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#174023 - 03/01/04 01:28 PM C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
thomas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 40
Loc: Sausalito,California
The most recent supplement to Larry Fine's book says C. Bechstein has resusitated the Bechstein name,and plans to put it on some of their grands/uprights. Does anyone know the reason for this move? Will the Bechstein products be made elsewhere?

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#174024 - 03/01/04 03:06 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
JPM Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 1010
Loc: NM, GE & Wash. DC
Thomas,

I don't have the latest supplement so I don't know in what context Fine states "C. Bechstein has resusitated the Bechstein name,and plans to put it on some of their grands/uprights".

By itself the comment does not make sense. Bechstein has always put the C. Bechstein name on its pianos.

Certainly the Bechstein Company is not in need of resusitation. They continue to be, as they always have been, a leading producer of top quality pianos in Europe. The company appears to be thriving. They modernized & expanded the factory in Saxony a few years ago and they continue establish new Bechstein Centers in Germany (two new ones added last year I think).

JP
_________________________
"Piano music should only be written for the Bechstein."
-- Claude Debussy

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#174025 - 03/01/04 04:07 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
thomas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 40
Loc: Sausalito,California
Maybe I was not clear: C.Bechstein is putting "Bechstein" on some of its pianos and " C. Bechstein" on others. My question is will the Bechstein pianos be made in the same factory as the C.Bechstein pianos? The price difference suggested in Larry Fine's supplement between the two names is sigificant.

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#174026 - 03/01/04 06:27 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Spiel mit mir Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/25/03
Posts: 35
Thomas,
It is my understanding that the W.Hoffman line is going to be relabled as "Bechstein" ,while the "C.Bechstein" line will remain unchanged.

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#174027 - 03/01/04 06:35 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Bechstein apparently displayed their new series grands made entirely in Korea called simply "Bechstein" during this year's NAMM.

[escaped me, didn't see it... \:o ]

The pianos to be continued to be built in Germany in future will apparently all be called "C.Bechstein".

Someone else out there to confirm this?

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174028 - 03/01/04 06:56 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Gene Grant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 95
Nobert,

I believe that all Bechstein products are and will continue to be made in Germany, but I will check with the factory rep and post tomorrow. For what it is worth, I do have one of the new Bechstein pianos on my showroom floor, and it does have the distinctive Bechstein sound.

The new brochure for Bechstein has several pages on the differences between the two names. A section of the text reads “For the realization of the new BECHSTEIN brand some simplifications were made in conjunction to modern technology, materials, and other pertinent resources available internationally, thereby reducing costs in the previously very involved, strictly hand crafted production procedures. All BECHSTEIN parts and their elaborations are specified and repeatedly tested by the C. Bechstein Master Piano Makers and Engineers. The main emphasis for the new BECHSTEIN pianos focuses on excellent playability and tone, and, as is usual for pianos stemming from the C. Bechstein tradition – longevity.” The text continues for almost three pages emphasizing how the two brands are very similar.

I hope this helped.

Gene
_________________________
Gene Grant

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#174029 - 03/02/04 06:39 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
thomas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 40
Loc: Sausalito,California
From a marketing standpoint does it not seem odd that a manufacturer of great pianos would allow most of its name to be placed on products made outside its factory? Would Steinway delete the "and Sons" from its name on pianos made elsewhere ?(instead of using the Boston or Essex names)

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#174030 - 03/02/04 06:46 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Gene:

These are a lot of [and long!] fancy words for a simple question:

Where[/b] are the [presumably 'new'] Bechsteins made?

[Nobody's throwing stones...... \:\) ]

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174031 - 03/02/04 06:57 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana

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#174032 - 03/02/04 07:03 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6180
 Quote:
"For the realization of the new BECHSTEIN brand some simplifications were made in conjunction to modern technology, materials, and other pertinent resources available internationally, thereby reducing costs in the previously very involved, strictly hand crafted production procedures. All BECHSTEIN parts and their elaborations are specified and repeatedly tested by the C. Bechstein Master Piano Makers and Engineers. The main emphasis for the new BECHSTEIN pianos focuses on excellent playability and tone, and, as is usual for pianos stemming from the C. Bechstein tradition – longevity." The text continues for almost three pages emphasizing how the two brands are very similar.
Great! "Modern technology, materials, and other pertinent resources available internationally" have finally caught up to the German's "very involved, strictly hand crafted production procedures." They are so similar that everyone should just go buy the cheaper one. Who would have thunk an alphabet C and a period would cost so much! ;\)

Can't wait to find out who actually build those pianos without the "C." Must have some really impressive automation technology to pull it off! \:D
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#174033 - 03/02/04 07:40 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana

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#174034 - 03/02/04 10:47 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
AKindWord Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 300
Loc: Kentucky/Tennessee
I played a wonderful "C. Bechstein" upright today. So please don't think I'm Bechstein bashing but...

"For the realization of the new BECHSTEIN brand some simplifications were made in conjunction to modern technology, materials, and other pertinent resources available internationally, thereby reducing costs in the previously very involved, strictly hand crafted production procedures."
[/b]

Isn't this a fancy way of saying that they are going to mass-produce lesser quality pianos, perhaps even in Asia, and usurp Bechstein's good name in order to sell them? They say they are using "modern technology and materials" and "reducing costs in the previously very involved, strictly hand crafted production procedures". It sounds to me like a sugar coated way of saying they are going to build the "Bechstein [- the C.]", to much lower standards.

Any thoughts on this anyone?
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#174035 - 03/03/04 01:44 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
katie_dup1 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/27/03
Posts: 1838
Loc: Canada
Well, this thread is informative .... I 'll be paying closer attention to the fallboard if I ever get close to these pianos ..... .

