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Joined: Oct 2019
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Looking seriously at purchasing a 1958 model B. How would people compare its quality to a Baldwin R of the same era.

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Om a 60 year old piano, the piano's condition will probably be at least as important as the make and probably more important. I don't think it's so useful to make some generalization unless it's known that either make had a particularly bad production during that period. If you find it difficult to evaluate the two specific pianos, you could hire a tech to help you with that.

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I have a ‘63 M&H Model A. I’ve had it about 5 years. My RPT said it was in good shape and a fair price at the time.

It was a big upgrade from the 42” Kawaii console I had before. The heavier action was a real problem for me, probably because the console action was super light. It took some work to get the regulation even, but I’m pretty happy with that now. It sounds good, though I had to make changes in the room to improve acoustics. It puts out a lot more sound than that little console did.

It’s been played 1-2 hours daily, and with this last service, my tech told me that I should consider new bass strings and possibly hammers in the next couple of years. I do notice now that it’s a bit sharper in tone than it used to be, and the hammers have already been worked on. I’m not sure if I want to do that upgrade on such an old piano, or upgrade to a newer but still used piano.

It’s been a good piano, but I wouldn’t say I love it. However, when I bought it, I was moving up from a really small upright, so I don’t know that I had the experience to do a good job of evaluating a grand. For my level of playing, it’s been a good piano, and I’m glad to have had something with such a solid and beefy action, I think that’s improved my technique.

I think it was the right one for me at the time, and I’m on the fence about moving on, since I’ll never be more than a beginner.

I looked at a Baldwin at the time and loved it but it was out of my budget.

Last edited by MH1963; 11/15/21 07:25 PM.

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'63 Mason & Hamlin Model A

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Those post war Masons can be made quite nice, but a Baldwin R will out perform the smaller B.

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That was during the Aeolian Era of American piano manufacturing. Between around 1935-1985, the Aeolian American Co. purchased most American piano companies including Mason and Hamlin. The pianos produced at this time, even by highly regarded brands such as M&H aren't nearly as high quality instruments. I'd advise you to play it and see what you think, but I would go for a restored M&H from the 1920s-1930s any day over an Aeolian era M&H. Good Luck!


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Benjamin S. Helton
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Originally Posted by PlayerPianoBen4913
That was during the Aeolian Era of American piano manufacturing. Between around 1935-1985, the Aeolian American Co. purchased most American piano companies including Mason and Hamlin. The pianos produced at this time, even by highly regarded brands such as M&H aren't nearly as high quality instruments. I'd advise you to play it and see what you think, but I would go for a restored M&H from the 1920s-1930s any day over an Aeolian era M&H. Good Luck!
But a 1920s-1930s M&H restored by a good rebuilder will cost far more than an unrestored 60+ year old M&H from the Aeolian era. It's an apples to oranges comparison.

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Originally Posted by pianoloverus
Om a 60 year old piano, the piano's condition will probably be at least as important as the make and probably more important. I don't think it's so useful to make some generalization unless it's known that either make had a particularly bad production during that period. If you find it difficult to evaluate the two specific pianos, you could hire a tech to help you with that.

Spot on as usual. thumb

Last edited by j&j; 11/26/21 05:21 PM.

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Very true. Different instruments. That is what I was trying to say. I just don't want someone to hear the name and expect an amazing instrument, only to be let down by the Aeolian era.


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Benjamin S. Helton

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