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Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
#3013614 08/13/20 11:43 PM
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Hi. Anyone with experience with Pianodisc? My USB port on my Pianodisc Quiet Time Magic Star V5 is damaged, and stopped working. Bought the system in 2014, and this would be the second time the USB port needs replacing. Have tried to be very careful. Anyone know if: 1) Can you replace Quiet Time Magic Star with something that would have fewer issues? 2) Is the USB port often an issue, or just for me. 3) Can you use another silent system or does it have to be the Pianodisc system. 4) Should you replace it with another Pianodisc system, newer version? Are any other systems compatible? I don't have a technician close by - four hours away. I contacted Pianodisc and waiting for reply but with Covid who knows. Any advice appreciated. I use the silent system daily as my entire family is working / school at home. Live in Alberta, Canada. I will contact the gentleman who installed it, (also four hours away),but wondering if anyone else has advice. Thanks for any assistance, much appreciated.

Last edited by Spuds; 08/13/20 11:44 PM.
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Re: Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
Spuds #3013651 08/14/20 02:48 AM
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I had the same problem with my Pianodisc GT2 mini from 2014 which is almost identical to the Magic Star V5, except for the display. Pianodisc staff was most incompetent and could not help. I then got into contact with Genio/Midmuro in South Korea - they are manufacturing these systems. They sent me a MIDI module for the rear jack free of charge. I then plugged in a MIDI-to-USB interface into that MIDI module and had a working USB port again which I am still using without problems until today.

Contact

BeeS Jang / CEO / SIGNEA
BeeSj@naver.com
B-204, Woolim Lions 283, Bupyeong-Dong, Bupyeong-Gu, Incheon, Korea, 21315
Tel : +82-(0)70-4437-5140
Mobile : +82-(0)10-4052-5140
Fax : +82-(0)32-506-5140
( GENIO Marketing & Sales Rep. on behalf of USRLAB )

and ask for a free MIDI I/O module for the old version of the Magic Star (the one with a HDMI plug - yes, this old device has a "crazy" design, the rear jack is a HDMI connection used for MIDI data and no other cable or plug fits).

Alternatively, you might try to contact toml@MasonHamlin.com from Pianodisc in the US, but I do not have any confidence in Pianodisc staff - they will most likely send you the MIDI module #2 for the new version of the silencer, with a USB plug that does not fit in your case. Genio in Korea is the better contact - they are very friendly, very competent and really know what they are talking about.

Last edited by Pianist685; 08/14/20 02:52 AM.
Re: Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
Pianist685 #3013804 08/14/20 12:30 PM
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Thank you so much for the information! I can't describe how much this has helped. Thank you! I am teaching K to 6 school and rely on recordings, especially now with Covid, need access to my recorded files. THANKS! ❤️😊😊😊

Re: Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
Spuds #3014162 08/15/20 10:03 AM
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Dear Spuds, you say you need access to your recordings, so I think my answer went in the wrong direction and I now have the impression that in this case my reply is less helpful than I thought.

I have just downloaded the manual of the Magic Star V5, and saw it has in fact 2 USB ports, one mini-B-USB for MIDI-out and a normal USB 2.0 port to copy recordings from the internal memory to a USB stick. My GT2 mini only has the mini-B-USB port for MIDI data and that one stopped working in my case. The MIDI I/O module for the rear MIDI jack I mentioned is not able to transfer recordings from the internal memory, it is only a second option to get the MIDI data from one's playing. That is what I need because I am using the silent system as a controller for a VST.

Of course, I am sure the contact person in South Korea I mentioned will be able to help you in one way or another.

But now I have the impression that you can solve your "problem" without any external help in a very easy manner. You should be able to get your recordings through one of your two headphone jacks with such an audio grabber:

https://www.ebay.de/itm/Audio-Grabb...0?hash=item5672e5e250:g:094AAOSwH09ZEEvI

https://www.amazon.de/Easy-Link-Aufnahme-Konverter-Kassette-Recorder/dp/B00VD992DS

Such a device will digitalize the analogous output from the headphone jack. Connect the 3.5 mm plug to one of the headphone jacks and the USB plug to your computer and let the Magic Star play a recording. Launch a suitable audio recording software like Audacity, click "record" and you will get a wav or mp3 file from the input.

