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#2045129 - 03/08/13 04:28 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: 4evrBeginR]  
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,278
Entheo Offline
1000 Post Club Member
Entheo  Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 1,278
chicago, il
i'll share my story as grist for the mill.

in 2000 i purchased a brand new M&H Model A -- a beautiful little beast. a few months after taking possession a buzzing developed when playing a note (or notes; memory fuzzy now). it drove me crazy, but the dealer & his techs made multiple visits to my house to attempt to debug it. i ultimately troubleshot the issue to the felt under the strings behind the bridge. the fix was to put a piece of leather under the tri-strings to squeeze the buzz out. not an elegant solution, but it worked. then, one of the dual string bass notes developed false beats. i had to have the strings replaced twice. after many years the action started to become quite sluggish, and i wanted to explore the possibility of replacing the capstans (? -- i think this was it) with the newer, slicker versions they had. my dealer put in the good word for me and i spoke with the lead engineer at M&H, who was quite gracious with his time. but that did contrast with other occasions in which i tried contacting the manufacturer (initially to make some much needed marketing suggestions about their website, etc.) and never received a reply (phone nor email). others here have noted the same experience.

they have a real customer service problem. if they want end users to take support issues thru their dealers they should at least have the courtesy of articulating that policy. i had a highly reputable dealer so i didn't freak out, but i can see how many would, especially with a dealer who isn't being proactive.

i also believe that what one other poster said here about "warts and all" does apply to smaller production manufacturers and/or piano makers who don't have a rigid QMS protocol, e.g. ISO 9001. quality can vary from instrument to instrument. that can be either charmingly unique or very frustrating. although i loved my M&H i am now experiencing with my newer piano what consistency is all about, and now understand why it's an overwhelming choice of institutions & teachers.

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#2045161 - 03/08/13 05:14 PM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]  
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 56
Aaron Garner Offline
Full Member
Aaron Garner  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 56
Sacramento, Ca
Good point 4ever. Although the outcome may get resolved satisfactorily in the end, the experience would make me think twice about purchasing another Mason and Hamlin. At the college where I teach, we may need to replace our Steinway D and I was really hot on looking into the Mason concert grand. After this experience I would have to suggest another piano to my dean. It gets used a lot by concert pianists so problems would need to be resolved quickly. I've had quite the opposite experience with Yamaha. They are very quick to take care of problems. I know of someone who got their low end grand replaced with a brand new C3 and the original piano was out of warranty by several years. They recognized it had some sort of design flaw and just gave them a piano a level up because they stopped making the one the customer owned.


2013 Mason and Hamlin BB
Full-time music professor (theory) and jazz pianist
#2045818 - 03/10/13 07:29 AM Re: Mason and Hamlin Problems [Re: Aaron Garner]  
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 77
geraldbrennan Offline
Full Member
geraldbrennan  Offline
Full Member

Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 77
ann arbor, mi
If M&H were smart (which they're not -- I have my own dealings with them), or at least wanted to get successful, they would address this issue with the OP and also IN THIS FORUM. Anyone thinking of parting with the jack needed to get a new BB or CC, unless they're not very bright, would be checking this website for the experiences of others.
I wish someone else bought them...

Gerry

(1918 M&H BB)

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