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#53902 - 01/22/09 01:08 AM pianodisc retrofit MIDI
kensuguro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 10
Loc: nyc
I'm trying to upgrade my all digital practice situation to a silent piano. I have a yamaha p-250, and use that to trigger software based pianos which sound a lot better than the p-250. So, my "silent" setup is quite good, I just want to get a better action, and preferably play out loud on weekends. I'm in an apartment in nyc.

So, the cheapest and maybe not so perfect silent piano solution I could think of, was to get a used upright (like a U1 or cheaper), and install a pianodisc retrofit MIDI system on it. And I have a few questions.

First of all, does anyone have a ballpark price on the retrofit MIDI system? I guess I need to add a silencer to it as it's not listed. I know a dealer that installs pianodisc systems, so I think the installation will be done fairly well. I found a used silent U1 for $5900, and since normal U1 go around $3500, there's $2400 head room. If the pianodisc system + installation costs less than that, it'd be a better deal.. but the quality of a used normal U1 + retrofit MIDI compared to a silent U1... I'm not too sure.

The other question is, since I already have a very good "silent" digital setup, is it better to just keep that, and just get a normal upright? (the whole "better to not to stick electronics in the piano" debate) Plus, since I won't be installing the retrofit MIDI, I can spend a bit more on the piano itself, like $4k area, and so that may be a better investment in the long run.. dang, if I had all the money to spend... Really jealous of the here who are speaking of their grands, and their "second" uprights... you guys work in finance or something? lol

In the end, I know it's up to me, but it's just nice to ask around.

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#53903 - 01/22/09 02:38 AM Re: pianodisc retrofit MIDI
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Alot of options to choose from. Confusing !The pianodisc tft midi record strip will only give you MIDI OUT so....it can only be used as a controller and not a midi slave (no midi in or thru)as for any piano sequencer playback capabilities. It's probably not a big deal for your application. Personally I would look for a preowned Yamaha Disklavier uprt.(MX100,MX1 or ?and add the mute rail. The uprts are of a 48" uprt. not quite the same quality level as a U1.More like a T121 or ? You get the midi record strip that is superior to both Pianodisc or Pianomation record and you get MIDI IN so you can utilize the acoustic piano as a playback module + the record function of the pedals. Disklavier playback can be a nice feature for recording and transcribing original compositions or ?. You could keep your digital setup and invest in a nice piano. Yamaha has an upgrade box DSR1 which will upgrade older Disklaviers and multi sequencing capabilities which you may or may not want or need. Are you more confused than ever?I think I am \:D
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#53904 - 01/22/09 09:01 AM Re: pianodisc retrofit MIDI
kensuguro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 10
Loc: nyc
ya, what confuses me the most is why there is such an emphasis on playback. Most likely because of the silent piano's share a heritage with player pianos. It seems fun to see the keys move and stuff, but it also adds so much complexity to the setup (and probably cost)... For practice I think one only needs a mute and a way to convert strokes to midi. It's more of a "acoustic that turns into a digital piano with real keybed" rather than a player piano. Do people even use the player functionality? Apart from wowing their friends the first month? (seriously, just curious) I can understand if a studio uses it for recording purposes... but it just seems overkill to as an entertainment gadget.

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#53905 - 01/22/09 12:51 PM Re: pianodisc retrofit MIDI
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
By the time you buy that Yamaha uprt,install the record strip,install the mute rail,move it a couple of times to the shop and back it will be the same $ as the used Disklavier.Also, the older Disklaviers are way newer than you will find as for preowned U1 in the marketplace.If you don't need the expanded capabilities, buy a nicer piano or stick with your digital setup. The Yamaha record/midi strip tracks better than either of the 2 aftermarket strips. Yamaha uses the optic sensor which tracks via the hammer whereas the PNOscan(QRS) optic sensor tracks via the keys I believe. ;\)
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
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#53906 - 01/22/09 04:55 PM Re: pianodisc retrofit MIDI
Steve Jackson Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/02/07
Posts: 634
Loc: Toronto
I'll have to disagree with Pianobroker on the tracking ability of the PNOscan. I find it superior to the others out there as it can pick up the velocity from any point in the downstroke, and thus you can play in the aftertouch on an upright as you would a grand (with good digital piano software like Ivory) so your upright will also play quicker.
I don't know if he's used the PNOscan 2 which is out now or not.
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#53907 - 01/22/09 10:26 PM Re: pianodisc retrofit MIDI
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
Steve,Thanks for the tip on that PNOscan 2 though you know the Yamaha guys will dispute that to the bitter end. \:D
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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#53908 - 01/23/09 12:59 AM Re: pianodisc retrofit MIDI
kensuguro Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 01/21/09
Posts: 10
Loc: nyc
same deal for me I think.. I don't think there are any PNOscan dealers around me (that I could find on google), and I still need to get a mute installed too.. It seems safer for me to find a locally well supported solution, which seems to be the silent U3 or U1 at the moment.

What the heck happened to Moog's piano bar btw? I remember it being a big deal when it came out, but doesn't seem too popular on this forum?

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#53909 - 01/23/09 03:27 AM Re: pianodisc retrofit MIDI
CTPianotech Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/06/06
Posts: 1473
Loc: CT
A couple users on this board have one and are satisfied with it. ejsauter is one I believe.

You would still have to find a way to mute the piano though. Instead of using google to look for installers of PNOscan, or Pianodiscs tft strip, you may have better luck calling QRS or Pianodisc for recommendations.

Fairly recently, I QRS started making their PNOscan a standard feature on all of their Story and Clark pianos. The only thing you might have to add is the mute-rail. It may be worth testing if there's a dealer nearby.

Kawai's 'Anytime' pianos worked pretty good as well.
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Rich Lindahl
Piano Restorations in Central CT
D-C installations, Player-Piano installations/service
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#53910 - 01/23/09 11:54 AM Re: pianodisc retrofit MIDI
pianobroker Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/14/07
Posts: 4309
Loc: North Hollywood CA.
_________________________
www.pastperfectpiano.com
Largest selection in the USA
100+Steinway and M&H grands
Warehouse showroom Onsite Restoration
Preowned & Restored
Hailun dlr.818-255-3145
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z8RvhXGKzY
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Voo0zumHGgE

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