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#2295334 - 06/26/14 01:50 PM Mason & Hamlin
Nicole865 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 3
Hi, my family and I are new to piano. I played flute for 20 years, my son plays violin, but we would love to acquire a piano and learn to play. We have recently come across a Mahogany Mason and Hamlin Baby Grand Piano AA. It is from 1913, but it was well cared for and refinished since the previous owner was a piano teacher. Unfortunately, she passed away and the family is placing this in an estate sale and just wants to get rid of it. It plays beautifully (I don't play, but one of the ladies at the sale does). It holds a tune, has a few white keys slipping off that can be fixed, and is absolutely gorgeous. Does anyone have any idea what I should expect to pay for this piano in today's market?

Thanks,
Nicole865

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#2295338 - 06/26/14 02:06 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7435
Loc: Rochester MN
Hi Nicole - Welcome to Piano World!

It is almost impossible to give even a range of prices because none of us know this particular piano. For any piano from that era, it must be judged on its own merits. Mason & Hamlin has always been a fine piano, however.

An estate sale can often be a place to find a great piano, or could go overboard in the heat of bidding.

Prior to the sale, is it possible to have it inspected by a qualified piano technician? At least then, you would know it's mechanical condition. Often a technician will know of the selling prices in your area. Or, sometimes not.

I wish I could be of more help, but there really isn't enough information to go on.
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2295387 - 06/26/14 04:14 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 975
Loc: California, USA
Unfortunately value is completely dependent on condition. I realize you might think you have described and evaluated the condition, however you haven't considered the critical information that makes the piano valuable... or just a rebuildable core.

The finish is at the bottom of my list to evaluate.

Here's what is important to me: condition of the bridge and soundboard. Is the soundboard still functioning well? Are there cracks in the bridge? Are the bridge pins tight? What condition are the strings? If they are original, they do need replacing. Condition of the hammers? Is the action worn out? How is the sustain and tone of the piano? All of these things usually require an expert evaluation. If these items (and others, my list isn't intended to be exhaustive) don't pass then the piano is a rebuildable core. I wouldn't pay more than 3k for a AA core, and I might be high with that number. But I like AAs.

By the way, don't let the fact the previous owner was a piano teacher influence you. Some teachers know a lot about pianos. Some know shockingly little.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2295390 - 06/26/14 04:15 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 975
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Nicole865
We have recently come across a Mahogany Mason and Hamlin Baby Grand Piano AA.


Just for accuracy... the AA is not a "baby" grand.

Best wishes on your piano journey.
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2295465 - 06/26/14 07:23 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
Dave B Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/01/11
Posts: 1969
Loc: Philadelphia area
It's hard to recommend a price without seeing the instrument. Check "Piano Buyer" it might have some used piano pricing info.

I see a "Piano Buyer" link in the banner on the left side of this forum. Good luck. Hope your able to avoid a bidding war.


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#2303125 - 07/16/14 05:42 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
Nicole865 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 3
HI, Thank you for all the feedback! I had no idea this was not a "baby" grand. Seriously, good to know. Either way, we bought piano. I know, crazy! The sound is beautiful. It is slightly flat, but we are having it tuned anyway. Some of the keys are obviously worn and discolored, so I would like those redone. The fall board is being refinished, had a huge scratch on the front. So, outside looks great. Sounds great, but will have them take a look at the inner workings to see what all needs to be replaced. I was able to get the piano for $525!!!! They put it on an online auction because they did not want to deal with moving it...actually, most people didn't. I did have a the piano company look at it when they came to move it into our house for set up and take the fall board. Got a phenomenally crazy deal! My neighbor used to travel with a gospel group and plays the piano (lucky me, because we don't, but want to learn). We had the opportunity to hear him play and to hear the sound from the piano. It was so exciting for us, especially the kids (of course, as non piano players, we probably wouldn't know what we were listening to anyway, hahahaha). He loved it though, so that was encouraging! Hopefully, the rest of the repairs will not be too bad, but the keys definitely need to be replaced, they are popping off and cracking!

