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MMD > Archives > February 2004 > 2004.02.22 > 11Prev  Next

Retrofit Solenoid Actions for Old Player Pianos
By Peter Phillips

In response to the question by Artis Wodehouse, 040214 MMDigest:

> I'm searching for any information about currently available solenoid
> retrofits that can be installed in a player piano, and any impressions
> regarding the success of this method for capturing accurate MIDI data.

There are two retrofit solenoid player systems currently available:
PianoDisc and Pianomation.  But I read from the posting that the
important issue is not so much the player action, but the recording

PianoDisc sells its system with the option of a record strip, meaning
you can have a PianoDisc (PD) with, or without a recording facility.
I am not sure about the Pianomation system.  The quality of the PD
recording system is not as good as that in the Disklavier, but can
still produce very acceptable results.

So my point is, perhaps all you need is a recording system.  As
I recall, some time ago Artis produced a disk for the Disklavier of
Gershwin piano recordings from piano rolls, so perhaps there is more
in the offing?

I suggest perhaps a visit to a PianoDisc dealer, where you could see
if the recording capability is suitable.  If so, it might be possible
to purchase the recording strip and associated electronics without the
expense of buying the whole system.  The strip fits under the keys,
and has piezo-electronic "fingers" that convert key velocity to an
electrical value.  It's simple yet effective.

Peter Phillips

(Message sent Sun 22 Feb 2004, 09:56:15 GMT, from time zone GMT+1100.)

Key Words in Subject:  Actions, Old, Pianos, Player, Retrofit, Solenoid

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