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MMD > Archives > October 2002 > 2002.10.02 > 09Prev  Next

Piano Without a Player Action Is More Valuable
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  Maybe Don Teach and I should see if we can work out some
details about listing these player actions that he and others don't
want. I get emails on a regular basis asking me where they can find
player actions for their gutted players. So far, keeping an inventory
which includes manufacturer, scale design, asking price, etc., has
proven to be time consuming and unprofitable.

I've stated for years that the quest for returning a gutted player to a
working player is 2-3 times more expensive than starting with a unit
that is intact. So, those who have asked are already aware of the cost
factors involved. If a network of people who own these orphaned player
mechanisms could it all get together, perhaps that cost factor could be
reduced to 1-2 times more expensive, and we'd still make a profit.

Naturally, shipping is always a problem and an expense.  I recently had
a box made for a Duo-Art stack that would insure its safe travel across
the US. The cost was over $300.  Also, when added to the weight of the
stack, the total weight came to over 113 pounds. Point is that some
sort of an arrangement would have to be made such that the buyer could
rent the shipping container and then return it empty.

Here's another twist to this thread. The owner of a piano store called
last month and asked if I'd be interested in buying a few of the
non-working, fully-intact players she has in her store. Like Robbie
indicated in his most recent editorial comment, piano technicians are
often intimidated by the presence of a player mechanism, and she was
having no luck selling the units. I reminded her that underneath every
player piano is a regular piano, and that in a worse case scenario she
could always remove the mechanism and sell the unit as a regular piano.

In my opinion, there is no way an intact player piano can be less
valuable than a gutted unit unless the person selling it makes it sound
less valuable to the customer. And, if the customer really likes the
look of the instrument but is scared off by the presence of the player
mechanism, the mechanism could be removed for a small fee of less than
$50.00. It takes less than 20 minutes to remove all of the major

Although the page has been inactive for some time, I do have a web page
that lists some used parts. For a nominal fee I will act as a broker if
we can figure out some of the other problems like pricing, shipping,
insurance, payment and guarantees. Let us not forget the old saying,
"One man's trash is another man's treasure." And if you don't believe
that, explain to me why every junk yard owner is a rich person!! The
key to the game is keeping good records, establishing a fair pricing
structure and having a network of interested parties.


John A. Tuttle

(Message sent Wed 2 Oct 2002, 14:18:21 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Action, Is, More, Piano, Player, Valuable, Without

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