Yesterday Kitty and me, while waking from the Carnegie Hole concert dropped in at Manhattan piano show rooms and played some pianos that we would not see in our provincial Boston. They were big Steinways, Bosendorfers, Steingraeber, Bluethners, vataghe and new, along and many other interesting instruments and we actually did have fin to hear them. I am very much undusted that the walk-in showrooms a pretty much for Morons and those polished and genetically rebuild pianos are glossy wrappers of empty suits. The pianos did sound very ugly in my view. Regardless the price, that were astronomical I did not hear any people that I like. The ugliest of all was 9.5 feet super duper Bosendorfer that sound more like a synthetic harp then a grand piano. For sure in better listening environment any piano might be tuned and voiced to be different but if you sit in a new car at auto dealer and realize that brake does not work then will you care to look for anything further in this car?
There was however something that we did learned. We discovered the Mason-Hamlin pianos. They had a few in there and I very much preferred this sound to anything else they have in there. It was large, it was mellow and not in my face, it was dark but at the same time it has that clarity that I found very attractive. Ironically the Mason-Hamlins are made in … Boston, so we will be looking for some local Mason-Hamlin to try, preferably vintage, to see how they sound and behave.
The reason why I tell this story is not our discovery of Mason-Hamlin but to comply with the subject of this thread: Audio Shopping vs. Piano Shopping. You remember my constant run that in high end audio we pretty much have generic mass-market audio where objectives and reference point of audio listened are not factored in? Well, I was slowly looking for good local piano rebuilder I come across Jim Laleggio from Shirley, Massachusetts. I do not know Jim but he had very stimulating article on his web site. If you replace in his article the phrase “restore piano” to the phase “build audio” then you will get what I uselessly imply:
For sure we do not buy any Mason-Hamlin now and we do not run to Jim Laleggio to voice it. I just bring this illustration as … an illustration.
Romy the Cat
"I wish I could score everything for horns." - Richard Wagner. "Our writing equipment takes part in the forming of our thoughts." - Friedrich Nietzsche