A couple of years ago I spent an hour or two playing a very small Yamaha silent baby grand at Pianos Hamm
on the Left Bank of the Seine. The very charming saleswoman spent a lot of time looking for the headphones and pre-amp, so I had to play it in its silent mode for a while -- but when we started chatting, I unplugged the headphones so I could demonstrate it. She asked me to play it out loud for the rest of the time I was there.
I was quite impressed with such a short instrument's sound as an acoustic piano, and I thought the silent system worked great. It was a blast having my own Piano Shop on the Left Bank
experience. Pianos Hamm was nothing like the charming shop described in the book (and my technician doubts that shop actually exists -- does anyone know?), but it was a great place to pass a couple of hours in Paris. Verticals were moving in and out every few minutes, demonstrating that the piano rental business at least was doing well.
Pianos Hamm has a much larger shop in the 15th arrondissement which I also visited. I played a Shigeru Kawai there but didn't realize I was interfering with a paying studio-renter's practice session, so that left more embarrassing than happy memories. In my defense, the clerk led me to piano and never asked me to stop, and I played quietly -- but the manager was upset when he came in later.