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Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? #2858367
06/13/19 11:16 PM
06/13/19 11:16 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 217
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jsilva Offline OP
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I’ve seen M&H model A’s with no bichords on the lower treble bridge but most with two bichords. Recently I saw a photo of a M&H which seems to be an A (and the seller says it is) but it has 5 bichords at the lower treble bridge and the agraffes are completely repositioned. I’ve not seen one like that.

Does anyone have experience with these? How many different scale designs were there for the A’s?

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Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858376
06/14/19 12:33 AM
06/14/19 12:33 AM
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Posts: 217
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jsilva Offline OP
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Ok, after much looking around I found another A which has that same design.

https://youtu.be/OTahfx1eZc4

Does anyone know the years this was used?

Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858379
06/14/19 12:40 AM
06/14/19 12:40 AM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 27,612
Oakland
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BDB Offline
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I suspect that may be an AA, or a smaller model. I have seen three variations of the AA: The original with a hooked bridge at the low end of the tenor bridge, like a Steinway AI, with a bridge branching off the lower tenor in s Y shape, and a third version with a hooked tenor bridge with wound lower tenor strings. How many bass notes are there? A, B, and T have 26, AA has 20, and BB has 21.

Of course, there are so many variations that anything is possible.


Semipro Tech
Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858381
06/14/19 12:50 AM
06/14/19 12:50 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 5,241
Seattle, WA USA
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Offline
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Some of the newer A scales done by Bruce Clark have more wounds on the tenor bridge than any of the older versions. These are from the late 1980's on.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
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Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858443
06/14/19 06:42 AM
06/14/19 06:42 AM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 1,874
Scotland
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David Boyce Online content
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Quote
Some of the newer A scales done by Bruce Clark have more wounds on the tenor bridge than any of the older versions


Dear me - who wounded it??

Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858473
06/14/19 09:09 AM
06/14/19 09:09 AM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 531
Chesterfield. MA
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Craig Hair Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
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Chesterfield. MA
I have seen an A with a scale number of 13.
I have also seen an A with no numerical subscript at all.
That seems to be 14 variations over time.
They seem to have changed the designation with every development.
The A sub-nothing had no rear duplexes, for example.
There was also an un-notched bass bridge.
I seem to remember an A with a small third bridge sprouting off the side of the lower edge of the tenor bridge, like a railroad siding.
This may be what you have found.

Be well,
Craig


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Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858550
06/14/19 01:57 PM
06/14/19 01:57 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 25
Champaign, Ill., Tacoma, Wash.
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mha9 Offline
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That's an A9; you can see it on the plate near the rear lid hinge. Mine's from 1932, I've seen them from as early as 1929 and I just saw one with an art case that recently sold. According to the ad for that one, it was from 1935.


1932 Mason & Hamlin A9
1877 Blüthner 185 cm Patent Aliquot grand
1883 Henry F. Miller pedal upright
Edward L. Kottick double-fretted clavichord
Lyndon Taylor double-fretted clavichord

Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858585
06/14/19 04:13 PM
06/14/19 04:13 PM
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Posts: 217
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jsilva Offline OP
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Interesting, thanks for the replies!

mha9, what do you think of that tenor to bass transition on yours? Do you find those extra wound strings with the Y in the bridge to be more or less or equally as effective as current designs?

Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858657
06/14/19 08:56 PM
06/14/19 08:56 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 25
Champaign, Ill., Tacoma, Wash.
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mha9 Offline
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Champaign, Ill., Tacoma, Wash.
Jsilva,

I'm a player, not a technician, so I listen like a player. I've had the piano for 40 years, so I've probably adjusted long ago to any abrupt tonal changes at the break. I do remember one tuner fussing endlessly with voicing in that area when the piano still had its original hammers. Nothing in that range bothers me in any particular way. I use the piano a lot, and it gets a fair amount of routine maintenance voicing from an excellent technician. I don't play too many other M&H As for comparison, and have very little experience with the new models, but a friend who has a 1920s A6 complains all the time about the tenor/bass break in his piano, and thinks mine is much better in that regard. The piano has a light action and a sweet, clear, balanced voice--more emphasis on silky clarity than on thick richness. If a good Steinway B is a flourless chocolate torte, this M&H is a lemon sabayon. (I like both!) I've read in several places on the great, wide internet that the A9 is one of the most admired of M&H scales, resulting in one of the most successful <6' pianos there is. I feel lucky to have it.


1932 Mason & Hamlin A9
1877 Blüthner 185 cm Patent Aliquot grand
1883 Henry F. Miller pedal upright
Edward L. Kottick double-fretted clavichord
Lyndon Taylor double-fretted clavichord

Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858671
06/14/19 10:21 PM
06/14/19 10:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2019
Posts: 217
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jsilva Offline OP
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts mha9. Interesting to read.

Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2858801
06/15/19 12:10 PM
06/15/19 12:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 25
Champaign, Ill., Tacoma, Wash.
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mha9 Offline
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Jsilva, here's a nice photo essay of the restoration of an art-case A9 Ampico by a shop in Texas. Painstaking work on the veneered+polychrome case! You can see the bridge design clearly in one of the pictures: https://www.flickr.com/photos/127786163@N03/15319267797/in/photostream/


1932 Mason & Hamlin A9
1877 Blüthner 185 cm Patent Aliquot grand
1883 Henry F. Miller pedal upright
Edward L. Kottick double-fretted clavichord
Lyndon Taylor double-fretted clavichord

Re: Mason & Hamlin A scale design differences? [Re: jsilva] #2859283
06/16/19 05:24 PM
06/16/19 05:24 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,423
New Hampshire
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P W Grey Offline
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Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 2,423
New Hampshire
Anyone know how the M&H A6 (specifically Ax6 on plate) stacks up in this lineup?

Edit: Okay...I just noticed it was mentioned in one of the comments. Not so good in the bass break (opinion)

Pwg

Last edited by P W Grey; 06/16/19 05:27 PM.

Peter W. Grey, RPT
New Hampshire Seacoast
www.seacoastpianodoctor.com
pianodoctor57@gmail.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK0T7_I_nV8

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