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#174036 - 03/03/04 09:41 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
JPM Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 1010
Loc: NM, GE & Wash. DC
“For the realization of the new BECHSTEIN brand some simplifications were made in conjunction to modern technology, materials, and other pertinent resources available internationally, thereby reducing costs in the previously very involved, strictly hand crafted production procedures."[/b]

Something was lost in the translation. The word "compromises" should have been used instead of "simplifications". At least that is what it seems like to me if the information I just read is correct. I'll ask the Bechstein people what the real deal is when I go to the Musikmesse at the end of the month.

If this is true it sounds like a potential marketing disaster in the making. IMHO, Bechstein ought never associate its name with a 2nd or 3rd tier piano. Rather, they should continue to follow Steinway's example with their Boston and Essex line of pianos. Say they helped design it, sell it, but not put the Steinway name on it. That's what Bechstein was doing with the Zimmermann & Hoffmann lines.

I predict if they go down this path that in a couple of years, consumers will be scratching their heads trying to figure out the difference between a C. Bechstein and Bechstein. It will be like trying to figure out the difference between a K. Kawai and and Kawai. But at least with these two flavors of Kawais, you know that the same company builds them.

As a Bechstein owner, this news is not good. I think it is most disturbing. \:\(

It makes me wonder if the company is still committed to making pianos of the highest quality.

I hope someone from Bechstein monitors this site and will address these concerns.

JP
_________________________
"Piano music should only be written for the Bechstein."
-- Claude Debussy

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#174037 - 03/03/04 10:21 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Chris W1 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/26/01
Posts: 915
Loc: Boston
For those looking at used Bechstein (not C. Bechstein), I think they were still all German made. AFAIK, the Academy series that they once put out was priced more cheaply, dropping the "C.". It otherwise, was all Bechstein, sort of like Bosendorfer's Conservatory series is still all Bosie.

Larry can true this up, but I think its surprising and sad that a top tier manufacturer would "self-stencil" their reputation like that.

While we're on the subject, that C. Bechstein B-208 the Piano Mill had was marked up 24k when it went to Steinert's. They have subsequently arranged to have it shipped back to a Bechstein facility here in the states. At least it was good not to see it become a neglected, negative sell, victum against Steinway.

Chris
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Amateur At Large

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#174038 - 03/03/04 11:52 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Didn't Samick buy Bechstein?

http://www.samickusa.com/smc/SMC-Newsletter-May-2003.pdf

If Samick is making the pianos in Asia and slapping the name Bechstein on them I think that is lowering the bar.

Names like Bachendorfer, and putting names like Knabe and Chickering on fallboards citing old world tradition "Since 1874" blah blah blah was deceptive enough.

C or no C, putting the actual name "Bechstin" on the fallboard of a piano made in Asia heralds a new era of Piano Marketing Sleaze.

Please tell me I am wrong.

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#174039 - 03/03/04 12:05 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Karl Schulze [owner of Bechstein] told me at last NAMM that the two companies,intertwined as they may be at this time, almost parted way last year.

Both cultures happen to be of a rather stubborn kind......... \:D

Apparently things have "worked out" since and we could be in for a surprise.

Maybe it's the Koreans teaching the Germans now a thing or two.....the world's changing and you'll never know what's coming up next......

I know that the only sure thing from Germany these days is the next factory closure due to another of them damn "holidays" there!

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174040 - 03/04/04 12:13 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
thomas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 40
Loc: Sausalito,California
I never accepted the "investment" sales pitch,and have no desire or intent to sell, but I wonder if my recently purchased new C.Bechstein grand will be worth less now that this particular model is being made in Korea and sold under the new "Bechstein' line?(Per Larry Fine's supp some grands with duplex scales will continue to be made in Berlin while the "unenhanced" models will not.)

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#174041 - 03/04/04 12:21 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by JPM:
This sounds like a potential marketing disaster in the making. IMHO, Bechstein ought never associate its name with a 2nd or 3rd tier piano. Rather, they should continue to follow Steinway's example with their Boston and Essex line of pianos. Say they helped design it, sell it, but not put the Steinway name on it. That's what Bechstein was doing with the Zimmermann & Hoffmann lines.

I predict if they go down this path that in a couple of years, consumers will be scratching their heads trying to figure out the difference between a C. Bechstein and Bechstein.[/b]
My thoughts exactly. Very, VERY bad move on Bechstein's part. \:\(
_________________________
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens

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#174042 - 03/04/04 01:15 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6180
According to the PDF file linked by kenny, Samick has majority control over Bechstein. So this "Very, VERY bad move" is Samick's move. Now, selling a majority stake to Samick, that was Bechstein's move (at least it's one Bechstein agreed to).

Incidentally, why do you think it's a bad move?
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#174043 - 03/04/04 01:26 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Matt G. Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/01
Posts: 3789
Loc: Plainfield, IL
 Quote:
Originally posted by Axtremus:
Incidentally, why do you think it's a bad move? [/b]
I think it's a bad move from a consumer viewpoint, by cashing in on a well-respected name being applied to a product which in few ways resembles the product that earned the reputation. This will undoubtedly cause confusion for piano shoppers. I also think it's an open invitation for deception on the part of unscrupulous salespeople, who might point to the two nearly identical marques and proclaim them "practically the same thing" despite the many differences.
_________________________
Sacred cows make the best hamburger. - Clemens

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#174044 - 03/04/04 01:53 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
lb gave me recently a lecture here about that "damn arrogant German-imperialistic-hegemonistic world domination" type of thinking and the hang up about their own - and widely spread - assumption of "superiority" in anything they make.

It's for you good folks here now to finally accept this message and start some serious re-thinking accordingly.....

norbert \:D
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174045 - 03/04/04 04:04 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana

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#174046 - 03/04/04 06:33 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
AKindWord Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/28/04
Posts: 300
Loc: Kentucky/Tennessee
I hate to take sides, but I have to chime in here and simply make the comment that, based on all I've observed so far,...


