The posters on this thread who said that you should be trying to find a piano you like ... are correct IMO.
This BB clearly is that piano.
But he's said many times on many threads that he doesn't like the piano as is. He's made it clear that he wouldn't be satisfied with the piano unless ome change in the tone could be accomplished.
You're misquoting me. I said range of tonal colours, not tone. I like the tone. I wanted more range.
In any case, here's the update:
I bought the piano.
After listening to the recordings I'd made on three different occasions multiples of times, I've become more familiar with what this piano 'should' sound like. The tonal range, to my ears seems quite linear compared to other pianos, but not plain or restricted. At first, I thought that something was missing in the sound, but realized it simply was a different tone than I'm used to. I also realized that in comparing this BB to all other pianos I've auditioned is that every other piano was much brighter, and so they all had more presence in the recordings.
And frankly, I'm happy with the tone. Not because I have to be. I could have walked away from the deal. But, let me say, that I was really needing a tech to come look at this piano and give his opinion. So, that's indeed what happened tonight.
The tech I chose had tuned my Shigeru twice in the past, and has worked on a number of Masons in town. He's told me before that he doesn't really like Masons too much, and when I originally told him I sold my Shigeru to perhaps get a Mason he was quite surprised.
In any case, I wanted him to check out the Mason BB that I'd been asking about the hammers on, etc, etc.
He came, inspected everything--spending over two and a half hours with me, and he also played the piano to hear it, had me play it to hear it, and did some minor work on the keybed and other quick fixes. Long story short(er): he really liked the piano. He gave me a list of all the things wrong with it, but assured me they could all be fixed, with the exception of the fallboard that wouldn't close fully. He thought it may have warped over that last 6 years and was a bit worried why that would be so.
He also had no problem with me changing the hammers if I wanted to, and didn't bat an eye when I said I'd get them prehung.
It turns out that he had been a piano rebuilder for 7 years before he decided to tune for a living, and was confident that he could do many things to make this BB sound and feel even better than it does with regulation, hammer shaping and voicing.
All in all, the experience tonight was a very happy one. I thought that I may have found a piano that I'd have to compromise on, but in the end it has turned out even better than I'd expected.
Thank you so much to all the techs that have shared their experience and opinions on this thread. Although it is obvious that there is no consensus among you, it is clear that you are all dedicated professionals trying to help and guide in the best way you know how. Those who said I should address my questions to a local tech were right ( I never doubted that in any case), but the replies on this thread and the number of PM's I received from some individuals that believed that the Mason is a great piano, coupled with my tech who now likes Masons more, helped me with the final decision to purchase.
Now I just need to fit it in the elevator...