Mason and Hamlin BB Grand Piano: What a 7ft Grand Piano Should Be
Since the early 1900’s Mason and Hamlin and Steinway and Sons were considered the top piano manufactures in the world. Early on they were being endorsed by famous pianist all around the world. These two companies started building pianos in 1853 and 1854 respectively with Mason located in Boston, MA and Steinway in New York, NY. Although each these pianos shared a lot of the same woods and components due to their geographical location, as time went on their designs become more and more unique along with their tonal qualities.
Mason and Hamlin has been building some of the finest pianos in the world since 1854. They have put a real emphasis on preserving time honored traditions while still allowing for innovation where real improvements can be made. All of the grand models including the Mason and Hamlin BB feature the thickest hardwood rims of any piano in the industry, the best method of fitting the pinblock to the frame, and a high-performance composite action (standard on all Mason models since 2010). Some other unique Mason and Hamlin features include the full perimeter plate, tension resonator (a series of metal turnbuckles that lock the rim in place). These elements create a unique sound and experience for the player and a level of tuning stability and longevity only matched by a few.
The Mason and Hamlin BB grand piano was the flagship model from Mason and Hamlin until the model CC was released much later. Some historians would argue that the Mason and Hamlin BB was the first real limited production “exotic” piano due to its very high price point in it’s day, and cult like following. Still to this day the Mason and Hamlin BB model is hunted for by expert re-builders on the east coast and in major cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Buffalo who know that these pianos are excellent rebuilding candidates. Pricing on a used Mason and Hamlin BB can start as low as $7500 in raw condition and properly done rebuilds can fetch as high as $50,000.
Many experts still consider the Mason and Hamlin model BB one of the top 7ft grand pianos available. Mason has done a great job of incorporating some of the best elements such as the hard rock maple from from the Steinway B grand piano, the tunable duplex scale from the FAZIOLI 212 grand piano and the high performance carbon-fiber composite action from the Shigeru Kawai SK6 grand piano. Most describe the Mason and Hamlin BB sound as typical America – lush, singing, and powerful while still retaining a high level of clarity.
MERRIAMpianos is the exclusive representative for Mason and Hamlin in the greater Toronto area and all of Eastern Canada.