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#144299 - 02/16/06 01:23 PM 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
kokomo61 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 678
Loc: Herndon, VA
Rick Jones Pianos has a 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB (7-foot) grand that looks interesting, and they've got what appears to be a good price - according to their website, it "has a new pinblock, strings pins and quality high-end Renner hammers, shanks and flanges". The rest of it looks to be in good shape, and original.

Here's a video clip:

Mason & Hamlin

Just under $19K.....it's hard not to leave work to go play it......
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Estonia 190, #6098

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#144300 - 02/16/06 02:23 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1306
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Nice vidio clip. Great sounding BB. Rick Jones has a good reputation in the area. A couple of techs have told me in the past that Mason & Hamlins were still making very good pianos in the 1950s and 60s. With the work that has been done on this one, the price seems real reasonable. It could be a real winner.

Rich
_________________________
Retired at the beach (well maybe not completely)

Anton Rubinstein said about the piano: "You think it is one instrument? It is a hundred instruments!"

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#144301 - 02/16/06 03:46 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4289
buy it!

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#144302 - 02/16/06 05:33 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
kokomo61 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 678
Loc: Herndon, VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by mr_super-hunky:
buy it! [/b]
That's what I was afraid of..... ;\)

I showed my wife, who is now moving things on the schedule so I can go see it tomorrow. She also had us measure the space in the living room to see if it would fit....

I may very well go and play it tomorrow. I only started looking recently, so I don't know that it's THE ONE....but it looks awesome, and the clip sounds good....so, we'll see....
_________________________
Estonia 190, #6098

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#144303 - 02/16/06 06:01 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2419
Loc: Lowell MA
My advice remains consistant.

Have a tech check the piano thoroughly.

Blasting through a song is one thing, Moderate play of each note, one at a time so we can hear some aspects of voicing is another.

Recordings of that type don't allow to hear the tenor properly, especially at the break...

And so on and so on....

Again. have a tech check it thorughly.
_________________________
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
Isaac Newton

E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances

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#144304 - 02/16/06 07:59 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
sheepdip Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/05
Posts: 267
Loc: Oregon
Pay NO attention to what a piano sounds like thru one of those clips, it will tell you nothing at all. Go see it and play it. Rick has a excellent reputation.
_________________________
I'm a fool for Chopin. The biggest mistake in my life......Thinking that fishing was more fun than Bach when I was younger.

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#144305 - 02/16/06 08:15 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
kokomo61 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 678
Loc: Herndon, VA
Larry Buck and sheepdip (boy, now that sounds like a good name for a band....)

Good advice all around. I've planned to spend up to 6 months to find THE piano, so I may have too much playing in front of me to jump on this one. I DO plan to take some time tomorrow to play it thoroughly (along with other pianos @ Rick's for comparison). I may also (if I have time) swing up to Jason's (Steve, if you're around, I'll say Hi..) because he's been so helpful, and he has several pianos that I want to try, too. It may be several hours of piano playing....

If it turns out that it's THE piano, I'll put a deposit down and get a tech to take a look at it. If it's not, then it'll likely find a good home this weekend, because it is a very good price....even if it does go to someone else....
_________________________
Estonia 190, #6098

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#144306 - 02/16/06 08:25 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
mr_super-hunky Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 4289
Kokomo: (the name of our Llama stud!)

I am selling a brand new-ish model "A" to buy this exact piano. It is an incredible instrument and is offered at a VERY good price.

I narrowed many many months of shopping down to either the "BB" or a Bosie 225.

While both are top-notch piano;s, you won't find a Bosie any where near that price. Also, the M&H can double as a bomb shelter should you ever need one!!

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#144307 - 02/16/06 08:41 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
Bluthner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 154
Loc: Ohio, USA
That piano will not remain in stock for long. It may be gone already. I will try to go see it myself Saturday, but I bet it is gone by then.

One note: there was a piano at Rick's that I found very early on my search and would have been much cheaper than what I got, but also not as good. I am happy with my choice, but I don't see anything wrong with buying the first piano you come buy if it is a good deal. Don't be trigger-shy!

These Mason pianos are very rebuildable.

My impression of Rick's pianos is that for the most part they need a lot of work, although his prices on used pianos are very good. I have seen good pianos at his shop (a 7-foot Kawai comes to mind) and some others that were not as thrilling, yet all of them very inexpensive.

I personally don't think of it as a bargain, but rather as fair pricing for pianos that need work. I guess if more work was done to them the price would need to go up, to the disservice of people that just want a piano that does not cost an arm and a leg.

