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#2165693 - 10/13/13 03:06 PM Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system?
petquality Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 4
Hi all,

I'm new to the forum and am in the process of shopping for a piano.

I came across a nice German grand recently that had a Pianodisc system installed aftermarket (meaning, not by the factory). Since it uses a 3.5" floppy I assume it dates back to the 90s.

The piano itself is nice but I have a very low opinion of automated playing systems - for practical as well as aesthetic reasons.

So I'm trying to determine if it's at all feasible to remove one of these, and if so how big of a problem is it likely to be to return the piano to its original playing condition. I accept that there'd be holes left over from the installation, and I can live with that so long as the piano could be brought back to its original playing condition without moving heaven and earth to do it.

I searched for threads on removing Pianodisc systems but came up with very little.

Can anyone weigh in on this?

Thanks!

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#2165729 - 10/13/13 04:51 PM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: petquality]
Gene Nelson Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/10/04
Posts: 1429
Loc: Old Hangtown California
The piano, with the Piano Disk system installed is fully capable of being brought back to its original playing condition.
The system is an asset and you may consider just removing the control interface box - it unplugs and there are only a few screws securing it to the key=bed - this is about all of the system that is visible unless you look under the keyed at the solenoid cover plate, or if there may be speakers as well. If you change your mind later or want to resell the piano it will add to its value - and they can be upgraded to the more modern controls.

Much easier to remove than to install.

You will have a big hole in the key-bed that will not hurt anything and possibly a notch in each front leg.

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#2165731 - 10/13/13 04:52 PM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: petquality]
musicbased Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/23/12
Posts: 97
Loc: UK
Hello,

Yes it's not very hard to remove the system really. However,you may have to continue to use the new sustain pedal trapwork that would have been installed, but thats not really an issue (assuming it works ok!).Unless you want to try and source an original one or make another one..
You will be left with quite a big slot cut out underneath,from where the solenoids went up into the keybed, and the new sustain pedal movement arm would look slightly unusual, as is 'U' shaped to go over the black cover and up again to the lyre and would sort of be U shaped for no reason anymore!
Depending on how well it was installed, there is hopefully some dags at the back of the keybed to stop the action going back to far, but again, if not, it's not a big deal to sort out.
In theory, removing it shouldn't actually affect anything as it is now, but whether anything was affected when it was originally installed is a different matter..keyframe bedding etc. Thats would be the main concern.

I've also seen solenoid rails installed too high so the keys were actually resting on them at the back, and then the keys had been re levelled and action re regulated to compensate!- Lowering the rails to the proper height resulted in a lot of work, but nothing too major.

It's pretty hard to know for sure, but i'd say it should be ok!
_________________________
Technician UK
www.soundcloud.com/musicfield

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#2165891 - 10/14/13 03:24 AM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: petquality]
Olek Online   content
6000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/14/08
Posts: 6337
Loc: France
I agree, the installation must have been more or less invasive.

I heard of suppression of una corda pedal mechanism, too.

In the end I had to suppress only "Silent" mechanisms from vertical pianos.

But this was done on factory installed ones, because the pianist noticed how all the initial regulation and voicing had been done with the silent system slightly different playing behavior in mind.

Just putting the system off was not enough in that (different) case.

Sorry this is OT
_________________________
Isaac OLEG - http://picasaweb.google.fr/PianoOleg pro

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#2165895 - 10/14/13 03:51 AM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: petquality]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
These systems completely destroy the geometry and feel of the pedals. ( those that remain in working order.

In America, These aftermarket things were sometimes fitted by some kinda handyman who knows nothing about pianos otherwise. (I know nothing of this particular market elsewhere)

Yes, it is possible for a competent tech to restore or get close to the feel and sound of the original piano.

The only way to restore the feel of the pedals is to remove the unit behind the lyre and somehow find some decent or original trap work and put that on instead of the aluminium flexible stock it has been supplanted by.

