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Over the last few weeks, I've found myself wondering about completely irrelevant, trivial matters that don't impact the piano at all, but still end up turning over in my mind.

For example, those logos that manufacturers put them on concert grands. Makes sense. But I've also seen them on much smaller pianos, including uprights and and have seen them promote not just the manufacturer, but also the shop selling the piano, or the event the piano is played at. Do organizers send pianos to refinishers to have these applied? Or are there removable foil decals that are used?

Also, casters on grand pianos. For some reason, I really love the look of the huge concert grand caster with the locking knob or handle. Is there any difference in using one of those versus the smaller casters? Do they protect hardwood floors more? Are they easily exchangeable? Or is it like putting a huge Formula One wing on a Honda Civic?

Lastly, maybe a bit more relevant, I've seen pianos with electronics packages (silents, players, mic setups, speakers and transducers) bolted to the underside of the instrument. Presumably nobody is driving wood screws through the soundboard (but I've seen that, too), is there any major issue with drilling in brackets and screws into the brace beams or backposts?


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From what I've read, the big side decals started showing up in the TV era. I guess sponsors figured that they had an opportunity to get some advertising out of the situation, and took advantage.

Re. the monster casters, I agree that they look pretty cool. I think the premise is that the larger diameter wheel is actually large enough to roll over things. Apparently they roll so well that some suggest they're dangerous. The tiny traditional wheels are too small to roll over cracks, carpet, thresholds, etc. In fact, I really don't think they're suitable for rolling at all, unless perhaps they're brand new and the floor is smooth as glass. I think the newest functional change to the steamroller wheels is that some new come lined with rubber on the outside perimeter, probably to protect flooring or the wheels themselves. ??

Re brackets under the piano, I guess I'm old fashioned, but I feel no need for any extra gadgets on my pianos. thumb


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Try finding decent caster cups for those giant casters!


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I despise the dangers and the appearance of the uber sized casters that are now popular. The ease they produce with which a piano can be moved at a fast walking pace by two or even one individual, leads to dangerous incidents of legs breaking in half, piano shoved off the stage edge into the audience area, and some day one will kill someone.

That will lead to skyrocketing insurance for concert halls that have real pianos with most halls resorting to "Digital Only" policy.

In addition if a technician repairs a piano back to the original state without warning the management of these risks liability could spread to them from an adverse incident.

The more standard sized diameter "steamroller" (wider) casters that first became available 30 years ago are very nice. They work especially well to allow a piano to be moved on a carpeted surface. but they still resist rolling enough to keep the moving speed low.


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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
I despise the dangers and the appearance of the uber sized casters that are now popular.


I didn't even realize they're that much easier to roll, it's good to know there are drawbacks. And my.interest is indeed entirely cosmetic, I don't think I would ever move my piano after it is set up.

Originally Posted by ClsscLib
Try finding decent caster cups for those giant casters!

Good point. Speaking of which, is there a PW favorite set of caster cups?


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I have these on my grand and have had so many compliments about them of how nice they look.
Even my piano movers & technician made it a point to ask about where I got them. AMAZON!

https://www.amazon.com/Ebony-Grand-.../ref=asc_df_B008QO70U0?tag=bingshoppinga 20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=80814156492549&hvnetw=o&hvqmt=e&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=&hvtargid=pla-4584413735724242&psc=1


here they are on my Steinway A
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...t=pb.1219977774.-2207520000..&type=3

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Last edited by brdwyguy; 03/08/22 07:25 AM.

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There are some photos in my thread about restoring a 1916 Weber Duo Art reproducing grand. It has a pneumatic pump, and all kinds of pneumatic systems bolted into the frame under the piano. The pneumatic stack (all the pneumatics for each of the 88 notes) is in a chest that bolts up into the underside of the key bed. The spool box where the rolls go, along with the air motor that turns the roll, and the tracking pneumatics that keep the roll aligned all bolt to the key frame. All of that was well thought over 100 years ago, and has not impacted the tone of the piano (see some video links in my thread). Given that could all be accomplished back then, I would not expect modern player systems to be installed less cautiously. I do know some new player systems require a change in geometry for the pedals. The old Duo Art pianos avoided this, at least in the case of my Weber, through a clever design in the pedal action that allows inclusion of pneumatic inputs without an impact to manual playing.


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Originally Posted by brdwyguy
Gombessa
I have these on my grand and have had so many compliments about them of how nice they look.
Even my piano movers & technician made it a point to ask about where I got them. AMAZON!

Those do indeed seem very nice, especially for the classic ebony + gold hardware grands. My main concern is that people say it raises the piano up 1-1.5", which is quite a ways up compared to a traditional caster cup?


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The large concert casters frequently introduce "human error" and overconfidence when moving concert grands around on stage. I have no data, but anecdotally, we here of far more calls of failures on the concert casters then we ever have for failures with stage trucks. Still, the halls want them, so we stress what is the safe way to move them, the extra precautions to take, and making sure that only assigned people ever handle it. I have my reservations about how that information stays front of mind for the institutions.

At home, I think the extra large casters look out of proportion on anything smaller than a concert grand. The compromise that I think does still look good on 6'+ to 7'+ grands is the medium-sized locking double wheel caster. Several makers offer these and we frequently install them.

Keep in mind that for the extra large casters, the legs have to be modified and shortened to keep the overall height correct. With the medium-sized concert casters, they can replace most normal casters without creating a height problem.
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These casters can also be ordered in rubber wrapped, which removes the need for caster cups in most situations.
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To install on a piano ranges from simple to moderate job when the receiver doesn't fit in the old slot in the leg.


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I tuned a fairly new Steinway D this morning and there was a label on the inside of the rim that said the casters must be locked at all times except when moving the piano. There's your legal disclaimer!


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