Not pianos for the snob, though. He has also nice new pianos, but I cannot say anything about the prices on those, as we have never talked seriously about what type of discount may be available. Rick seems to me a straight shooter so if one of those catches your eye, I think you should let him know what you think you could pay for a particular piano. Worst things can happen is that it will be to low a price for a deal and no harm done.

Good luck. If it is there Saturday I may go crazy and get it myself! (Not realistically, but I can dream).
_________________________
I have no affiliation with Bluthner, I just like their pianos a lot.

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#144308 - 02/16/06 09:47 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
kokomo61 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 678
Loc: Herndon, VA
I don't think it will last the weekend, either, but that's not the reason to get it....The criteria I'm looking for are playability and sound first. Engineering and design are important, and with the exception of soundboards and general apperance, I'm not bound by tradition when it comes to construction (that's why I tend to like Kawai's). So, it may play to a different aesthetic than mine. The pianos that I've played (and liked) are:

Yamaha C-3
Kawai RX2 and RX3
Young Chang PG-185

I haven't been that drawn to Steinways, because I've played just as many dogs as I've played good ones. This piano may just be too big for me, but I'll give it a go...

I'm going out tomorrow to play it (along with other's at Ricks) to see if it is a match for me, but it may not be THE one. If it is, I'm sure it will tell me......
_________________________
Estonia 190, #6098

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#144309 - 02/17/06 08:25 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
kokomo61 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 678
Loc: Herndon, VA
UPDATE - I got to play it today - it sounded great, and was very clear throughout. The bass was very strong, and the piano didn't mind being pushed. Treble and mid-range were full, without any harshness. Action was very responsive, without any sloppiness or hesitation....

....and I didn't buy it. Why not? First and foremost, it seems to fill a different aesthetic than what I'm looking for. In the hands of the right player, it can be an awesome piano, but not mine. Also, I didn't really comprehend the characteristics that a piano with that kind of history carries with it. Again, playing other pianos helped confirm that.

Thanks to Steve Cohen @ Jason's - I stopped by his shop today, too, and played a Steinway, Baldwin, a couple Prambergers & Petrof's, along with a Yamaha C-7 and a Kawai KG. I think that the advice to play lots of pianos is the best advice going......

I don't think the Mason and Hamlin will be there after this weekend, so someone will have an awesome piano with a lot of history behind it - just not me....
_________________________
Estonia 190, #6098

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#144310 - 02/17/06 09:16 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
whippen boy Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 3886
Loc: San Francisco
What an intriguing & curious post. What you described in the first paragraph sounds like an ideal piano!

 Quote:
it seems to fill a different aesthetic than what I'm looking for
So I guess the real question is, what aesthetic are you looking for exactly?

 Quote:
I didn't really comprehend the characteristics that a piano with that kind of history carries with it. Again, playing other pianos helped confirm that.
That is a very interesting statement that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Can you say more? The 'history' thing is sort of puzzling.

PS: I really liked the video & wish I had some extra money to drop on this one...!
_________________________
Grotrian 225
S&S Hamburg-C
M&H "A" at home

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#144311 - 02/18/06 01:15 AM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
Bluthner Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/27/06
Posts: 154
Loc: Ohio, USA
Maybe the tension resonator was the steering wheel of a pirate's ship.
_________________________
I have no affiliation with Bluthner, I just like their pianos a lot.

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#144312 - 02/18/06 09:44 AM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
kokomo61 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 678
Loc: Herndon, VA
 Quote:
Originally posted by whippen boy:
That is a very interesting statement that can be interpreted in a variety of ways. Can you say more? The 'history' thing is sort of puzzling.
You have to remember, I come to this as a guitar player, with no classical piano training, and a lot of my background is in rock/pop/jazz/blues music, so the 'aesthetic' I'm looking for places more value on playability and sound that fits the type of music I'm used to playing....and, places less value on the history or name of the instrument, than how it sounds and plays to me. So, while this is an instrument with a storied history (one of the classic American pianos), very good sound and playability, with a range of tone colors that a really good pianist can exploit, I'm just not that good, and the instrument should go to someone who can appreciate it for what it is....

It's a great piano. Just not the one for me. At $19K, it won't last long. It did, however, help me narrow down my playing field of choices, though - which is good in and of itself.....
_________________________
Estonia 190, #6098

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#144313 - 02/19/06 01:49 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2540
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Looks like it sold! \:\)

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#144314 - 02/19/06 08:26 PM Re: 1954 Mason & Hamlin BB
kokomo61 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/06
Posts: 678
Loc: Herndon, VA
Yep - So, that makes at least three people I know of who went to RJP specifically to look at that piano (me, from about a hour away), a couple from Gettysburg, PA (two hours), and the buyer (Lexington, VA) was 4 hours away - I'm sure they'll be happy with the piano....
_________________________
Estonia 190, #6098

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