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#1678539 - 05/16/11 05:03 AM Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin?
xtype10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/11
Posts: 39
Didn't get a lot of answers in another thread, so I want to be more specific. My tech is ordering new hammers, flanges, and shanks for my 1930 Mason Hamlin AA. I want to be sure I'm getting the best ones since its costing me almost 2k to get it redone.

Can you recommend the best action part brands for this piano (hammers, felts, flanges, shanks)? Is it better to mix and match different companies? Also, since my piano is 6'2", do I go with the 14 or 16 lb hammers?

How is the WNG composite stuff, worth looking into? The new Masons come with it as well. Might be too much $$$ though.

Please advise....thanks!


Edited by xtype10 (05/16/11 05:12 AM)

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#1678553 - 05/16/11 06:13 AM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
It is better not to mix and match the actual action parts as in manufacture,the shanks,flanges and the wippens. Using different manufacture as in the hammers is OK and is commonly done as long you choose the correct hammers as in size,shape,weight,number of bass,desired potential sound etc. There are only 2 manufactures that actually manufacture these parts other than the WNG stuff.
You actually should be confering with your chosen tech doing the job in that you are relying on his expertise not another tech on a forum.
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#1678561 - 05/16/11 07:06 AM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
ando Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/23/10
Posts: 3953
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: xtype10
Also, since my piano is 6'2", do I go with the 14 or 16 lb hammers?


Holy Moly - that is some big hammers! The last 16 lb hammer I saw looked like this:


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#1678600 - 05/16/11 08:12 AM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3436
Well, you really don't have a lot of choice for action parts, as there are really only three manufacturers that are used for restoration: Tokiwa, Renner, and WNG. Each of these parts suppliers are used by high end manufacturers and rebuilders, so in terms of quality, they're fine. Ronsen is probably your best bet for hammers. At the end of the day, though, you should probably use what your technician feels comfortable working with. This is a discussion that you really should have with him.
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#1678668 - 05/16/11 10:33 AM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
DanLaura Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 695
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
After having recently replaced some hammers in our old piano, I am a firm believer in using the hammers that my technician likes, is familiar with, and comfortable with.

Dan
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#1678717 - 05/16/11 11:58 AM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
xtype10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/11
Posts: 39
Thanks for the replies. I guess I'll let the tech handle everything. Just kind of nervous because I never used him before. I chose him because he was the closest in terms of distance with me. He has been with PTG for about 10 years though so he should be pretty experienced.

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#1678722 - 05/16/11 12:10 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
DanLaura Larson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/01/08
Posts: 695
Loc: Pocatello, Idaho
xtype,

On our work we used a technician that we were very familiar with and were confident in his work. If you haven't committed, you can always ask to see some of his recent work to see if you like it.

Dan
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#1678726 - 05/16/11 12:18 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
Sparky McBiff Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/09/10
Posts: 1112
Loc: Toronto, Ontario
Originally Posted By: xtype10
I chose him because he was the closest in terms of distance with me. He has been with PTG for about 10 years though so he should be pretty experienced.

I certainly don't want to cast aspersions on anybody (the tech may actually be fantastic) but I just know that if I was going forward with a large investment and commitment like you are I would probably do a bit more looking into the work of tech who is going to be doing the work, rather than just choosing him because he is close by.
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#1678735 - 05/16/11 12:40 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
Kieran Wells Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 246
Loc: Saint Paul, MN
Abel natural felt hammers are going to be a good choice for hammers- they do not require a lot of voicing, are nice to work with, and can be just the ticket for vintage American pianos. I just put a set in a Mason AA on Abel shanks and flanges--they are GREAT. Abel makes wippens too, although I have never tried a set. There are other choices like Renner that work too. WNG is the other obvious choice if you want to really change the feel.


Edited by Kieran Wells (05/16/11 12:43 PM)
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#1678748 - 05/16/11 01:09 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: Kieran Wells]
xtype10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/11
Posts: 39
Just got off the phone with the tech. He wants to do the Abel Classic Hammers with Tokiwa flange/shank or the Abel/WNG flange/shank. Are these combinations good?

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#1678773 - 05/16/11 01:50 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2400
Loc: Lowell MA
Old Masons usually have lass favorable key ratios and more than enough lead in the keys. Do you want to try to compensate for that?

Have you thought about how you want the action to feel?

Due to the design of the piano, Old mason Hammers are slightly heavier than their Steinway counterparts. Keeping the hammer mass while reducing key mass requires planning.

Regardless of what has been said here, EVERY hammer requires some kind of voicing.

In asking us if a particular hammer is a good choice, I would ask you what kind of sound you are looking for. Where do you want the touch of the piano to be?

A poorly chosen hammer will need an extraordinary amount of voicing regardless of the quality of the manufacturer of that hammer.

I would choose a technician based on them being able to meet your criteria. Their experience in working with the hammers best suited to the outcome you are looking for,.

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#1678825 - 05/16/11 03:47 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
Kieran Wells Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/08
Posts: 246
Loc: Saint Paul, MN
Originally Posted By: xtype10
Just got off the phone with the tech. He wants to do the Abel Classic Hammers with Tokiwa flange/shank or the Abel/WNG flange/shank. Are these combinations good?


Yes to the Abel/Tokiwa. I don't have experience working with the WNG. I played a AA with the full WNG action though from the 20's.


Edited by Kieran Wells (05/16/11 03:54 PM)
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#1678946 - 05/16/11 07:31 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: Kieran Wells]
xtype10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/11
Posts: 39
Thanks for all the replys. After discussing with the tech, we moved forward with Ronsen Hammers and Weickart Special Felt and Abel Flanges & Shanks. Hope I made the right choice

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#1678987 - 05/16/11 08:37 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3436
Just a word of caution: don't rush to have these hammers voiced brighter. In my experience (three installations with these), they brighten on their own fairly quickly. Once this happens, then worry about voicing. On the first set we installed, we made the mistake of brightening right away with a diluted solution and later regretted it. On the other hand, these were heavy-use institution pianos; your experience may differ.
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#1679000 - 05/16/11 09:01 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: beethoven986]
xtype10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/11
Posts: 39
Thanks Beethoven. That helps alot. I'll relay that to my tech and see what he has to say. If not voiced brighter, do they still have to be voiced at all since they are brand new hammers?

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#1679032 - 05/16/11 10:03 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
beethoven986 Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3436
Well, they don't have to be. The point of voicing is mainly to give the piano an even tone. If you and your technician find it satisfactory, then it's not necessary. However, for best performance, they will need to be voiced, and then revoiced as necessary in the future as the hammer felt compacts.
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M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

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#1679059 - 05/16/11 11:17 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
Larry Buck Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/04
Posts: 2400
Loc: Lowell MA
Hammers are voiced to provide a complete tone. Complete being subjective, of course.

Overall prep determines evenness, more so.

All Hammers require voicing.

It may be that you might want to play them for a little while ..... 6 months, depending on how much you play. But, they will need voicing.

There are so few people that, subjectively speaking, decide never to voice their hammers that, it is inappropriate to present any hammer as "not needing voicing".
_________________________
"If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."
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E. J. Buck & Sons
Lowell MA 01852
978 458 8688
www.ejbuckpiano.com
http://www.facebook.com/EJBuckPerformances

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#1679063 - 05/16/11 11:31 PM Re: Recommend hammers and action for 1930 Mason Hamlin? [Re: xtype10]
xtype10 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/12/11
Posts: 39
Thanks Larry, makes perfect sense.

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