> This started with my post a couple weeks ago asking if it is *ever* ok
> to separate a piano from its mechanism. My concern was in regards to
> a Starck I have which is for all practical purposes (in its present
> condition) junk.
I have been rebuilding player pianos for the majority of my adult
life and to date I have found only a handful of straight-line
players that were actually worth rebuilding. Those instruments
all had very recognizable names or very unique qualities. The
value of a totally restored unit has been about half the cost
(or less) of restoration for as long as I can recall.
As I've stated before, the reason people spend thousands of dollars
is because they love the music or have a sentimental attachment
to the unit. Back in 1973, the owner of a large piano house
discovered he could not get his money back when he hired me to
rebuild just the player mechanism of a straight-line player and
I was working for $165/week.
The bottom line is, if it was worth it, retro-fit kits never
would have been invented and Andy Taylor wouldn't be lamenting
over the trade he made for his old Chevy. It never ceases to
amaze me that I am still in business considering my attitude.
It's just my good fortune that there are obviously a lot of
people who have the 'player bug' and the money to enjoy it.
Also consider the fact that a brand new unit is worth about
half the sale price the day it leaves the showroom.
John A. Tuttle