C. BECHSTEIN

Piano Manufacturers of The World

Piano Brands Of The World:

C. BECHSTEIN

Company Website: Bechstein.com
Owner: C. Bechstein Pianoforte AG
Country of Origin: Berlin, Germany
Year Established: 1853
Related Brands: Bosendorfer, Fazioli, Hamburg Steinway, Steingraeber

Warranty: 5 years parts and labour, applicable to the original purchaser only.

C. Bechstein B 212

HISTORY AND BACKGROUND

C. Bechstein has been producing pianos of legendary quality for over 150 years. Bechstein’s story begins In 1853 when German native Carl Bechstein began bespoke production of what would ultimately prove to be some of the world’s finest pianos in an effort to satiate the most demanding pianists of the day. To satisfy demand, what began as low volume bespoke production eventually expanded into a large-scale operation, with Bechstein producing several thousand pianos annually by the turn of the century. At the height of Bechstein’s popularity, and as the preferred choice of European aristocracy, the onset and aftermath of two world wars came precariously close to critically wounding the company, but like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Bechstein was successfully rejuvenated.

With stable and competent ownership since the late 1980s, Bechstein is once again among the leaders in high-end piano manufacturing. More recently, in the late 2000s, Bechstein purchased the pre-existing Bohemia piano factory in the Czech Republic where they began producing pianos under the resurrected W. Hoffmann brand as a high-value European alternative to professional Japanese pianos.

The manufacturing time for the Academy series is roughly half the time spent on the Concert series.

Certain specific design differences include non-tapered soundboards in the Academy series vs tapered soundboards in the Concert series (industry-accepted best practice), a thicker full hardwood rim with more laminations in the Concert series, and solid beech bridges in the Academy series, versus laminated bridges (industry-accepted best practice) in the Concert series.

While it’s clear that both the Academy series and Concert series pianos are premium instruments, it’s undoubtedly that the musical potential is superior in the Concert series. These instruments should be carefully considered by anyone seeking the best in European piano craftsmanship.

*Please note that while C. Bechstein has declined an application for The Bundesverband Klavier (BVK) made in Germany distinction, some clarity regarding the BVK is needed.

Using the finest quality European components, Bechstein produces upright and grand pianos in two levels of quality; the lower-priced Academy series line (on par quality-wise with the best hand-made Japanese pianos, and select German brands) and the higher-priced Concert series line (among the highest quality pianos produced in the world today.) With extensive recent re-designs throughout the entire C. Bechstein Academy and Concert series line-ups, the current C. Bechstein pianos are noticeably superior to what the company was producing even 10 years ago. Today, each line produces 4 sizes of uprights, and 5 sizes of grand pianos, available in a variety of finishes and cabinet designs.

While the Academy and Concert series lines share many similarities, the differences can be summed up quite simply; The concert series line instruments use slightly better materials, undergo a lengthier manufacturing process, and utilize almost every best piano building practice known today.

Some of the specific material differences include AAA Austrian white spruce in the Academy series vs much more expensive Val di Fiemme spruce, i.e. Stradivarius, in the Concert series, Mahogany hammer mouldings in the Academy line versus stronger and lighter Walnut hammer mouldings in the Concert line, and Bechstein’s “Silver Line” action in the Academy series versus the “Gold Line” action featured in the Concert series (built to stricter tolerances.) 

The Bundesverband Klavier (BVK) certificate is a private organization in Germany made up of the smallest producers (in total less than 25% of the premium market) which is not certified by any laws, and to become a member, only requires the following:

  • gluing the soundboard to the back frame or rim
  • fitting and installing the cast-iron plate
  • stringing the instrument
  • gluing the cabinet around the instrument
  • installing and regulating the keyboard and action
  • tuning, and voicing

It does not require that ANY parts actually come from Germany to meet this certification. Not only is this fact, but even pianobuyer.com has published these details without protest or dispute from Bundesverband Klavier (BKV).

There are all sorts of inconsistencies as well; the world’s most respected concert grand piano, the Hamburg Steinway D, also is not on this list. Fazioli is a member…even though they are Italian. Petrof is a member, even though they are Czech, and Steinway & Bechstein both publicly declared why they were not joining – they already meet and exceed a much stricter government-issued regulation which actually requires Germany parts AND labor to get certified, which is the EUR-1 standard. 

