"I have a Conway piano with an Artrio-Angelus mechanism. The piano
needs to be rebuilt and the man whom I've commissioned is recommending
the removal of the reproducing mechanism, to be replaced by a digital
"I'm torn. The Artrio-Angelus is touchy and requires upkeep that
I've been unable to give it because of cost and distance from the piano
shop. However, I am loathe to destroy the integrity of my piano."
The Artrio Angelus is a rare enough commodity that your technician is
probably trying to pry it away from you so he can put it into his own
piano. If he plans to throw it away he is an idiot. If he is unable
to restore it in a way that precludes the need for him to visit every
few weeks, then you do not want him to do work on any piano.
Once you restore the piano and the player system completely you will
have a trouble free piano that will last 30-50 years. There are
several folks here in this group that will purchase your piano to keep
it whole and you could purchase a new piano for the solenoid player
system. Rolls for the Artrio are hard to get. The disks for the
solenoid player are easy to get. You will be spending $4,000 or more
for your solenoid system. That would restore the piano completely or
do most of the player system to like new condition.
I install the disk players and the Pianomation system is great, but I
have restored the pneumatic systems for over 30 years and there are few
people who know how to restore them correctly. I get to see much of
their work when I have to redo their work. Make sure your technician
is quality before you pay him. Open a restored piano of his. Does it
look like a new one inside? Or does it look old and ratty? Use your
judgment. If it looks old and ratty, it is probably the same inside.
D.L. Bullock St. Louis