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Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? #2841463
04/22/19 03:00 PM
04/22/19 03:00 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
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Chester County, PA
wildbill Offline OP
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Hey all,

I've been a lurker here for some years and Google searches keep sending me back here again and again as I am on the hunt for the next piano...so I figured I'd jump into the fray...

I know asking people "hey which piano should I buy" is a somewhat loaded question, so I'm going to try another approach...first a little background...

Classically trained, bought a new Steinway "B" when I was 25 years old when I was too young and carefree to worry about how much money I was spending...kept that piano for about 20 years and played the heck out of it. Decided one day to put it up for sale, and in 3 weeks, it was gone...

Replaced it with a used-but-very-well-kept Mason Hamlin A, which I purchased from Cunningham (Hey, Rich, I see you hang here quite a bit, too :-) . Ended up realizing I'd like to get back to a larger grand, so, I sold that after a couple years.

Now, I have an opportunity to purchase a Mason Hamlin BB (2002) and in very fine shape. I played it last week and, like my Steinway B, it has all the growl and bite, maybe even more, that you'd expect from a piano that size and weight.

But today, I went BACK to Cunningham and played an Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty. I have to say, I was surprised that I was immediately impressed. I realize Estonia has done a lot of R&D and has continued to improve the quality of their instruments, but the action and singing tone on this piano was absolutely lovely. Of course, the piano looks pretty amazing, which for me, was more icing on the proverbial cake.

Depending on the price I can get on the Estonia, the MH BB is going to sell as a pre-owned instrument, and will therefore cost less and be more akin to the "American" sound that Mason and Hamlin is known for. The Estonia, on the other hand, will be priced as new, and at 6'3" it would be unfair to compare them from a size perspective, but I found the Estonia to be more of a "salon" piano: never misbehaved, and was a perfect lady even if I tried to push it like I would a larger grand. It sounded well-suited for Mozart, Haydn and Bach, whereas the larger Mason Hamlin kicked up considerably more ruckus when pushed...I play in all styles, but am particularly interested in recording whatever instrument I buy.

Having said that, my question is around Estonia after the break-in period and how these instruments will fare over a period of years. My Steinway got better and better and time went on, and "we" were thick as thieves by the time I sold it (if you're curious why I sold it, it was probably more of an experiment, and when someone offered me what they offered me, I felt I had to make the move).

I have a dedicated room in my home for the piano, and while it has hard wood floors and plenty of space for either piano, it's likely the Estonia is probably closer the right size for that particular room.

Any thoughts on either of these lovelies and what can I expect of a new Estonia over time?

Thank you, all!

Gino


Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841466
04/22/19 03:10 PM
04/22/19 03:10 PM
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Victoria, BC
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widbill:

It's really a question of apples and oranges, isn't it, when it comes to comparing the tone qualities of the two instruments? Other factors being equal - which I realize they actually are not - it should be a question of taste.

I cannot comment on the longevity of the new Estonia pianos, but I can offer this. My 190, manufactured in 2004 is still going strong. It is played at least two hours daily (classical repertoire, mainly), and it is regularly tuned and serviced by a competent technician who likes it and admires the workmanship that went into it. All that I have read is that the manufacture and design of Estonias continue to improve.

The "hidden beauty" design is certainly an added to some who admire that.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841467
04/22/19 03:15 PM
04/22/19 03:15 PM
Joined: Sep 2006
Posts: 17
Chester County, PA
wildbill Offline OP
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Hey Bruce,

Thanks for the quick reply, and I agree...totally a question of taste. I already have faith in Mason Hamlin in terms of longevity...but it sounds like you've had yours for some time and are giving it daily workouts...certainly a good sign :-)

Regarding the design, I've only owned satin ebony pianos, but this particular design was quite beautiful, and strangely, the piano "looked" like it sounded...very refined and elegant. Appreciate your feedback!


Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841473
04/22/19 03:28 PM
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wildbill you have a couple of good choices here, coupled with your long history of experience. I have had a 210 Estonia for 2 years and while it sounded very good when new, it has improved markedly as the felts compressed in the tenor/treble - more focused. Conversely the bass lost some it's "boom" and I had to moderately needle F2 through E3. The piano responds very easily to voicing, you can easily custom the sound to your liking.
What size is your room? If the BB acoustically works for not too much more funds the 210, which is a more apt comparison will also. Try it, Rich has one at the Valley Forge showroom. As you know the M&H scale is very different to the Estonia, so it wil probably come down to your preference. Also the M&H's are a some what louder, which is not necessarily a downside.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 04/22/19 03:37 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841474
04/22/19 03:32 PM
04/22/19 03:32 PM
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wildbill:

Given your location, you've undoubtedly been in touch with Cunningham piano. I know from experience with them (none of it recent, unfortunately) that you will be in the best of hands with them, and that they can give you more pertinent information on the new Estonia pianos than I can.

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841479
04/22/19 03:51 PM
04/22/19 03:51 PM
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Chester County, PA
wildbill Offline OP
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Yes, the Estonia I played today was actually in the King of Prussia showroom...Rich and I are in touch.

@sanfrancisco, the room is 15' x 17'. It's not huge, but my Steinway B was in there for the last 12 years of its life and while it wasn't ideal, it certainly fit without any issue. What that room doesn't allow, however, is for the instrument to really "breath." Wondering, therefore, if toning it down a bit might not only make better use of the space, but allow the piano to speak a little less harshly. Mason's are LOUD. I could lay waste to the entire household with the Model A when I had it :-) (especially if I was playing full-stick)

Last edited by wildbill; 04/22/19 03:56 PM.

Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841482
04/22/19 04:03 PM
04/22/19 04:03 PM
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Chester County, PA
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Just 2 entryways into the room. One entryway leads to the kitchen (the piano sits in what would be our dining room, but I commandeered that many years ago LOL) . The other entryway leads to a hall on the other side of the room. There are no doors on either entryway, which I may need to change since I'm usually playing something like the 3rd movement of the Emperor concerto while my kids are trying to watch Bob's Burgers. Oh, you'd laugh if you could see/hear the shenanigans that tend to go on when I'm playing :-)

Me: plays opening tutti of Emperor concerto, full stick.
My kids: "Dad, you already played that song."
Me: What would you like to hear?
Kids: Play Drake.


Last edited by wildbill; 04/22/19 04:04 PM.

Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841486
04/22/19 04:12 PM
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Wildbill, the Estonias are somewhat quieter pianos. At 15x17 you are pushing it a little with 6'10.5" and 7' pianos. But that is also a matter of individual perception. See what Rich thinks regarding size, he is very honest and straight forward. His main concern will be that you are happy with your new piano.
I know this sounds weird, but I have dealt with dealers who are willing to deliver 2 pianos to my apartment to hear which sounds best. I of course would have to pay to have one moved back, but given the high expense of buying one of these pianos you might find it worth the cost.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 04/22/19 04:13 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841491
04/22/19 04:19 PM
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[quote=wildbill]Just 2 entryways into the room. One entryway leads to the kitchen (the piano sits in what would be our dining room, but I commandeered that many years ago LOL) . The other entryway leads to a hall on the other side of the room. There are no doors on either entryway, which.....

We crossed posts- with the above clarity I don't think there would be any problem with the larger pianos.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841493
04/22/19 04:20 PM
04/22/19 04:20 PM
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Chester County, PA
wildbill Offline OP
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Hey Sanfran,

The Mason Hamlin is being sold by a private seller, so I'm not going to be in a position to try that one in my home, but having had a Steinway B, I'm pretty sure that the Mason would being even more bombastic in that space than the Steinway was.

The Estonia, frankly, is the sweet spot for the room I have, and I'm sure it'll sound bigger in my room than it did at the Cunningham showroom, which is, obviously, a huge space by comparison no matter the size of the piano. The Estonia sounded..."well behaved" for lack of a better term.

Last edited by wildbill; 04/22/19 04:21 PM.

Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841496
04/22/19 04:32 PM
04/22/19 04:32 PM
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Ironically we have these exact identical 2 pianos in our showroom side by side.
Amazing amount of shoveling going on between them when being tried by visitors. Self included. Luckily, not having to make a decision for one of them myself!
Good luck in making yours!

