The PianoDisc system is designed to allow installation on any piano, whether it be a retrofit or a factory installation. Unlike other player piano products, which need to be installed in the factory, the PianoDisc system can be installed on an existing piano of any brand. The size of the piano often makes no difference, as PianoDisc systems can be installed on spinet, console, studio, upright, and grand pianos.
If you are looking to upgrade an older piano with the newest in piano technology, a PianoDisc system might be just what you need.
Installing a player piano system is detailed and intricate work, with the preservation of the look and feel of the acoustic instrument of primary importance. An experienced technician can easily accomplish this, but craftsmanship of this level is rare. That’s why we rely on our resident player piano expert. He has been installing player pianos for 35 years, making him one of the most sought after experts anywhere. He will preserve the integrity of the piano's original action, leaving you with an upgrade in function without compromising that familiar feel.
The only true limiting factor in the installation of a PianoDisc system is the condition of the original instrument. Issues that are present prior to installation will likely persist after installation. Issues like sticky or broken keys, poorly maintained hammers, or other damaged parts will not be fixed by a PianoDisc installation. These will require the engagement of a piano technician to fix prior to installation.
Here is an abbreviated outline of the steps:
First, the technician has to bore through the wood that sits beneath the keys, allowing for actuators that will eventually control the keys from below. Though drilling through any part of the frame of a piano can sound risky, an experienced technician will do so with confidence. No turning back now!
The solenoids are the magnetically controlled coils that activate the keys through the application of current. Since a MIDI device drives the current, all the variables of a live performance can be recreated, like dynamics and expressive gestures that are impossible to recreate on digital pianos.
The CPU and key driver boards are mounted inside the piano, allowing them to stay neatly out of the way of the performer while preserving the piano's acoustic look.
Unlike a true acoustic piano, a modern player piano needs to be near an outlet. And unlike the older pneumatic player pianos, which needed foot pumps to provide power in the form of vacuum chambers, the current version requires electrical power. The real benefit of the modern version is the capability of much higher data transfer speeds, which allows for more information to be transmitted to the keys. With this added bonus, a modern player piano can more accurately record and perform dynamics, something that was impossible on older player pianos.
After the PianoDisc system internal components have been installed, it's time to make sure that the piano's action functions just like it did before the installation. A good technician can maintain a piano's feel despite adding extra moving parts to an already complex system. The piano should still be playable at a high level even when not being used as a player piano. Much like when getting a piano restored, adjusting key height and action is a critical final task.
The controller is placed under the keyboard, giving the player easy access but staying out of the way. This controller can receive various media in the form of discs or wireless transmission, allowing the player to load the player piano with a huge available library of prerecorded pieces.
The technician will test the response of all 88 keys to make sure each is consistent and accurate. Making sure all keys are powered and responsive is critical, as even one failure will be immediately obvious.
Checking wired connections, data cables, power cables, and powered components of inactive keys is sometimes required.
The standard functional features in the core of the iQ System—along with wireless operation—work with almost any music playback device, insuring your piano will be adaptive to the latest technological advances. The iQ Flash front-end integrates a flexible MP3 player into the mix, with SD or MMC flash memory and USB connectivity.
PianoDisc also offers ways to enhance your player system by additional iQ products to upgrade your piano’s performance: QuietTime Magic Star, ProRecord, and Midi Controller System.
Choose the options best suited to you, and enjoy the advantages hybrid pianos offer!