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Mason & Hamlin 1981
#2280601 05/24/14 06:10 PM
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Hello, I'm writing from Italy because I need some info about Mason & Hamlin pianos, which are not well known here.

I have the opportunity to get a 1981 model A. A very expert technician who inspected it found it in good condition and I know that Mason & Hamlin has a great reputation.

I see that there is some uncertainity about the quality of the 80's production though.

The seller is asking quite big money (more than the equivalent to 20K $) and I'd like to learn a bit more before discussing the price. Any thought or suggestion? Many thanks for your help.

Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280607 05/24/14 06:24 PM
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Hi Leonardo - Welcome to Piano World!

With any used piano, it is important to evaluate it as it is now, rather than to speculate on the past history of the builder. It really is no longer important.

I have no idea of the pricing in your locale, however, that would be overpriced in the U.S. for a M&H-A which is over 30 years old.


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280655 05/24/14 09:00 PM
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I agree with Marty- that would be overpriced in our market, unless some things have been replaced/repaired by a good technician (like the action or strings).

It is a potentially nice instrument.


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Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280669 05/24/14 10:02 PM
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If it was made when Mason&Hamlin was run by Peter Perez-it could be well made. If it has been kept clean, kept in a stable environment, serviced well, and played lightly-a price of near, but under $20K is not unreasonable. The Perez era pianos are much better than the era before and just after him. Get the piano inspected by an independent technician who is skilled in servicing fine grands.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280674 05/24/14 10:08 PM
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Ed, is 1981 in the Perez era?


Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280688 05/24/14 11:11 PM
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1981 was still Aeolian American.


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Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280730 05/25/14 05:10 AM
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Thank you all. Really valuable information and opinions.

The technician who pointed me to the piano is very trustworthy. He says it is a good instrument. It belongs to a private individual who has not used much, so it needs a little restoration (about 500 dollars).

I believe that the seller does not have a precise idea of the value too. M & H does not have a market in Italy. What would be the price range in the U.S.?

--
Edit. To get an idea of the market in Italy. A good shop asked me around 16,000$ for a 1998 Yamaha C2 in very good condition. The M & H seemed more interesting to me.


Last edited by leonardo11; 05/25/14 05:25 AM.
Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280742 05/25/14 06:04 AM
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From my knowledge of European prices, it still seems a bit steep.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280806 05/25/14 12:14 PM
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I began in the piano business learning to be a tech/tuner in 1976 at a dealer that carried most of the Aeolian products including Mason Hamlin/ Knabe from East Rochester. Even as a newbie I could tell the Masons were ruff especially when their catalogs pronounced them as " The Worlds Greatest Piano". If I remember correctly Peter Perez came in to run Aeolian/ American sometime around 1980. The pianos we got after that were improving and the ones right before they went out of business were much improved. But at that time it was a case of too little too late to make a go of it.

Larry Hofer
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Larry Hofer
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Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280818 05/25/14 12:53 PM
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According to The Piano Book, Aeolian American was sold to Peter Perez in 1983, after they had ceased operation for about a year. That lasted until Citibank cut off the financing in 1985.


Semipro Tech
Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
Larry Hofer #2280826 05/25/14 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Larry Hofer
Even as a newbie I could tell the Masons were ruff especially when their catalogs pronounced them as " The Worlds Greatest Piano".


I'm not sure to understand what "ruff" means, but if it is what I suspect, this closes the question.

What a pity, if it only was a 1983 piano... just a couple of years...

Many thanks for your help.

Last edited by leonardo11; 05/25/14 01:15 PM.
Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280858 05/25/14 02:56 PM
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Leonardo,

Sometimes discussions at Piano World can be subject to one-upmanship and go totally awry. Remember, one should never purchase a Rolls-Royce unless it was finished at exactly 3:07 pm with an impending full moon, and only in November.

M&H is a very, very good piano. If your tech gives it an A-OK, and you like it, there is no reason to pass on it. In the USA you could possibly bargain it down to about $17-18K. Or not!



Marty in Minnesota

It's much easier to bash a Steinway than it is to play one.
Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
Minnesota Marty #2280905 05/25/14 04:10 PM
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I agree with Marty...... By ruff I mean fit, finish and consistency. The basic piano was there. Example, some pianos would come in with the finish on the edges rubbed through and touched up with a edge marker that didn't match the color. Others would look fine. Some of the actions would need a fair amount of work and others not so much. The plate finish compared to a new Yamaha of the day looked second rate. That said I remember a BB of about 1980 that everyone who played it walked away totally impressed. Bottom line is that while some conclusions might be drawn by what year a Mason Hamlin was made, each piano need to be judged for what it is today much more that what year it was made.

Larry Hofer
Hofer Piano Works


Larry Hofer
Hofer Piano Works
Corona CA
Re: Mason & Hamlin 1981
leonardo11 #2280928 05/25/14 04:37 PM
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Marty, Larry, thank you very much. I see your point. So I have to check better and all the info I got by Pianoforum are very valuable.

Thank you again!

Last edited by leonardo11; 05/25/14 06:33 PM.

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