View more piano brands here.

C. BECHSTEIN MODELS & PRICE

MODELSIZEDESCRIPTIONMSRP (USD)
C. BECHSTEIN CONCERT UPRIGHTS
Millenium 116k46″Polished Ebony$30,120
Millenium 116k46″Polished White$32,060
Classic 11846.5″Polished Ebony$32,060
Classic 11846.5″Polished White$34,000
Classic 11846.5″Satin and Polished Walnut/Mahogany/Cherry$35,960
Contour 11846.5″Polished Ebony$32,060
Contour 11846.5″Polished White$34,000
Contour 11846.5″Satin and Polished Walnut/Mahogany/Cherry$35,960
Classic 12449″Polished Ebony$39,840
Classic 12449″Polished White$41,780
Classic 12449″Satin and Polished Walnut/Mahogany/Cherry$43,720
Elegance 12449″Polished Ebony$39,840
Elegance 12449″Polished White$41,780
Elegance 12449″Satin and Polished Walnut/Mahogany/Cherry$43,720
Concert 851.5″Polished Ebony$68,980
Concert 851.5″Polished White$70,860
Concert 851.5″Satin and Polished Walnut/Mahogany/CherryN/A
Concert 851.5″Polished Burl WalnutN/A
Concert 851.5″Polished Cherry with InlaysN/A
C. BECHSTEIN ACADEMY UPRIGHTS
A112 Modern44″Polished White$26,220
A112 Chrome Art44″Polished White$28,180
A114 Modern44.8″Polished Ebony$24,280
A114 Chrome Art44.8″Polished Ebony$26,220
A114 Compact44.8″Polished Ebony$26,220
A116 Compact45.5″Polished White$28,180
A116 Compact45.5″Satin and Polished Walnut/Mahogany/Cherry$29,140
A124 Imposant48.8″Polished Ebony$28,180
A124 Imposant48.8″Polished White$30,120
A124 Style48.8″Polished Ebony$28,180
A124 Style48.8″Polished White$30,120
A124 Style48.8″Satin and Polished Walnut/Mahogany/Cherry$32,060
C. BECHSTEIN CONCERT GRANDS
L1675’6″Polished Ebony$126,040
L1675’6″Satin and Polished Mahogany/Walnut/Cherry$144,920
L1675’6″Polished White$131,700
M/P1926’4″Polished Ebony$148,700
M/P1926’4″Satin and Polished Mahogany/Walnut/Cherry$167,580
M/P1926’4″Polished White$158,140
B2126’11”Polished Ebony$171,360
B2126’11”Polished White$180,800
C2347’7″Polished Ebony$209,140
C2347’7″Polished White$220,480
D2829’2″Polished Ebony$272,240
D2829’2″Polished White$287,340
C. BECHSTEIN ACADEMY GRANDS
A1605’3″Polished Ebony$65,620
A1605’3″Satin and Polished Mahogany/Walnut$79,240
A1605’3″Polished White$69,520
A1755’9″Polished Ebony$69,520
A1755’9″Satin and Polished Walnut/Mahogany$83,120
A1755’9″Polished White$75,340
A1906’3″Polished Ebony$73,400
A1906’3″Satin and Polished Mahogany/Walnut$87,020
A1906’3″Polished White$79,240
A2086’8″Polished Ebony$85,060
A2086’8″Satin and Polished Mahogany/Walnut$104,520
A2086’8″Polished White$90,900
A2287’5″Polished Ebony$98,680
A2287’5″Satin and Polished Mahogany/Walnut$118,120
A2287’5″Polished White$104,520

C. BECHSTEIN PIANO SERIAL NUMBERS

DATE OF MANUFACTURESERIAL NUMBER
1859-18600-300
1861-1870301-4196
1871-18804197-11676
1881-189011677-24958
1891-190024959-54181
1901-191054182-94753
1911-192094754-115783
1921-1930115784-137446
1931-1940137447-143890
1941-1950143891-147000
1951-1960147001-151950
1961-1970151951-162300
1971-1980162301-173785
1981-1990173786-180821
1991-2000181526-187537
2001-2010188393-200688
2011-Present202173-
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