One among a few options for a new piano for me is a used M&H grand purchased and "fixed" (I am explicitly avoiding the restored, rebuilt etc terms which mean different, very specific things to different people and result in long digressions). Why? I like the sound of M&H very much, but there is no way I can afford a new one, or one already "fixed".
Ideally, I will find one with a good soundboard. Depending on conditions I could have the strings (and at that point perhaps the pinblock and maybe the bridges) replaced. I would almost certainly have the action remade from new WNG parts. I have already spoken with a couple of technicians about it. To "ease" my expenditure, I hope to get the piano first, play "as is" for a while, and then get it improved with time (and savings accumulation). This is just context, and hopefully not subject to discussion.
I have instead many other questions, related to the pianos themselves.
I am looking at available instruments for sale in my area, and for budget and room size I'm restricting the search to models A and AA (most likely of the Golden Era). I have seen a number of these for sale at a price I could afford (they usually disappear pretty quickly). I do know that there are a few different "versions", sometimes referred to with a number such as A4, AA1 etc. However I could not find any information about these variations. Does anybody know anything about these options?
The size difference between the A and AA is small. My preferred volume level is very low. My preferred quality level is very high. Suggestions on which model would be a best fit after the "fix" mentioned above?
Moreover, the current AA is 6'4" and there are a number of AA (of unspecified age, but not modern, based on look and price) which are 6'2". In fact, historic advertising booklets from https://antiquepianoshop.com/online-museum/mason-hamlin/
show a size of around 6'2". Does anybody know when the "switch" happened and have any opinion about this difference in size?
Last, but not least, all the ex-reproducing M&H with Ampico (often removed) that I have seen for sale were RAA of 6'2". Assuming that is not just a coincidence, does it mean that the historic ones were all of that size as the advertising mentioned above suggests? Does anybody have any opinion about using one of these formerly player-pianos instead of a regular one for my purpose? I've heard contrasting opinions ranging from avoid them like the plague to they are just the same instrument.
PS: yes, I know, condition trumps everything, so I will do an inspection when I find a candidate, and talk with my technician (which I am doing and will do more). On the other hand, I also appreciate the collective wisdom of this forum: people replying to this thread may have seen more Golden Era M&H than my two technicians combined. M&H are indeed available here, but not in huge numbers such as the more requested and more traded Steinway and Asian brands