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Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2481949
11/18/15 08:14 AM
11/18/15 08:14 AM
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PhilipInChina Offline
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Originally Posted by BethRH
Craig: Thanks much. Also thank you for your videos on string cleaning! your piano with corrrugated sound board looks really wild.. I just havn't had the time to post some interior shots will do this weekend. The more l examine my new instrument l am blown away by the quality ...


A lot of people put real pride into their products at that time.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
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Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: PhilipInChina] #2481999
11/18/15 11:20 AM
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That is really true. Many pianos from this time are well built. I saw a 1913 Cadillac at a local car show, the woodwork was spectacular. The car ran so quiet you could barely hear it ... Beth

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2482729
11/20/15 11:49 AM
11/20/15 11:49 AM
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Beth,
I just noticed that you hail from a neighboring state. Anywhere near us? We have worked on quite a few of those pianos. Pictures of the bass string ends after tuning would be interesting.

Craig


Craig Hair
Hampshire Piano
Chesterfield, MA
Conservative Piano Restoration
Watch us on YouTube

Sometimes, all you can hear is the cat snore.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2485444
11/28/15 05:05 PM
11/28/15 05:05 PM
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Hello everyone. Finally got some more pics of my piano.Cleaned keys with steel wool (0000) and reattached 1 ivory key with ge silicon white . I have the pics on my phone. How do l get them here ????

Last edited by BethRH; 11/28/15 05:20 PM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: Craig Hair] #2485451
11/28/15 05:23 PM
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Craig l am in Middletown, CT. Halfway between Hartford and New Haven.

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2485584
11/29/15 04:52 AM
11/29/15 04:52 AM
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I simply load them onto tinypic.com It works like a charm.


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2485710
11/29/15 02:11 PM
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Tinypic.com is not compatable with my phone.

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2486057
11/30/15 12:52 PM
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Beth,

Looks great, and count me in for those wanting to see internal pictures and hear a sound clip or two. Having just completed a 4-month shop rebuild of a 54" Steinway R, I also wanted to welcome you to the tall vintage upright "club" (as Withindale did for me) I am interested in hearing what would have been one of my instrument's--or rather, its NY equivalent, the Model I--main American competitors for the top of the upright market back in the early 1900s.


1926 Hamburg Steinway R (138cm upright rebuilt in 2015)
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2486065
11/30/15 01:11 PM
11/30/15 01:11 PM
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Erchoukyrie: thanks for the welcome.... l have heard of course about the superior quality of the Hamburg Steinways, is the "I" what would be earlier in the u.s. an x? Or was the x 60 inches ? I don't recollect the x after 1900, I know the v is 49 inches, the k 52 of course)
The R was just made in Germany, correct?
Beth

Last edited by BethRH; 11/30/15 01:27 PM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2486156
11/30/15 04:57 PM
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hello all I cannot get images on here. I have them on my computer in dropbox and this site will not accept png suffixes. I have spent 3 hours on this in the last two days and I just want to put pics of my piano on this site.
Why is this so complicated, it is not user friendly!!Beth

Last edited by BethRH; 11/30/15 04:59 PM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2486212
11/30/15 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by BethRH
Erchoukyrie: thanks for the welcome.... l have heard of course about the superior quality of the Hamburg Steinways, is the "I" what would be earlier in the u.s. an x? Or was the x 60 inches ? I don't recollect the x after 1900, I know the v is 49 inches, the k 52 of course)
The R was just made in Germany, correct?
Beth


Beth, I think there were actually two different (and seemingly unrelated) model Rs; the NY Model R was in the 1880s and featured a double frame (soundboard in between like a sandwich) in the 1880s. NY started making the Model I starting in 1894 (based on a Nov 1893 patent for an "upright grand string frame") and produced it concurrently with the nearly identical Hamburg Model R starting in 1897. NY seems to have stopping making the "I" by the late teens but Hamburg kept producing the R until later (one German source claims as late as 1956, but I find that unlikely. In any case, I have never seen or heard of one newer than the one I have). I actually think the "I" was preceded in NY at that size by the model F (here is an 1889 in action https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pz5TBNFuM3Y ) but I could be wrong.