Norbert wink

Last edited by Norbert; 04/22/19 04:37 PM.

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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841505
04/22/19 05:22 PM
04/22/19 05:22 PM
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Chester County, PA
wildbill Offline OP
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Thanks, Norbert. I feel blessed to be in a situation to have to "pick" between 2 really fine instruments. Everyone has been wonderfully helpful and ultimately I just need to decide which one will make the cut...I don't plan on doing this again for awhile :-)


Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841507
04/22/19 05:23 PM
04/22/19 05:23 PM
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I have a BB from around 2007 in a 12'x18'x8' living room. The room opens to the dining area/kitchen and foyer/hallway with around 8' and 6' openings. I play with the lid down and fly lid folded back. The piano isn't too loud for the space(although there is a bit of a problem since I live in an apartment with the neighbor's studio apartment adjacent to my piano room) but my effective area is really much bigger than 12'x18' because of the openings to the other spaces. I think the BB would be too loud for me on full stick.

How is the action on the piano? The reason I'm asking is that M&H changed the action design sometime in the mid 2000s(but I think later than 2002) and the actions were significantly on the heavy side before that time. I know this because I had a Mason A from around 2001 before I got the BB. You are obviously advanced enough to evaluate the touch but I thought you should know about this change.

The larger Estonia 210, as someone else suggested, might be worthy of consideration. Since the the hidden beauty finish probably costs more than the regular ebony polish finish, you might be able to get the 210 in ebony for not that much more than the 190 hidden beauty.

Last edited by pianoloverus; 04/22/19 05:29 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841515
04/22/19 06:03 PM
04/22/19 06:03 PM
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Chester County, PA
wildbill Offline OP
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Hey pianoloverus,

Action on the Mason was responsive, but not "easy" which is a good fit for my fingers. I like a fast release, but like to work a little bit to get the hammers swinging. It felt a lot like my Mason model "A." I played a Bosie today that felt like an organ...the keys went down if you stared too hard...

The Estonia also had a nice action, smooth and even throughout the range, fast release, and probably a little easier than the Mason, but still needed to be direct with key depression. I find that easier actions somehow make me sloppier, and I need that deliberate feel that I suppose I'm used to from the heavier action pianos I've owned and learned on in the past.

Regarding the 210, it doesn't look like Cunningham has any at the moment. They did have two 190s, one was Ebony. I didn't like the touch on the Ebony one as much. Always amazing to me how you can sit at 2 pianos, same make and model, and have 2 very different experiences. The "Hidden Beauty" wasn't alluring so much for how it looked, but rather how it played. I certainly thought the Babinga finish was pretty sweet looking. Of course, to your point, it ends up costing more money for the cabinetry and finish, but it's certainly not something I disliked, just not a finish I "required" as part of the search.


Last edited by wildbill; 04/22/19 06:03 PM.

Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: pianoloverus] #2841516
04/22/19 06:11 PM
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[quote=pianoloverus]I have a BBThe piano isn't too loud for the space(although there is a bit of a problem since I live in an apartment with the neighbor's studio apartment adjacent to my piano room) ...

Pianoloverus I'm sure you've thought of this from previous posts and off subject, but I thought I'd share it again. Have you tried soundproofing the common wall to your neighbor? Stopping the noise in the room it is being generated in is very effective. After a few years I got a new neighbor above my apartment who complained about the noise coming though his windows which are right above my windows with the piano next to them. I put in weather stripping around all my windows that open. I now just keep them closed when we are playing and this has made a surprisingly enormous difference in what he hears.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 04/22/19 06:18 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: Sanfrancisco] #2841531
04/22/19 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
[quote=pianoloverus]I have a BBThe piano isn't too loud for the space(although there is a bit of a problem since I live in an apartment with the neighbor's studio apartment adjacent to my piano room) ...