Any other suggestions as to what to look for is most helpful! Also, just for educational sake...what is a baby grand? Seriously.

Thank you!!!
Nicole865

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#2303144 - 07/16/14 07:07 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
Rickster Offline


Registered: 03/25/06
Posts: 8534
Loc: Georgia, USA
Wow, what a deal!!! smile

Why can't I come across a deal like that... (I'm jealous smile )

Congratulations on a fantastic piano and a more than fantastic deal!!

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

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#2303185 - 07/16/14 10:20 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
Minnesota Marty Offline

Platinum Supporter until October 5 2014


Registered: 05/15/12
Posts: 7435
Loc: Rochester MN
Congratulations Nicole!

As I was reading your post about buying the piano, I was thinking that you did everything that everyone suggested that you don't do.

Then, I came to the price - Wow.

There is no way you could go wrong, even if you need to spend a fair chunk of change to get it up to snuff.

Again - Congratulations!
_________________________
Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.

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#2303199 - 07/16/14 11:28 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
musicpassion Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 975
Loc: California, USA
Originally Posted By: Nicole865
Any other suggestions as to what to look for is most helpful! Also, just for educational sake...what is a baby grand?

First that price: wow!

The term "baby grand" does have some confusion attached to it. I think there was a span of time when piano salesmen and manufacturers thought calling piano a "baby" would help sell it, regardless of how big it might be. So if you dig back into historical sales ads, etc. you might find some pretty large pianos called "baby".

However, in contemporary usage it usually refers to a piano manufacturer's smallest grand piano... which is often about 5'3" or 5'4". For Mason and Hamlin that would be their model B. Next larger in the current MH lineup is the model A, then your model AA (however the new ones are different than 1913... many people including myself prefer the golden era AA), then the BB, and then the big giant model CC.

Congrats on your piano - enjoy!
_________________________
Pianist and Piano Teacher

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#2303203 - 07/16/14 11:43 PM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
Ed Foote Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 1162
Loc: Tennessee
Originally Posted By: Nicole865
HI, Either way, we bought piano. I know, crazy! The sound is beautiful. It is slightly flat, but we are having it tuned anyway. Some of the keys are obviously worn and discolored, so I would like those redone. The fall board is being refinished, had a huge scratch on the front. So, outside looks great. Sounds great, but will have them take a look at the inner workings to see what all needs to be replaced.
Any other suggestions as to what to look for is most helpful! Also, just for educational sake...what is a baby grand? Seriously.

Thank you!!!
Nicole865


]Greetings,
Don't do anything until you know it can be tuned!! Your tuner should be able to tell you all you want to know about the pin block after they tune it, but don't put a cent into cosmetics until you know whether you have furniture or a musical instrument.

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#2303207 - 07/17/14 12:04 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 21526
Loc: Oakland
Phooey! At that price, even if it is a basket case, which is not likely, it can be made into a fine musical instrument. I have done that with an AA which had half the strings snapped from rust.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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#2303349 - 07/17/14 11:41 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
Rich D. Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/27/01
Posts: 1254
Loc: Rehoboth Beach De. USA
Almost impossible to beat that price on a Mason Hamlin AA, regardless of condition. Congratulations!

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

"Life is like a piano....what you get out of it depends on how you play it"
Anonymous


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#2312396 - 08/07/14 11:37 AM Re: Mason & Hamlin [Re: Nicole865]
Nicole865 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/25/14
Posts: 3
Thank you for everyones input!!!! We have been worried about this..still waiting on the fall board...
I will definitely have them check the pin block next before having anything else worked on! I have learned so much at this point that it does not matter how beautiful it looks, but more importantly how does it sounds. So, that is where our focus is at this point. It's so funny, we moved our dining table into the basement and now sit in our tiny kitchen or on the couch. All for this piano. LOVE IT! God willing everything else works out. Thanks to everyone and for the explanation on the baby grands!!! Total misunderstanding. Love history!
God Bless,
April

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