In yesterday's MMDigest, Steve Marx suggests opening up a discussion
about paper roll playing pianos vs. disk playing pianos. Since the
editor of the Digest agreed to publish Steve's remarks, we can assume
that the editorial staff of MMD is in favor of such a discussion.
I personally welcome such a discussion and I hope to make a small
contribution to it with my remarks here.
If we are to compare and contrast pneumatic (paper-roll-playing) pianos
with solenoid (disk-playing) pianos we must first separate the latter
into two distinct groups -- in other words, all solenoid pianos are not
created equal. The best description of the situation is given by Larry
Fine in his new book, "Acoustic and Digital Piano Buyer," just out.
On page 133 Mr. Fine says:
"The player systems currently on the market can be described as
falling into two categories: those intended primarily as home
entertainment systems or for lighter professional use (including
commercial use in restaurants, hotels, etc.), and those whose
playback and recording functions are of 'audiophile' quality and are
intended for the most discriminating or high-level professional users.
Generally speaking, the first category includes systems by PianoDisc,
Pianoforce, QRS, and most Yamaha Disklaviers; the second category
includes the Bösendorfer CEUS, Live Performance, and Disklavier Pro
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