A visit to a large dealership may have a room out the back where these operations are performed. Follow the sound of the ripsaw. (I have seen them rip into the damper underlevers. All for the want of appropriate blade height).
They may have a pile of perfectly good trap work unceremoniously tossed in a corner somewheres that might fit your piano. A visit round the back to their dumpster might prove lucky.
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2165946 - 10/14/13 08:47 AM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: petquality]
Nash. Piano Rescue Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/08/09
Posts: 380
Loc: East Nashville,TN Scottsville...
An Alternative option is those hideous floppy disc and CD drives can be updated to the IQ system then the huge box you see is replaced with a tiny box that can be hidden from view. Music is then stored on an I pod or I phone.
_________________________
J. Christie
Nashville Piano Rescue
www.NashvillePianoRescue.com
East Nashville
Bowling Green, KY
Scottsville KY.
Chamber of Commerce
Member/Sponsor

Putting inspiration in the hands of area musicians
Through restoration/renovation

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#2166017 - 10/14/13 11:23 AM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: rxd]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Fortunately, the LX system does not alter the trapwork.

http://live-performance.com/whylx.html

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#2166074 - 10/14/13 01:25 PM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: Grandpianoman]
rxd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 1680
Loc: London, England
Originally Posted By: Grandpianoman
Fortunately, the LX system does not alter the trapwork.

http://live-performance.com/whylx.html


So what I said about possible sources of original style trapwork no longer applies if there is no longer any requirement that it be removed?
_________________________
Concert & Recording tuner-tech, London, England.
"in theory, practice and theory are the same thing. In practice, they're not." - Lawrence P. 'Yogi' Berra.

Eschew obfuscation.



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#2166652 - 10/15/13 12:23 PM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: rxd]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2244
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Yes, definitely.

I have long been a big fan of the LX system since 2007. I was lucky enough to have the very first one available to the public. It is definitely the best "retro-fittable" kit out there for high definition playback, and the fact that is does not impact the trapwork is a plus. smile

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#2166896 - 10/15/13 10:41 PM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: petquality]
Mark Fontana Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/19/04
Posts: 154
Loc: Minneapolis, MN
In fact, the LX low-profile solenoid rail has proven to be such a good design that both PianoDisc and QRS have introduced their own versions of it during the past year. Things have come a long way since the Pianocorder of the 1980s with its huge 10" tall box hanging beneath the keybed.

I have an LX in my 213cm Schimmel, and the piano isn't compromised at all for manual playing. The sustain, soft and sostenuto pedals all work just fine and use the original trapwork. A proper LX installation employs separate levers for its solenoids to lift the damper rail and shift the keyframe, so the feel of pedaling is not affected.

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#2168413 - 10/19/13 09:03 AM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: Gene Nelson]
Dennis Kelvie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 153
Loc: Caldwell, Idaho
Not always feasable. Granny died, beautiful pearlyriver grand piano with piano disk installed. It was too loud, customer wondered if it could be removed. . .

Problem? Pedal lyre assembly gone. Nobody knows where. Don't want to spend the $$$$ to have pearlyriver&co send them one (piano was 8 years old, no longer in production)

Couldn't help them for the $ they wanted to spend. . . Besides, nobody plays. . .


Edited by Dennis Kelvie (10/19/13 09:04 AM)
_________________________
Dennis C. Kelvie
Piano Tuner/Technician since 1976

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#2169585 - 10/21/13 03:41 PM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: Dennis Kelvie]
petquality Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/11/13
Posts: 4
Originally Posted By: Dennis Kelvie
Problem? Pedal lyre assembly gone. Nobody knows where. Don't want to spend the $$$$ to have pearlyriver&co send them one (piano was 8 years old, no longer in production)


This is my biggest concern. The piano in question was made by a company that's no longer around. So the supply of spare parts is likely to be tight. I don't expect the owners have the original trapwork around, though I plan to inquire.

The price is attractive, so I don't mind spending some $ on replacement parts. But that assumes they're available at all.

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#2169595 - 10/21/13 03:52 PM Re: Is it feasible to remove a Pianodisc system? [Re: petquality]
BDB Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 20746
Loc: Oakland
Talk to a local technician about it, so you will have a realistic estimate of how well the removal will go and how much it will cost, as well as whether the necessary parts will be available.
_________________________
Semipro Tech

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