PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7

Posted by: dontburntheday

PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 10:21 AM

I am in the process of a purchase decision for a Pianodisc installation on our Weber baby grand.

We have seen both the 228 and the Opus 7. My wife is the player who also wants to record, and I'm the gadget freak. We have researched both options and I very interested in the network capabilities of interfacing the piano with our Smarthome system. She likes the Opus's abilities to store additional recordings inside the piano, rather than juggling cd's or floppy's.

We have heard that the sound quality from either is identical, with the Opus having more features.

The 228 has more options of what to include/exclude like the mute bar, the symphony chip, etc. My wife has no interest in making the piano sound like a different instrument (thus why she has the piano) \:D So no need for the symphony chip.

The Opus basically comes with everything as a package, can't delete the mute bar even if you don't need/want it.

We are leaning towards the Opus 7, but seeing that it's the price of a small car, I figured I'd bounce some questions off this knowledgeable forum.

My questions are..

What are the best prices one can achieve with each scenario? We are getting prices in the 1900 (USD) range (with tax and without the touch pad) for the Opus 7 installed.

What are the product line benefits of shelling out 3-8K more for the Opus vs. comparable 228?

How fixed are the prices on these systems, what level of price competition is there between dealers? I've heard rumors of being able to negotiate 20-30% off retail.

Thanks in advance for your advice, it is greatly appreciated and sorry for the long post.

Regards,

dontburntheday
Posted by: enlitened

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 10:52 AM

The main reason the Opus 7 is so expensive comes down to the amount of money Piano Disc has/had coming in.

Since Piano Disc purchased Mason & Hamilon there wholesale price has raised a good amount. Then the Opus 7 was released, incredible amount of money!

Mason has lowered profits so there is less money being spent on technology. The system is not nearly as good as it could have been, or even close to being as advanced as the new Disklavier.

One point is the record feature. Pianodisc has a "strip" that goes under the keys with a censor for each note. They say the strip has "virtualy" no feeling or interferance with playing...this means it DOES get in the way of playing. Yamaha uses fiber-optic beams inside the piano...little lazers don't get in the way of playing.

If you get a chance go look at the Mark IV Disklavier. Maybe you can trade your webber for a new Yamaha Mark IV?

With that said I expect all kinds of Yamaha-bashers to start making there rude little comments.
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 11:11 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dontburntheday:
What are the best prices one can achieve with each scenario? We are getting prices in the 1900 (USD) range (with tax and without the touch pad) for the Opus 7 installed.[/b]
I think you are missing a digit there

 Quote:
Originally posted by dontburntheday:
What are the product line benefits of shelling out 3-8K more for the Opus vs. comparable 228?
[/b]

You know the answer to this question. I would suggest deciding if the following is important to you:
- Storing all the music (CD & Floppy) ipod style is important to you.
- Recording performances of others
- Practicing with headphones so nobody can hear you
- Downloading Pianodisc music off their internet website

If none of these feature appeal to you, then you could get a basic PDS228+ and be perfectly satisfied.

 Quote:
Originally posted by dontburntheday:
How fixed are the prices on these systems, what level of price competition is there between dealers?[/b]
Part of the quality involved in the playback/use of your system will rely on the talent of the installer. if you go with the lowest bidder, you may not be getting everything out of your $$ that you could have.

My experience is that prices aren't that flexible, not to the point of acoustic pianos.
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 11:14 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by enlitened:
The main reason the Opus 7 is so expensive comes down to the amount of money Piano Disc has/had coming in.

Since Piano Disc purchased Mason & Hamilon there wholesale price has raised a good amount. Then the Opus 7 was released, incredible amount of money!

Mason has lowered profits so there is less money being spent on technology. The system is not nearly as good as it could have been, or even close to being as advanced as the new Disklavier.

One point is the record feature. Pianodisc has a "strip" that goes under the keys with a censor for each note. They say the strip has "virtualy" no feeling or interferance with playing...this means it DOES get in the way of playing. Yamaha uses fiber-optic beams inside the piano...little lazers don't get in the way of playing.[/b]
I read, re-read, and re-re-read Donburntheday's post, and I was unable to see where he asked about Pianodisc's financial stability, company history, or their motive for their pricing structure as compared to the Yamaha DIsklavier.

There is a time and a place for everything, enlitened, and you need a new watch.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 12:32 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Angeleno Jazzer:
[QUOTE]You know the answer to this question. I would suggest deciding if the following is important to you:
- Storing all the music (CD & Floppy) ipod style is important to you.
- Recording performances of others
- Practicing with headphones so nobody can hear you
- Downloading Pianodisc music off their internet website

If none of these feature appeal to you, then you could get a basic PDS228+ and be perfectly satisfied.

[/b]
I thought that all of the features listed above could be done with a PDS228SR+ with Quiet-time. It would be much less expensive than the Opus 7.
Posted by: dontburntheday

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 01:31 PM

Thanks for your responses,

 Quote:
quote:Originally posted by dontburntheday:
What are the best prices one can achieve with each scenario? We are getting prices in the 1900 (USD) range (with tax and without the touch pad) for the Opus 7 installed.

