Built to last, the Model 50 can withstand years of strenuous use while retaining its beautiful, strong, and distinct tone and sound. The Model 50 is handcrafted to perfection, utilizing only the finest materials to create unparalleled power and clarity not found in other upright pianos—making it the best value and sound in its class. The Model 50 sets a high standard that piano players around the world have come to trust for performance, and is perfect for professional use in schools, churches, as well as other institutions, and for anyone one who requires grand piano characteristics in a compact vertical size.
HARD ROCK MAPLE BACK AND SIDES
Material choice is extremely important when constructing a piano’s foundation. Richard Gertz specifically chose Hard Rock Maple for the Mason & Hamlin rim, and the Model 50 continues this tradition by using Hard Rock Maple for its back and sides. 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 gives 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 our Multi-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 bushings, 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.
SAND-CAST GRAY IRON
At any given moment, a piano plate is 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 extraordinary level of force. Mason & Hamlin’s plates are just that—incredibly unyielding and stiff, beginning with their Gray Iron construction which is cast in green sand.
Gray Iron’s stout capabilities are maximized through our plate’s thick 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 distinctive 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 soundboard through the passing of time. The inclusion of a Tension Resonator preserves the piano’s vibrancy, voice, and tone for generations to come, transforming 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, key pins, and capstans, ensuring that each piano will perform to their highest potential while requiring the minimum of maintenance.
Mason & Hamlin builds its bridges using continuous laminations 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 laminations 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 them smoothly.
Model 50 Specifications:
Rim: Hard Rock Maple
Rim Thickness:3.5in (8.89cm)
Plate: Sand Cast Gray Iron, Full Perimeter
Soundboard: White Spruce