The Bechstein name is synonymous with Germanys finest piano building, often considered the European equivalent to Steinway in America. Carl Bechstein opened his piano factory under the name of C. Bechstein in Berlin, Germany in 1853 (the same year Steinway established the Steinway factory in New York). The firms reputation for building superior instruments spread quickly and during the 19th Century Bechstein was one of the most celebrated piano builders in the world. These 19th Century Bechstein pianos were known for having a very melodic tonal quality which is a bit more distinctive than American made pianos. Carl Sr. died in 1900, leaving the firm to his sons Carl Jr., Johann and Edwin. The firm continued to celebrate massive success well into the 20th Century. Bechstein is one of the few piano manufacturers in the world to survive 160+ years, and they are still building exceptional pianos today.