Pianoloverus I'm sure you've thought of this from previous posts and off subject, but I thought I'd share it again. Have you tried soundproofing the common wall to your neighbor? Stopping the noise in the room it is being generated in is very effective. After a few years I got a new neighbor above my apartment who complained about the noise coming though his windows which are right above my windows with the piano next to them. I put in weather stripping around all my windows that open. I now just keep them closed when we are playing and this has made a surprisingly enormous difference in what he hears.
I've never considered it for several reasons: cost, decreasing the width of the room, and the building almost for sure wouldn't allow it. If this fix was as easy and cheap as weather stripping windows I might consider it. I've been able to accommodate my neighbor with minor changes in repertoire and time of practicing and have had no complaints for four years.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841543
04/22/19 09:05 PM
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I'd take the MH BB in a heartbeat but sentiment here goes favorably to the Estonia. You seem to prefer it too. Go for it!

7 foot pianos ARE large instruments which have no problem filling middling concert halls. My house is small and the piano room is small...I never lift the lid during practice. Still I love my 7 footer and can only see myself moving up to a 9 footer (when I hit the lotto).


"the lyf so short, the craft so long to lerne." -- Chaucer.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841592
04/23/19 05:38 AM
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It sounds like you're fairly drawn to the Estonia. I've never played an Estonia, but I had a similar quandary in choosing between a BB, a Steinway B and a Grotrian.

I found the BB, though shorter, was more powerful than the Grotrian, and less subtle - and I suspect the Estonia is similar. Though, they had been regulated and voiced by different technicians, which could have made a big difference.

I've been on PianoWorld for about 9 years (had been on earlier but my login disappeared) and haven't heard a bad word about Estonia, instead, many offering praise for it. I'd heard so much praise, I was tempted at the time to go have a look - 2000km drive/fly, but decided I'd stick with a brand with service in my own area.


Alan from Queensland, Australia (and Clara - my Grotrian Concert & Allen Organ (CF-17a)).
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841659
04/23/19 10:17 AM
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I'm an Estonia owner for well over 10 years (it was built mid 2005) and have played and admired a few Mason BBs. The Estonia will get brighter over time (all pianos do) but being significantly shorter may never give you the visceral bass you may prefer. If you're recording this may be possible to improve with EQ, but for classical music that's an impure approach. I've recorded my 190 and there are recordings on my soundcloud page (link in my sig), scroll down to Hope and below for a taste. I recommend Serious Silliness (fun piece) and then the Rhapsody will give a taste of how the 190 responded to being pushed (low B octaves at the very end). You may decide the BB is what you need or maybe the 190 will do it for you (it's quite capable of jumping out of the box). Good luck in your decision, you'll need it.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841701
04/23/19 01:15 PM
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Top level pianos like the ones you are considering tend to improve over the first few years with normal, even frequent play, as long as they are given the recommended services as well. They tend to "open up" both tonally and in feel as everything settles in and goes through its first few seasons. The recommended service is the key to this, but it is fair to expect improved performance within a few years before reaching its peak.

Peak performance on top, hand-made instruments is a long plateau with continued, recommended service.

As you stated, Estonia has continued to revisit and refine their designs. The L190 in particular has been through several major revisions and many minor ones. As owners have attested, they were great then, but they are even better now.

On the one hand, you have the raw size difference, and on the other, you have the different tonal approach of each design. Given the instruments you've owned in the past, are you looking for something similar...or different?

The Hidden Beauty is also brand new and stunning to look at, which we tend to downplay here, but that can also provide both security and a lot of joy when comparing with even a good used Mason & Hamlin in a standard finish. We see quite a few Mason's from that era that are quite good instruments, but not as strong aesthetically in the details. I'll be curious what you ultimately decide.


Sam Bennett
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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841722
04/23/19 02:36 PM
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You have two great options on the table. The rave reviews you are receiving on the Estonia makes me want to get one under my paws to see what all the buzz is about, since I've never had the privilege of playing one. So the choice is yours depending upon the direction you want to go in. It sounds like you really enjoyed your S&S B, so if you're wanting a repeat of that experience, then the M&H BB will be closer to that. However, if the Estonia experience has intrigued you enough to take on a completely different experience, then go for it. Since you enjoy playing all styles, I think that's something you should really consider, the question being, which piano will give you the most well-balanced service across the widest variety of styles. I don't have any experience with Estonia, but I have experienced the frustration of playing for an event where the piano provided just really didn't fit or wasn't prepared appropriately to fit the music. So which piano will give you the most versatile server? Maybe you should just go ahead and buy both. wink wink

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2841729
04/23/19 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
[...]
The Hidden Beauty is also brand new and stunning to look at,[...]