Sorry you are having trouble loading pictures on the site. You could try putting them on google docs and just insert links to them here.

Last edited by Erchoukyrie; 11/30/15 07:03 PM.

1926 Hamburg Steinway R (138cm upright rebuilt in 2015)
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2487140
12/03/15 11:12 AM
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If you look at my profile at bromanharris@gmail.com piano pics are there

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: Erchoukyrie] #2487142
12/03/15 11:17 AM
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I didn't know that the european r was made as late as yours. You must be ecstatic after the rebuild ...does it have the original soundboard , or did that have to be replaced?

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2487648
12/04/15 08:22 PM
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Originally Posted by BethRH
I didn't know that the european r was made as late as yours. You must be ecstatic after the rebuild ...does it have the original soundboard , or did that have to be replaced?


First of all, thanks very much for posting all those pictures. I have never seen a M&H O (I suppose few have), and this is great. You have a real keeper. What I saw also confirmed my suspicion that our pianos (with the caveat mentioned above about the Model I) were indeed direct competitors. Mine says "Upright Grand" and your's says "Grand Upright." Mine has the the cast-in capo bar in frame color with three stress supports, your's has a single-piece, bolt-on capo bar in frame color with three stress supports. I would say there are even some basic similarities in the case design (the layered design that allows for a wider soundboard relative to the width of the keyboard).

On the rebuild, yes I am really happy with it. I may eventually post something more thorough, but here are a couple of pictures.
The case (with the new lid prop open): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwatv5hkpa-aTE1YLU94akRqTW8/view?usp=sharing
The instrument: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bwatv5hkpa-aYWgyTllXZFFuVzA/view?usp=sharing

It is the original soundboard, repaired with shims and refinished. I am glad to have kept the original. This is not because I think everything original was always perfect; note the three wound bi-chord conversions after the break done just because I was convinced this would be an improvement.

And yes, I understand the Hamburg R was produced until the Great Depression but I do have that one report that it went until 1956; here is the link http://classicpianos.de/index.php/klaviere-aeltere-Klavier_Steinway__

Did you find out how long the O was produced?

Last edited by Erchoukyrie; 12/04/15 08:45 PM.

1926 Hamburg Steinway R (138cm upright rebuilt in 2015)
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2487813
12/05/15 11:46 AM
12/05/15 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by BethRH
If you look at my profile at bromanharris@gmail.com piano pics are there


Beth,

*edit: I searched and can't locate your profile on gmail to view the pics...is your profile public?

Could you post a link to your profile, thanks :^)

Regards,
Andy

Last edited by DrewBone; 12/05/15 11:52 AM.

1979 Yamaha C7D - Yamaha P115 - Korg MicroKORG synth. - Korg Kaossilator Pro synth.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: DrewBone] #2487976
12/05/15 08:16 PM
12/05/15 08:16 PM
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Andy :I think you may have to go through google plus,says Beth Harris
It is public ... 12 pics

Sorry for the difficulty
Beth

Last edited by BethRH; 12/05/15 08:47 PM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: Erchoukyrie] #2487994
12/05/15 09:06 PM
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I love your pictures, you have a gorgeous upright! The inside looks brand new... I have never seen a Steinway with the moldings on the front panel making blocks exactly like yours. Shape of case looks more like Emerson or Chickering,
looks much more elegant than the usual Steinway to me ...
I recently found out from Craig Hair here that l have a true sostenuto middle pedal , which isn't that common on uprights made today.
I have only seen 3 other Os. I know they were made into the 20s but l don't know when this model stopped. Most of the older Mason & Hamlin uprights l have seen have been Es or Gs, 50 or 52 inches. I have seen 42 inch console spinets from the 1940s, and the later 50 inch style from the 50s. I have never seen photos of Mason uprights from the 30s ...
I also find it interesting that mine has 42 base strings, lst 10 single string, next 16 double strings, all wrapped. The treble notes all have 3 strings. 228 strings, total.
The plate is stamped 30. Scale size? Plate size? The smaller upright plates are stamped 25, at least the ones l have seen in the early 1900s.
Around 1900? I know the "screwstringer" uprights ceased.
Beth

Last edited by BethRH; 12/05/15 10:56 PM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2488178
12/06/15 01:28 PM
12/06/15 01:28 PM
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Frame is stamped 31 not 30.Beth

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2488328
12/06/15 10:29 PM
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Hi Beth :^)

Success!! For future reference please note that "Bromanharris@gmail.com" was no help in locating your images or profile on Google+, but I did eventually find the images of your 1904 M & A upright there under your user name, "Beth Harris".

