Mason & Hamlin

“. . . the Piano Craft team distinguished itself in categories that other firms were unable to offer. We were deeply impressed with the level of concert preparation modern instruments will not easily match.”
- Scott M Wilson
PianoCraft custom rebuilt 1913 Mason & Hamlin A grand piano

The Golden Age Mason & Hamlins
The History of Mason & Hamlin at PianoCraft
PianoCraft Customized Mason & Hamlins

The PianoCraft Mason & Hamlin has a perfect balance of authentic, classic Golden Age Mason & Hamlin sound and an optimized tonal palette, touch response and dynamic range. Knowledgeable pianists and technicians consider the golden age Mason & Hamlins, circa 1900-1938, to be by far the best Mason & Hamlins ever made. PianoCraft’s team of artisans restore and recreate classic Mason & Hamlin pianos into individual works of art.

PianoCraft goes to great lengths to preserve the fantastic original tone and touch of the classic Mason & Hamlins. PianoCraft owner Shaun Tirrell likens the experience of playing a fully recreated PianoCraft Mason & Hamlin to entering a time machine in which you are transported to the early 1900s and playing the very best Golden Age Mason & Hamlin as if it was brand new, fresh out of the factory and perfectly prepared.

The Mason & Hamlin Golden Age

The designs of the best golden age Mason & Hamlins are of such genius and so ahead of their time, the only improvements that can be made are small modifications of scaling at the bass/tenor break, and in providing full size keys for the actions. Of course, if the client prefers, PianoCraft will recreate their Mason & Hamlin as a duplicate of how it was originally, with perfect workmanship and materials but without these small modifications.

Current Mason & Hamlin pianos are certainly fine instruments, but it is important for those considering Mason & Hamlin pianos to understand that the touch and sound of new Mason & Hamlin pianos have been radically changed from the great golden age Mason & Hamlins.

Especially important to note is that the current soundboard designs are totally different from the classic soundboard designs, having different thickness, different taper, different number of ribs, and a different rib shape. The new Mason & Hamlin bridges have different height, thickness and notching techniques from the classic Mason & Hamlins. The new Mason & Hamlin hammers are much heavier and harder than the hammers found in the classic Mason & Hamlins. Again, there can be no doubt that current Mason & Hamlins are fine instruments with good potential, but the result of the newly designed Mason & Hamlins is something profoundly different than the historic golden age Mason & Hamlins loved so much by Rachmaninoff, Bauer, Moiseiwitsch, Gabrilowitsch and Ravel.

The History of Mason & Hamlin at PianoCraft

PianoCraft’s history is strongly linked with Mason & Hamlin. While an undergrad piano student at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, PianoCraft owner Keith Kerman needed to buy a good piano on which to practice. He went to his teacher, Prof Julian Martin (then head of the Peabody piano department, currently Professor at the Juilliard School) and asked advice on getting, of course, a Steinway. Prof. Martin told Keith to try his personal piano, a restored Mason & Hamlin model A from the 1920s. Prof Martin then encouraged Keith to find a Mason & Hamlin from their golden age (1900-1938). Keith found a 1917 Mason & Hamlin model AA (6’2”), had it restored and this became Keith’s personal piano. The process of getting this piano restored created a fascination in Keith for the great Mason & Hamlins of the past from which he has still not recovered.

PianoCraft has rebuilt, serviced, customized and sold hundreds of Mason & Hamlins. These Mason & Hamlins have been of every size and age, including historic concert grands dating from the early 1900s, brand new Mason & Hamlins, and most everything in between. PianoCraft Mason & Hamlins are found in concert halls, museums, recording studios, teaching studios, conservatories, music schools and homes. PianoCraft Mason & Hamlins are owned and enjoyed by a wide variety of pianists: concert and jazz pianists; all types of students and piano enthusiasts; adult amateurs; and collectors.

PianoCraft became Mason & Hamlin’s most honored dealer during their tenure as Mason & Hamlin dealers including winning dealer of the year in 2005, 2006 and 2007. It was during this time that PianoCraft developed and executed many of their procedures and techniques for customizing new Mason & Hamlin pianos.

PianoCraft Customized Mason & Hamlins

Although PianoCraft no longer sells new Mason & Hamlin pianos, new Mason & Hamlin piano owners from all over the country seek out PianoCraft’s unique expertise and experience in the customization and optimization of the modern era Mason & Hamlin pianos. If you are a Mason & Hamlin owner and are interested in finding out what is possible in enhancing your pianos performance, please contact PianoCraft.

PianoCraft offers full custom prep and maintenance for all Mason & Hamlins, whether new, used or rebuilt. If you are interested in your Mason & Hamlin performing to its potential, please call PianoCraft to arrange for the highest level of Mason & Hamlin care.

The following Mason & Hamlin models are regularly available at PianoCraft:

  • Model A, Model B, Model AA, Model BB, and the model CC
  • PianoCraft will happily rebuild your Mason & Hamlin using the best parts, materials, techniques and craftsmanship
  • PianoCraft Mason & Hamlins are offered with 10 year warranties.