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!

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

This custom search works much better than the built in one and allows searching older posts.
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
PianoSupplies.com (150)
Piano Accessories Music Related Gifts Piano Tuning Equipment Piano Moving Equipment
We now offer Gift Certificates in our online store!
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Piano
Quick Links to Useful Stuff
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

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

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano Accessories
* 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
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2009771 - 01/05/13 11:16 PM Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O?
Familiarstranger Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Ohio
I have an option to buy a 2003 Mason and Hamlin model A for 17000 from an acquaintance( I know the piano well- ebony-) or a 1909 Steinway O that was restored in the mid nineties( soundboard was shimmed --- not replaced). All else was replaced. Tiger maple. 19000 from a dealer but I've known him for years( complete trust). I know I'll be asked which piano I prefer--- can't answer--- I really like them both equally. The bass on the steinway is fantastic--- the treble on the Mason is fab--- old yellowing ivories on Ss and shiny plastic on MH. Love em both. Truly torn. Asking for strong advice here. I think they are both good deals--though in all honesty I really don't know for certain----so few Mason and Hamlins from the 2000s for sale that I really can't judge. Let me know your thoughts! Thanks!
FS


Edited by Familiarstranger (01/05/13 11:19 PM)

Top
(ads 568) Hailun Pianos

 

#2009783 - 01/05/13 11:54 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1045
Loc: California, USA
Quote:
asking for strong advice here


Yes!!! I've been waiting for an invitation like this... just joking, but I'll be direct, as requested:

Get the Mason and Hamlin. Here are my reasons:

-It's less expensive.
-It's almost 100 years newer
-soundboard doesn't have cracks (shimmed or not I think cracks lower resale value)
-I love Mason and Hamlin tone.
-It's got that wonderful metal spider thingy underneath
-Mason and Hamlins are the heaviest pianos I've ever heard of (mostly a good thing)
-I wouldn't want a restoration from the mid nineties... the tech I trust the most told me one time that the level of rebuild quality has generally improved since the 1990s... he cited lots of information sharing between techs., etc.
-a 2003 is a much easier piano to sell down the road if you decide you want something bigger (not saying you should or would. Some people get into the piano tradeup game and that's ok too.)
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

Top
#2009796 - 01/06/13 12:44 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: musicpassion]
Familiarstranger Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Ohio
Thank you musicpassion! Those are strong and valid points. I just sold my 1923 unrestored Steinway 0 yesterday---which is why I am in the market for a new(er) piano. I had debated and wafted for a year trying to decide on whether to spend the money to restore it(more than the price of either of these two pianos I'm considering) when suddenly I was offered what I paid for it 7 years ago. My attraction to the older pianos hasn't left--but I definitely do not want to have the same "do I fix this? replace that?" mindset in a few years if I choose the mid nineties restored Steinway. The Mason has a very rich, sonorous, sound which suits my style of playing--Rachmaninoff, Scriabin, et al. Your comments are really making me think, so thanks again. (and I pretty much exhausted all the piano stores here in Cincinnati--not a lot of choices, really). Also thinking about taking a weekend to the northeast....these choices appeared so suddenly that it would almost take away from the thrill of the search, but I wouldn't want to pass something up for that reason.
Thanks again!

Top
#2009798 - 01/06/13 12:50 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21670
Loc: Oakland
I have both, although the Mason & Hamlin is from 1923 and the Steinway is from 1920.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

Top
#2009799 - 01/06/13 12:53 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: BDB]
Familiarstranger Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Ohio
You're lucky. I've never had the chance to play an older Mason and Hamlin--must be a great experience.

Top
#2009800 - 01/06/13 12:54 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1045
Loc: California, USA
Glad my thoughts were helpful.

I do also love old pianos (and Steinways), by the way. But the particulars of this scenerio would make it an easy decision for me.

Enjoy shopping!
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

Top
#2009802 - 01/06/13 12:57 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: musicpassion]
carey Offline
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/13/05
Posts: 6374
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona
Originally Posted By: musicpassion
Quote:
asking for strong advice here


Yes!!! I've been waiting for an invitation like this... just joking, but I'll be direct, as requested:

Get the Mason and Hamlin. Here are my reasons:

-It's less expensive.
-It's almost 100 years newer
-soundboard doesn't have cracks (shimmed or not I think cracks lower resale value)
-I love Mason and Hamlin tone.
-It's got that wonderful metal spider thingy underneath
-Mason and Hamlins are the heaviest pianos I've ever heard of (mostly a good thing)
-I wouldn't want a restoration from the mid nineties... the tech I trust the most told me one time that the level of rebuild quality has generally improved since the 1990s... he cited lots of information sharing between techs., etc.
-a 2003 is a much easier piano to sell down the road if you decide you want something bigger (not saying you should or would. Some people get into the piano tradeup game and that's ok too.)


