Questions about player pianos (old and new)

Posted by: Ayesha

Questions about player pianos (old and new) - 03/10/07 04:20 PM

Hello all, I am new to these forums. I have always wanted to own a player piano and finally have the space to do so. I've been doing a lot of reading on both antique and new players, however, I'm having a hard time figuring out what type of instrument is best for my needs. I'm hoping that I can get some recommendations from you all that will point me in the right direction.

First off, I have to admit that I do not play the piano. I sing, so I can read music and pick out a tune, but I don't have the ability to play in any meaningful way. I would like a player piano to use for accompaniment, and for music at parties, etc. This also means that I don't have a highly developed musical ear as far as differences between pianos, etc. I'm looking for something that is for fun vs. professional use.

I don't have room for a grand piano, so an upright is a must. I really like the systems that use CDs, as I am handy with computers and would enjoy finding more songs online, creating new ones etc. However, I've found it difficult to find uprights with this type of system; am I just not looking in the right places?

I am open to a digital piano, but it must have a player system with moving keys. It would be nice to have a lighter-weight instrument that doesn't need tuning! Again, though, my search thus far hasn't yielded any digital uprights with moving keys.

I'm also not opposed to a player that takes rolls; they are so beautiful and it would feel like an honor to own one. However, I am nervous about the maintenance of it. Do they tend to break down a lot? Is it hard to change the rolls, and to get new ones?

And finally, I have cost to consider. I am on a bit of a budget, and would ideally like to spend no more than $5000. I'm certainly open to used systems.

Any advice on what type of system would be best for me, and where to find it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Posted by: Grandpianoman

Re: Questions about player pianos (old and new) - 03/11/07 12:30 AM

Hello Ayesha, and welcome to the PW forum.

With a $5000 budget, I would suggest a used upright Disklavier. Check on Ebay, www.pianomart.com, and www.rickjonespiano.com You might be able to find one for that price. Another possibility is to look for a used digital Disklavier, DGT2IIXG. If you can find a used one, they should be around 5K or a bit more.

The roll playing pianos are sometimes a problem, especially if they have never been rebuilt. Finding one that has been rebuilt properly is a must and for 5K, that might be tough. You can also add a recording strip to a roll playing piano, www.midi9.com but it would not be able to play the file back like a Disklavier or digital Disklavier would. Hope that helps. \:\)