What a nice example of turn of the century piano manufacture you have there! I love the case! As I looked at the images, especially of its well used hammers, I could hear its soft tone, but then imagined its increased breath of life with new hammers, and its action returned to optimal with some regulation work, etc. I predict that it's going make quite a bold statement in the sheer amount of power and sound it creates when called upon, after its been returned to its former glory :^)

It may be sacrilege, but if I may, I would suggest having the keytops replaced. Why? Because if one becomes an issue, chances are that there will soon be another, then another, and before too long, you'll be chasing loose, cracked and lifting keytops all across the keyboard, which may be an evolving issue, or if you're not an absolute perfectionist, may surface as a problem with uneven key height, misaligned keys, etc.

I recently had reason to consider keytop replacement. The Yamaha C7D I purchased this past September, although nowhere near your uprights age nor with real ivory keys, had numerous chips in the bass keys, which caused my fingers to be caught on them as I played it for the first time. I didn't now what had caused these chips, but I figured that if several of these "Ivorite" (Yamaha's version of simulated ivory keytops) imitation keys had already been chipped, but the rest of the pianon was in almost immaculate shape, that it didn't take too far a stretch of the imagination to deduce that more chips would be imminent, so I had my tech replace the white keytops with factory Yamaha "non Ivorite" replacements to avoid any future worry or need for individual replacements down the road. As I contracted him to perform a complete action regulation/rebuild as necessary, it seemed a no brainer to have him perform the keytop replacements, and what a wonderful job he did:

[Linked Image]

That said, please do keep us updated with any progress! Best wishes and enjoy it!

Regards,
Andy


1979 Yamaha C7D - Yamaha P115 - Korg MicroKORG synth. - Korg Kaossilator Pro synth.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2488457
12/07/15 11:51 AM
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Thanks very much, Beth. They did put more into the case styles of the taller ones. I also have regular access to a 1924 Steinway K, and while there is an instantly recognisable common brand identity for the 1920s, the 1926 R has some subtle features on the edges to point out that it is taller and wider and worth the extra money (I have never gotten the exact figures for the mid 1920s, but judging from earlier figures it would have been significantly more, perhaps almost double). I am sure the same is true for Mason, although I have less to go on.

I should say that the 26 note bass section (first 10 single, next 16 bi-chords) is fairly standard. In Steinway, all the uprights and the lower half of the grands (S, M, O, and L) have the 26 note bass section, whereas the upper half (A, B, C, and D) have the 20 note bass section. The general rule is that the smaller the scale, the more wound strings are needed. So today's Model K actually has four wound bi-chords after the break. The R being larger, my tech's software suggested three. The transition between bass and tenor is now much smoother, but not undetectable (the string tensions are now almost the same but the bridges are of course on different parts of the soundboard).

If you decide to go for the rebuild, I would be glad to offer any info I have.


1926 Hamburg Steinway R (138cm upright rebuilt in 2015)
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: DrewBone] #2488817
12/08/15 12:51 PM
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Andy thank you for your comments and pic of your gorgeous Yamaha. I don't want to replace my ivories unless l absolutely have to. I am getting some fil material and will fix the chips, if more keys do pop off or crack l will of course seriously think about doing it. I just love the look and feel, of course the chips are a pain....literally😇
I have to practice a couple of things a bit more and a friend will help me with a video.
Believe me, worn hammers and all, Xena sounds pretty powerful now...
Will keep you posted ...
Thanks too for the techie connection help.l have had a good phone for about 6 months and am learning constantly ......

