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MMD > Archives > March 2001 > 2001.03.05 > 05Prev  Next

Demise of the Player Piano
By Richard Stibbons

Recent comments have arisen about the current 'fair sales' enjoyed by
solenoid pianos.  I'm no fan of these, even though I own one, but it's
worth pointing out that Yamaha have already manufactured in excess of
150,000 Disklaviers.  I recall being told that the total number of
reproducing pianos of all types never topped the 10,000 mark.  No doubt
someone will put me right on that figure.  I gather from people 'in the
know' that Yamaha's music division is actually being held afloat by
Disklavier sales.  Real 'self playing' pianos are clearly not a thing
of the past.

It's interesting to compare relative prices.  Over here in the UK, an
average reproducing piano bought in the 1920's would cost roughly the
equivalent of a good family home.  Disklaviers, although costly, are
nowhere near that level in modern terms, a typical new grand costing
approximately the same as a luxury family car.

Having a foot in both camps, it amuses me to compare the owners.  By
and large, player piano folk are an agreeable bunch and I enjoy their
company much more than that of Disklavier owners.  Considering
reproducing pianos cost about ten times as much, I dread to think what
their original owners were like !

Richard Stibbons
Cromer, Norfolk

(Message sent Mon 5 Mar 2001, 09:47:41 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Demise, Piano, Player

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