Bechstein Upright with Kurzweil Vario System KVS-1 (Silent Piano)

I recently bought a Bechstein Millenium equipped by Bechstein with the Vario-System. This digital piano system is a Kurzweil Vario System KVS-1 - and I have not found any information about the system on the net so let's start to collect some information...

You can order most C. Bechstein, Hoffmann, Zimmermann and Euterpe uprights equipped with the Kurzweil Vario system. Similar systems are Kawai Anytime, Seiler DuoVox, Schimmel Silent Piano or Yamaha Silent Piano. There seem to be slight differences, but the principle is the same: You have a classical upright fitted with a digital piano inside; the movement of the keys is captured by a photo interrupter. This is not a synthesizer-format thing but a "real upright": heavy, black, beautiful :-) And if you want to play at night you can use the center pedal so the hammers do not touch the strings, connect headphones and play without disturbing you neighbors. The sound is hereby created by the digital piano, e.g. the Kurzweil KVS-1.

Silent pianos are not Player Pianos where the keys are moved and the piano's strings are used to create the sound - but can be seen as their grand childs.

Kurzweil KVS-1 and Midi Sequencer
I am using a M-AUDIO Midisport UNO to connect my Notebook with the upright; the Freeware Midi Sequencer MidiSwing seems to be a good software to start with. Are there any other Freeware or Shareware Midi Sequencers you would recommend? (Windows XP)

Various links...

Does anybody out there own a Kurzweil KVS-1 too? Am I the only one? :-)
I have found nothing about this system on the net - WHY?
  • Is the KVS-1 similar to any other Kurzweil product so we can re-use the documentation, find hidden features etc.?
  • Does anybody know good headphones for the Kurzweil? The system has two 1/8 inch jacks (3,5-mm), not 6,3mm. Impedance?
  • Is it possible to replace the Kurzweil KVS-1 by any Synthesizer with Stereo? I would like to hear lower tones from the left side, high tones from the right...
  • Are there any firmware patches? (Questions is: why do I need them :-) )
  • What would you change? Improvements? Hints regarding the use of the system?
  • Have you tried to use your upright with the Kurzweil or any similar system as a master keyboard? Does this make sense at all?
  • How do you connect your Kurzweil to your PC? I use a notebook so I assume that I will need a MIDI-USB connector like a EMU Xmidi 2x2 or the USB Midi IN and MIDI OUT Cabel 3m ?
    Update November 4, 2007: I've bought a M-Audio Midisport UNO - connection to the Freeware Midi Sequencer MidiSwing was quite easy after installing the correct driver for the M-Audio Midisport Uno (not Midisport 1x1...)
  • And last but not least: Why does Kurzweil not promote that they manufacture the Vario-System for Bechstein uprights?
Please send any information or questions to - thanks!

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