Germans DO build the best pianos to be found anywhere in the world!!! The highest performance, the most meticulous workmanship, and the finest selection of materials. As far as pianos goes, they are simply the best.

I don't know about any other products they make (heck, mechanically a Toyota is statistically more reliable than a Mercedes).

But as for pianos, very few does it better.

-AKindWord
_________________________
I'm awake! I'm awake!

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#174047 - 03/04/04 07:22 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6180
 Quote:
Quoting AKindWord:
I don't know about any other products they make (heck, mechanically a Toyota is statistically more reliable than a Mercedes).
Actually, a case could probably be made that the Japanese-built pianos are, from a mechanical viewpoint, statistically more reliable than German-built pianos (at least in the first two or three decades). I don't remember seeing anyone complain about their new Japanese-made Yamaha or Kawai have sticky keys, but I have heard such complains even for high-end German pianos. BUT, those who pursue a "performance piano" generally won't let a slightly inferior "mechanical reliability factor" put them off. There is MUCH MORE to a piano than mechanical reliability.

That's just my casual observation. Technicians who survice Japanese pianos and German pianos, do you see a STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT discrepency between the MECHANICAL RELIABILITY of the two?
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#174048 - 03/04/04 08:07 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
lb:

Fair question!

No,I would NOT take anything on that claims to be specifically "German".....but is not.

Totally, lock-stock&barrell,true, blue, arrogant and all! \:D

To do this,would not only serve to degrade the genuine stuff
I actually have here [am also getting other lines in... ;\) ] but also happens to go against my very own [arrogant...] 'blood lines'.

[On top of this, I do believe - perhaps erroneously - that my customers are actually special,intelligent and smart enough to hear,touch and feel the difference.]

Just imagine,you're a good'ol Yank living and operating a motorcycle dealership somewhere in Sweden and sell "Hurley Davidson" that only you know are made in China ?? \:D

P.S. None of the genuine German makers I know are getting anything done in China except more dealers for themselves.

Unless you tell us otherwise.

I hope this anwsers for now and I'm glad we're talking again somewhat.....er...

.......decently!

[half-way..... ;\) ]

norbert
[quit smoking....for now!]
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174049 - 03/05/04 09:18 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
 Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Grant:
Nobert,

I believe that all Bechstein products are and will continue to be made in Germany, but I will check with the factory rep and post tomorrow. For what it is worth, I do have one of the new Bechstein pianos on my showroom floor, and it does have the distinctive Bechstein sound.


I hope this helped.

Gene [/b]
I was waiting for your post, what did the Bechstein factory rep say?

You are an authorized Bechstein dealer and you thought that an apparently Korean-made piano on your floor was made in Germany?

Is Samick telling its Bechstein dealers to conceal the Korean origin of these pianos?
Or worse, actually telling the dealers these do not come from Korea?
If a customer asked you, "What country is this piano made in?" are you free to say, "Korea" ?




Sorry to put you on the spot here, and I understand as a dealer you are in a delicate situation and have to be careful what you say into this microphone, but if we civilians could read on Samick's own website that Samick is putting the Bechstien name on Korean pianos I sure hope they are telling the truth to the Bechstein dealers.

Please tell my suspicions are unfounded and that only the truth is getting to the customers.

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#174050 - 03/05/04 11:44 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Calin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 418
Loc: Bucharest
I'm also worried about Bechstein putting their name on a lower quality product. How do they think that a single letter can make a difference - in the eyes of the buyer - between the top quality piano and a lesser one?
This is only going to confuse people and do no good to Bechstein's image.
They should simply use another name on the Asian-made pianos and they could add the "designed by Bechstein" label or whatever.
At least, that's the way I see it...

Calin
_________________________
Calin

The Bechstein piano discussion group: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/bechstein/
The Schweighofer piano site: http://schweighofer.tripod.com

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#174051 - 03/05/04 12:00 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Does Samick lurk here?
Do they care?

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#174052 - 03/05/04 12:20 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Calin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 418
Loc: Bucharest
Maybe we should write some e-mails about this to Bechstein...

What do you people think?

Calin
_________________________
Calin

The Bechstein piano discussion group: http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/bechstein/
The Schweighofer piano site: http://schweighofer.tripod.com

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#174053 - 03/06/04 04:53 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
JPM Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 1010
Loc: NM, GE & Wash. DC
I did Calin ... to both companies. Hopefully they will respond soon.

JP
_________________________
"Piano music should only be written for the Bechstein."
-- Claude Debussy

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#174054 - 03/06/04 02:21 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Gene Grant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 95
Kenny - Sorry for the delay in responding, but we held a offsite event and I have been very busy for the last few days.

I spoke with my rep and he confirmed my initial response: both Bechstein and C. Bechstein are made in Germany, and will continue to be made in Germany. There are no plans to move production.

Hope this helped clear up the confusion. In addition, I will be glad to convey any further questions directly to Bechstein and post the responses here. Misinformation and confusion are not good for anyone, so I will be glad to help.
_________________________
Gene Grant

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#174055 - 03/06/04 02:57 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana

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#174056 - 03/06/04 03:08 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Manitou Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 1044
Loc: Colorado
Incorrigible you are, Lb.

Manitou - Pianist - Technician
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Manitou - Pianist - Technician

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#174057 - 03/06/04 03:16 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana

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#174058 - 03/06/04 03:35 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Lb:

We did agree on something.

But could still both be right[/b] . \:D

[What beer we're gonna open then? ;\) ]

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174059 - 03/06/04 03:41 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Here's my take of it:

Bechstein 'experimented' with the idea of actually building a fullfledged model grand in Korea.

Samick most likely pushed for that.

So...there 'testing the waters' a bit with perhaps one "Erlkoenig" [prototype] model.

Which was[/b] introduced [quietly!] during last NAMM.

To see [and read... ;\) ] how things are being taken by the rest of the piano world.

