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Mason & Hamlin Grand Piano (Read 1652 times)

Offline sarcher

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Mason & Hamlin Grand Piano
« on: September 21, 2015, 01:35:02 AM »
Hello!

I had a question about purchasing a used grand piano. I am currently choosing from two options, but one of the options has a stuck key. I was wondering if this should should deter me from buying the piano, or if it is something easy to fix. The piano with the stuck key is the Model B

Option #1 is a Mason & Hamlin Model A in excellent condition for $3500 (it has supposedly been restored)

Option #2 is a Mason & Hamlin Model B in good condition for $2000

I like the way both of them play, but I was just curious of some other opinions before I choose. I am a little limited on space, but I could make either of them work as far as size.

Thanks so much!

Offline indianajo

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Re: Mason & Hamlin Grand Piano
«Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 02:09:44 PM »
Both prices seem to be excellent for grand pianos.
A stuck key is not usually a $1500 problem.  I've not sucessfully removed a hammer yet, but pro techs should be able to do that, and replace or ease the felt parts. 
Any used piano I buy, I check:
1. no visibly scooped hammers or dampers in the middle, soundboard not cracked, no wires missing or mismatched bass wires audibly mismatched,  No visible rodent damage. 
2. Action fast enough to outrun me. I do this with two fingers of two hands on one notes, to go faster than I can with one hand. 
3.  Matching tone between all notes, especially match between one wire, two wire, and three wire notes.
4.  How soft can you go before notes stop dropping out?  Test all notes, bad pianos are inconsistent.   
5. On an untuned piano no note more than a whole tone flatter than the others.  This is to detect loose pins.  On a piano that has been tuned, this problem was covered up by the tuning.  You'll find out you have a loose pin if the tuning has to be done more often than quarterly.   A good used piano, the treble notes will be 1/2 to a full note flat, and the bass notes will be fine.
6. Dampers let off and damp again evenly. Can be adjusted but the price should be appropriate.
Have fun shopping. 

Offline hfmadopter

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Re: Mason & Hamlin Grand Piano
«Reply #2 on: September 21, 2015, 06:15:50 PM »
I've seen keys stuck just because they are stuck in place from non use. Free the parts up and it works again. Or it may need parts too. Many causes. But even if it needed a new whippen it shouldn't be multi hundreds of dollars to get fixed up. Many new ones yes but one no, and it probably doesn't need that. Just sayin. Stuck knuckles can be freed up etc.. Sometimes hammer shanks get warped and a hammer will rub against another hammer. Not a good sign but sometimes not the end of the world either.

And I agree the prices are good if the pianos are actually decent.
Depressing the pedal on an out of tune acoustic piano and playing does not result in tonal color control or add interest, it's called obnoxious.

Offline onesurfer1

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Re: Mason & Hamlin Grand Piano
«Reply #3 on: October 01, 2015, 03:21:07 AM »
What year is the Model A?
At $3,500??  That's unheard of.
What parts did they restore and when?

I had purchased a 1915 M&H model A 2 years ago for $6,000.
The Action was original.  Only thing that was updated was the
keytops.  It played sorta' ok but couldn't play softly, had to play
medium to hard (ff) but couldn't play p or pp or ppp!  Finish was faded
and crackled on one spot.

That said, $3,500 for a M&H A that is very playable...i'd do it in a
heartbeat!