Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad) Yamaha CP4 Rebate
Yamaha CP4 Rebate
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
Who's Online
151 registered (alfredo capurso, A Guy, accordeur, 36251, 40 invisible), 1528 Guests and 8 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
Topic Options
#1785626 - 11/08/11 11:15 PM Mason and Hamlin- too old??
Vikingmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Massachusetts
Hi Folks!
I just took posession of a very old Mason and Hamlin piano, serial number 'E' 17775. It is a large lovely upright that has been well-loved and to my utterly inexperienced eye looks 95% original with the exception of one hammer, one string, and three little red tabs that have been very carefully replaced. It is missing a string but is otherwise completely intact with minor wear and tear scratches on the finish. All the keys play. All I know is that it came from a church before I took it from the pevious owner. I agreed to take the instrument with little hesitation as I am a returning beginner after 30 years, along with my six year old and I am prone to fall in love with old things that I think I can "save'....therein lies my problem...
I plan to have a tuner check it out this week and do the best they can, but I wanted to ask some of the experienced people on this list if they might know a little more about the age of the piano and if the money I will want to spend to bring the piano back is worth it from a value point of view. I can always make the sentimental argument, I know. However, if we stick with this, I'm trying to think ahead and starting to wonder if I can stretch this piano's life out a bit or if I need to start saving my pennies and plan on a real upgrade a year or two out. Looking for a little level-headed input here! Thanks sooooo much!
Vikingmom in MA

(ads 568) Hailun Pianos


#1785634 - 11/08/11 11:34 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin- too old?? [Re: Vikingmom]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6643
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Based on the serial number, the piano was built in 1907.
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

#1785648 - 11/09/11 12:04 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin- too old?? [Re: Vikingmom]
Dale Erwin Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/27/06
Posts: 41
Loc: Modesto, Ca
I have seen some from this age that had tremendous potential. It needs the analysis of a seasoned restorer not just a tuner. The soundboard design on these are exceptional and may still have life. However it is an old piece of machinery and it may take many many thousands of dollars to bring it back to a suitable performance level.
Dale Erwin
Dale Erwin RPT
Piano Restorations
http://WWW.Erwinspiano.com ....Erwinspiano@aol.com
4721 Parker rd. Modesto Ca 95357
Steinway Restoration/sales and other fine makes
Soundboard and action redesign
Sitka Soundboards & Supplies
Ronsen Piano hammers. R & D
Weickert felt hammers & Services

#1785656 - 11/09/11 12:31 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin- too old?? [Re: Vikingmom]
scepticalforumguy Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/08
Posts: 1475
Loc: Lower Mainland, BC
Hi Viking,

A word of cautious here: Most techs on this form will advocate for staying clear of old pianos stating that from their experience that the pianos would not be worth the money spent on them.
Well, I respectfully disagree with them. Although I haven't seen your piano (which may be quite unrepairable, not for me to judge), but I have seen beautiful pianos from that era that are not only passable, but quite playable, and far more musical than many products on the market today. I know this from first hand experience. I also own an upright made in 1906 that I still can't seem to part with after I bought a grand piano to replace it.
A number of local techs have shown what can be possible with regulation of the action, without replacing hammers, strings, soundboard or anything else. The amount for this service would be under $1000, and would include incidental amounts for replacing the odd felt, or spring.
Now, like I said earlier, I really don't know if the piano you're considering is worth it, because it may not be able to hold it's tuning, and it may also sound horrible in it's current state. But, nobody else here will know that either. Phone some local piano TECHNICIANS, not just tuners, and see who you feel most comfortable hiring to assess what is necessary to make the piano playable.
Also remember that if you talk to a rebuilder their interest lies in gaining a client, and you could potentially be spending upwards of 10K to have the thing rebuilt.
Recordings of my recent solo piano and piano/keyboard trio jazz standards.

#1785912 - 11/09/11 02:20 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin- too old?? [Re: Vikingmom]
Vikingmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Massachusetts
Got it. One of the main messages here is to go to a technician that understands how an instrument like this goes together, not just how it sounds...I think I have the right person on deck to do the job, given this advice, although I will need to wait until after the holidays to have it done...sounds like it will be certainly worth it.
The piano is in better shape than I should even hope to be at that age! I'm hoping to get a sound evaluation (no pun intended), and then a prioritized list of "projects" to move forward on an as needed/budgeted schedule. It sounds big and rich, not perfect, to my ear even now, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed until it is evaluated. I feel like I should give her a name.... : )
Thank you so much for the honest opinions!!
Vikingmom in MA

#1786041 - 11/09/11 06:29 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin- too old?? [Re: Vikingmom]
Eric Gloo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/28/01
Posts: 1275
Loc: Richfield Springs, New York
Congratulations! Of all the upright pianos of that era, I would put the Mason & Hamlin "E" at the top of the list.
Eric Gloo
Piano Technician
Certified Dampp-Chaser Installer
Richfield Springs, New York

#1786068 - 11/09/11 07:28 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin- too old?? [Re: Vikingmom]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 22184
Loc: Oakland
Well, that one at least. The later model E was the console, which is not much better than other Aeolian American consoles.

The old Mason & Hamlin uprights are at least as good as Steinways, and easier to rebuild.
Semipro Tech

#1786069 - 11/09/11 07:28 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin- too old?? [Re: Vikingmom]
Rickster Offline

Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8589
Loc: Georgia, USA
Hi, and weclome to the PW forums!

Congratulations on your "new-to-you" M&H piano!

What's the old saying, "they don't make them like they used to"!

I went on a wild-goose chase last week to look at a Craigslist M&H model 50 upright from the late 1950's. I thought a M&H model 50 was 50" tall... it turned out to be an old M&H spinet, about 36" or less tall. I was dissapointed.

Sounds like you faired much better than I did!

Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel

#1786174 - 11/10/11 12:40 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin- too old?? [Re: Vikingmom]
Vikingmom Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/07/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Massachusetts
Thanks again! Good karma on the list! I'll post to the thread once I get more info on the old girl's condition. Feeling much better about spending the time and money on this. I'm off to look for a humidity gauge. Beginner's luck just might be a factor...we still have to see.... : )
Vikingmom in MA


Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
The February 2015 Issue of our Free Piano News Newsletter is out now! FREE Piano Newsletter
The best thing I've learned on Piano World....
Posting Pictures on the Forums
Forums Rules & Help
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
(ad) Jazz Piano Online
Jazz Piano Online Lessons
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Seiler Pianos
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Bach English Suites by András Schiff
by pianoman9
03/02/15 06:38 PM
College Audition Help
by LGR_Plox
03/02/15 05:32 PM
Opinions on Kawai KDP90?
by mnh
03/02/15 04:58 PM
Share your favorite/most useful practice tools!
by Pover
03/02/15 04:02 PM
Korsakov-Cziffra Flight of the Bumblebee - my recent perf.
by ecm
03/02/15 02:27 PM
Forum Stats
78,373 Registered Members
43 Forums
162,003 Topics
2,378,868 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
Gift Ideas for Music Lovers!
Find the Perfect Gift for the Music Lovers on your List!
Visit our online store today.

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World | Donate | Link to Us | Classifieds |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter | Press Room |

copyright 1997 - 2015 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission