[SOLVED!] Mason and Hamlin vs Steinway – A detailed guide to choose the best piano


If you are an active musician or an avid follower of music, then, you must have put your hands on to the piano at some point in your life. It will be very appropriate to say that piano is one of the most exquisite musical instruments and is extremely utilised in concerts and other functions, such as operas. So, in this article, we will be discussing the rivalry between two of the biggest piano manufacturing companies in the entire world, the Mason and Hamlin vs Steinway pianos.

Which one to choose, a Mason & Hamlin or a Steinway?

If you want to compare between two of the biggest names in the piano industry, you’ll have to put in all your focus on various important factors, such as tone, soundboard, quality of the wood and others. Basically, most of the preferences depend upon the customer’s taste. Both the Steinway as well as the Mason & Hamlin pianos are the best in the business and have been praised for their quality, durability as well as being of the highest calibre for many years down the road.

However, if you prefer a high tension string sound and some critical innovations, such as the Crown retention system and adjustable aliquots, the Mason & Hamlin piano is the best for you. Apart from these features, the Mason & Hamlin pianos also feature robust construction and have extra durability as compared to the Steinway pianos. But, one aspect which makes the Mason & Hamlin pianos step back a little is that it has a wide-end tail as well as an expanded soundboard, which requires extensive expertise and room space and hence, it is very difficult for the beginners to master on a Mason & Hamlin piano.

On the other hand, if you are a beginner and want to learn the basics of the piano, the Steinway pianos are the best for you. Apart from being very simple in construction and usability, the Steinway pianos are the most popular across the country and have been incorporated into various music schools and universities. So, it is very easy to learn and along with the low tension string system, you are sure to have very clear and high-end music.

What has made Mason & Hamlin so famous?

Founded in the mid-1800s by two well-known musicians Emmons Hamlin and Henry Mason, the Mason & Hamlin pianos are truly an American legend. Well, Henry Mason was a renowned businessman and an avid musician in his leisure time and his partner, Emmons Hamlin was a creator who was indulged in working with various reed organs. Right from their inception, the Mason & Hamlin pianos became one of the most preferred pianos in the American history and soon became one of the most popular and prestigious piano manufacturing companies in the United States of America.

Speaking about the qualities which have made the Mason & Hamlin so popular among the masses, these pianos have a few features which have been common throughout the lanes of history as the years have gone by. Basically, most of the Mason & Hamlin pianos feature a broad designed tail, which gives it an exquisite and luxurious look. Apart from this, these pianos also incorporate an extremely wide and heavy rim made up of Maple wood, a long parameter designed plate, an extremely solid built soundboard system and a 12 point pin block made up of Maplewood. Keeping all these aside, the one most important feature which has made the Mason & Hamlin pianos a household name is that of the highly advanced string tension regulator and the Crown Retention System.

Why is Steinway Pianos so popular?

Well, although the Mason & Hamlin pianos are the finest breed of American pianos, yet, the Steinway pianos are the ones which have made their name throughout the world and is one of the most popular and highest sold American pianos. According to the statistics, the Steinway pianos are the ones which are preferred over any other brand and have been extensively used in various music schools and open concerts. So, it can be extremely appropriate to say that the Steinway pianos are the Rolls-Royce among the other varieties of pianos available in the market and consequently, you can verify this by watching the price tag of each Steinway piano, which can start from $40,000 and may rise up to $170,000. 

There are various reasons because of which Steinway has become the name of the household. Firstly, it is because of its unique sound and quality and secondly, it is because of its extremely active marketing strategy. If you ever happen to attend a concert or any other function, it is absolutely 100% probable that you will find a Steinway piano in the podium. This is because the makers of these pianos have marketed them in such a way that each and every artist has got their hands on a Steinway. Apart from this, the company has also contributed numerous units of pianos to artists and various music schools to make them the name of the household.

However, apart from these, there is another factor which has made the Steinway pianos the product and brand it is today. This innovation was regarding the soundboard and the string tension of the instrument. Basically, while on one hand, the Mason & Hamlin used higher tension strings, on the other hand, the Steinway pianos incorporated their patented lower tension strings in the soundboard, which successfully created some of the best and warmest sounds.


So, be it a Mason & Hamlin or a Steinway piano, it is solely dependent upon the buyer’s demands and aspirations which decide which is the better one. Both of these pianos have different qualities and disadvantages and it is your responsibility to understand what you need out of a piano before buying one. Thus, it is advised that you should discuss this matter with an expert and consider various factors before buying a piano, such as the price, equality, durability, and sound quality.