to finding the ultimate concert grand – a piano freed from traditional conventions to blend appearance, expression and potential in perfect harmony.