The cost can also vary because player systems are often used by dealers as an incentive to buy the piano. The dealer will charge well for an expensive piano, then "throw in" the player system at cost. Or vice versa—the dealer lets the piano go cheaply, then makes it up by charging list price for the system. The more modular systems can also vary in price, according to which options and accessories the dealer includes.

For all these reasons, quoting prices for player systems without knowing the context in which they're installed and sold is nearly futile. Nevertheless, as a rule of thumb, one of the more popular, typically configured, factory-installed QRS or PianoDisc systems with playback and accompaniment might add $5,000 to $6,000 to the street price of the piano, with recording capability adding another $1,500 or so. However, for the reasons given above, prices 30 percent lower or higher aren't unusual. A list of electronic player-piano add-on systems and their manufacturers' suggested retail prices follows the "Model & Pricing Guide" in this publication.

As for systems available only as factory installations, Yamaha Disklavier grands generally cost $10,000 to $15,000 (street price) more than the same Yamaha model without the player system. At the high end, a Bösendorfer CEUS will set you back $40,000 to $50,000 (street price). The retail prices of these systems are included under their companies' listings in the "Model & Pricing Guide."


Bösendorfer Ceus

Bösendorfer USA
1771 Post Road East, Suite 239
Westport, Connecticut 06880

Bösendorfer's SE Reproducer System, out of production for a number of years, has been replaced by an all-new design called CEUS (Create Emotions with Unique Sound), with updated electronics and solenoids. The visual display is discreetly located on the fallboard and is wireless, so the fallboard can be removed for servicing the piano without the need to disconnect any wires. Player controls for recording, playback, and data transfer are by means of a combination of keystrokes on the sharp keys aligned with the fallboard display, pedal movements, and four small, brass, touch-sensitive buttons on the left side of the fallboard. When the system is inactive, these four brass buttons are the only evidence that the CEUS system is installed in the piano. Optical sensors measure key and hammer movements at an extremely high sampling rate, for maximum accuracy and sensitivity to musical nuance. Bösendorfer has a library of recordings for CEUS, and the system will also play standard MIDI piano files. CEUS is available in every Bösendorfer grand model and adds about $60,000 to the piano's list price. Retrofitting of CEUS into previously sold Bösendorfers is available at the factory.



SPRING 2010 -- page 162

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