When people think of a great piano most will think of a Steinway piano. However, when purchasing your own great piano for your home; is Steinway the best option? Have you considered other high quality options such as Mason & Hamlin?
Throughout my career I’ve seen and heard a wide variety of pianos, all with good and less good aspects. While Steinway is the name that everyone knows it’s not necessarily the best piano for every situation.
If you were to take a poll you might be surprised by the results; many pianists and amateurs alike prefer the sound of a Mason & Hamlin. They’re known to have a deep and lush tone, a powerful bass and a clearly articulating treble, often referred to as very American and very similar to a Steinway. Yet, it’s important to mention that having your piano voiced and regulated by a fabulous technician, followed by regular maintenance will improve the sound of any instrument, sometimes with near shocking results. Equally important to consider; a piano with a great name but without great care may never again sound as good as it once did, or it’s lesser-known counter parts.
The touch of the keys is another crucial factor when judging pianos. You want the keys to respond easily but with intention. The same way that maintenance improved sound it will also improve the feel of the piano. And, a piano that’s been ignored and fallen into disrepair may never feel the same as it once did, while the potential of a lesser known but better cared for piano will continue to grow.
A Brand You Can Trust
Just because Mason & Hamlin is the lesser known brand don’t be fooled! They are known for creating a quality piano on par with any other. There are reviews out there that will attest to the fact that both brands of piano, with appropriate maintenance, are to be trusted.
Since Steinway has the better name a well taken care of instrument will have a better resale value than a Mason & Hamlin in the same condition. However, you’ll also have to have paid a higher price originally. When all is said and done this is going to be your piano. When your children are practicing after school, or you and your loved ones are crowded around it for a special event, or you’re taking a moment to play your favorite piece you won’t be thinking about the numbers.
Steinway or Mason & Hamlin; you’re choice should come down to what you feel is important to yourself and your family. Be honest with yourself about your priorities, make sure you’re not falling for the brand because of the name, or convincing yourself you can live with something you don’t really love because it’s a little bit cheaper. Sit at the piano, touch the keys, and purchase the one that feels right for you. Your piano will be bringing life and fun and music into your house for years to come, it’s an investment towards the happiness of your family; choose the piano that sounds and feels best and you can’t go wrong!
How did you and your family choose their piano? We’d love to hear about it in our comments section!