I think you are missing a digit there
Yes, I was missing a zero: $19,000 was the price for the Opus 7 with tax, pickup, delivery and no touchpad.

 Quote:
If you get a chance go look at the Mark IV Disklavier. Maybe you can trade your webber for a new Yamaha Mark IV?
Does Yamaha make a queen anne style leg in cherry finish in a 6'1" baby grand? If so, I have not been able to find it. My wife is very attached to her current piano.

What connectivity to smarthome systems does the Mark IV have?

 Quote:
You know the answer to this question. I would suggest deciding if the following is important to you:
- Storing all the music (CD & Floppy) ipod style is important to you.
- Recording performances of others
- Practicing with headphones so nobody can hear you
- Downloading Pianodisc music off their internet website

If none of these feature appeal to you, then you could get a basic PDS228+ and be perfectly satisfied.
Storing the Music is important, using CD's and floppy's is a nuisance.

The ability to record is important.

Using headphones with a silent piano is of no interest.

Downloading music is important.

I believe the 228 can also record, be silent with headphones and use burned CD's downloaded from the internet. So these wouldn't be differentiating features. The biggest difference is that the internal memory is writable, so you load your CD, then put it on the shelf.

With the Opus7 the interface can tie into our home automation system, since it just becomes another IP on our network.

 Quote:
I read, re-read, and re-re-read Donburntheday's post, and I was unable to see where he asked about Pianodisc's financial stability, company history, or their motive for their pricing structure as compared to the Yamaha DIsklavier.
I was not aware of any company history of financial issues at Pianodisc. Are they a publicly heald company?

Are Disklavier's and PianoDiscs the only 2 options for this functionality from an Acoustic Piano? I've heard of SRS, but I've been cautioned against them.

 Quote:
Part of the quality involved in the playback/use of your system will rely on the talent of the installer. if you go with the lowest bidder, you may not be getting everything out of your $$ that you could have.

My experience is that prices aren't that flexible, not to the point of acoustic pianos.
I understand the cost of paying less. I'd rather pay for quality especially given the investment.

Has anyone done a head to head MarkIV vs. Opus7 Comparison?[/b]

Dontburntheday
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 01:44 PM

The only things you can't accomplish with the PDS228+ vs. the opus 7, based on your needs, are the following:

Store CDs on the internal memory
Connect to the internet for music downloads

I am unaware if PianoDisc has set up the infrastructure to sell music online directly to the Opus - when I visited them at NAMM, it was something being considered.

I have played with both the Disklavier MIV and the Opus 7 - given the choice between the two, I wouldn't hesitate to choose the MIV. Sounds like it's not an option for you, and the differences very well may be irrelevent in your case anyhow.

As far as PianoDisc being a publicly held company.. they are not as far as I know. I was responding to a first defensive post by somoene else.
Posted by: dontburntheday

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 01:55 PM

Evidently the DGC1M4 from Yamaha ...

is the only option for a Disklavier system in our price range. Since the 5'3" Queen Anne Yamaha...

is made in the USA, outside of the factory installed Yamaha plant.

Regarding the downloading..
Supposedly based on someone from Pianodisc I spoke to, they are finishing the backend to be able to download directly from their site to the Opus7.
Posted by: Piano Peddler

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 02:02 PM

Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 02:02 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dontburntheday:
Regarding the downloading..
Supposedly based on someone from Pianodisc I spoke to, they are finishing the backend to be able to download directly from their site to the Opus7. [/b]
That's what I was told at the last NAMM show (January '04).

Yamaha isn't much for special orders or fancy cabinets - I will say they make a unique round fluted piano design in a red bubinga that is quite nice - but in a Mark IV it will likely cost a small fortune:

Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/24/04 06:11 PM

Angelino, can't the MX Platinum store CD's and couldn't I download songs from the internet to a floppy and play it on a PDS228SR?
Posted by: dontburntheday

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/26/04 05:56 AM

 Quote:
Angelino, can't the MX Platinum store CD's and couldn't I download songs from the internet to a floppy and play it on a PDS228SR?
I know I'm not Angelino, but based on my understanding even with the MX platinum the memory is not "writable" inside the unit. It simply has more memory and comes with more songs preloaded. If you want to download something from the internet, it must be played directly from floppy or burned CD.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong b/c this is a key differentiator for me with the Opus7.
Posted by: Gene Grant

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/26/04 07:14 AM

Let me start with the disclaimer: I am a dealer for both PianoDisc and Opus7.

I have an Opus7 installed on a Mason & Hamlin BB in our showroom, and last month I installed one on the M&H in my home. I also sell QRS systems, and one of my associates, Barnabas Fekete, is an authority on QRS. However, I do not personally claim expert status.

Steve -- the MX Platinum does not have the ability to store CDS. Only the Opus7 has that capability. The MX Plat can store full symphony arrangements - but only if they are loaded from a floppy. I have loaded CDs into my Opus7, and it plays back fine. The only little issue I have in this regard is that it takes some time to load the CD into memory.

In terms of downloading from the internet, Opus7 does have the capability. At present PianoDisc has a number of selections available to download for Opus7 users. I have played a few songs, and it works well. I do not know the full plans for expanding the online selection, but I expect to learn more at NAMM.

