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Topic Options
#1899392 - 05/18/12 05:28 PM Where to see player pianos play
John V Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/18/12
Posts: 1
So, I have it in my head that I want an entry level antique player piano. (I have a regular upright, but I REALLY want a player). My wife thinks they are creepy. Does anyone know where there are any in North San Diego County (California) (Vista, San Marcos, Oceanside etc) that we could go see play? Maybe in some museum, collection, bar, store etc? I think if she sees one in action she will like it.

BTW, I just found this forum looking for antique players. Great site. Thanks.

If anyone local is looking to get rid of one, let me know too. Thanks.

#1902036 - 05/23/12 07:44 PM Re: Where to see player pianos play [Re: John V]
BDB Online   content
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/07/03
Posts: 23198
Loc: Oakland
Semipro Tech

#2102349 - 06/14/13 08:53 AM Re: Where to see player pianos play [Re: John V]
wouter79 Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/14/10
Posts: 4154
Lots on youtube.

I saw a number of them in the pianola musueum in Amsterdam http://www.pianola.nl. They have both Ampico and Welte-Mignon and give live demonstrations. They have a huge collection of rolls as well and they even looked up and played a roll for me on request smile Also they allowed me to play one myself (pumping with feet and juggling a dial) laugh

#2187675 - 11/24/13 10:35 AM Re: Where to see player pianos play [Re: John V]
turrin150 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/30/05
Posts: 46
Loc: Ridgewood, NJ
You should definitely check out the Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, Ca....near LA.
Fabulous collection of mechanical musical instruments - Ampico reproducing player pianos, theater organ, and one of the best collections of classic
autos anywhere in the US.

#2192545 - 12/04/13 05:29 PM Re: Where to see player pianos play [Re: John V]
Grandpianoman Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/12/05
Posts: 2634
Loc: Portland, Oregon
Coming late to this thread...you might want to consider a modern player system. I have the LX, www.live-performance.com TONS of music, inc player piano rolls, with none of the storage problems. The advantages are numerous over the old player systems. You don't have to deal with rolls, storage of rolls, less mechanical issues to go wrong. OTH, if those issues don't bother you, a good restored player piano is fun, especially if you can manually pump it as well. There is something about watching the paper go over the tracker bar that the modern systems don't give you.

Restored is the operative word...don't by one unless it's been completely restored...that's the safest way to go, and buy it from a well known player piano restorer.

#2207573 - 01/03/14 03:58 PM Re: Where to see player pianos play [Re: John V]
R_B Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/03/09
Posts: 785
Also late to this thread - and I am on the opposite coast anyway.
I suggest you try all your local piano stores, most take trade-ins and among those there are sure to be some "entry level" players.
"Higher market" stores that don't want 1920s musical furniture in their showrooms may send you to wherever they move them out to.

For anyone in metro west Boston area there Bushnell/Moody's in Marlborough.
More or less opposite Home Depot.
Last time I was in there I could have got something reasonable for under $1,000, probably something really NICE for $3K or so.
Me ? Oh, I would LOVE to get into them, but I fear yet another hobby that would escalate to occupy 150% of my time.
Re-buiilding is probably FUN in its own right, but I want to PLAY (-:
The thought of having to work on a pneumatics system ?
Nahh, thanks but no thanks.

I just remembered, Steinert in Boston is the Steinway dealer and they are not above filling their showrooms with what they take in as part-exchange/trade-in.

Edited by R_B (01/03/14 04:13 PM)

#2374663 - 01/17/15 11:10 AM Re: Where to see player pianos play [Re: John V]
Happy Birthday Thomas Williams Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/18/04
Posts: 65
Loc: NJ, USA
There are many mechanical instruments, including player pianos, in the automotive museum at Stone Mountain Park just east of Atlanta, GA. I guess this is late for this thread, but since it has been bumped up, we might as well contribute to the list of places where they can be seen -- maybe others will find it useful, if anyone wants to see them in their region or wherever one may be visiting.

#2446535 - 08/01/15 01:12 PM Re: Where to see player pianos play [Re: Thomas Williams]
mrj_442 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 07/30/15
Posts: 5
If you are near Indiana, you need to go to Columbus, Indiana, to Zaharako's Ice Cream Parlor. They have a beautiful 1908 Welte Orchestrian, fully restored, and a museum that has many restored players, including one from the 1870's. The place is like walking back in time to the turn of the 20th century, with an antique soda fountain and bar, and many historical artifacts. They also have a great sandwich called the Gom, which is like a sloppy joe, only better, and they Gom CheeseBRRgr, which is great! The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but that's fine. It is worth the trip just to here the Welte play...an awesome musical instrument.

Here's the link:

Zaharako's Ice Cream Parlor

BTW, when you visit the page, click on the Play Music button at the top to hear the Welte. It's so cool!

Edited by mrj_442 (08/01/15 01:14 PM)


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