The Berlin Showroom for C. Bechstein Concert Grand Pianos

Kevin Busse Feb 08, 2024
187 People Read
Bechstein Berlin Showroom Entrance

This summer I was fortunate to be able to attend the Bechstein Technicians Academy and Piano Factory in Seifhennersdorf, Germany (near the Czech Republic).

During my travels to attend the Damper Installation Class, I first went to the Bechstein Piano Company where this showroom was located in Berlin. I spent a few hours to compare a myriad of their acoustic pianos.

From upright pianos, vario silent systems, baby grand pianos, and concert grand pianos. All of their flagship products were there, and in plentiful quantities!

It was fascinating for me to learn more about one of my top favorite piano brands, especially since I was able to speak with their onsite piano technicians.

I spoke with Torben, a head piano technician, who was able to discuss the levels of quality between each model. We also spoke about comparing the same model pianos side by side. True to the nature of pianos, there were notable differences depending on how each piano was prepped.

My visit to the Berlin showroom brought clarity to the structural parts and their differences in higher-level pianos sold by Bechstein.

Bechstein Berlin Showroom entrance

Bechstein Berlin Piano Showroom Entrance

The entrance to the Bechstein showroom in Berlin feels like a special treat for music lovers like myself.

This location has enough square footage for a number of visitors. The showroom has an immensely wide range of pianos which can be dizzying if you don’t know what you’re looking for.

I was also able to play W. Hoffmann Pianos, Zimmermann Brand Pianos, and digital pianos which are some of the most affordable pianos that are owned by Bechstein. In this article, I will be highlighting the highest quality pianos that Bechstein has to offer.

Thanks to having attended 2 Bechstein training seminars along with getting to know key individuals and technicians at Bechstein to learn more about their pianos. It became obvious which differences to pay attention to while opening my eyes and ears to appreciate all the subtle, and not so subtle nuances!

Bechstein Showroom in Berlin Germany with 5 Concert D Grand Pianos

Five C. Bechstein Concert D Series Pianos stand in a row.

This is something that professional pianists may not find anywhere else in the world!

Each piano had a different feel and sound.

How do technicians influence Bechstein pianos?

Due to the thousands of components within a Bechstein piano action, each piano comes from the factory with its own unique imprint, so the technician works to raise the concert instrument to its highest potential with qualities that are already present within the instrument.

At this level, no two pianos are alike. Each has its own character that cannot be perfectly duplicated.

So if a piano already sounds bright or feels light, then the technician may choose to improve upon these strengths.

How do Pianists influence the outcome of a Bechstein?

It is only until the final pianist or buyer is involved can the voicing of the hammerheads be perfected to the preference for an individual. The overall sound and feel of each instrument is malleable to a degree that can take on the preference of the pianist by way of instruction to the piano technician.

However, it’s generally a good practice to go with the strengths of the piano, which is why some pianos end up sounding bright and other pianos sound mellow.

What can I expect from a Bechstein Concert Grand?

A Bechstein Concert Piano has better projection due to how it's built & the materials of construction at the C. Bechstein factory.

Regardless, one must play each piano to get to know each instrument, which is what I was able to do while playing. It only further instilled into my mind the idea that each piano is truly different, therefore it is crucial to “test drive” the instrument before choosing which piano is right for you.

Bechstein Berlin Showroom with 4 Concert C Grand Pianos

A row of four C. Bechstein Concert C Series pianos.

Another site to behold, and can scantly be found anywhere else!

I played through each piano to get a sense of the subtle nuances between each instrument. I was able to tell which one had a heavier vs. lighter action and the various range of sounds comparatively speaking.

When I mention that pianos sound different, it typically refers to sounding punctual versus sounding mellow and everything in between. Although, depending on the circumstance, generally pianos can be voiced “up” or “down” depending on the preference of the pianist.

Bechstein Berlin Showroom with 4 Concert A Grand Pianos

A row of four Bechstein Concert A Series Pianos

Lastly, here is a row of four Bechstein Academy Series Concert Pianos which also have their own individual personalities.

Having a solid beech bridge is one of the qualities that provides a balance of dynamic power for this line of instruments. I also learned during my factory tour that grand rims have layers of mahogany to shape sympathetic resonances, which is inlayed in all of their concert instruments.

At the end of the day, for piano sales, I always like to encourage buyers to go in and play a new piano yourself.

C. Bechstein Berlin Showroom

My favorite Bechstein D Series Concert Grand

Among the six Bechstein Concert D Series pianos I tried, this one was the perfect piano for me!

At the Berlin showroom, I took time to find which Bechstein D I preferred the most. I took a picture of myself with my favorite piano out of the selection I was able to try. It was absolutely incredible to experience these renowned instruments of the exact same model side by side.

Lighter Action

This piano had a lighter action that I generally prefer, which makes sense for me because I’m a piano tuner, meaning, I don’t practice hours and hours a day which may warrant the preference of a heavier action.

At the end of the day, playing on a lighter action helps me get out of the piano what I want; a piano with a light action where I can play quickly and intricately.

However, If I were to change up my practicing habits I may want an action that has a heavier feel to it. It all depends on how strongly developed my hand muscles are at the time.

Pianists may prefer a piano with a “heavier” action because it may be more suitable for those accustomed to practicing for hours each day.

Phenomenal Sound

While pianos have variances in sound (bright/soft etc.), I chose this piano based on the action. This is because I know that lots of times, it is possible to change the sound of the piano depending on your tastes through the process of voicing.

The sound of the piano was phenomenal. It produced the type of sound that makes musical passages “soar,” as I like to describe it. It has a Bechstein sound quality to it with a lively energy in its higher treble. It is certainly made for showcasing on a concert stage.

Tips when trying out new pianos?

The last thing I’ll add is that, whether you’re trying out a new instrument, the piano player eventually becomes accustomed to the feel of a new instrument over time. This is unless the instrument is low-grade, which you won’t find in a high quality Bechstein piano.

C. Bechstein Berlin Showroom Germany

Bechstein Berlin Showroom Front Desk

Here I am posing behind the counter at the Bechstein showroom in Berlin.

Funny enough, it looks like I could work there and fit right in!

There is a grand piano action on display on the top of the counter showing off Bechstein made and assembled parts.

While I don’t work at Bechstein, I work for an Exclusive Bechstein dealer in the United States.

C. Bechstein Berlin Showroom Concert D

C. Bechstein Concert D Series on stage

Here is one of their flagship Concert D Series grand piano on a stage platform in the showroom.

From the very first time I played one in New York, this instrument truly demonstrated to me how Bechstein concert grand pianos are a competitive instrument among world class pianos.

To be honest, I already knew that Bechstein upright pianos were the best upright pianos in the world. It took a Bechstein D concert grand piano to prove to me that Bechstein concert grands were also the best in the world.

C. Bechstein Concert D in Berlin, Germany

Test trying a C. Bechstein Concert D Series in Berlin

The main way I know that I’m testing an exceptional piano is if I feel like the instrument is asking more of me as a pianist.

There are lots of other pianos where I can max out their potential quickly.

However, when I played any of the concert grand pianos at Bechstein’s Berlin showroom, the piano had so much potential that I felt like I had to update my piano “chops,” which is the best feeling a piano could ever give me.

For more information on C. Bechstein Pianos like a technical review on the A2 Academy series upright piano and other differences between their fine instruments, contact me for any questions.

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