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How "big" does a Mason & Hamlin Model A play? (Read 1531 times)

Offline pianomann

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How "big" does a Mason & Hamlin Model A play?
« on: June 23, 2015, 02:29:54 AM »
First post from a new member, who has lurked for a couple of months now.  We are on the hunt for a grand piano for my wife, she being the player and I being the audience/appreciator.  We've tried quite a few, and the Mason & Hamlin Model A has definitely had its appeal in terms of tone and touch.  For a 5'8" piano it is our impression that it does play "bigger" in the bass, and we like that with its more practical size.  Sales talk and some of what I have read on forums suggests that Mason & Hamlin's larger soundboard area for their piano sizes give them this quality.  To me, it seems to measure up to some of the shorter 6'+ pianos in terms of bass volume and dynamics, but perhaps falls short on the sustain and "purr" in the lower-most notes compared to the longer pianos.

I am hoping to hear from owners and/or familiar users as to their longer term appraisal of the bass quality of the Model A versus the 6'2" - 6'4" range of competition.  Does the romance last?  Or should we really stretch for those longer models?  Thanks for any impressions!

Offline pianiststrongbad

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Re: How "big" does a Mason & Hamlin Model A play?
«Reply #1 on: June 28, 2015, 02:29:43 PM »
M&H A has a reputation for being one of the best pianos under 6 ft. I've played a M&H A a few times in piano stores, and honestly they didn't do much for me (nor did any of the pianos under 6 feet).

I really liked a M&H AA I found though - I felt like it was extremely well balanced. Long story short, I ended up with a M&H BB and like it the best.

Offline pianomann

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Re: How "big" does a Mason & Hamlin Model A play?
«Reply #2 on: June 28, 2015, 02:47:50 PM »
Interesting that the A didn't sing to you, but the AA did, and clearly the BB really did.  I would like my wife to try an AA before we decide, but they don't have one in our area just now.  Our present house could certainly accommodate the length, but my wife is ever practical and she notes that some day down the road we will certainly be moving to smaller living quarters and then the shorter piano would be a better fit. 

She has liked a couple of new Steinway A's that she has tried.  They clearly offer a bit "more", but we both blanch at the bold price that Steinway asks for their pianos, and the M&H A plays way more appealingly than does the comparable sized Steinway M (and we also prefer it to the Steinway O's that we have tried).  Sure would be nice to try a new M&H A...