I wonder what you mean by "brand new." As far back as 2004-2005 the annual Supplement to The Piano Book lists the 190 in "Hidden Beauty" at $31,300.00.

Regards,


BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: BruceD] #2841757
04/23/19 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BruceD
Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
[...]
The Hidden Beauty is also brand new and stunning to look at,[...]


I wonder what you mean by "brand new." As far back as 2004-2005 the annual Supplement to The Piano Book lists the 190 in "Hidden Beauty" at $31,300.00.

Regards,

The M&H the OP is looking at is used the Estonia, which happens to be a Hidden Beauty model, is brand new.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841766
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Hi Bruce,

I mean that the OP is considering a New Estonia L190 vs. 2002 Mason & Hamlin BB. There is value in purchasing a brand new instrument that is often downplayed here on the forum because of the tremendous potential to save money on a pre-owned piano. The design of the Hidden Beauty does go back at least as far as you recall.

The first Hidden Beauty models were a bit different. We recommended a few modest changes to the design, that I think other dealers also appreciated, and that has been the design of the Hidden Beauty ever since. Of course, they make variations to suit, but I love the elements of their design. It is a subtle combination of choices that make it more approachable and desirable than almost any other similarly inspired design from other maker I've seen. It feels special and beautiful without feeling bold or "fancy" or like a passing fad. A lot of customers that only ever thought of owning a black piano also fall in love with the Hidden Beauty. Maybe it is simply more approachable?

Prices certainly have gone up in 15 years. I don't think that is a surprise. In another 15 years, they will have gone up even more. I appreciate Estonia's commitment to its ideals, and those ideals server their customers very well.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841771
04/23/19 06:29 PM
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Sam:

I misread your post; I thought you were writing that the "Hidden Beauty" finish was brand new on Estonia pianos. I knew that the Estonia that the OP had tried is a new piano.

As they say: My bad!

Regards,


BruceD
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Estonia 190
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: PianoWorksATL] #2841774
04/23/19 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by PianoWorksATL
It feels special and beautiful without feeling bold or "fancy" or like a passing fad. A lot of customers that only ever thought of owning a black piano also fall in love with the Hidden Beauty. Maybe it is simply more approachable?
I think you make a good point. Although each person's taste is different, I'm in the category of buyers you are talking about, i.e., too fancy is not my preferred style.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841786
04/23/19 08:09 PM
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First off, let me say THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed to this topic. As I mentioned, I myself was genuinely surprised at the Estonia...although I had heard about much of the enhancements Dr. Laul and his team have made over the years, I had never laid my hands on Estonia pianos.

Regarding whether I'm trying to recapture the sound of my SS "B" I'd say "not necessarily." In fact, the MH is more akin to the Steinway and the Steinway was a beast in the room I had it in. Since I desire to record either piano, I am also trying to listen to these from the standpoint of recording in the room the piano will be sitting in. At 6' 3", the Estonia is plenty big for that room. The Estonia is what I'd call a "salon" piano...the MH and SS 7 footers aim to slay the dragon...they're both big and bold, but that's not necessarily the most important feature for me. Color, tone, and nuance harnessed to an action I can lean into are more important that brute force...they are both beautiful. Haha, I wish I could buy both!


Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841808
04/23/19 11:35 PM
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maybe you could bring a mobile recording rig and actually record the pianos in question. This might make the choice more clear.

Last edited by sroreilly; 04/23/19 11:35 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841865
04/24/19 06:29 AM
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Not sure that would be an ideal test as the room is going to have a big impact on the ultimate sound of the recording but I’m confident enough in my engineering skills to have a good sense of what the piano is going to sound like in my room having recorded all the pianos I’ve owned previously...good tip, however!!


Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841912
04/24/19 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by wildbill
Not sure that would be an ideal test as the room is going to have a big impact on the ultimate sound of the recording but I’m confident enough in my engineering skills to have a good sense of what the piano is going to sound like in my room having recorded all the pianos I’ve owned previously...good tip, however!!

I agree with sroreilly. And if you record the pianos in question using a close mic technique, the effects of the particular rooms housing the pianos becomes negligible.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: pianoloverus] #2841918
04/24/19 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
[quote=pianoloverus]I have a BBThe piano isn't too loud for the space(although there is a bit of a problem since I live in an apartment with the neighbor's studio apartment adjacent to my piano room) ...

Pianoloverus I'm sure you've thought of this from previous posts and off subject, but I thought I'd share it again. Have you tried soundproofing the common wall to your neighbor? Stopping the noise in the room it is being generated in is very effective. After a few years I got a new neighbor above my apartment who complained about the noise coming though his windows which are right above my windows with the piano next to them. I put in weather stripping around all my windows that open. I now just keep them closed when we are playing and this has made a surprisingly enormous difference in what he hears.
I've never considered it for several reasons: cost, decreasing the width of the room, and the building almost for sure wouldn't allow it. If this fix was as easy and cheap as weather stripping windows I might consider it. I've been able to accommodate my neighbor with minor changes in repertoire and time of practicing and have had no complaints for four years.


I want to address the room width issue: It's not necessary to build a second wall to get effective reduction. You can simply add another layer of drywall. Ideally one would use Type X (also called FireCode) drywall because it's denser. If you mount it with "Green Glue", a sound absorbing caulk/glue, you would only lose 5/8ths of an inch in room width while still adding mass and isolation. To improve performance you could add a layer of mass loaded vinyl. You lose another 3/8th but gain about 10db more reduction. Skipping the MLV and using "Z" resilient channel would add about another 1/2 inch but add more performance because of increased decoupling while still taking around 1 1/4" out of the room.

Caveats are that the whole wall has to be treated corner to corner and floor to ceiling and this wouldn't address windows, doors, or sound transmission through shared attic space or heating vents etc. And of course it doesn't take into account the issues of leased space vs. owned etc.

Kurt


**********************************************************************************************************
Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: SMA55] #2841931
04/24/19 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by SMA55
Originally Posted by wildbill
Not sure that would be an ideal test as the room is going to have a big impact on the ultimate sound of the recording but I’m confident enough in my engineering skills to have a good sense of what the piano is going to sound like in my room having recorded all the pianos I’ve owned previously...good tip, however!!

I agree with sroreilly. And if you record the pianos in question using a close mic technique, the effects of the particular rooms housing the pianos becomes negligible.


+1 -- it all depends upon your mic technique and how open or closed the room is.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841939
04/24/19 11:21 AM
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I use a mid-mic technique and have recorded both successfully. I have a few examples of Mason BB's from early 2000's on our YouTube channel as well as a few Estonia videos. Some of the slightly older videos are recorded very differently.

I recorded a new Estonia L190 a few weeks ago, but haven't finished and published it yet. I can at least provide the audio on Soundcloud. As always, these are raw recordings. It was made in our showroom for convenience, not our hall.

Estonia L190 Demo | Rachmaninoff Prelude

I don't know if it is helpful at all in your comparison, but it is fun to share.


Sam Bennett
PianoWorks - Atlanta Piano Dealer
Bösendorfer, Estonia, Seiler, Grotrian, Hailun
Pre-Owned: Yamaha, Kawai, Steinway & other fine pianos
Full Restoration Shop
www.PianoWorks.com
www.youtube.com/PianoWorksAtlanta
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2841978
04/24/19 02:37 PM
04/24/19 02:37 PM
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Dear wildbill,

Thank you for your confidence and for choosing Cunningham Piano Company. I saw this thread yesterday, but thought it best that I not get involved. You were here, I am sure, to get an independent third party "crowd sourced" opinion. I am not a crowd and I am not third party, at least in this instance.

We are very happy to make sure you are pleased with this beautiful instrument for many many years.

