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new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
#2478789 11/09/15 12:57 PM
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My name is Beth. I work as an art librarian and am a serious amateur pianist. I took 10 years til l was about 18, still play couple of hours a day when l can: classical, jazz, blues.
Hello and thank you to all on these forums,
I have been avidly reading all l can on your great site for 4 5 years now.
Because of advertising on your site l have found my dream upright (between bad ears and small house upright best for me): Say hi to Xena. She is 54 inches tall serial # 14243.

She was well taken care of, last tuned 15 years ago but sounded less off than my Baldwin acrosonic spinet tuned last July which she replaced.
Saving funds and looking for a good tech to work with me over time to get her back to glory.
She needs more cleaning, tuning, regulation, bridle straps, l assume hammer work and a lot else eventually,
but her sound is stunning, and super nice feel to play.
Just wanted to thank everyone on this site for their input, knowledge, and love for pianos.
Beth smile
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

More pics to come.These were sellers'.
When l played her, her sound chose me.
Very clear in bass,I am lefty, so e.g. Steinways sound sometimes muddy to me. Not to denigrate Steinway, l have only had chance to play 2 of their uprights and 3 rebuilt grands over the years. The uppermost treble octaves sing. Lots of sustain. A bit of a dark but mellow at same time sound. Very expressive when playing pp and a plain middle c chord sounds like a hammond b in church!Excuse imprecise words to describe sounds....always woefully inaccurate....

Last edited by BB Player; 11/12/15 03:47 AM. Reason: Added img tags so pictures would display
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2478995 11/10/15 12:20 AM
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Nice looking. I like the wood and the fine carpentry.

Very glad that you are happy with it.

Nice trophy.
Congratulations


Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2479038 11/10/15 08:38 AM
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I wonder if I will be in such god condition when I am over 110 years old.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
Just Steven #2479079 11/10/15 11:54 AM
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Thank you Steven...what is really wonderful is l just payed for moving costs.
l have been looking for about 4 years.
There are wonderful instruments out there, but
you have to be patient ... especially if you can not afford to do new .Play as many pianos as you can like everyone says here, besides whatever is yours !!

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
PhilipInChina #2479081 11/10/15 11:57 AM
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Philip in China:
I doubt l will be in that shape,
I am not sure if l want to be here if l am 110 !!

Beth

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2479333 11/11/15 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by BethRH

There are wonderful instruments out there, but
you have to be patient ... especially if you can not afford to do new .Play as many pianos as you can like everyone says here, besides whatever is yours !!

The poorest in the world can't pull themselves out of poverty. While we have no money, we can find the spilled over crumbs abundantly in this country. What's money if one does not have a fulfilling life? Music is for everyone.

If dogs have a special axle at a supermarket, people must not be left without crumbs.

I have more than crumbs now. I have dry bread. It's a step higher on the ladder.

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2479404 11/11/15 10:25 AM
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Steven:
Couldn't agree with you more.
All the arts are for everyone and it makes me angry that they are the first thing to be cut in so many levels of public and private education or in any municipal funding battles in the usa ....l gave my Baldwin spinet to a student at my school who wants to learn how to play.
I try and help where l can. I see people struggling everywhere.
Transportation, housing .....1/4 of world without clean water, food ...
and of course except for greed it does not have to be this way.

The arts are what help all of us enjoy life!


Last edited by BethRH; 11/11/15 10:44 AM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480007 11/13/15 03:34 AM
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Hi Beth
Congrats on the 1904 M %H... I bought a 1900 stieff upright, and love the silly thing. You will find it will maintain a A440 pitch much better than a new piano. My tech told me it is because the soundboard is 'cured' where there is less expansion and contraction in the soundboard. I would suggesr you look for an RPT in your area that has done restoration work

http://www.ptg.org/Scripts/4Disapi.dll/4DCGI/directory/RPT/person.html

Emotionally, I love the idea of the long history of the piano, and the number of families that surely played on it.
Enjoy!


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480016 11/13/15 04:36 AM
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Mason & Hamlin uprights of that period have repetition actions, not quite as good as a grand. Unfortunately, the repetition springs have usually fatigued and no longer work. They are difficult to replace, but the action will work like usual upright actions without them.


Semipro Tech
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
dogperson #2480108 11/13/15 10:51 AM
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Dear "dog person":
I think l have heard of Stieff, is it Charles? With approx. 300 piano makers back then l keep hearing of new makes all the time. Is your piano in good shape? Everything ultimately depends on care your particular instrument had ....thank you for your kind words, pics to follow in the next week when l have time, to take them in good daylight. Keep playing!

My fav.is Chopin, but l also play a lot of Bach, Mozart, Hadyn, Beethoven, Debussy. Just getting into Schubert, Schumann, Rachmaninoff.
Love Joplin, Gershwin, Tatum, Powell and the blues. Fav. modern musicians Jimi Hendrix, Laurie Anderson, Margie Adams ....
I am looking for a tech, thanks for the post...
Beth.

