Thanks, Jim Bender, for agreeing to this interview. We are honored to have you on our staff. You are our top-rated PianoDisc Certified Technician and I think it’s important that readers know you are likely singular in this industry for combining PianoDisc technical skills with an extensive background as a performing artist. You hold a Masters of Music degree in piano performance from the Manhattan School of music, and a Ph.D. in Music from New York University. You’ve been a conductor and performing pianist for over 40 years. I understand you chose to be certified this year by PianoDisc to perform installations, calibrations and repairs on PianoDisc Player Pianos systems. Can you tell us a little about that experience?
I’m happy to, and thanks for giving me a chance to share it. It’s true that I approach our PianoDisc projects not only as a technician but more importantly as an artist dedicated to excellence in performance, detail and style. It’s Euro Pianos Naples’ intention and my own to give the best support and service in the industry, and my background enables me to fulfill those highest standards for our clients.
This past February I went to PianoDisc Headquarters in Sacramento, California for PianoDisc Installation and Service Certification. I was in a class of nine technicians from all over the country (Florida, Texas, Denver, Las Vegas and California) and studied with one of PianoDisc’s top teaching techs–Michael Zarante. Michael is one of the foremost authorities on the development of PianoDisc technologies and has been sent all over the work to work on and demonstrate PianoDisc products (Costa Rica, Germany, England, most recently) so we were privileged to have this opportunity to be his proteges for four intense days of hands-on learning.
While at the training I also had the opportunity to visit the PianoDisc professional production facility where PianoDisc songs are created–very interesting and intriguing–high quality and the best of the best was evident throughout.
What do you see as the advantages of having a player piano system added to an acoustic piano? Why is it now the rage to upgrade with player systems or buy new pianos with PianoDisc systems installed?
Consideration of the advantages of the latest PianoDisc technologies directly connects to my own enthusiasm to achieve official certification in PianoDisc. Frankly, prior to the latest innovations ushered in by PianoDisc in the last five years, I was never particularly impressed by self-playing piano systems. Even in the recent past, they seemed clunky, always “too loud,” and were never able to approach the subtleties inherent in live performances. However, with the introduction of current lightning-fast computer cpu controllers, improved solenoid mechanics, sustain pedal variable control, and key-control technologies now incorporated in the latest PianoDisc Silent Drive “HD” systems, PianoDisc player systems now enjoy the power to reproduce performances that rival excellent live musicians.
The music libraries are swollen with choices in just about every musical genre you can think of, and the quality of the music is unsurpassed.
Since the PianoDisc system can be controlled with different external music delivery devices, like MP3, iPod, iPad, etc. what might our clients like to know about this?
The decision by the PianoDisc creators (the brothers Burgetts–one a musician, the other an engineer) to utilize the prolific “iTunes” interface is another example of the quality and preeminence of the PianoDisc player system. Older technologies would allow insertion of
discs or CD into a player mounted on the front of the instrument with all of the limitations inherent–it was basically a “record player” that played from the first selection to the last. With the introduction of the iTunes interface, PianoDisc allows the customer to organize and perform playlists of their own—the ultimate” i-power” experience for the piano player.
Combined with the addition of a small and invisible wireless router (iQ), the customer piano is literally controlled by their own hand-held i-Device from anywhere in the room. No more front boxes attached to the piano–only ultimate power and convenience provided to the client.
That’s an impressive output of educational information, Jim, and we are grateful to you for your skills and talents, and the willingness to help us learn all things PianoDisc.
PianoDisc’s forward-thinking innovations have brought it to the top of the industry. Service oriented and entrepreneurial, their latest improvement has made the systems truly invisible by replacing the hanging 4” “box” of tech equipment under the piano with a “low profile” cover that entirely hides the magic of the electronics.
Euro Pianos Naples is dedicated to quality and unsurpassed service to its customers, so it was only natural to make sure that their Pianodisc installations are done by the best Pianodisc technicians, individually trained and certified in California. Pianodisc Naples is now alive and well, and ready to upgrade and install, sell and implement player piano systems. Just come into the salon for a demo or call and make an appointment for an in-home consultation.