Cheers,


Rich Galassini
Cunningham Piano Co.
Phila, Pa.
(215) 991-0834 direct line
rich@cunninghampiano.com
Subscribe to our YouTube channel for great content every week:
https://www.youtube.com/user/CunninghamPiano
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: KurtZ] #2841982
04/24/19 02:54 PM
04/24/19 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by KurtZ
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
[quote=pianoloverus]I have a BBThe piano isn't too loud for the space(although there is a bit of a problem since I live in an apartment with the neighbor's studio apartment adjacent to my piano room) ...

Pianoloverus I'm sure you've thought of this from previous posts and off subject, but I thought I'd share it again. Have you tried soundproofing the common wall to your neighbor? Stopping the noise in the room it is being generated in is very effective. After a few years I got a new neighbor above my apartment who complained about the noise coming though his windows which are right above my windows with the piano next to them. I put in weather stripping around all my windows that open. I now just keep them closed when we are playing and this has made a surprisingly enormous difference in what he hears.
I've never considered it for several reasons: cost, decreasing the width of the room, and the building almost for sure wouldn't allow it. If this fix was as easy and cheap as weather stripping windows I might consider it. I've been able to accommodate my neighbor with minor changes in repertoire and time of practicing and have had no complaints for four years.


I want to address the room width issue: It's not necessary to build a second wall to get effective reduction. You can simply add another layer of drywall. Ideally one would use Type X (also called FireCode) drywall because it's denser. If you mount it with "Green Glue", a sound absorbing caulk/glue, you would only lose 5/8ths of an inch in room width while still adding mass and isolation. To improve performance you could add a layer of mass loaded vinyl. You lose another 3/8th but gain about 10db more reduction. Skipping the MLV and using "Z" resilient channel would add about another 1/2 inch but add more performance because of increased decoupling while still taking around 1 1/4" out of the room.

Caveats are that the whole wall has to be treated corner to corner and floor to ceiling and this wouldn't address windows, doors, or sound transmission through shared attic space or heating vents etc. And of course it doesn't take into account the issues of leased space vs. owned etc.

Kurt

Originally Posted by KurtZ
Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
[quote=pianoloverus]I have a BBThe piano isn't too loud for the space(although there is a bit of a problem since I live in an apartment with the neighbor's studio apartment adjacent to my piano room) ...

Pianoloverus I'm sure you've thought of this from previous posts and off subject, but I thought I'd share it again. Have you tried soundproofing the common wall to your neighbor? Stopping the noise in the room it is being generated in is very effective. After a few years I got a new neighbor above my apartment who complained about the noise coming though his windows which are right above my windows with the piano next to them. I put in weather stripping around all my windows that open. I now just keep them closed when we are playing and this has made a surprisingly enormous difference in what he hears.
I've never considered it for several reasons: cost, decreasing the width of the room, and the building almost for sure wouldn't allow it. If this fix was as easy and cheap as weather stripping windows I might consider it. I've been able to accommodate my neighbor with minor changes in repertoire and time of practicing and have had no complaints for four years.


I want to address the room width issue: It's not necessary to build a second wall to get effective reduction. You can simply add another layer of drywall. Ideally one would use Type X (also called FireCode) drywall because it's denser. If you mount it with "Green Glue", a sound absorbing caulk/glue, you would only lose 5/8ths of an inch in room width while still adding mass and isolation. To improve performance you could add a layer of mass loaded vinyl. You lose another 3/8th but gain about 10db more reduction. Skipping the MLV and using "Z" resilient channel would add about another 1/2 inch but add more performance because of increased decoupling while still taking around 1 1/4" out of the room.

Caveats are that the whole wall has to be treated corner to corner and floor to ceiling and this wouldn't address windows, doors, or sound transmission through shared attic space or heating vents etc. And of course it doesn't take into account the issues of leased space vs. owned etc.

