For some people, this thread appears to have been involving personalities or accusations of sorts, claims versus counter claims and the like.
All 'apologies' aside, we're back here to learn - exchange some information, support each other and hopefully have some fun along the way as well...
And,despite all kinds of possible disagreements, make, be and remain friends.
[wink, wink.. to Steve:
Now,being German born myself, my own take on these things has been completely different this, from the very beginning.
I vividly remember the time as a young boy, the time I grew up in post war Berlin, a city and country almost completely destroyed and in ashes.
Germany's eventual resurrection to full industrial production and respectability was based on one single thing, a thing which was called - "made in Germany"
It was something that meant something to the whole world, no matter how humble the product at that time might have been.
"Made in Germany" wasn't something that was stagged in No 1 ,No 2 or No 3 quality - it was *quality* period.
This wasn't a linguistic commodity but the golden nugget which, as history was about to prove, had helped this country through the toughest of times and made it survive against all odds.
Many people in the whole world have long come to believe that "made in Germany" is not a legalistic term of economic convenience satisfying some obscure laws of current day, common market duty regulations, but served as an indicator for true, reliable and genuine quality.
100% - if you like - first tier type quality.
It is a label still very important to those who, like many East European conservatories today, wish to re-stock their class rooms and concert halls with pianos they can have unabated trust and confidence in.
Today, some manufacturers may see the need to compete with lower priced pianos from other countries,perhaps also seeking a bit of a competitive advantage against their own peers.
Others think it will be important to gain a manufacturing foothold in such countries like China this, in the hope that this country would never gain enough know-how to build better pianos itself or will be hampered by a permanent lack of self-confidence or nationalism in their consumer behaviour.
Little or no consideration is given to the fact that some would only be too eager over there to copy the latest technology/know given to them, immediately improving their own lines of pianos and eventually make the competition on their own national turf by others a living nightmare.
Now,if and when the army of new Chinese multi-millionaires gets ready to buy the very best there is, Germany surely will be only too happy to deliver
- once again.
"Made in Germany" again will have the meaning it always had - unimitable excellence and 100% quality in what they are making.
Meanwhile, 2nd and 3rd and perhaps even 1 1/2 tier quality products will be offered by too many others here to list.
Things might all turn out differently of course - but so is my hope.
In that sense I am wishing C.Bechstein and all other German manufacturers a highly successful future - their real opportunity in time is hopefully just about the corner.....