Mason and Hamlin Model A: The World’s Best Grand Piano Under 6ft?
Before the beginning of the second world war their were over 100 factories producing pianos in the USA. Piano builders and technicians from all over the world used to come to the America’s to study advanced piano design and learn about the art of piano making. But due to rising wages and a sea of Japanese, Korean and Chinese imports, and a lack of true innovation over the past 50 years only 2 factories remain: Mason and Hamlin in Boston, MA and Steinway and Sons in New York, NY.
Mason and Hamlin has been building grand pianos in the USA since 1854 and still focuses on preserving time honored traditions passed down by generations of expert piano builders. The market for fine pianos in New England has always been very strong and since the early 1900’s Mason and Hamlin has captured the hearts of fine pianists, politicians, and music lovers alike. The Mason and Hamlin model A has always been the most popular selling model and has been featured in fine homes and concert venues across the country. Due to it’s popularity in the USA and Canada (specifically Toronto and Montreal), Mason and Hamlin released a special “Monticello” collection to commemorate the home of Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States. The Mason and Hamlin model A piano is currently the #1 recommended piano by top technicians in North America and is considered by some expert technicians as one of the top 5 piano manufactures, period (Fazioli, Steinway & Sons, Bosendorfer, and Shigeru Kawai).
The Mason and Hamlin piano company has a reputation for building the heaviest pianos in the world. All of the grand models including the Mason and Hamlin model A 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) which all make up the crown retention system. These elements create a unique sound and experience for the player and a level of tuning stability and longevity only matched by a few. This has been Mason’s trademark and has created an almost cult like following specifically in the North Eastern United States and Canada (especially Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal).
Since the early 20th century Mason and Steinway were considered the best by many experts and were constantly improving and testing new design elements to satisfy the most demanding players of the day. What’s ironic is that for almost 100 years these two manufactures have always been considered “the best” pianos available and are now the only pianos still built in North America today in any significant quantities. The only other manufactures in the world that have a similar history and pedigree that still remain are C.Bechstein and Grotrian-Steinweg, both located in Germany.
The Mason and Hamlin model A is considered one of the best grand pianos in the world under 6ft and at over 800lbs is the heaviest piano in it’s class. The Mason and Hamlin model A also features the same rim thickness as the larger model AA and is especially known for it’s enormous bass. Some people would even argue that the Mason and Hamlin model A has a bass that overpowers the treble and makes the piano unbalanced, but this can also be said about other legendary pianos such as the Steinway model B. For most people the Mason and Hamlin model A would be a perfect addition to a fine home or even small performance venue and like all Mason models is still 100% hand-crafted in the USA.
MERRIAMpianos is the exclusive representative for Mason and Hamlin in the greater Toronto area and all of Eastern Canada.
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