Re: Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
Spuds #3015636 08/19/20 04:33 PM
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Thanks Pianist685! Well, I did contact various Pianodisc offices for advice. Ended up sending the control box to a electronics repair place in the city, hoping to get the USB port replaced. I too use the system only to connect to the computer, then I run Pianoteq software to get the good piano sound. Need to practice silently - condo living, need silent option. I agree, the presets in the Pianodisc just don't sound fabulous, but Pianoteq is awesome. The advice I received was send it back to the North American office for USB repair. It seems there is no upgrade available for my Pianodisc Magic Star Quiet Time V5, from what I can tell. Apparently, a new system uses a new optical strip (??) I guess I am surprised, but maybe not, that such a system, would not have an easy upgrade, when electronics become obsolete so quickly. (Or at least from what I can determine from the bit of information I have.) My technician, has tried to be helpful, but lives in another community. Hoping that the USB port is fixable, waiting to hear back from tech. Maybe I should have researched how quickly these silent systems become obsolete, or maybe six years is the new length of time for electronics these days. Wondering how do others keep up with the technology as their silent systems malfunction over time. Is this a common issue? How often do you need a tech to replace/upgrade the Pianodisc technology, or how long should you expect it to work? This is my first silent system installed. I love being able to play the acoustic piano and get the Pianoteq grand piano sound, for silent practice. But, when your silent systems don't work, or become dated, then what do the players do? Guessing that with Covid, there are limited staff in any of the offices. Was trying to figure out how to purchase the MIDI I/O cable and whatever other cables/boxes etc I might need to use the back port. Was told to just send it back for USB port repair. Anyhow, hoping once the electronics tech replaces the port, it will work again, without said MIDI I/O cables etc. Does beg the question though, should you install electronics of any kind into an acoustic instrument? It was great when it worked, but years later, what does this "old technology" do to the value of your piano? Or, do you just use it during whatever the average lifespan is of the electronics, and know you will have to reinstall a newer system later on. Maybe I should have know that. Somehow, it didn't occur to me when I purchased it. Not sure I would install it again though. For the price paid, I could have bought a pretty good digital, and kept the acoustic "intact". But, didn't have the floor space. Thanks for your help.

Re: Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
Spuds #3015639 08/19/20 04:49 PM
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To be fair to Pianodisc, when the system was working, (for many years), it was great. I ran my Pianoteq software on the computer, using the PD system, and you can record, play, practice silently. A great and essential option to have for all of us living in tight quarters. In fact, I would say that I LOVED the Pianodisc system and its ability to connect to the computer. Incredible sound created with the marriage of Pianodisc and Pianoteq software. Which is why I need to get this fixed.


If anyone has an older Pianodisc Magic Star Quiet Time V5 they want to sell let me know. I would love to have another control box on hand, as you can't purchase them anymore. Thanks

Last edited by Spuds; 08/19/20 04:57 PM.
Re: Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
Spuds #3015714 08/19/20 08:58 PM
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A suggestion for when you get the USB port repaired: try using a usb extension cable between your control box and other electronics. Then never touch the cable to control box connection and plug-in/unplug to the extension all you wish. This way only the cable would wear out or break, preserving the control box as long as possible.

I do see magic star control boxes on eBay from time to time. You might find a spare one there.


-Bill L.
Re: Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
Spuds #3015828 08/20/20 08:13 AM
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The consensus in some earlier threads here on Pinoworld was the best option is to have an acoustic plus a digital piano (with or without a VST). A retrofit silencer should only be your choice if you do not have enough room for two instruments and you want to keep your acoustic. The latter applies in my case. Still, I think I would not buy any silent system again and would rather replace my acoustic with a high-end digital like the Casio GP500.

- Pianodisc keeps launching new versions of their silencers every 5 years approximately. Warranty and service is 5 years only.

- Yes, the sensor strip of the new system is optical and not mechanical like yours (you have those small white levers under the keys, the new system works contactless). My technician told me he does not find that any better and said the old design with the levers is more robust than the new contactless design. I tend to believe him bcause I once broke one lever, repaired it with superglue and it is still working perfectly today.

- The problem with the USB port is that it is facing to the front and the USB cable sticks out right to the front where it can easily be struck by somebody walking by, and that might cause the contact inside to break. Maybe you might consider using such a tilted USB connector from which the cable would lead downward:

https://www.amazon.de/InLine-34110-...bgewinkelt&qid=1597924856&sr=8-3

- The MIDI I/O module I mentioned cannot be purchased. It can only be ordered free of charge from Genio in South Korea - as long as they still have any left.

Re: Pianodisc help? Repair? Advice?
Spuds #3015977 08/20/20 05:06 PM
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Thanks WBLynch and Pianist685. Very helpful. Great ideas about the extension cable, will purchase, assuming USB port is fixable.


Wow, I didn't know about the new system every 5 years, I guess if I had I wouldn't ever had installed it. Yes, it is a design issue, because it it at the height and angle in which you would run into the cable. I have tried to be extremely careful, paranoid about damaging it almost. Yet, I did. Yes, I actually just purchased a different angled cable. But thanks for the advice. I did email Genio - South Korea, but was referred to North American office for servicing. Wow, an expensive system to install, to then become pretty much obsolete. Wish I had known before having it installed that it would likely be an obsolete system in a matter of a few years, in comparison to the life of the piano.

I guess, I too would never do it again, knowing that you now need from what you are saying a whole new system installed, without being able to really get replacements for the older systems. Now I feel like I have devalued my piano by installing this system, that if I were to sell it, and to be honest to the new buyer, I would have to disclose that the system is obsolete, without significant technical changes made to upgrade it. I can't purchase a replacement control box, nor does anyone around seem to have them. Will continue to search on Ebay.

So, now not a selling feature, now from what you are saying, it has taken value away from the piano, purchased new. I wish I had known that prior to installing. As you say, I would have found some way to use digital for the computer software. Just didn't have the room, but even a keyboard leaned against the wall, when I wasn't using, would make me feel better about what I have done to this piano. Feeling very disappointed with the Pianodisc experience. If you are planning on keeping an instrument for years, decades, maybe a lifetime, why wouldn't the manufacturers design something that can be fairly easily upgraded? Thanks anyway for your help. Still hoping this non Pianodisc electronics tech can fix it. Fingers crossed.


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