Ditto thumb thumb thumb

Plus $17K is an extremely good price for a 10 year old M&H A !!!!!


Edited by carey (01/06/13 12:58 AM)
_________________________
YouTube channel - http://www.youtube.com/user/pianophilo

Top
#2009863 - 01/06/13 07:13 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: musicpassion]
pianoloverus Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 19472
Loc: New York City
Originally Posted By: musicpassion


Get the Mason and Hamlin. Here are my reasons:

1. It's less expensive.
2. It's almost 100 years newer
3. soundboard doesn't have cracks (shimmed or not I think cracks lower resale value)
4. I love Mason and Hamlin tone.
5. It's got that wonderful metal spider thingy underneath
6. Mason and Hamlins are the heaviest pianos I've ever heard of (mostly a good thing)
7. I wouldn't want a restoration from the mid nineties... the tech I trust the most told me one time that the level of rebuild quality has generally improved since the 1990s... he cited lots of information sharing between techs., etc.
8. a 2003 is a much easier piano to sell down the road if you decide you want something bigger (not saying you should or would. Some people get into the piano tradeup game and that's ok too.)
I think only #2, 3, and possibly 7 are good points in favor of the Mason.

The price difference is minimal. The thickness of Mason rims and the spider are of debatable merit. (I own a Mason so I am certainly not prejudiced against them.) The well known piano designer Del Fandrich has, I believe, said he thinks that Masons are overbuilt. Selling a rebuilt Steinway isn't necessarily harder than selling a Mason.

The shimmed cracks may lower the resale value but they also lower the present sale price. Perhaps the far more important question about the soundboard is was shimming the cracks the most appropriate step when the piano was rebuilt and what is the present condition of the soundboard in terms of its effect on tone and potential for problems? A very good tech or rebuilder might be able to evaluate the piano in this area.

If you trust the dealer selling the Steinway, he should be able to tell you about the quality of the rebuild or you could get an independent tech to evaluate it.

Unless you decide you prefer the Steinway's touch or tone, I agree the Mason is much safer because of its age and not having unknowns. However, if the Steinway rebuild is of high quality it could be fantastic and it is certainly priced much less than a new O(over 60K) or a newly rebuild O(could easily be 40K). I do think its probably true that rebuilding has improved since the mid 90's, but a great rebuilder from that time probably still had excellent results. Just speculating about this last point.

If you like them equally now it's possible playing them more would help you decide which you like better.


Edited by pianoloverus (01/06/13 09:35 AM)

Top
#2009884 - 01/06/13 08:24 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12052
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
I'd go with the Mason & Hamlin for the sheer fact that it's newer and less potential issues. The price on the restored Steinway kind of worries me, and since it was restored around 20 years ago tells me that it may need some work in the near future.
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2009891 - 01/06/13 08:34 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
LFL Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/12
Posts: 72
I just went through a similar process. I would refer you to review the discussion we had in the forum: http://www.pianoworld.com/forum/ubbthrea...tml#Post1995674
or "low-use SK5 vs. restored 1901 Steinway O". Then see how my final decision worked out.
Lots of good input from others there. Regardless of your close ties and trust with the people you are dealing with, I strongly suggest an independent third party inspection and opinion.
I lived in Cincinnati for a while back in the 80's...when the Baldwin name was held in higher esteem than it is now, and bought an upright straight from the factory showroom. That was cool. Now, I would suggest that traveling to check out various potential candidates is necessary, if you are serious about getting what you want. Going to NY or LA is not a bad idea, but takes some prep work and planning (and $$). You might also check out the dealers in Columbus. I see from websites that they have a good selection of restored and recent-year used pianos. I wouldn't get trapped into buying one of the two pianos you described, just because they are from reputable people, without considering other pianos as well...unless broadening your search is not an option.
Just my humble thoughts from having gone through the same ordeal the last 3 months.
_________________________
Shigeru Kawai SK5L

Top
#2009912 - 01/06/13 09:30 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10490
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
I too would lean strongly toward the M&H. The price/value is VERY good and the piano is excellent (not that the Steinway isn't also good).