And present the 'result' later in an animated discussion between two 'loggerhead' cultures in another one of those table top smashing meetings..... \:D

Stay tuned for the story to unfold.....as time goes by!

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174060 - 03/06/04 04:03 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
lb Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 1731
Loc: Indiana
Norbert

[What beer we're gonna open then? ;\) ]

We'll have to make it Budweiser, there is no political problem with that one, who can say that it wasn't developed and originated right here in the U.S.A.?

lb

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#174061 - 03/08/04 11:38 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
thomas Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 40
Loc: Sausalito,California
Whether made in Korea or not does it not seem unwise to try to trick the public by omitting the "C" on pianos made to a different standard than the original? Is it not like ommitting the "and Sons" from Steinway's name on certain pianos made to a lower price point?

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#174062 - 03/08/04 12:17 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Budweiser was originally developed in the old old town of 'Budweis', now proudly belonging to the Czech Republic..... \:D

But I'm not hung up on those small details.

Good things are like people.

It doesn't matter where they're from....

.....but where they're * going[/b] *. ;\)

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174063 - 03/08/04 10:59 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
OK.... my turn. There's been quite a bit of incorrect info on this thread, so I wanted to clear it up.

The three main areas of confusion seems to be the name C. Bechstein vs. plain old Bechstein, where they are being made, and what impact their connection with Samick will have on them.

First the short answer, then the long one:

There are no pianos being made with just the name Bechstein. All Bechstein pianos say C. Bechstein.

All C. Bechstein pianos are made in Germany, by Bechstein.

Yes, Samick is now a majority owner of Bechstein. But.... Bechstein is also now a sizeable owner of Samick (and now as you know, Young Chang too). Bechstein was not in need of capital, they did not have to sell, and if it turns out to be a bad deal, I assure you that Karl Schulz is more than capable of buying back the shares and calling the whole thing off. Samick is *not* telling Bechstein how to build pianos. It is the other way around.

Now, the long answer:

At one point, Bechstein was owned by Baldwin. Baldwin wanted to sell, and Karl Schulz bought it, wanting to return the legendary name back to German ownership. He assembled a masterful management team, and took the company back almost immediately to its former prominence. The company was making lots of money. The biggest problem was distribution outside Western Europe.

Then came the unification of the two Germanys. After the wall was torn down, the German government found East Germany to be in shambles economically. Most of the industries there were not competitive, and wouldn't be able to survive privatization. Lots of people would lose their jobs. Something had to be done. So the German government went to select industries in West Germany that were financially sound, and made attractive offers to those who would buy and operate the companies that were in trouble of collapsing. Bechstein was asked to take on the Zimmerman factory.

The Zimmerman factory was of course state owned. It also owned the names W. Hoffmann, and Feurich. Bechstein did a cost analysis of the one grand piano Zimmerman produced, a little 4'9" thing - and found it was costing them 5 times as much to build it as they were selling it wholesale.

Welcome to communism......

A complete revamping of the company was needed. The main goal of course, was to see that as many as possible of the employees kept their jobs. Bechstein turned the factory into one of the most modern facilities in the piano industry in short order, designed new models, and made the Zimmerman name their second tier line of German built pianos. The Feurich family, who had had their business taken from them by the communists, were keenly interested in purchasing their brand name back. Bechstein agreed to sell it to them, and the Feurich family contracted with Schimmel to build pianos for them under the Feurich label. That left the W. Hoffmann. It was decided that the W. Hoffmann would be contracted out to allow for a third tier product. This contract was initially let to Petrof. Bechstein introduced a 4th brand, Euterpe, which I believe is contract built in Poland. Neither the Zimmerman nor the Euterpe are exported.

For a very short period, Bechstein thought it would be a good idea to start a lower priced line of German built Bechstein pianos and identify them as merely Bechstein. One model was chosen to start, with plans to introduce a few more. This model was the A-189. It was the only piano in the line that didn't have an open faced pinblock. It also cost a lot less to build - at 6'2" it was almost half the price of the the M Classic, which is only a 5'11".

So - the A-189 was changed to say only Bechstein, with more models planned to come. Bosendorfer was toying with a lower line too, and neither company had yet figured out the right way to offer it. Both companies were wanting to offer their brand name on a line that would price compete with Steinway.

They didn't realize how low their competition could stoop however... Dealers of competitive brands all over the place started telling people that "if it only says Bechstein on it, it's not a real Bechstein. It's built by someone else, and they're just sticking their name on it. Buy my XXXXX instead - it's a *real* German piano"....

So the A-189 went back to being a C. Bechstein, and the marketing guys went back to the drawing board. Knowing they couldn't monkey with the name, the decided that rather than design new models, they would look for ways to lower the cost of existing models - and the Academy series was born. Matte finishes, plate finishes that didn't require polishing, and no open faced pinblocks - the only concessions made on existing models, make up the Academy series. They are still labeled C. Bechstein.

If anyone saw a piano that only said Bechstein on it at NAMM, they either saw an old A-189, or Bechstein badged a prototype of one of the two new sized grands with an old A-189 fallboard. But whatever it was, there are no Bechstein grands, only C. Bechstein.

Back to the W. Hoffmann: The idea was that Petrof would build the piano up to nearly complete, and it would get its final prep and setup by the Bechstein craftsmen. They soon discovered however, that Petrof was so inconsistent in their workmanship that they were basically having to nearly build them all over again to fix the many flaws in the pianos. The work required to get the pianos up to standard was resulting in very little cost savings when all was said and done, and to make it worse, Petrof didn't seem to care one way or the other. As soon as there contract ran out, they ceased to use Petrof for building the W. Hoffmanns, and the last I heard that contract was given to Bohemia. The quality of the Bohemia product I understand has proven to be miles ahead of what Petrof was turning out.

