I'm buying a beautiful single family owned 1925 Weber Duo Art 5'7" grand piano. It was rebuilt in 1997 with a new pinblock, strings, reshaped hammers, rebuilt dampers, regulated, and case refinished; and then it was almost never played since then. The Duo Art mechanism is long gone; removed and discarded many years ago.
I'm a pianist, and this is a second piano for me; I own a restored 1885 Decker Brothers 9' concert grand (and literally possibly the best Decker Brothers 9' grand piano still in existence), and because the Decker Brothers piano is often out getting restoration work done on it, and I have a large house, I'm buying the Weber which is in amazing condition and a great deal.
I'm more than just a pianist; I'm an electrical engineer and I tinker with anything, from rebuilding lawnmowers and chainsaws to designing digital circuits and effects for guitar amps and audio systems.
THE QUESTION: Is there any value in me trying to find either an original Duo Art mechanism and restoring the player capabilities of this piano, or is that kind of thing unobtanium and not worth it even if you do it? I've seen YouTube videos of Weber Duo Art pianos playing, and the system sounds noisy and annoying. Likewise, are there any modern piano automation systems that would retrofit to such a piano, and if so, would any of that be worth it? I ask only as a person interested in restoring things. The piano being able to play itself would likely be nothing more than a novelty to me, to be able to say "Yeah, I totally restored that", and to show it off. I don't have a specific need for a self-playing piano.
I googled around to try to find out if anyone sells discarded Duo Art mechanical parts and found NOTHING. Since I know so little about the player mechanisms, I'm asking here, hoping there are people that know a lot more about them than I do. I know a lot about pianos; I don't know really anything about 1900's player-pianos.
Any info you guys care to share is greatly welcomed.