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Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2139362 08/26/13 05:49 PM
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Spotting visual defects is a far cry from knowing what the affect of those defects is on the sound.


Semipro Tech
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
BDB #2139484 08/27/13 12:31 AM
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BDB, I am curious, have you ever heard a piano that the soundboard was beyond repair if the desired outcome of any repairs was to restore the piano to like new performance and serviceability?


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: toneman1@me.com
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2139498 08/27/13 01:10 AM
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Yes. It was a spinet that had spent time in a bathroom. Of course, it was not worth doing anything with the piano except to scrap it.

More to the point, there are a lot of pianos that I have restored to at least as good outcome without replacing the soundboard, and they would not have been restored at all if I insisted on replacing it.


Semipro Tech
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
BDB #2139514 08/27/13 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BDB
Spotting visual defects is a far cry from knowing what the affect of those defects is on the sound.

Hmm. BDB I'm not sure what axe you're trying to grind. I'm not a rebuilder - as I think is clear - but I have deep respect for those who have mastered that art and craft.

If you have a point or position you are wanting to advocate, perhaps it would be best if you state it. Are you against replacing soundboards?


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Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2139667 08/27/13 12:50 PM
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After a long search, and much research on this forum and elsewhere, last May I picked up an 1887 M&H 6'2" screwstringer with an absolutely delicious sound. I don't know if it's the original voice or not (I expect is is, or at least close), and I don't really care. I played a whole lot of pianos before I found the sound and touch I was looking for. I came down to this, or a 1927 Steinway M. The Steinway needed more work sooner. The fact that it's an M&H and a screwstringer to boot actually appealed to me. So far, rock solid tuning stability. And yes, the soundboard is cracked. In more than one place. But the ribs are tight, and this thing flat out sings. Plenty of sustain in the upper registers, no buzzing. I will probably restring in 5 years or so. When I do, I may have the plate and soundboard refinished, but I doubt I'll shim it. This piano has earned it's cracks, and I think conservation is in order for this one, as opposed to repair or replacement.

If you like the sound and the way it plays, and your tech gives it a clean bill of health, don't worry about cracks.

Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
Oasismfg #2139678 08/27/13 01:18 PM
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Oasis,

What's a "screwstringer"?

Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2139687 08/27/13 01:47 PM
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laguna greg: this should answer that question..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3oH0H-wMe8

Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2139767 08/27/13 04:38 PM
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Here you go:
M&H screwstringer photo essay

No pins pressed into wood, far more tolerant of changes in temperature and humidity. I'd really love to see M&H bring this back.

Edit: This guy really did an impressive job with this rebuild.

Last edited by Oasismfg; 08/27/13 04:42 PM.
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
laguna_greg #2139957 08/28/13 12:08 AM
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Greg,
If you can find your way back to my shop, I have a 9' M&H screw stringer. So you can experience one in person if you care to. It plays but does need restoration. Don't know when I will get to it.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: toneman1@me.com
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
Ed McMorrow, RPT #2140188 08/28/13 10:25 AM
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Ed,

Thanks for the suggestion! I would love to come back for a visit, and bring some friends with me if I can get them (read: bribe, threaten) to come along.

Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
laguna_greg #2140210 08/28/13 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by laguna_greg
Ed,

Thanks for the suggestion! I would love to come back for a visit, and bring some friends with me if I can get them (read: bribe, threaten) to come along.


I want to go. Where? When?


Concert Pianist, University Professor, Private Teacher in Los Angeles
Blog: http://www.pianoteacherlosangeles.com/
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
NeilOS #2140692 08/29/13 11:08 AM
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Neil,

We will make a plan!

Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2173224 10/28/13 01:21 PM
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Well, I ended up going with the AA and it finally got here a few days ago.

Asside from the sustain solenoid clicking, I'm really impressed at how non-mechanical the LX sounds. The AA really sounds good in every way. I love sitting next to the lid to listen to everything.

Here are a couple of youtube videos I took of it in action. It does still need some adjusting after the journey.

MH AA

MH AA-2

Last edited by jrm1504; 10/28/13 01:22 PM.
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2173265 10/28/13 02:46 PM
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Congratulations on your M&H AA!

What a lovely piano!

And, who's playing it in the videos? Oh yea, it's almost Halloween... smile

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2173314 10/28/13 04:41 PM
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Congrats on the piano!


Pianist and Piano Teacher
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2173335 10/28/13 05:22 PM
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Good for you! Enjoy it thoroughly.

Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2173354 10/28/13 05:55 PM
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Er. How do soundboards 'fatigue'? Is that another way of saying they lose their crown, or does it mean something else?

Thank you --


thorn

-- Sometimes I poke. Even if I like you.

1920's Mason & Hamlin A
Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2173355 10/28/13 05:59 PM
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Really nice sound! Congratulations on your AA!! I may be biased, but I love the
Mason & Hamlin sound!!!


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1906 Mason & Hamlin Es
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Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2173368 10/28/13 06:16 PM
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A nice and characteristic old AA. However the treble is voiced up to a level that I would consider ridiculous. In particular, listening to that top E-flat could make one mental in short order. I feared for the poor dog.

Karl Watson,
Staten Island, NY

Re: Strongly considering a vintage Mason Hamlin
jrm1504 #2173381 10/28/13 06:30 PM
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Jrm,

Congratulations!

Enjoy - Enjoy - Enjoy!


Marty in Minnesota

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