Bechstein had gone public in 1997. The company was growing quite nicely, profits were good, the company was solid. When other companies started running 4 day work weeks a couple of years ago, Bechstein was still working 5 days a week. When some companies were actually working every other week, Bechstein was still running 5 days a week, every week. They did not, and still have not had to close for a single day's production. They did not "need" for another company to purchase them.

They *did* need better distribution however, and Samick could give it to them. They also realized that the piano industry is shrinking, and it is better to be part of a big player than it is to stay a small independent player. So to that end, Bechstein and Samick entered into negotiations, and a deal was struck. Samick has a well organized distribution network set up worldwide. Joining them gave Bechstein access to that. Bear in mind also - while Samick now owns a big chunk of Bechstein, Bechstein now owns a chunk of Samick. They now act as the distributor of Samick products in Europe as well. Also, Samick owns the Knabe and Sohmer names, and both of these marques are scheduled for big things as a result of this merger. Also it should not be forgotten that as a sizeable owner of Samick, they now also own a sizeable share of Young Chang.

No, there will not be any Korean built Bechsteins. No, there will not be any funny "Bechsteins" floating around. No, the value of your Bechstein will not be affected. All Bechsteins are C. Bechsteins, and all are made in Germany. It may be that the Euterpe line gets build in Korea, I don't know. But what you *can* look forward to is the possibility of German built Knabes, or German designed Knabes, or Knabes that are built in Korea by employees trained by German craftsmen, then shipped to Germany for final preparation and setup.

There is going to be some neat stuff come out of Korea as a result of this merger sometime in the near future. But Bechstein is Bechstein - and Karl Schultz will not allow Bechstein to be anything but.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#174064 - 03/08/04 11:30 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Piano123 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/09/03
Posts: 46
Loc: San Francisco
Impressive reply - Bravo.

Charles

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#174065 - 03/08/04 11:40 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
JPM Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/24/03
Posts: 1010
Loc: NM, GE & Wash. DC
Larry,

Thanks for your post. As usual, your input adds clarity and dispels the rumor-mongering. My faith and confidence in this fine piano maker is restored.

Danke,
JP
_________________________
"Piano music should only be written for the Bechstein."
-- Claude Debussy

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#174066 - 03/08/04 11:47 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
stein-wegge the Vth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 152
Loc: Los Angeles
 Quote:
Originally posted by lb:
Norbert

I think the lecture was about selectively picking brands that you compete against, instead of criticizing the practice in the industry as a whole.

I have a hypothetical (maybe) question for you. Say you were contemplating taking on a new line of German pianos, and then found out that they were using Chinese rims and actions. If this was a good profitable line for your store, what would you do?
 Quote:
lb

PS; Are you contemplating a new line? ;\) [/b]
_________________________
Greg Walters

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#174067 - 03/08/04 11:48 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
stein-wegge the Vth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/21/04
Posts: 152
Loc: Los Angeles
sorry I am still learning how to quote....the question that IB posed is very interesting I am interested in an answer
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Greg Walters

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#174068 - 03/09/04 12:17 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6180
Larry,

Just some lose ends... quoting from Gene Grant's earlier post:
 Quote:

The new brochure for Bechstein has several pages on the differences between the two names. A section of the text reads “For the realization of the new BECHSTEIN brand some simplifications were made in conjunction to modern technology, materials, and other pertinent resources available internationally, thereby reducing costs in the previously very involved, strictly hand crafted production procedures. All BECHSTEIN parts and their elaborations are specified and repeatedly tested by the C. Bechstein Master Piano Makers and Engineers. The main emphasis for the new BECHSTEIN pianos focuses on excellent playability and tone, and, as is usual for pianos stemming from the C. Bechstein tradition – longevity.”
Can I assume that the above refers to the A-189 and its "simplifications" as you explained? (The "new" brochure would not be so new in that case.)

If not, would you by any chance know what exactly are the "simplifications" made "in conjunction to modern technology, materials, and other pertinent resources available internationally, thereby reducing costs in the previously very involved, strictly hand crafted production procedures..." that the alleged new Bechstein brochure talks about?

I realize that we have to wait until we get to play the new pianos to judge them. Still, assuming Bechstein did publish that brochure and that it is up-to-date and was quoted correctly, it would be interesting to know what/how have Bechstein changed their material and piano making processes.

Of course, if the quoted brochure is out-of-date, all bets are off -- all this outrage over Bechstein's alleged brand-dilution for nothing.
_________________________
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#174069 - 03/09/04 12:37 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
With all due respect to Larry, I still have some serious doubt myself that the 'merger] of Bechstein and Samick [and Young Chang... \:D ]was really all that glorious and successful as hoped for and described.

Despite all the polite smiles and handshakes,
Mr. Schulz certainly didn't seem to be in an opera singing mood when I spoke to him during last NAMM.

Nor appeared to be his techs.

Only time will tell if this new venture will turn out to be the success it was hoped for or simply become another Mercedes-Chrysler type experience.

Coming from a family with several members having worked at Bechstein for over 40 years myself,I very sincerely wish them certainly all the very best.

As they used to say:

"Berlin bleibt doch Berlin"

We hope.

norbert
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174070 - 03/09/04 12:59 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
Now that is a puzzle.....

I checked their website, and there is no mention of them reviving the Bechstein name without the C. Also, in looking at all the various distributors around the world, the only one who lists "Bechstein" is Samick.

Let me amend my post then.... If there *is* a "Bechstein", it may be that Samick is going to distribute the Zimmermans under the Bechstein name. Or it may be that Samick had or has plans to trash the name Bechstein by putting "Bechstein" on a Korean piano. If that's the case, I've been lied to (wouldn't be the first time), or Samick is doing things without telling Bechstein (that wouldn't be a first for a Korean company either....). At any rate, I do know that all German built pianos will continue to say C. Bechstein, and should you run across a "Bechstein", don't buy one.

I do hope you're wrong though.....
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#174071 - 03/09/04 01:02 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Hey, Larry, "welcome home"!

