The latter half of the 19th Century was replete with expositions in which the top piano manufacturers showed off the fruits of their ingenuity and craftsmanship, and panels of experts judged the qualities of the pianos. During the 20th Century, as piano production declined, the piano makers’ piano expositions and competitions ended. Unfortunately, this left a major void with regard to useful information for the consumer about the relative qualities of pianos.
In the spirit of filling at least some of this void, in 2002, we conducted a scientifically run study with nearly 300 highly qualified and accomplished pianists to evaluate, side by side, the best of America’s new concert pianos, the new Steinway ‘B’ and the new Mason & Hamlin ‘BB’ (the seven-foot grands).
The pianos were rated by the pianists for (i) touch, (ii) tone, and (iii) overall quality. The pianists also indicated what they thought the results of the study would be (and the pianists that most accurately predicted the outcomes won prizes including a prize of the new Mason BB).
The Evaluation Results
Once the data from the evaluation forms was tabulated, the results were clear:
Click here to review the detailed results.
The piano evaluation was a success. Not only did the pianists enjoy participating in our comparative study, but valuable information was produced, surprising many of the pianists as well as the broader performance community. The new Mason & Hamlin concert grand piano was rated equally or better than the new Steinway. But more impressively, a new Mason & Hamlin costs about 50% of the price of a new Steinway. In this regard, the Mason is the true winner. This is the type of value proposition we are pleased to offer our clients.
|Delta Sum Score||Rank||Name||Category|
|First Prize Winner:||0.64||1||Roger Peltzman||Overall Quality|
|Second Prize Winner:||0.30||1||Jeffrey Klitz||Tone Quality|
|Third Prize Winner:||0.59||1||Jerry Wong||Touch Quality|
|52 Fourth Prize Winners:||0.96||2||Pete Maliverni||Overall Quality|
|4.93||22||J. Wendell Smith|
|6.67||46||Linda Gerson (Hall)|