Opus7 uses wireless network technology, and the default configuration is to use an encrypted access point. The player is a little more complex than the 228CFX (because of the touch screen), but my boys (9 & 11) seem to have no problems making it work.
Posted by: Steve Cohen

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/26/04 10:51 AM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dontburntheday:
 Quote:
Angelino, can't the MX Platinum store CD's and couldn't I download songs from the internet to a floppy and play it on a PDS228SR?
I know I'm not Angelino, but based on my understanding even with the MX platinum the memory is not "writable" inside the unit. It simply has more memory and comes with more songs preloaded. If you want to download something from the internet, it must be played directly from floppy or burned CD.


Someone correct me if I'm wrong b/c this is a key differentiator for me with the Opus7. [/b]
On their website PianoDisc Website they state "Add new releases to your MX Platinum library; different formats can be mixed, matched and added to MX Platinum including PianoDisc, Standard MIDI (type 0) and others."

Doesn't this indicate that you can download into MX Platinum?
Posted by: enlitened

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/26/04 01:39 PM

Why is the Opus 7 so much money??
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/26/04 10:44 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by Steve Cohen:
they state "Add new releases to your MX Platinum library; different formats can be mixed, matched and added to MX Platinum including PianoDisc, Standard MIDI (type 0) and others."

Doesn't this indicate that you can download into MX Platinum? [/b]
Steve - MX Platinum is nearly the same thing as MX memory. Both are approximately 30 MB of flash ram dedicated to the storage of standard MIDI files.

You can save standard MIDI files into this memory. Given their average size (70k - 150k per file), this memory can hold a large number of them.

The CDs released for the PianoDisc (CD Symphony, CD Live/Orchestrated) are not standard MIDI files. These are audio recordings. A typical CD will hold up to 700 MB of audio, giving you about 70 minutes of playback time @ 16bit. Obviously nothing other than the opus 7 is capable of storing these, given that the MX chips can't hold this much data.

This is where the Opus 7 hard drive comes in handy (Is it still 40 gig?) - The implemented software program lets you store and organize both CDs and Standard MIDI files. If it is like the Disklavier, it also lets you do custom playlists.
Posted by: dontburntheday

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/27/04 06:40 AM

Angelino,

Thanks for your response about the MX memory.
My next question is this.. We have a media center that manages all our digital media, wav, mp3, wma, midi. On the Pianodisc 228 does it have inputs from another "cd playing" source that would allow the cd's and source media to be sent into it, (such as RCA inputs)???

I'd like to have our media center manage all the digital copies of the media and output that directly into the 228.

Since we already have all the capabilities of 400 gigs of internal storage, playlists, on screen guides, etc. The opus would be redundant for us.
Posted by: Luke's Dad

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/27/04 08:59 AM

dbtd, if you have a media center already hooked up, the option you may want is the Opus Luxury System, which is a little less expensive than the full Opulence sytem. This can give you some of the major benefits of both systems while saving a little bit of money. PM me if you have any questions.
Posted by: Jeff Bauer

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/27/04 08:49 PM

 Quote:
Originally posted by dontburntheday:
On the Pianodisc 228 does it have inputs from another "cd playing" source that would allow the cd's and source media to be sent into it, (such as RCA inputs)???

I'd like to have our media center manage all the digital copies of the media and output that directly into the 228. [/b]
I don't know. I understand what you are asking - you want to store the PianoDisc CDs on your home system, and connect that to the PianoDisc for playback. If you have a clever enough audio guy, perhaps that person can create a custom system, but I would speak with PianoDisc tech support first.

My guess is, any audio inputs the 228+ system will have (I will look at it tomorrow) would function as patch through. In other words, the audio would get directed to the mounted speakers on the piano.

The inputs that connect the actual "brain" of the 228+ to the solenoid system are custom cables (look like MIDI cables) for the PianoDisc. These are the cables that allow the piano to function, and I don't think their is an auxilary imput of any kind on the system that performs that same function.

At the end of the day, you will save more time going with the Opus 7. it's an all integrated system that was designed to work flawlessly and will be under warranty with full tech support. After you finish with trying to integrate the 228+ into your smart home, the $$ and time you spent probably will not be worth the effort vs. just getting the Opus 7.
Posted by: dontburntheday

Re: PianoDisc 228 vs. Opus 7 - 12/28/04 11:47 AM

I have some more information from PianoDisc about the 228. It has a left and right RCA audio input that allows for the input piano disc cd's. This input was meant for consumers who want to hook up a CD changer to their pianodisc rather than juggling CD"s with a single onboard drive. This input is the one I need to feed from my Media center. To the piano, the media center will look like just another CD player, but it's output is tied directly into our media managment system.

I plan to have the pianodisc "brain" mounted with our other audio components and tied into the media center with the cable run through wall jacks (less than 25' away) to the piano.

Now I need to know if I play a straight MIDI file through the media center through the RCA inputs if it will recognize it and interpret correctly, or if I need to run it through the separate MIDI inputs.

The media center can manage MIDI files as well, but I'm not sure about the 228 if it can only read those from the onboard floppy disks.