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

SEARCH
the Forums & Piano World

Trying Something New with Search
(ad) Pianoteq
(ad) Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
(ad) P B Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Guide
(ad) Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restoration
Who's Online
123 registered (Alexander Borro, AmandaH, anamnesis, accordeur, 31 invisible), 1664 Guests and 10 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
(ad) Estonia Piano
Estonia Pianos
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
*Organs

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*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
*Contest
*Links
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Sheet Music
(PW is an affiliate)
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Topic Options
#2041031 - 02/28/13 09:08 PM Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak?
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1341
Loc: NJ
I am very interested in buying an older M&H grand. I played a 50 year M&H (asking $6500) in need of cosmetic repair, however, I am more concerned about some cracks in the soundboard, and the lack of power in the bass section of the piano. Would the fact that it's a 5'8 piano explain the weak bass? I thought M&H pianos were known for their deep powerful bass sections.

The upper register has a very pleasing tone. Is there anything that could be done to improve the bass? I've had bass strings replaced on a prior grand, with no improvement at all in the sound, so I'm very reluctant to go that route again.

Top
Hailun / Pearl River Pianos

Pearl River World's Best Selling Piano
#2041103 - 03/01/13 12:06 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Robert 45 Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 1466
Loc: Auckland New Zealand
Many experts say that cracks per se in the soundboard do not degrade the sound. However, the presence of cracks in the soundboard suggests that the piano has suffered some kind of environmental stress.

We can usually hear defects in pianos more easily than see them.

A professional evaluation of the piano would be the best way to go, but I would think that a 50 year old piano with a cracked soundboard and lacking power in the bass would have serious faults which only a complete rebuild could address.

Robert.


Edited by Robert 45 (03/01/13 12:07 AM)

Top
#2041121 - 03/01/13 01:23 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
beethoven986 Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/20/09
Posts: 3475
Originally Posted By: chasingrainbows
I am very interested in buying an older M&H grand. I played a 50 year M&H (asking $6500) in need of cosmetic repair, however, I am more concerned about some cracks in the soundboard, and the lack of power in the bass section of the piano. Would the fact that it's a 5'8 piano explain the weak bass? I thought M&H pianos were known for their deep powerful bass sections.

The upper register has a very pleasing tone. Is there anything that could be done to improve the bass? I've had bass strings replaced on a prior grand, with no improvement at all in the sound, so I'm very reluctant to go that route again.



As a general rule, pianos that are 50 years or older, in original condition, are automatic candidates for rebuilding (they should be, at least). A 5'8" piano should produce sufficient volume and tone quality for most people. If this is not the case, your expectations are either too high, or there is something wrong with the piano. In the latter case, it could be as simple as regulation or voicing, or it could be something more intermediate like dead strings, or it could indicate a serious problem that is only fixable with rebuilding. Only a tech can diagnose this.... in person.
_________________________
B.Mus. Piano Performance 2009
M.Mus. Piano Performance & Literature 2011
PTG Associate Member
Certified Dampp-Chaser installer

Top
#2041221 - 03/01/13 07:46 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 1270
Loc: chicago, il
i owned a 2000 model A for 10 years; it had incredible bass for its size. if the older models are of the same design (which i believe they are), the bass side of the piano angles out slightly to increase the size of the soundboard. if true then a weak bass would be caused by factors other than the design & size of that piano.
_________________________
diary of an amateur pianist

Top
#2041251 - 03/01/13 09:00 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1341
Loc: NJ
Thanks everyone, that is VERY helpful! I've asked the tech who evaluated the piano to contact me.

Top
#2041255 - 03/01/13 09:17 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Rickster Online   content


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8949
Loc: Georgia, USA
How old are the bass strings? They do have a life-span and tend to loose some of their zest over the years. The hammers can affect bass tone too... of course, I'm no expert.

Good luck!

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

Top
#2041256 - 03/01/13 09:19 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10645
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
While cracks in a soundboard are often harmless, they also can reduce crown and downbearing and therefore affect tone.

The weak bass may well be related to the cracks. I'd say that is likely.

