Mason and Hamlin Model AA: The Result of Old World Craftsmanship Mixed with Modern Design Elements
The story of the Mason & Hamlin piano factory starts in 1854 with the dream of two music lovers to design and build the world’s finest piano. Henry Mason and Emmons Hamlin founded the Mason & Hamlin Company in Boston, Massachusetts, the birthplace of American piano design and manufacturing. What these two individuals didn’t know is that over the next 80 years their influence on the world of piano design and piano music would be significant. Both had a desire for perfection which is still what drives the Mason & Hamlin piano company today.
By the turn of the century the piano industry had grown to one of the most important in North America and every major region in the United States and Canada had their list of top piano builders. In New York it was Steinway & Sons, Baltimore had the Wm. Knabe Piano Company, Toronto had Heintzman & Co. and Boston had Mason & Hamlin. One of the worlds leading piano designers at the time, Richard W. Gertz was hired by the Mason & Hamlin company to drive the company forward and prove to the world that Mason & Hamlin could build one of the worlds finest pianos.
The development of the Mason and Hamlin Model AA at 6’4″ was an especially interesting project and most would argue has been their most successful “modern” design. During the re-creation of the Mason and Hamlin Model AA the current head design team led by Bruce Clark standardized certain features, refined the whole manufacturing process, and put a considerable investment into modernizing the machinery. Throughout the last 5 years these improvements were later applied to Mason & Hamlin ‘s other models. Some would argue that the Mason & Hamlin model AA it is not only their best and most even scale design, but one of the top designs from any piano manufacture in the world. Even the piano guru Larry Fine personally endorses the Mason and Hamlin Model AA as his favourite piano. “The 6’4″ Mason and Hamlin model AA is a little better balanced between the bass and treble (than most pianos), one reason is is a favorite of mine”. FALL 2011 Supplement, The Piano Buyers Guide.
Some of the other unique features of the Mason & Hamlin Model AA along with all other models include the use of the thickest hardwood frames of any piano, a full perimeter plate, the tension resonator (a series of metal turnbuckles that lock the rim in place), and a high-performance action made from a carbon fiber composite. All of these features combined give the Mason and Hamlin Model AA an fantastic ability to control dynamics and allows pianist to play even the most demanding music. It also is what give the Mason & Hamlin piano the title for the heaviest piano in the world inch for inch. The Mason and Hamlin model AA is one of the best grand pianos in the world and at 6’4″ is a perfect size for most larger homes, a place of worship, or even a small concert hall.
MERRIAMpianos is the exclusive representative for Mason & Hamlin in the greater Toronto area and all of Eastern Canada.
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