The best player piano system?

At chicagopianos.com, we often get calls from customers across the country asking us which player piano system is the best.  These inquiries stem from the fact that we are in the unique position of being an authorized dealer for all three major player piano systems — the Yamaha Disklavier, QRS player piano systems and the full line of PianoDisc iQ player systems.   We have been told by many customers that they can’t find any dealer who truly represents all three.  The reasons for this could be the subject of another blog…a lengthy blog, so we won’t address that here but the important thing here is that you’re reading a blog entry about player pianos written by a piano dealer who A) is speaking from a distinctly unbiased position and B) has been carrying digital player systems for almost 25 years.

The notion of chicagopianos.com being a dealer for all three major player systems is indeed so unique that we had a “player piano summit” are our store where we invited representatives from each manufacturer to give a presentation to the press about “the latest and greatest”.  It was the first and only time this has ever been done.

The impetus for this particular blog is account of because of the newest player piano system from QRS.  We simply HAD to blog about it.  The below video shows the incredible ease of use the new QRS Pianomation2 player piano offers.  It’s truly amazing.  You can walk in our store, take your smartphone and within one minute you will have QRS’ entire library at your fingertips, controlling the piano from your phone.  There is no control box on the piano so there is no visual indication the piano is even a player piano.  Best of all, the most popular songs and recording artists in the world are represented in the QRS library and available for playback.  To clarify further, we mean the original recording artist’s versions play from cyberspace, so you hear, say, Billy Joel actually singing Just the Way You Are (as in the video) or Alicia Keys singing Fallin’ while the piano accompanies that original artist’s performance.

While all three player piano manufacturers offer the ability to hear original artist’s recordings, the new QRS Pianomation 2 system is hands down the easiest way to hear such music.  Please contact us for specific information about how the other systems differ.

The ease of use with the new Pianomation 2 system does not mean that this system is for everyone.  It just happens to be a breakthrough in the area of easily accessing a huge library of original artist recordings.  The features of other player systems may be of equal or greater importance to your particular needs so if you’re in the market for a player piano, please contact us to discuss this.

A new Estonia 225 7’4″ piano has arrived…and it’s for sale…sort of.

This just in!  We’re pretty excited around here at Cordogan’s Pianoland because we have a very elusive creature in our store — an unsold Estonia 225 grand piano.  Since its 2011 unveiling at the NAMM International Trade Show, Estonia’s 7’4″ semi-concert grand model has been almost impossible for dealers to obtain without a pre-sold invoice accompanying the order, but Cordogan’s was able to receive a new, unsold Estonia 225 model because the new model is going to be the focus of an upcoming Piano Technicians Guild meeting at our store October 16th.

This means we have a 225 available to audition which is actually purchasable.  This motivated several potential buyers to come in from great distances to play an Estonia 225.  We cannot deliver the piano, however, until after October 16th, so if the future owner of this piano is reading this, we hope you understand!  🙂

The Estonia 225 joins the Estonia 168, Estonia 190 and the Estonia 274 as the fourth model in this revered product line which is widely accepted as rivaling the greatest pianos in the world.

Here is a video of Dr. Indrek Laul, the president of the Estonia Piano Factory, performing on the new Estonia 225:

And here is a video of several different pianists performing on the Estonia 225 at the 2012 NAMM trade show in Anaheim, CA.

New York Times Article on Deep-Sixing Pianos

Here’s an interesting article from the New York Times about how many used pianos are actually hitting the dumpster these days.  No surprise over here. I’d say that a quarter of the used pianos that people are trying to SELL privately unfortunately belong in a dumpster.  I’d like to add two comments to this article:

1) I don’t think the article did a good job indicating that many used pianos ARE worth restoring and that the used piano industry is exponentially bigger than the new piano industry so buying a restored used piano is definitely a viable option for many piano buyers.

2) Stories like this can easily lead one to believe that if used pianos are getting thrown away, then a functioning one might only cost a few hundred dollars.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  Pianos are a lot like cars in the sense that cars often times go to the junkyard and get crushed, but it doesn’t mean that a good used car can be purchased for a few hundred dollars.  Heck, even a good used piano bench often fetches $200-300 at flea markets.  Moving a piano usually costs upwards of $300 and tuning is at least $100.  We’re up to $600 and we haven’t even mentioned a piano yet.  Add that to the countless hours of work that most of these pianos need ($75-100/hr. in-home service rates) plus replacement parts to take on new students and may have yourself a money pit.  Don’t get us wrong, we’re in the piano restoration business and love all that hourly labor work — but we also sell new & used pianos and offer sound advice to people who are wrestling with restoring a piano or buying a different one from us.

New York Times Article on Deep-Sixing Old Pianos

New York Times Article on Deep-Sixing Old Pianos

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/arts/music/for-more-pianos-last-note-is-thud-in-the-dump.html?pagewanted=1&_r=2