Masons have a reputation for a strong bass, so I would think it can be improved in the one you are considering.
_________________________
Piano Industry Consultant- http://www.linkedin.com/pub/steve-cohen/6/b92/b80

Consultant & Contributing Editor - Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyer

Jasons Music
Maryland/DC/No. VA
Since 1937.

www.jasonsmusic.com
My postings, unless stated otherwise, are my personal opinions, not those of my clients.

Top
#2010025 - 01/06/13 02:02 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1973
Loc: Philadelphia area
For all the reasons stated above, go with the M & H. I'm a big fan of the model "O" but I wouldn't consider a 100 yr old sound board with repairs.

Top
#2010301 - 01/06/13 10:50 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Dave B]
Familiarstranger Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Ohio
I took another pianist friend with me today to see and play both pianos. He agreed with most of the sound advice here, although he also saw no real negatives with the Steinway-- just that the M and H was a safer choice in the long run. I also tried some Petrofs, Estonias, a Bechstein and other, newer Steinways. Still favored the original two by a large margin----have actions become lighter on newer Steinways? I missed that feeling of "sinking into" the keys like on the older model(and my own older one). The newer ones seemed more muffled in tone, and that action was just so....delicate...not sure how to describe it. Anyway, I've decided on the Mason and Hamlin. That rich, sonorous tone almost makes me feel as though I have an orchestra at my fingertips!
Thank you so very much for the welcome opinions and suggestions. I've lurked often enough and should probably become more active on this terrific sight.

Top
#2010466 - 01/07/13 08:15 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
Morodiene Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 12052
Loc: Boynton Beach, FL
Please be sure to upload photos and recordings when you get it moved in and tuned!!
_________________________
private piano/voice teacher - full time
MTNA member
www.valeoconservatory.com
Petrof 9'2 Concert, Yamaha G3, Roland FP-7, Yamaha MOX6, Kawai MP11

Top
#2010535 - 01/07/13 11:08 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Morodiene]
Familiarstranger Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Ohio
Ha, will post the photos(but recordings of my sloppy playing....not sure). Should be a week or so.
Thanks,

Top
#2010596 - 01/07/13 01:19 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
Monica K. Offline

Platinum Supporter until Dec 31 2012


Registered: 08/10/05
Posts: 17786
Loc: Lexington, Kentucky
Congratulations from one happy M&H owner to another. smile And please do hang around.
_________________________
Mason & Hamlin A -- 91997
My YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/pianomonica

Top
#2010609 - 01/07/13 01:43 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Monica K.]
Familiarstranger Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 12/23/12
Posts: 17
Loc: Ohio
Thank you Monica! And thanks so much for responding to my PM last week. Your love for your own instrument has been a driving force in my decision. I'm honored to be in such good company!

Top
#2010963 - 01/08/13 02:59 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1045
Loc: California, USA
Congrats on the instrument! We look forward to photos. Hope you stick around on the forum.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

Top
#2011113 - 01/08/13 10:39 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin A or Steinway O? [Re: Familiarstranger]
Chopinlover49 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/17/11
Posts: 640
I think you will be very happy with your choice. I love my Mason-Hamlin. It is just about the same age.

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
What's Hot!!
8 Live Ragtime Piano Players on the Cape!
-------------------
HOW TO POST PICTURES on the Piano Forums
-------------------
Sharing is Caring!
About the Buttons
-------------------
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Ad (Seiler/Knabe)
Knabe Pianos
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
(ad) HAILUN Pianos
Hailun Pianos - Click for More
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
New Topics - Multiple Forums
Communication outside of lessons
by Arghhh
Today at 10:23 PM
What is this piece?
by JoelW
Today at 09:54 PM
Piano Rankings
by phantomFive
Today at 07:59 PM
What Piece Is This?
by Works1
Today at 03:43 PM
Suites Georg Böhm
by Johan B
Today at 03:40 PM
Who's Online
100 registered (Almaviva, anamnesis, accordeur, 29 invisible), 1171 Guests and 18 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
76645 Members
42 Forums
158482 Topics
2327410 Posts

Max Online: 15252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM
(ads by Google)

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 - 2014 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission