What is the Rigo System Piano ? On paper it is a digital piano, or, rather, a sampled piano: as many others then, also renowned and excellent. But this is not the case, and we will notice it along the way.
At the end of the Eighties, first Yamaha, then Roland, Korg and at last Kawai, competed head-to-head to launch their first digital pianos with weighted keys. These instruments aimed at simulating in the best possible way the sound of a piano and at responding both to the acoustics as to the dynamics and the touch of a real piano. Compared to the electronic keyboards of the time and to the so-called player pianos the improvement was enormous. Thanks to the sampling, the quality of the sound was exceptionally realistic and the response of the keys, even though they were made of plastic, was surprisingly pleasant because of the action of a system of levers, springs and counterweights, which was very similar to the kinetics and the inertia of the hammers and was almost always located under the key groove. For about fifteen years the run towards the “perfect” instrument has led to continuous innovations and improvements both as to the quality of the sound and the kinematics of the mechanism, as to the overall weight of the instrument and thus its transportability.
Yamaha and Kawai, excellent manufacturers of acoustic pianos thanks to their existing physical models, were for many years benchmark instruments, at least with regard to the mechanism which was, in the case of Kawai, even provided with wooden keys. Concerning the sound, the strongest consensus belonged, at least initially, to Roland and Korg, already specialised in the production of synthesizers and samplers of the highest level; the mechanism of these instruments was of Italian construction (Fatar) and this splitting between acoustics and mechanism lasted until the early 2000s.
The first years of the new Millennium sign the entry into the field of Casio Electronic with the Privia series: ultra-light instruments (ca 10 Kg, half the weight of the competitors) and with a surprisingly realistic sound and mechanism, which made them win the initial scepticism especially in Italy, in the wake of the first Celviano pianos, which were not very successful in spite of their high quality.
The Rigo System Piano is the result of more than 10 years of deepening and represents an important evolution, if not a revolution, of the above mentioned instruments. It combines unique mechanical and timbre features with personalisation options that no other sampled piano is able to offer.