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Mason & Hamlin BB Grand Piano Walnut Satin
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A piano acclaimed for its robust sound, precise touch, and consistent action, the Model BB is a 7-ft piano designed for auditoriums, conservatories, concert halls, spacious homes, and professional studios. Known for its legendary concert grand characteristics, the Model BB has powerful, resonant bass, rich, warm tenor, and a treble with a singing tone bell-like in its clarity and perfect for reproducing the unparalleled tonal range of a Mason & Hamlin. The Model BB redefines what a grand piano should be, with power and sonority usually reserved for concert grands making the tonal possibilities truly limitless.
17-23 Ply Rims
Mason & Hamlin Pianos have the largest and strongest rims in the world. at first glance, this may appear excessive, but when Richard Gertz designed the Mason & Hamlin piano in 1895, he understood that the rim is foundational to the entire piano – a strong, dense rim will reflect the energy produced by the soundboard, thereby enhancing a piano’s power and sustain, while a thinner, weaker rim will absorb this energy and detract from the piano’s potential power and sustain
Flat-sawn Hard Rock Maple
Material choice is equally important when constructing a piano’s rim. Richard Gertz specifically chose Flat-sawn Hard Rock Maple – one of the strongest most expensive cuts of Hard Rock Maple – for the Mason & Hamlin rim. This material is no stranger to fine instruments – Stradivarius used Hard Rock Maple in the back and sides of his violins for its strong, robust, qualities.
The soundboard is the centerpiece of a piano’s essence. It is a thin, well-crafted piece of wood that, when subjected to vibrations of a string, is capable of producing the air pressure waves that we perceive as sound. It is the very heart of the instrument and essential to the unique voice of each piano.
Eastern White Spruce
The Mason & Hamlin soundboard emanates a sound that can be described as both sweet and powerful, melodic and thunderous. These characteristics can be attributed to our choice of material – tight-grained, quarter-sawn Eastern White Spruce that is dried and aged to perfection. This particular type of tree is ideally suited for its role, and produces the most musical sound of any available material.
While being constructed from the finest material is an excellent start, a soundboard must be properly shaped to take advantage of its potential. This shape takes the form of crown, and is what give a piano its vibrancy, focus, and clarity. Mason & Hamlin shapes the crown of our soundboards via cutting it directly into the ribs themselves. This method allows us to precisely control the shape of each rib, and is what makes out Mult-Radius Crown soundboard possible. By starting with a large radius in the treble and steadily reducing it towards the bass, our soundboard is uniquely optimized for both the high frequency of treble notes, which require a stiffer soundboard for clear projection, as well as the low frequency of bass notes, who favor a flexible soundboard for full response.
The final part of our soundboard’s construction is a gradual tapering towards its edges. This makes the perimeter more flexible and enhances the soundboard’s performance – much like a speaker cone.
Rim Cut to Soundboard
Since the soundboard is such an integral part of the piano, we cut the rim of our pianos to fit the precise shape of the soundboard. This ensures that the soundboard is able to move freely and prevents any binding strains from occurring, which causes deterioration of both the tone, as well as the life of the soundboard.
With such thoroughness and attention to detail put into our pianos, it is only natural to want them to last a lifetime and beyond. This thought to longevity is exactly why Mason & Hamlin’s unique Tension Resonator was developed. This ingenious device ensures that every measurement and dimension of our pianos remains unchanged through the passing of time and seasons.
Since every Mason & Hamlin piano incorporates each of these elements of design into our soundboards – Eastern White Spruce, Multi-Radius Crown, Edge Tapering, rims cut to the shape of the soundboard, and our exclusive Tension Resonator – it is no wonder that Mason & Hamlin pianos over 100 years old still have crown and play with the same vibrancy and life as the day they first arrived, and that Mason & Hamlin is still considered the Finest Piano in the World
Wessell, Nickel & Gross Composite Actions
Each Mason & Hamlin piano is built with our exclusive Wessell, Nickel & Gross Composite actions. Made to last, our state-of-the-art actions have three times the lifespan of wooden actions and achieve a consistent touch, feel, and volume across the entire piano.
Every Wessell, Nickel & Gross action uses hard brushings, which, unlike felt bushings, do not change in size with humidity, and are completely impervious to moisture. This departure from felt ensures that your piano will have a consistent touch and feel year-round, substantially reducing the cost and headache of maintenance and regulation.
Epoxy Carbon Fiber Shanks
Wood strength even in a single set of wooden shanks can vary greatly in performance, producing notes that are louder than others. Our epoxy carbon fiber shanks completely eliminate this issue of sound variation. They are precisely manufactured and controlled, ensuring consistent volume across the entire piano.
At any given moment, a piano plate under 40-60 thousand pounds of pressure from its strings, which are trying to pull in on themselves. Needless to say this amount is not insignificant, and a plate must be expertly designed and crafted to be able to withstand this extrraordinary level of force. Mason & Hamlin’s plates are just that – incredible unyielding and stiff, beginning with their Gray Iron construction which is cast in green sand.
Full Perimeter Plate
Gray Iron’s stout capabilities are maximized through our plate’s think webbing and full-perimeter design, making Mason & Hamlin’s plate the sturdiest and thickest in the industry. Combined with our 18-Ply Hard Rock Maple rim, Mason & Hamlin’s Full-Perimeter Plate more effectively reflects energy back onto the soundboard, resulting in increased volume and sustain of our trademark bell-like treble and thunderous bass.
One of the most distincitve and iconic features of a Mason & Hamlin is the Tension Resonator. This ingenious device was created in 1900 by Richard Gertz and ensures that every measurement and dimension of the piano remains unchanged – maintaining the crown of the sounboard through the passing of time. The inclusion of a Tension Resonator preserves the piano’s vibrancy, voice, and tone for generations to come, transformin it from an exceptional instrument into a treasured heirloom.
Wessell, Nickel & Gross Action Parts
From its inception, Mason & Hamlin has had a rich history of innovation and an emphasis on longevity in its pianos. Nowhere is this more apparent than the inclusion of the Tension Resonator and Wessell, Nickel & Gross action parts. Beyond including Wessell, Nickel & Gross’ revolutionary composite actions in every piano, Mason & Hamlin also uses their anodized aluminum balance rail pins, keypins, and capstans, ensure that each piano will perform to their highest potential while requiring minimum of maintenance.
Mason & Hamlin build its bridges using continuous lamination of quarter-sawn Hard Rock Maple, which ensures that splitting or cracking does not occur near the bridge pins. This is the most efficient, uncompromising method to transfer sound energy from the strings to the soundboard, ensuring a full, robust sound that is inspirational to the pianist. Once the bridge is pressed and constructed, it is expertly hand-notched by one of Mason & Hamlin’s most highly-skilled craftsmen and ready for stringing.
For over 100 years, Mason & Hamlin pinblocks have been carefully crafted with the highest-grade quarter-sawn Hard Rock Maple – creating an excellent foundation for the tuning pins. We begin our process by pressing seven lamination together and carefully drying the block to an exact 6% humidity, which is then sprayed with a clear coat of polyurethane finish to lock out unwanted moisture. This produces an exceptional pinblock that keeps its tuning pins snug, yet allows the tuner to turn smoothly
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