The cost of electronic player-piano systems varies enormously, not only from one system to the next, but even for the same system, depending on where it is installed and other factors.
A dealer has several ways of acquiring an add-on (retrofit) player system, which can affect the price at which the system is sold. Factory-installed systems — installed while the piano itself is being manufactured — are the least expensive for the dealer to acquire. Several large piano manufacturers are authorized to do this. In addition, the companies that make the player systems may factory-install them into brands that they own; for example, QRS Pianomation into the Story & Clark brand, and PianoDisc into the Mason & Hamlin brand. When installed this way, the difference in price between the piano alone and the piano plus player system may be quite moderate. The next more expensive options are when the player system is installed at an intermediate distribution point before reaching the dealer, or when a larger dealer, in his own shop, installs a system in a piano already on the showroom floor — with most brands of piano, either of these can be done. More expensive yet is when the smaller dealer must hire a local independent installer to install a system in a piano that is on the dealer's showroom floor. The most expensive option is to have a system installed in a piano you already own. In that situation you also incur the expense of having the piano moved to and from the installer's shop. The resulting retail price of the most expensive option can be double that of the least.
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 $8,000 to $20,000 (street price) more than the same Yamaha model without the player system. At the high end, a Bösendorfer CEUS will set you back $50,000 to $60,000 (street price). The retail prices of these systems are included under their companies' listings in the "Model & Pricing Guide."
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