Bruce Clark did a great job on his post. Mike Ryan also did a very
good job of defending my incorrect statement. It was far too harsh,
but an emotional reaction to my frustration in being able to locate a
piano I would be happy with.
First, when measured against dirty old money, I cannot have it both
ways. Either I spend the time and/or money to have what I want, or do
without as the real world puts me in my place. And Don Dusenbury has
good thoughts as well.
I think my frustration was borne out of the two Orlando stores that
probably sell pianos at a higher markup than other areas of the
country. A 4'-8" PianoDisc could be had for around $13K and then we
jumped to around $19K for slightly longer pianos. Then a big jump to
the Yamahas starting with a 5'-0" at $43K ranging up to $98K, for a
6'-2". I visited each store multiple times.
It simply was a matter of price versus the cost of restoring another
pneumatic player. Since I have burned my bridge somewhat by selling
my roll collection on eBay, the solenoid system seemed like something
I might try.
I did yesterday, purchase an unrestored pre-1900 9' Weber Grand. It
has a modern action and is overstrung. I am going to cut a slot for
a player under the keyboard as I restore it, just in case.
I owned a 6'-5" version of this piano and sold it about 5 years ago.
It was the best sounding piano I ever owned and I had installed a
scratch built 88-note player in it. Other than the roll frame from an
old upright, the bleeds and some valve parts, everything was built from
scratch. The automatic reroll device sure was a lot of fun to build as
one has to turn off the stack and when doing this sort of thing from
scratch placement of the devices and linkage has to be well thought out!