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#1398087 - 03/17/10 07:46 PM Mason and Hamlin circa 1905
FormerlyFlute Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/21/06
Posts: 235
Loc: Maryland
I just looked at a Mason and Hamlin A that is priced at $5500 by a private seller. The sound is very nice but the piano does need work. There are a couple of cracks in the soundboard which doesn't seem to affect the sound. However, the keys are uneven and seem sluggish around the middle range.

The strings were replaced at some point, and there was no musty smell.

Opinions on what it might need? I will have my technician look at it if I don't get a bunch of discouraging comments.

BTW, the sn is 16162
_________________________
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Flute: Sankyo CF-201 with RT2 headjoint

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#1398109 - 03/17/10 08:17 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin circa 1905 [Re: FormerlyFlute]
kluurs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/02
Posts: 3739
Loc: Chicago
I think you'll find there are a lot of fans of M&H. The A is an awfully nice piano - and older M&H's can be incredible. As to whether this piano is a good deal...it sounds like it needs work - and a good technician/rebuilder should be able to give you an idea of what it might cost to get it to playable condition - and/or fully restore it.

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#1398238 - 03/18/10 12:27 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin circa 1905 [Re: kluurs]
Cy Shuster, RPT Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/18/05
Posts: 3448
Loc: Albuquerque, NM
The serial number dates to 1905. It's 105 years old -- it probably needs everything. But prewar Masons are some of the most sought-after pianos out there, and if you have it rebuilt, you can have the sound and action customized (within reason) to your preferences.

A complete rebuild on a quality piano like this is $10,000 to $15,000 and up, and should include just about everything except the rim. For what you have when you're done, just shop for rebuilt prewar A's.

--Cy--
_________________________
Cy Shuster, RPT
505-265-4234
www.shusterpiano.com
www.facebook.com/shusterpiano
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Registered Piano Technician
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#1398292 - 03/18/10 02:35 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin circa 1905 [Re: Cy Shuster, RPT]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
To much dinero $ for this piano in it's present state. To me this piano falls into the rebuildable core /shell piano that happens to have a little life remaining. In lieu of future restoration, one would not salvage any previous upgrades to the piano. Is the action original ? How's the finish? New pinblock ? New agraffees ? When was it restrung ? We really need more info on the prexisting prior upgrades since 1905.

Actually the turn of the century early A(s) were not all that great. The structural harp,rim etc. were not as massive as in the teens and twenties up till the pre Aeolian 30(s). We've restored many of those at the immediate turn of the century. Not as good as the teens and twenties as for the mdl.A Now the AA and BB in this era is a different story.
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#1398405 - 03/18/10 08:16 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin circa 1905 [Re: pianobroker]
Brandon_W_T Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/18/10
Posts: 1940
Loc: Omaha, Nebraska
hey, my piano is 105 years old too! It does need work as well, but I love it! M&Hs are great pianos!
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#1398425 - 03/18/10 08:53 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin circa 1905 [Re: Brandon_W_T]
Rich Galassini Online   content
9000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 9290
Loc: Philadelphia/South Jersey
Absolutely, a Mason from this period is worth restoration, provided that the structure of the piano has maintained its integrity and it has not seen any damage over its lifetime.

There is one important caveat though. After a piano like this is properly rebuilt, it will have a different tone and a different touch from what it has presently. If you like the piano right now, remember that it will be substantially different after the piano is rebuilt. The tone and touch will be improved, certainly.

BUT - if you have not played many fully rebuilt Mason & Hamlins from this era, done by the rebuilder you choose, you will have little reference to how this piano will perform after the work is done. This is why rebuilding a piano like this one on speculation can be a dangerous decision.

My advice is to choose a rebuilder who can direct you to at least one (preferably several) rebuilds of the model you are considering. If they have a showroom, play some of the instruments in their showroom and get a feel for what they do, and what the possibilities of for this instrument are.

Enjoy your piano search. It can be a little frustrating, but it can be a whole lot of fun, too.

Keep us posted! We like to follow along when we can.

My 2 cents,
_________________________
Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
Dir. Line (215) 991-0834
rich@cunninghampiano.com
www.cunninghampiano.com

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