[Confusion city! \:D ]

That's where we started out to begin with!!

norbert :rolleyes:
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174072 - 03/09/04 01:17 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
I know......

I'm getting to the bottom of this though. I've emailed Leo. I'll tell you what he has to say the minute I hear back from him.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#174073 - 03/09/04 08:52 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Gene Grant Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/13/04
Posts: 95
Larry,

Sorry mate - you have some incorrect info. There is a new line of pianos only labeled "Bechstein", and as I wrote earlier, I have one on my showroom floor. The information I quoted in an earlier post came directly from the brand new brochures released at NAMM. The "Bechstein" line are fine pianos that continue to be made in Germany.

I believe you are correct, however, about the knowledge sharing underway between the various brands within the Samick umbrella. It is my understanding that the expertise of the German craftsmen is being used to improve the pianos made in other locations.

Cheers,
_________________________
Gene Grant

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#174074 - 03/09/04 09:57 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Great thread.

Once again the visiblity afforded by Pianoworld chips away at the BS and inches us towards the truth.

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#174075 - 03/09/04 10:15 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Larry Offline
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/25/01
Posts: 9217
Loc: Deep in Cherokee Country
All the background stuff I wrote I know to be accurate. The only thing I was wrong on was about the use of the name "Bechstein" again. I was assured they had learned their lesson the first time, but apparently not.
_________________________
Life isn't measured by the breaths you take. Life is measured by the things that left you breathless

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#174076 - 03/12/04 06:10 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
C. Bechstein Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/12/04
Posts: 1
Loc: Berlin
Dear Mrs. and Mr. Mulkey,

Please excuse the delayed reply due to my absence from the office, this time it was absence without the computer, therefore I can only reply today.

I have read the piano world and understand your concern caused by some of the information discussed therein, some of the remarks are obviously not made by friends, however, this is also part of life and competition.

As you have seen in Seifhennersdorf, I believe, we have built in 2002 / 2003 some new production areas in excess of 2100 square meters, an area for the best wood working. All technical aspects are in accordance to the newest regulations for ecology and safety, these are regularly inspected by an independent board serving the workers safety union and the ecology departments.

Clearly, we have invested in order to manufacture high quality pianos, and an increased number of them.

As you may be aware, this part of Germany enjoys a long tradition in piano making and the costs of living are low therefore also the labor costs are very attractive.
We have purchased this plant in Seifhennersdorf with 100 staff members on April 1st, 1992, since then we have invested financially in excess of 20 million dollars in both personnel training and facilities, and have a staff today of about 200 people in the factory.

Since September 1992 we have been making here the new generation of ZIMMERMANN pianos based on C.BECHSTEIN engineering, we have also made the W.HOFFMANN - Trend pianos here for markets which historically had problems with the ZIMMERMANN name just as was the case in USA.

Since 1993 we introduced in Seifhennersdorf stepwise the making of the C.BECHSTEIN vertical pianos, which are since a number of years now all made here from a to z and which enjoy great recognition. Since 1995 we began with production of C.BECHSTEIN grand pianos in Seifhennersdorf, in the mean time we have completely transferred the grand piano production to Seifhennersdorf. In Berlin we are doing final work on the concert and bigger model grands, particularly to show retail customers how such work is in fact done and what detail is involved.

Since 1986, when Mr. Karl Schulze purchased C.BECHSTEIN from BALDWIN Piano & Organ Co., he immediately began looking for additional piano lines in order to serve not only the high end but also the mid price range. In many ways we can see a parallel with the automobile industry, where major, top of the line brands spread their offer in a broad price range, which in turn ascertains activity in the market on a number of levels.

In the USA we have in the last few years sold W.HOFFMANN pianos - made in cooperation with partners in Poland and Check Republic - as a price alternative to C.BECHSTEIN pianos. As of 2003 we introduced the BECHSTEIN 190, a piano completely engineered by C.BECHSTEIN, yet at a lower price, which was possible due to very efficient technology and subcontracting of certain parts and aspect of the making. At the NAMM show in January 2004 we introduced the BECHSTEIN 160, again a piano engineered by C.BECHSTEIN in every detail and made in our plant in acc.to above described system of the 190.

As you know, I am a piano maker and therefore have to look at a number of issues, those which determine quality and those which determine cost. In Germany, we and all of our colleagues in this business are buying parts or components in accordance to specifications made for each brand and model, we are all in general makers of small quantities of pianos. Most of the suppliers are small and struggling due to small numbers of pianos made in Europe. For each piano line we make, be it the C.BECHSTEIN the BECHSTEIN or the ZIMMERMANN, we have specific quality criteria, which in each case is influenced by C.BECHSTEIN piano making tradition and standards, which on the other hand has to be realized for a set price range.

In December 2002 SAMICK Korea purchased 60 % shares of C.BECHSTEIN Pianofortefabrik AG, a step reached with the goal for C.BECHSTEIN to have a partner in Asia, a partner who can indeed open up the Asian markets for C.BECHSTEIN, a partner who furthermore enjoys a broad net of dealerships in the USA through its SMC distributorship. For SAMICK Company, which as of summer 2002 went onto new ownership, it was essential to have a partner with image and know how. Since 2003 C.BECHSTEIN has taken over responsibility for training the SAMCIK technicians and Engineers and for re-structuring the SAMICK product lines, both in Korea and Indonesia, thereby making the SAMICK products competitive at higher quality standards. C.BECHSTEIN is now re-introducing SAMICK pianos on the German and Benelux markets.

Since we are convinced of the magnitude of the Asian markets, we are going to develop numerous activities and strategies to gain market shares there.

We will encounter the market's needs on a number of levels to serve the piano buying public at the best quality - value and in accordance to its financial possibilities therein.

I trust that the above information is helpful in making the picture clearer.