Kurt


Kurtz, Great, helpful information for anyone with a piano sound transmission problem. Decoupling is great for stopping those rumbling bass notes. I think a total of 20db (ff on my piano is about 60db) reduction in transmission through a drywall/aluminum stud wall is reasonable. For those renting, or not able to get permission this issue can be possibly sidestepped by not making the installation permanent.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 04/24/19 02:59 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: Sanfrancisco] #2841991
04/24/19 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
I think a total of 20db (ff on my piano is about 60db) reduction in transmission through a drywall/aluminum stud wall is reasonable.
Does this mean the sound transmitted through the wall is only partially reduced in volume?

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842025
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Kurtz could probably answer that better than me. My knowledge comes considering adding a decoupled clear plastic plate to my existing bank of windows (turns out caulking was enough). If you choose a dense enough wall material, with enough dead space between the walls theoretically you could stop all piano sounds. How realistically practical that would be I have no idea, but a sound engineer would know. For example in my highrise walls between apartments (which by code are firewalls) are 4 1/4" thick. They are a sandwich between apartments consisting of: 3/8"dry wall/ 3/8" air/ 2 3/4" concrete/ 3/8" air/ 3/8" dry wall (no layer is decoupled). No loud sound that I can produce, short of banging on the wall goes though. It's also of course dependent on how far the piano is from the wall with base notes having greater penetration.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 04/24/19 05:15 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2842027
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Pianoloverus, I realize my lengthy post didn't directly answer your question Try this- if 15db of piano sound is measured in your neighbor's apartment (say 2' from the common wall), then a 20db sound reducing wall added to your side would block all the sound. If one is serious I would get a sound pro's advice on the actual dimensions, with all the recording room work being done in NYC there's probably a lot of them around. Hope that's clearer.

Last edited by Sanfrancisco; 04/24/19 05:34 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2842444
04/25/19 06:44 PM
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Well, as Rich has already said, I went with the Estonia :-) . Thanks for everyone's help and I'll post some pics once we get her situated! Recordings to follow!


Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2842447
04/25/19 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by wildbill
Well, as Rich has already said, I went with the Estonia :-) . Thanks for everyone's help and I'll post some pics once we get her situated! Recordings to follow!



Welcome, welcome to the unofficial Estonia Owners Club! May your new piano bring you the joy that mine has always brought me!
(Same dealer, too, though we are now a continent apart.)

Regards,

Last edited by BruceD; 04/25/19 06:58 PM.

BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2842453
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Congrats on making a decision on a fine instrument! Post recordings soon.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: pianoloverus] #2842459
04/25/19 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Originally Posted by Sanfrancisco
I think a total of 20db (ff on my piano is about 60db) reduction in transmission through a drywall/aluminum stud wall is reasonable.
Does this mean the sound transmitted through the wall is only partially reduced in volume?



20db is .25 times less loud if we're talking about sensed/perceived volume. If 60 db, the equal of a normal conversation from about a yard away is reduced by 20 db it's about the same as a quiet library. I am not an acoustician* nor an engineer; I don't do the math. these are from charts found at educational sites for sound and music engineering. I avoided numbers because of this. My post was to illustrate that there are thin forms of sound isolation solutions. I've used all of the ones I cited in my home studio except for green glue which wasn't widely available at the time .

Kurt

We do have at least on acoustician on the board. His name doesn't come to mind at the moment


**********************************************************************************************************
Co-owner (by marriage) and part time customer service rep at an electronic musical equipment repair shop.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2842605
04/26/19 09:05 AM
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I'm not sure Kurt's numbers are correct, a 6 dB decrease is half volume. Thus 60 dB decrease in sound is 1/2096 as loud. While the ear may be quite sensitive there's a reason there's a measurement called RT60. That's the time it takes reverberation to decrease by 60 dB, a 60 dB decrease is basically inaudible to humans (unless you begin with a very loud sound, the result may still be audible but soon thereafter won't be).

To the OP congratulations on making your decision. I'm sure you'll love your Estonia.

Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2842613
04/26/19 09:26 AM
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Thanks, all. Definitely looking to mic this up and see what I can spin up...I'll post pics once we get her home...


Estonia 190, "Hidden Beauty"
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty? [Re: wildbill] #2842689
04/26/19 01:59 PM
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Congrats & enjoy your piano! smile
Norbert


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