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Mason&Hamlin Scale question #2851102
05/22/19 11:48 AM
05/22/19 11:48 AM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 23
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DougD Offline OP
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I'm rebuilding my '23 M&H model A and have a question about the scale/string gauges.


I'm micing and documenting the string guages as i'm removing them and noticed that the scale data (gauge, number or unisons, etc.) doesn't exactly match any of the published scales for this model. Which makes me think that there are many various scales for this model (for example, in a given decade of production).

Is there a more comprehensive listing of scales per serial number/year than mr.Travis' book or even one of you guys who's documented their on work on a similar model A

and should i be concerned about it or just document what's on there now and go back with the same?

thanks

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Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851108
05/22/19 12:04 PM
05/22/19 12:04 PM
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New Hampshire
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Several contributors here rescale. Yours SHOULD be rescaled. Maybe you can hire someone here to do it well.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
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Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851109
05/22/19 12:05 PM
05/22/19 12:05 PM
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There are several different scales for Mason & Hamlin As, which is why I have come up with my own scale for them. It is quite satisfactory on my 1923 A.

2 13
2 13.5
6 14
6 14.5
5 15
8 15.5
8 16
11 17
1 17.5
1 18
1 19
1 20
1 21

This is a scale designed to minimize the change in tension from note to note.


Semipro Tech
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851118
05/22/19 12:25 PM
05/22/19 12:25 PM
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New Hampshire
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WilliamTruitt Offline
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You can call Bruce Clark at Mason & Hamlin in Haverhill, MA. He is the head designer at M & H, and rescaled the present Model A when they were bringing them back. My understanding is that there were 9 different A scales. With the serial number, it is likely that the particular string scaling is on record, and he could provide you with it.

BDB, the A's typically had a number cast into the plate in the bass side corner at the tail. What number is yours?


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851128
05/22/19 12:47 PM
05/22/19 12:47 PM
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A 3 as I recall. I am not sure whether that corresponds to a particular stringing scale, however.


Semipro Tech
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851164
05/22/19 01:59 PM
05/22/19 01:59 PM
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WilliamTruitt Offline
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I believe that it does, but the stringing scales were not the only changes that they made.

If you still have the original string scale from your '23 A, it is likely the same as his '23A..

DougD, why don't you share what you came up with for the plain wire scale on your piano?


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851167
05/22/19 02:11 PM
05/22/19 02:11 PM
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yes....good idea. I'm glad to. I'll post it tonight when i get back home

mine has Ax4, by the way

Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851174
05/22/19 02:23 PM
05/22/19 02:23 PM
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I just looked, and it is A 6, I see a lot of As with various configurations and numbers. I suspect the numbers just correspond to the plate pattern used for the mold, particularly if we have two from 1923 that differ.


Semipro Tech
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851270
05/22/19 09:03 PM
05/22/19 09:03 PM
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New Hampshire
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WilliamTruitt Offline
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About 20 years ago I rebuilt 6 A's within about a .2 year period. All different and from different time periods, as I dated each of them as they came into the shop. Interesting to see the scale evolve over time. The stringing scales did differ, as did plate layouts, spiders, etc.


fine grand piano custom rebuilding, piano technician and tuner
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851289
05/22/19 11:58 PM
05/22/19 11:58 PM
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DougD Offline OP
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ok....here's what i came up with (not including any of the bass strings)

wire gauge: number of notes
13 (4)
14 (4)
14 1/2 (4)
15 (5)
15 1/2 (8)
16 (6)
16 1/2 (4)
17 (4)
18 (5)
19 (11)
20 (2)

Last edited by DougD; 05/22/19 11:58 PM.
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851291
05/23/19 12:14 AM
05/23/19 12:14 AM
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The scale is usually marked near the tuning pins, unless it was restrung before and someone painted over them.

That scale may be what they used. Manufacturers tended to change the gauges more in the highest ranges, and less in the tenor. If you think about it, that makes no sense. In the highest ranges, the string length changes much more closely to proportion than in the tenor, where the string length does not change as much. So in the tenor, the gauges should change more often, to compensate for the string length becoming shorter compared to what would be proportional to the pitch.


Semipro Tech
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851398
05/23/19 09:18 AM
05/23/19 09:18 AM
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one correction :

17 should be (9) rather than (4)

Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851608
05/23/19 10:35 PM
05/23/19 10:35 PM
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New Hampshire
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I would consider hybrid rescaling these days.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: P W Grey] #2851688
05/24/19 08:23 AM
05/24/19 08:23 AM
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Posts: 522
Chesterfield. MA
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Craig Hair Offline
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Peter,
Why is it that this Mason SHOULD be re-scaled?


Craig Hair
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Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851895
05/24/19 06:55 PM
05/24/19 06:55 PM
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New Hampshire
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IMO the current availability of various types of wire and (I think) superior scaling software would make an improvement, esp near the break. At least if I were restringing it I would analyze what is there, as well as "competing" replacement scales, and attempt to improve that area at least.

The wire we use now is harder (I have been told) than that used back then, and would likely exacerbate any "break" issues, therefore softer wire COULD improve it.

I could be wrong though...I have been before. 😨 I shouldn't be dogmatic about it.

Pwg


Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8
Re: Mason&Hamlin Scale question [Re: DougD] #2851945
05/24/19 10:49 PM
05/24/19 10:49 PM
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Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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I agree with Peter, The Mason A scale can benefit greatly from applying Hybrid Wire Scale principles. Paulello type O core for the first 4 or 5 notes, lowest bichord note and plain wire on notes 27 up to around 33; then standard modern wire for the rest would be a simple modification to do and gain great results.

If you sign up for a Fully Tempered Duplex Scale, W,N&G composite shanks, and LightHammer Tone regulation these pianos are stunningly wonderful.


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