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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
wildbill #2841722 04/23/19 03:36 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?
PianoWorksATL #2841729 04/23/19 03:51 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,


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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
BruceD #2841757 04/23/19 06:12 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?
wildbill #2841766 04/23/19 06:39 PM
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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
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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
wildbill #2841771 04/23/19 07:29 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!

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BruceD
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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
PianoWorksATL #2841774 04/23/19 07:40 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?
wildbill #2841786 04/23/19 09:09 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?
wildbill #2841808 04/24/19 12:35 AM
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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; 04/24/19 12:35 AM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
wildbill #2841865 04/24/19 07:29 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?
wildbill #2841912 04/24/19 10:50 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?
pianoloverus #2841918 04/24/19 11:19 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


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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
SMA55 #2841931 04/24/19 11:53 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?
wildbill #2841939 04/24/19 12:21 PM
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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
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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
wildbill #2841978 04/24/19 03:37 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.
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Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
KurtZ #2841982 04/24/19 03:54 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 03:59 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
Sanfrancisco #2841991 04/24/19 04:50 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?
pianoloverus #2842025 04/24/19 06:10 PM
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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 06:15 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
wildbill #2842027 04/24/19 06:31 PM
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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 06:34 PM.
Re: Mason Hamlin BB (used) or new Estonia 190 Hidden Beauty?
wildbill #2842444 04/25/19 07:44 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?
wildbill #2842447 04/25/19 07:57 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 07:58 PM.

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