Last edited by BethRH; 11/13/15 11:38 AM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480123 11/13/15 11:33 AM
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Dear BDB:
I will keep that in mind. Doesn't the lost motion compensation assembly in a good upright help? I know in an upright you are always fighting gravity. My trills seem right on and l can play e.g. the minute waltz by F. Chopin just as fast as on my cousin's 1980s baldwin baby grand.
Obviously l am no tech but l am trying to learn everything l can about the instrument. Where are those repetition springs located? I know there are jack springs and damper ( oops i meant hammer) springs
Beth

Last edited by BethRH; 11/13/15 12:52 PM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480127 11/13/15 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BethRH
Dear "dog person":
I think l have heard of Stieff, is it Charles? With approx. 300 piano makers back then l keep hearing of new makes all the time. Is your piano in good shape? Everything ultimately depends on care your particular instrument had ....thank you for your kind words, pics to follow. Keep playing!

My fav.is Chopin, but l also play a lot of Bach, Mozart, Hadyn, Beethoven, Debussy. Just getting into Schubert, Schumann, Rachmaninoff.
Love Joplin, Gershwin, Tatum, Powell and the blues. Fav. modern musicians Jimi Hendrix, Laurie Anderson, Margie Adams ....
I am looking for a tech, thanks for the post...
Beth.


Yes, it is a Chas m. Stieff.. and was in reasonably good condition, although it had not been cared for recently and was living in a garage. . Good soundboard, strings had been replaced at some point.

I have replaced the springs and felt. It was horribly out of tune, but that was easily remedied.

Please know that you may need to tune yours a couple of times in order for the strings to develop a memory of where to retain the pitch. I tune mine every three months, but that is only because I am compulsive.

I will replace the hammers in late spring-early summer and then regulate it. The hammers are rounded but still function well-- I just can't regulate it without replacing them and I really want it done.

There is such an emotional connection with owning such an old piano, and the dark tone is what I love. It was love at first sight.

BTW: also a Debussy and Gershwin fan! Love the blues,and jazz but don't play it (yet)

Ennjoy your new piano-- and of course, the music


"Music, rich, full of feeling, not soulless, is like a crystal on which the sun falls and brings forth from it a whole rainbow" - F. Chopin
"I never dreamt with my own two hands I could touch the sky" - Sappho

It's ok to be a Work In Progress
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480133 11/13/15 11:52 AM
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Omg you must have been so glad to get that piano out of the garage ...hope you can get the hammers done soon!Sounds like you have a great piano.
I understand about the memory with the tuning ...
Somewhere on this site Rickster had a great poem about the emotional relationships with an old piano ....
I imagine whisperings from the old pianos in different voices at night talking of the past while the winds blow through the tree leaves in the windows behind them...

Last edited by BethRH; 11/13/15 11:55 AM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480139 11/13/15 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BethRH
Somewhere on this site Rickster had a great poem about the emotional relationships with an old piano ....
I imagine whisperings from the old pianos in different voices at night talking of the past while the winds blow through the tree leaves in the windows behind them...


Hi Beth, and congratulations on your new-to-you Mason & Hamlin piano!

When I read your post I thought about the poem you may have been referring to so I went back in the archives and found this one; actually, I've written and posted several poems "off the cuff", if you will, on Piano World.

Maybe this is it... smile

“The poet in me”

The poet in me has been suppressed of late
Yet the thoughts still come, though I hesitate
I do enjoy the expression of reality in its totality
To make some sense of joy and malady

I have a tendency to read between the lines
I’ve been told to stop it, that it’s asinine
Yet, I still see and hear
Things that are not obvious to the eye and ear

As time goes on and as I live and learn
I’ve come to enjoy the simple things at every turn
Wisdom is not granted or given away
It’s learned through experience day by day

I don’t know if it’s wise or not
But I’ve learned to love the piano a lot
It’s an instrument that’s intriguing and mathematical
With 88 keys and notes that are chromatical

It sounds so nice when in tune and on par
When we play the written music bar after bar
Or play by ear and use our intuition
Either way, it’s not just a premonition

Pianos are wonderful, of that I’m quite sure
There’s so much to know and much to endure
Whether we read music or play by ear
It’s just another example of things we hold dear

So, with that I’ll close, and end this writing
For now my piano is so inviting
I’ve had my morning coffee and even a double
Now it’s time to play to ease my trouble

Have a wonderful day all!!

Rick


Piano enthusiast and amateur musician: "Treat others the way you would like to be treated". Yamaha C7. YouTube Channel
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480151 11/13/15 12:26 PM
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The ivories look to be in really nice shape, congrats and enjoy bringing her back to full speed!

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
Rickster #2480175 11/13/15 12:55 PM
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Rick, thats it! Thank you!!! 😇 Beth

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
Troy 125 #2480178 11/13/15 01:02 PM
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Troy:Thanks !! Actually one has popped off and 6 have minor chips. I have built models so l think when the time comes with proper adhesive ivory filler and polish l can fix them. The sharps are ok but may need 0000 steel wool. I love the feel of the keys ... next l need very carefully to use compressed air to clean out the dust in her ....

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480232 11/13/15 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BethRH
I have built models

What do you use for the models if you don't mind sharing?

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480243 11/13/15 03:52 PM
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I meant model car and plane models, different plastics, paints, resins, glues etc. Have made metal car models. Lots of delicate cutting filing gluing work.Need to learn painting with an airbrush...
So l have a work area and understand good tools etc.And don 't rush things

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright
BethRH #2480250 11/13/15 04:02 PM
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Is it a good idea to use liquid rubber for molding? --if you know about it; that is.

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