Mason Hamlin VX94 Fallboard


Mason Hamlin NAMM2020 boothIt’s not every day a new concert grand gets unveiled. In my mind, concert grands are the Formula 1 pianos where a company invests the very best in technology, materials and workmanship to present their utmost to the world. This year at the NAMM show (pre-covid in January 2020), I had the opportunity to play the newly released VX-94 concert grand from Mason & Hamlin.

What surprised me about this piano was the response. I guess I was anticipating a beautiful sounding and playing instrument. This piano did, in fact have both of those things in spades but what I was not prepared for was how this redesign is a game changer in the way it reacts to your playing.

Changing Gears For A Moment…
I must say, I have a fascination presently with electric cars. I don’t own one (yet) but the few times I’ve driven them, I’m amazed at the acceleration. I grew up when car transmission was standard. You would shuffle through all of the gears to eventually reach top speed. With the advent of automatic transmission, this maze of mechanical gears did gear changing for you. With electric cars, there is no transmission because the motor is powerful enough to go from dead stop to highway speed in one smooth transition. But what is phenomenal about driving is the lossless transfer of power which presents itself in this incredible burst of energy.

VX-94 Cast Iron Plate

This new concert grand from Mason & Hamlin reminds me of this acceleration. Sporting a new geometrically optimized carbon-fiber action, the speed at which you can transform from a whisper to a growl is unprecedented. That was, (in a good way) shocking to me. Performers are always looking for expressive control. There is a term that you often see in Classical music called subito which, translated means “suddenly”. Music quite often requires a sudden change in dynamics and you need to be able to have the piano respond accordingly. The VX-94 gives the performer this control. I don’t often get shocked when I play different pianos but this piano was so fresh it made me smile. You can easily move rapidly from piano to fortissimo with back to back notes. At the NAMM show, I decided to take it for a spin with one of my jazz favorites by Gershwin called “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”. In the realm of jazz, accented striking notes are part of the fabric of the genre. This concert grand suits this style of playing “to a tee”. And in the Classical world, the ability to make changes at lightening speed is also highly prized. This Mason & Hamlin will surprise you.

Yamaha Promotion
Yamaha Promo
Yamaha Promo
The World's Best Selling Piano

Available in PDF or hard copy delivered to your door. Click here to listen to recordings and preview sheet music.

Piano Music for the Young @ Heart


Quintessentially American

I don’t often talk about stereotypes in piano sound but I will with this one in saying that it is quintessentially American-sounding. In broad brush strokes, I deem European-sounding pianos to be generally softer, rounder and possibly more bell-like. American-sounding pianos to me tend to sound more bold. Several decades ago, the American sounds were formulated by companies like Steinway, Mason & Hamlin, Baldwin and Knabe. In this global economy, many companies have assimilated to reach broader audiences. Not so with this Mason & Hamlin VX-94. It is unique. It is bold. It is exciting to play. It takes me back to a time when you could recognize a piano by its voice. I like that. It’s a statement. It represents intentionality in design. It growls. It gives back the strength in tone that you put into the touch.

As much as I enjoyed the speed of this VX-94, I also appreciated the contrasting colors. It could deliver thunderous sounds but also, it lends itself to really intimate playing. This great expanse in touch allows for incredibly sensitive consistent whispers. You can control a stream of lightly delivered tones with ease. With an ever so slight increase in touch weight, it gives birth to wider expression palette.

If you are considering a piano for a concert venue or educational institution, the VX-94 is worth serious consideration. It’s aesthetically beautiful and delivers a versatile and fresh approach. I suspect this will become a new model for pianos to come from Mason & Hamlin.

Mason Hamlin VX94 Strings
New Re-design Elements

  • Completely new design from engineers and builders at Haverhill, MA factory
  • New scale design which includes cast iron frame
  • New and larger “Capo D’Astro bar” for cleaner, more powerful sound
  • New bridges allowing better tonal integrity and deeper, more resonant sound which includes a separate treble bridge, with non-binding connection to the bass bridge
  • Multi-Radius crowned, tapered ribs that enhance flexibility around the edges of the soundboard resulting in a better sound and vibration of the soundboard
  • New soundboard design which is thicker in the middle, center weighted crown with continuous taper
  • New carbon-fiber action redesign with slightly longer hammer blow distance resulting in slightly heavier touch
  • Bass strings custom by Mapes
  • Hammers custom made by Abel

Mason-Hamlin VX94 Side View

In addition to the traditional line of Mason & Hamlin pianos, they also presented at the NAMM show 2 lines of more affordable Mason & Hamlin pianos called the Artist and Classic series. For more information, visit Mason & Hamlin. On Piano Price Point, we featured their carbon-fiber actions which is also incredibly interesting.


Virtual Piano Trade Show

First Ever Virtual Piano Trade Show

It’s hard to believe that one year ago I was standing in a crowd in the Anaheim Convention Center for the annual NAMM show. It’s where most of the music manufacturers show their wares and latest offerings. Due to the pandemic, the 2021 show was cancelled and so I thought that this would be a great time to adapt and bring about a Virtual Piano Trade Show.In hosting this Virtual Piano Trade Show, it occurred ...
Read More

Kayserburg 3D Printed Grand Piano

It’s obvious that car makers in the 60’s were looking at the birth of air travel as the way of the future. Hood ornaments and emblems were symbols of flight with angelic creatures or airplanes. Tail-lights like jet engines were positioned on top of side “wings” and the trim, made to look aerodynamic. All of this had a purpose of course; it pointed to future thinking, an association with flight. Just as there was a ...
Read More

Mason & Hamlin VX-94 Concert Grand Piano

It’s not every day a new concert grand gets unveiled. In my mind, concert grands are the Formula 1 pianos where a company invests the very best in technology, materials and workmanship to present their utmost to the world. This year at the NAMM show (pre-covid in January 2020), I had the opportunity to play the newly released VX-94 concert grand from Mason & Hamlin. What surprised me about this piano was the response. I ...
Read More

How Old Is Too Old?

Nothing beats a new piano and Piano Price Point is dedicated to delivering the news about the makers of new pianos. But sometimes they are simply unaffordable, inaccessible or possibly even discontinued and so it necessitates buying used. But that begs the question, how old is too old? At what point do pianos no longer function the way they were originally intended? In my lifetime I’ve viewed and played several thousand pianos and as I ...
Read More

Interview with Udo Steingraeber

You don’t need to look at the artist page of Steingraeber Piano for too long before you start to realize that their pianos are highly sought after and prized by world renown pianists. It begs the question, what are they experiencing that compels them to perform on their pianos? What goes into a Steingraeber piano that sets it above others? I had the wonderful opportunity of sitting down with Udo Steingraeber at this last ...
Read More

Public Domain Sheet Music

If there were one word that I would use to describe myself it’s tactile. When I’m not in the garage working on a project, quite often I’m in the kitchen and if I’m not in the kitchen, I’m doing something related to the piano. I suppose that it’s due to the fact that I like to be active and that quite often tactile activities have tangible results. One of my pastimes (I know, it’s a ...
Read More