A good tech will know with a quick examination.
_________________________
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
#2041274 - 03/01/13 10:04 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Ataru074 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Houston, TX
I just played yesterday a 5'8" and a 6'4" masons... they are "new" and they have the wood action and not the composite one. in that case the 6'4" produces a way more pleasant and balanced tone than the 5'8".. both in the 5th octave and in the bass register... the 5'8" is nice, but is "flatter"
_________________________
working on:
Beethoven: Op 2#1
Bach: English Suite G minor.
Debussy: Pour le piano

Top
#2041524 - 03/01/13 05:36 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
chasingrainbows Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/19/06
Posts: 1341
Loc: NJ
Rickster, the bass strings have never been replaced, so they are 50 years old.

Steve, thanks for the info.

Ataru, the only way I can really explain the bass, is that it lacks sustain and power. It doesn't have the same depth I've heard in other old M&H's. So, are you buying the 6'4" :-)

Top
#2041537 - 03/01/13 06:06 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
RickG1 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/10
Posts: 325
Loc: TX
My Mason-Hamlin "A" has incredible bass, I feel, for its size. Almost as powerful as my S & S "B". That is what impressed me when I would play a M-H.
_________________________
Mason-Hamlin "A" and Schlicker 2 manual and pedal pipe organ

Top
#2041545 - 03/01/13 06:21 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Steve Cohen Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 10645
Loc: Maryland/DC/No. VA
The rebuilt (with good original soundboard) M&H 5'8" grand we have on our salesfloor has a very full-bodied bass.

That is one of the reasons why I suspect the the cracks in the soundboard on the piano you are considering are the cause of the weak bass.
_________________________
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
#2041608 - 03/01/13 09:32 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: beethoven986]
musicpassion Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1447
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: beethoven986
A 5'8" piano should produce sufficient volume and tone quality for most people. If this is not the case, your expectations are either too high, or there is something wrong with the piano.


Yes, I like the way you phrased that! I agree a 5'8" shouldn't have the weaknesses you're describing. The last M&H I played that size was actually rather dillapidated, but it still had quality bass.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

Top
#2041732 - 03/02/13 06:16 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin 5'8" - bass strong or weak? [Re: chasingrainbows]
Ataru074 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/22/11
Posts: 752
Loc: Houston, TX
Quote:
Ataru, the only way I can really explain the bass, is that it lacks sustain and power. It doesn't have the same depth I've heard in other old M&H's. So, are you buying the 6'4" :-)


Right now I have a 6'1" kawai gs30.. next time I'm not buying anything shorter than 6'10... I'm looking a mason BB's, schimmel konzerts, rebuilt S&S, used bosies .... but before I want to progress one notch or two in my playing ability... I'll also look at estonia, especially the 225 if I can find one.
_________________________
working on:
Beethoven: Op 2#1
Bach: English Suite G minor.
Debussy: Pour le piano

Top

Moderator:  Ken Knapp, Piano World, Rickster 
Shop our Store for Music Lovers!
PianoSupplies.com is Piano World's Online Store
Please visit our store today.
(ad) Teaching Children Music
Teaching Music to Children
(ad) Yamaha Stage Pianos
Yamaha CP4 & CP40 Stage Pianos
(ads) PD - WNG - MH
PianoDisc
(ad 125) Sweetwater - Digital Keyboards & Other Gear
Digital Pianos at Sweetwater
(125ad) Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
New Topics - Multiple Forums
1907 chickering grand
by christineka
09/02/15 11:57 AM
Chicago Amateur Piano Competition - Aug 2016
by RonaldSteinway
09/02/15 11:56 AM
What kind of piano is this?
by Justice Post
09/02/15 11:48 AM
Kawai CA17 vs CA67
by pe2Dave
09/02/15 11:07 AM
HAMBURG UPS AND DOWNS
by Karl Watson
09/02/15 10:14 AM
What's Hot!!
Posting Pictures on the Forums
-------------------
Forums Rules & Help
-------------------
ADVERTISE
on Piano World

The world's most popular piano web site.
-------------------
PIANO BOOKS
Forum Stats
80,597 Registered Members
44 Forums
166,627 Topics
2,441,335 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

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