Sincerely yours,
Leonardo Duricic,
Technical Chief of C.BECHSTEIN Pianofortefabrik AG / Member Board of Directors

Seifhennersdorf, Germany, March 11th 2004.

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#174077 - 03/12/04 09:35 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Axtremus Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/29/03
Posts: 6180
Herr Duricic,

Many thanks for clarifying the confusion surrounding the Bechstein discussion here.

 Quote:
You wrote: "As of 2003 we introduced the BECHSTEIN 190, a piano completely engineered by C.BECHSTEIN, yet at a lower price, which was possible due to very efficient technology and subcontracting of certain parts and aspect of the making[/b]."
Would you consider elaborating on the "subcontracting of certain parts and aspect of the making," seeing that a large interest in this discussion is to determine who, outside of C.Bechstein, are involved, and to what extent, with the making of the BECHSTEIN branded pianos.

Thank you.
_________________________
www.PianoRecital.org -- my piano recordings

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#174078 - 03/12/04 10:36 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
Mr. Duricic, thank you for posting here.
It is nice to hear directly from the makers.

Very fascinating post.
I read your post carefully and was looking for a statement that all pianos with C. Bechstein or Bechstein on the fallboard are made in Germany, and not Korea.

That was the main question of this thread.
It would be nice to hear this from the manufacturer.

We have adjusted to seeing various American and European sounding names on pianos built in Asia.
The suggestion that "Bechstein" itself will appear on the fallboards of pianos made in Asia is what caused the flap.

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#174079 - 03/12/04 12:39 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Norbert Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/03/01
Posts: 14138
Loc: Surrey, B.C.
Dear Mr.Duricic:

Thank you for your grace coming on line here.

We all enjoy and truly appreciates the moment when one is priviledged enough to hear directly from "the horse's mouth"...so to speak!

Believe me, Bechstein pianos have many admirers here
[as well as everywhere else,of course! ]
and nobody in the world would ever doubt for one moment its long record of excellence amongst the world's finest pianos wouldn't speak for itself!

On the other hand, the changes going on in the industry today, are bewildering and sometimes even unsettling for many people accustomed to a more "orderly" or at least traditional world picture.

"Made in Germany" has always carried the assurance of certainly being of at least above average quality, and it is a label that my and your forefathers have earned over a very long period of time.

But the world is changing.

In addition, piano customers for many years now, have been virtually bombarded with such jargon as "this piano is built to our specification" etc, while - at the same time - everybody is somehow left wondering what exactly is meant by that.

Including, where such piano is actually coming from these days.

There have been many pianos "designed by German geniuses" before,predominantly coming from Korea,and in this case, your partner company Samick has a long record of using lofty logos such as "designed by Klaus Fenner" or "German scale" on most of their own pianos.

While never ever being anywhere close to a 'real' German piano themselves.

But perhaps things are changing today,such as training the work forces on a much larger scale than before, and the much closer ties between the manufacturing departments of companies than has been possible perhaps in the past.

Which is the significant change we all would appreciate to learn about.

Are you also willing to confirm or deny for us here at this time categorically if any Bechstein pianos are actually already being made or planned to be made entirely in Korea at this time?

Thank you very much,

Norbert Marten
_________________________
www.heritagepianos.com
Greater Vancouver B.C. piano dealers for : C.Sauter, Estonia, Brodmann, Ritmuller
604-951-8642

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#174080 - 03/12/04 01:09 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
perfect88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 50
Loc: Chicagoland
Excuse me, if Samick Bought into Young Chang and closed the Samick factory, who is Beckstein helping? Are they being invited to teach the Y.C people? I would find that hard to believe.

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#174081 - 03/12/04 01:11 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
perfect88 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/05/04
Posts: 50
Loc: Chicagoland
Excuse me, if Samick Bought into Young Chang and closed the Samick factory, who is Beckstein helping? Are they being invited to teach the Y.C people? I would find that hard to believe.

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#174082 - 03/14/04 03:47 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
SameKenny Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/14/04
Posts: 116
Loc: So California
Bump.
Now that we have Bechstein's ear. . .

Are pianos without the "C" on the fallboard to be made in Korea in the future?
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I know I think.

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#174083 - 04/12/04 09:37 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Manitou Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/08/02
Posts: 1044
Loc: Colorado
I just spent time playing Bechstein's at a large Bechstein dealer and saw both the C.Bechstein and plain Bechstein on the floor. I asked him (albeit a saleperson and part-owner) what if any, the difference was.
He says: they are both made in Germany, but the plain Bechstein (without the C.) is not an original Bechstein design, but a Samick design, and all parts are Samick made, and Germany assembled. The original C.Bechstein remains the same great piano, but the other Bechstein is similar to the Essex or Boston except it is actually assembled in Germany (Berlin?).

I did play it and well, not really a C.Bechstein at all.. not really impressive at all. That may in fact, be cheapening the C.Bechstein legacy.
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Manitou - Pianist - Technician

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#174084 - 04/12/04 10:05 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
Cowboy Joe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 74
Loc: Wild Wild West
Now why would a company use inexpensive Korean parts to assemble a piano with high dollar German labor? That doesn't make any sense. Not doubting you, just asking. That's completely backwards to the "German parts assembled in China/Korea" type logic. I just don't see the logic of that one.

You're right. This may cheapen the Bechstein name.
_________________________
A man is only as young as the woman he feels.

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#174085 - 04/13/04 09:33 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
 Quote:
Originally posted by Cowboy Joe:
Now why would a company use inexpensive Korean parts to assemble a piano with high dollar German labor? [/b]
Korean ownership?

Korean owners being more concerned with improving Samick's image than harming Bechstein's image?

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#2306293 - 07/24/14 04:33 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: thomas]
carpa Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/05/11
Posts: 2
I chime in just to express my opinion about all the "+or- C." Bechstein matter.
To me the there are two points to deal with in the discussion.

