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Where to see player pianos play

Posted By: John V

Where to see player pianos play - 05/18/12 09:28 PM

So, I have it in my head that I want an entry level antique player piano. (I have a regular upright, but I REALLY want a player). My wife thinks they are creepy. Does anyone know where there are any in North San Diego County (California) (Vista, San Marcos, Oceanside etc) that we could go see play? Maybe in some museum, collection, bar, store etc? I think if she sees one in action she will like it.

BTW, I just found this forum looking for antique players. Great site. Thanks.

If anyone local is looking to get rid of one, let me know too. Thanks.
Posted By: BDB

Re: Where to see player pianos play - 05/23/12 11:44 PM

You might try your local AMICA chapter.
Posted By: wouter79

Re: Where to see player pianos play - 06/14/13 12:53 PM

Lots on youtube.

I saw a number of them in the pianola musueum in Amsterdam http://www.pianola.nl. They have both Ampico and Welte-Mignon and give live demonstrations. They have a huge collection of rolls as well and they even looked up and played a roll for me on request smile Also they allowed me to play one myself (pumping with feet and juggling a dial) laugh
Posted By: turrin150

Re: Where to see player pianos play - 11/24/13 03:35 PM

You should definitely check out the Nethercutt Collection in Sylmar, Ca....near LA.
Fabulous collection of mechanical musical instruments - Ampico reproducing player pianos, theater organ, and one of the best collections of classic
autos anywhere in the US.
Posted By: Grandpianoman

Re: Where to see player pianos play - 12/04/13 10:29 PM

Coming late to this thread...you might want to consider a modern player system. I have the LX, www.live-performance.com TONS of music, inc player piano rolls, with none of the storage problems. The advantages are numerous over the old player systems. You don't have to deal with rolls, storage of rolls, less mechanical issues to go wrong. OTH, if those issues don't bother you, a good restored player piano is fun, especially if you can manually pump it as well. There is something about watching the paper go over the tracker bar that the modern systems don't give you.

Restored is the operative word...don't by one unless it's been completely restored...that's the safest way to go, and buy it from a well known player piano restorer.
Posted By: R_B

Re: Where to see player pianos play - 01/03/14 08:58 PM

Also late to this thread - and I am on the opposite coast anyway.
I suggest you try all your local piano stores, most take trade-ins and among those there are sure to be some "entry level" players.
"Higher market" stores that don't want 1920s musical furniture in their showrooms may send you to wherever they move them out to.

For anyone in metro west Boston area there Bushnell/Moody's in Marlborough.
More or less opposite Home Depot.
Last time I was in there I could have got something reasonable for under $1,000, probably something really NICE for $3K or so.
Me ? Oh, I would LOVE to get into them, but I fear yet another hobby that would escalate to occupy 150% of my time.
Re-buiilding is probably FUN in its own right, but I want to PLAY (-:
The thought of having to work on a pneumatics system ?
Nahh, thanks but no thanks.

I just remembered, Steinert in Boston is the Steinway dealer and they are not above filling their showrooms with what they take in as part-exchange/trade-in.
Posted By: Thomas Williams

Re: Where to see player pianos play - 01/17/15 04:10 PM

There are many mechanical instruments, including player pianos, in the automotive museum at Stone Mountain Park just east of Atlanta, GA. I guess this is late for this thread, but since it has been bumped up, we might as well contribute to the list of places where they can be seen -- maybe others will find it useful, if anyone wants to see them in their region or wherever one may be visiting.
Posted By: mrj_442

Re: Where to see player pianos play - 08/01/15 05:12 PM

If you are near Indiana, you need to go to Columbus, Indiana, to Zaharako's Ice Cream Parlor. They have a beautiful 1908 Welte Orchestrian, fully restored, and a museum that has many restored players, including one from the 1870's. The place is like walking back in time to the turn of the 20th century, with an antique soda fountain and bar, and many historical artifacts. They also have a great sandwich called the Gom, which is like a sloppy joe, only better, and they Gom CheeseBRRgr, which is great! The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but that's fine. It is worth the trip just to here the Welte play...an awesome musical instrument.

Here's the link:

Zaharako's Ice Cream Parlor

BTW, when you visit the page, click on the Play Music button at the top to hear the Welte. It's so cool!
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