Everybody in the piano industry knows about the cracks that often appear in the cast iron frame of many Bechstein grand pianos but not many private individuals know about them. Proud owners of Bechstein grands are often horrified to hear that their beloved piano may have a crack. This page is designed to help you figure out if your Bechstein grand has a crack or not and what that means for the value and performance of your piano. Here goes…
Which models and what ages are affected?
In my experience the cracked plate affects about 50% of all Model B, Model C and Model V grand pianos which date from the 1800s into the first couple of decades of the 1900s. Some of the Model V grands don't actually say “Model V” on them but you can spot one as it is 6ft 6in or 6ft 7in in length and has the “fishtale” style of back end instead of the more modern smooth curved cabinet design. I found that the Bechstein Model D and the Model E (larger grands) tend not to be affected quite so much. The same goes with the smaller Bechstein Model A which is also not usually cracked.
How can I spot the crack?
Please follow these instructions to find the area that is most commonly affected by this crack.
Here is a photo I took (sorry for the poor quality) showing an example of a crack in a Bechstein grand piano