Crown Retention System
The Crown Retention System is unique to Mason & Hamlin and lends stability to the piano. The system consists of the tension resonator (designed and patented for Mason & Hamlin by Richard W. Gertz in 1900), heavy case ribs, thick, hard rock maple rims, and eastern white spruce soundboard. As commonly observed on Mason & Hamlin pianos built in the late 19th and early 20th century, the Crown Retention System has preserved the crown of the soundboard, and the original power and tone, throughout the life of the piano. For more information about Mason & Hamlin's signature Crown Retention System, please click here.
Mason & Hamlin grand rims are built from 18-ply hard rock maple; they are the thickest rims in the industry. These thick rims coupled with the massive sand cast full-perimeter plates are the rock-solid foundation of the crown retention system.
Every Mason & Hamlin piano comes equipped with an industry-leading Wessell, Nickel & Gross composite action and WNG Blue hammers. These renowned actions use cutting-edge composite materials in place of wood and felt, giving the piano a level of uniformity in touch, tone, and feel that isn't possible with a traditional action. Additionally, these advanced materials are extremely durable and make seasonal maintenance and regulation a thing of the past.
The feel or touch of a Mason & Hamlin piano is responsive to the pianist’s most subtle nuances, allowing ultimate control, expression, and the highest level of playability possible. The finest quality keys deftly transmit the dynamics of a pianist’s fingers to the tips of the WNG Blue hammers–from the softest pianissimo to the boldest double fortissimo.
The distinctive Mason & Hamlin tone is the result of a piano that is built using original Boston era designs with scrupulous attention to detail and accuracy. The full, powerful bass, lyrical tenor, bell-like treble tones, and the tremendous sustain are qualities that can only be found in a Mason & Hamlin piano. Tunable aliquots allow a tone that is harmonious and accurate.
The oversized soundboards used in Mason & Hamlin pianos are meticulously grain-matched using the highest quality spruce available: eastern white spruce. The soundboard ribs are pre-crowned to the soundboard for a precise fit. Mason & Hamlin piano soundboards have a speaking area that is larger than other equally-sized pianos.
Built for durability, Mason & Hamlin pianos have been historically recognized as the world’s costliest piano to build. Whether it’s hard rock maple rims, white spruce soundboards, full perimeter, sand cast plates, chrome tuning pins, quarter sawn maple pin blocks and bridges, or even hinges and screws, only the finest available, most accurate, highest quality materials have been used to build a Mason & Hamlin piano. Ideal equilibrium moisture content levels are achieved by carefully monitoring the conditioning of each species of hardwood used on a Mason & Hamlin piano.
The Mason & Hamlin piano scale design features separate aliquots which are individually tunable to the speaking length of the treble string. Tunable aliquots are an original Mason & Hamlin design that yield a piano that is more harmonically accurate than those that have standard duplex scaled designs. That is one of the reasons why a Mason & Hamlin piano sounds more pleasing to the ear.
New England Heritage
Established in 1854, the Mason & Hamlin Piano Company was one of the original Boston piano manufacturers and a pioneer of the full-perimeter plate design. The Mason & Hamlin family ancestry dates back to the arrival of the Mayflower on Plymouth Rock in the 1600’s. Henry Mason’s father, Lowell Mason, became the first music teacher in American public schools and is known as the Father of American church music, and the Father of American public school music education. Lowell Mason was the co-founder of the Boston Academy of Music and later became the superintendent of the Boston school system.
The original Mason & Hamlin string scale design was created and developed by Richard W. Gertz during the Boston era at the turn of the century. This scale design was heralded for the harmonic warmth and sonic power it made possible. It is the same scale design used in new Mason & Hamlin pianos.
Mason & Hamlin pianos are built with one thing in mind: quality. An elaborate locating system is used to yield consistent tight fitting tolerances through each phase of the piano’s construction. This painstaking process allows Mason & Hamlin pianos to be built with consistent accuracy, resulting in a superior piano with greater sonic character.
Mason & Hamlin pianos are one of the few investment-grade pianos built today. The logical design, careful execution, and painstaking process of handcrafting a world class instrument make Mason & Hamlin true investment-quality pianos which hold significant resale value in any piano market. Our commitment to the longevity of your piano is further backed by a 5-year warranty. The heirloom quality of a Mason & Hamlin piano makes it a valuable investment from generation to generation.
Mason & Hamlin is committed to a limited annual production of its pianos focusing on quality as our highest priority, resulting in a unique valuable and rare masterpiece. Our limited inventory is available exclusively through our small but select dealer network.