1) Are the "new" plain Bechstein's much different in quality than C. Bechs?
This is certainly interesting in order to understand the manufacturing standards beetween the two lines and to define which kind of marketing are they running.
The cost between the two lines is half the price, though, so a comparison based on the price point is unfair; this leads to the point 2

2) As the price of, let's say, a Bechstein B228 is comparable ( a bit higher but still comparable) to a new Yamaha C7x the question is: which is better?

I have tried both and this is my opinion:

Yamaha has a better action, I'd say also a much "standard" action; you get a touch feeling which will mostly meet what you'll find in playing concerts around ( you'll mostly have Yamahas or Steinways).

Bechstein B228 action is not bad, but its quite different. Something I'd define "straight and direct response", which give the sensation of being a bit heavy touch on the surface. Just to give an example, a PP glissando is much easier on a Yamaha than on a B228. Is you buy one you must know it is a "different" action.

Yamaha x series has a better sound than previous serie; smoother and warmer. I like it.

Bechstein is better in my opinion; it sings better in mid and high section.

It is a matter of taste, at the end. The real question is about the reliability in the long period. I fell safe with Yamaha, I don't know with this new Bechsteins.
At this regard the point 1) about standards in manufacturing comes to be important.

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#2306413 - 07/24/14 11:03 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: thomas]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1622
Loc: Toronto
Hey Carpa
You're chiming in on a 10 year old thread.
Since then it has been established that the C. Bechstein is the premiere line and the Bechstein is their academy series. There have been numerous threads in the last 10 years discussing the difference between the two lines.

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#2306420 - 07/24/14 11:14 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: thomas]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1197
Yeah, and actually did they not change the whole set up again recently from 'Academy' series to 'B' series? I don't know if they changed the actual instruments or just the name of the series.

Anyway they're good pianos and priced right I think. The C. Bechsteins are probably too expensive though - I mean, they are superb pianos but they are probably the most expensive make, above even Bosendorfer, Fazioli and Steinway in the UK.

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#2306434 - 07/24/14 11:39 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: thomas]
PhilipInChina Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 910
Loc: China
C Bechstein........

Other pianos are different, but are any better?
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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#2306528 - 07/24/14 03:13 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: thomas]
joe80 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/30/09
Posts: 1197
I like the new C. Bechstein pianos but I kind of wish they'd based their tone more on the early 20th century instruments. The upright 8 is still in that family but the grands seem to owe more to Hamburg these days.

Bluthner too, when you compare the pianos from 1890 to 1940 to the latest ones, well, I love them but I feel that the original voice has been lost somewhere. Both of my Bluthners have a full, rich and singing treble, and a balanced and sustained bass. I feel the latest ones are a bit thin and lack sustain in the top.

C bechstein leave nothing to be desired except for the tone seems to sound like every other piano.

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#2306604 - 07/24/14 04:45 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: joe80]
Karl Watson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/11
Posts: 339
joe80:

At last, FINALMENTE, someone has said it. Bechstein and Bluthner, makes that formerly had an immediately recognisable tone, are certainly no more so, so very anonymous sounding.

Of course, there's nothing wrong with being anonymous if that's what you want.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

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#2306713 - 07/24/14 08:58 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: thomas]
terminaldegree Online   content
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 2687
Loc: western Wisconsin
Karl and Joe,

Although I am familiar with historically significant recordings on old Bluthners and Bechsteins, and agree that those sounds are unique, I completely disagree that the new renditions of same are anonymous and sound like everything else on the market. That's just not the case.

(and now back to a 10 year old thread that should not have been revived)
_________________________
Pianist, teacher, internet addict.
Piano Review Editor - Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer
Casio px-200, Bechstein A190 #192939 @ home
Steinway A #585209, B #416809 @ work
Schimmel 130T #339100, on loan

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#2306910 - 07/25/14 10:19 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: terminaldegree]
PhilipInChina Online   content
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/19/13
Posts: 910
Loc: China
Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
Karl and Joe,

Although I am familiar with historically significant recordings on old Bluthners and Bechsteins, and agree that those sounds are unique, I completely disagree that the new renditions of same are anonymous and sound like everything else on the market. That's just not the case.

(and now back to a 10 year old thread that should not have been revived)


Why not?
_________________________
Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"

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#2307539 - 07/26/14 09:59 PM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: PhilipInChina]
Retsacnal Online   content

Platinum Supporter until Feb 18  2015


Registered: 10/11/12
Posts: 565
Loc: Northern Virgina
Originally Posted By: PhilipInChina
Originally Posted By: terminaldegree
Karl and Joe,

Although I am familiar with historically significant recordings on old Bluthners and Bechsteins, and agree that those sounds are unique, I completely disagree that the new renditions of same are anonymous and sound like everything else on the market. That's just not the case.

(and now back to a 10 year old thread that should not have been revived)


Why not?


I agree! Why not? There's a treasure trove of information in the older threads. Just in reading this one today I discovered that "Larry" used to post here, and was apparently banned multiple times, but hasn't posted in nearly ten years! To me it's interesting to see the turnover of names. Norbert seems to be the only one posting in this thread who still posts today.
_________________________
1950 Baldwin M

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#2307608 - 07/27/14 01:25 AM Re: C.Bechstein vs. Bechstein [Re: thomas]
AJF Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/06
Posts: 1622
Loc: Toronto
I agree with the 'why not' mostly. However it can be annoying when a thread is resurrected by someone who fails to realize they're replying to an old thread where for instance the 'facts' or circumstances have changed since (which is the case here). Or when someone posts a 'should I buy x or y' thread and someone replies to it 5 years after the poster already bought their piano. Threads that unfold like that can be very confusing to someone who comes here looking for info. But sometimes bringing back an old thread can be really cool when a topic picks up years later with a new perspective on things. But in my 8 years here, more often then not I see old threads brought back by someone posting about something that's now irrelevant or posting because they don't know how (or are too lazy:) to start a new thread.

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