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2488824
12/08/15 01:25 PM
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Erchoukyrie: Thank you for your knowledge about Steinway in general and of your upright in particular, especially the scale information.Even with my old hearing aides (soon to be replaced) l can hear major differrences at the break and at the highest 2 octaves. The base is amazing .The action, worn as it is, allows in particular preciseness in rhythm and subtleties l feel in tone color that l just could not produce on my spinet. But that old 1947 Baldwin acrosonic had a pretty good tone for a spinet. Will keep you posted, will try and make a sound video soon ...

I know Mason & Hamlin production has always been low. The serial # range l found gave 700 pianos for 1904. I assume that not too many people (just as now) bought the high end uprights. But what the actual production numbers were, l don't know.

I am going to replace front and center felts and bushings and pins myself, also bridle straps, fix the key chips. Then l need to find a good tech to go through everything else and of course tune.
Things for me have to go in slow stages because
I don't have the funds to do it all at once.

Last edited by BethRH; 12/08/15 02:06 PM.
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2506619
02/02/16 05:48 PM
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Beth,

I came across a pair of videos that might be of interest to you. One is of an unrestored Mason & Hamlin Model O like yours (although in rougher condition, it looks) and another of an unrestored 1909 Steinway Model I almost like mine, both played by the same man and probably recorded using the same equipment.

Mason and Hamlin Model O https://vimeo.com/95673428
Steinway Model I https://vimeo.com/97048176

I can say that the Model I sounds very much like my R before it was rebuilt. Would you say the same for the M&H? If so, we have perhaps the only extant side-by-side comparison of unrestored examples of the uprights at the top of the food chain in turn of the century America.


1926 Hamburg Steinway R (138cm upright rebuilt in 2015)
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2509948
02/12/16 05:57 PM
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Erchoukyrie:
Thanks for the videos! There are also some on you tube of a wonderful boogie and blues player named Carl Sunny Leland who is playing a model o like mine, amazing ...
Your video of the Mason sounds a lot like mine..but l am not sure if it is an o. The cabinet does not look as tall as mine, at least to me. The Steinway has a great sound also, but different of course ....
Mine will need a lot more work. I am slowly rebushing the keys. It takes a while when you don't have all the specialist tools, but what a difference .... fixed my chipped keys and replaced the front and center pins , added felts, put new bridle straps on. Of course l have to adjust lost motion and check key dip / level keys....then it is more money to save and get a good tech here, tune, talk about priorities , evaluate, etc....I will post some more pics eventually, and also get a video so you can hear me play. I may just wind up purchasing some old ivories and replace the chipped key heads. It is very difficult to match the color exactly.
Thanks again for the posts!
Keep playing !!Beth

Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2512875
02/20/16 11:05 AM
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Well done doing all that work. I just had to send back one of the hammer assemblies (the A440 no less) to have the center pin redone; the friction for that note was way higher than any other. So even experienced rebuilders don't always make it through all 88 keys without any mistakes. Anyhow, it was a job just to re-install the double flange assembly with damper onto the action rail.

The piano is now 98% there. Having weakened the damper springs, there are now a few areas that are underdamped (they leave a vague ringing) to deal with somehow. The hammers are sounding pretty good these days, but I would like to get a single needle voicing tool and do some side needling Ari Isaac recommends. Not to make it more mellow but to open up the palette a little.

And yes, I have actually been playing a little more these days.


1926 Hamburg Steinway R (138cm upright rebuilt in 2015)
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2514717
02/25/16 11:57 AM
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Finally took a look at a couple of these Carl Sonny Leland videos. I think I have a feel for the characteristic sound of the M&H O now.

Also neat to see big uprights being used as concert instruments; one was duelling a grand on stage and more than held its own. They are no doubt the weapon of choice for that genre.


1926 Hamburg Steinway R (138cm upright rebuilt in 2015)
Re: new to me 1904 Mason & Hamlin Model O upright [Re: BethRH] #2514740
02/25/16 12:46 PM
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I suspect there was a big upright in every bar and club in this country at one time.l can remember seeing them even in used bookstores when l was a kid. So many of those instruments were played literally to death. I'm sure someone could and has taught a history of American popular music just using all piano sheet music....written for those uprights.
And how many classically trained people practiced on them!

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