I can convert any of my Yamaha U1 or Yamaha U3 pianos to silent very quickly and easily and the results are very impressive. It can be a big help to plug in the headphones and play late at night no matter who is sitting close by or who is at home next door.
Here is a video from an American piano shop. They converted a grand piano using the same system we use. The only difference is that we don’t install a speaker inside the piano like they have done. We just have the sound playing through headphones. This same system can be installed to any Yamaha upright or grand piano.
How much does it cost and which kit do you use?
The silent conversion costs £1300 and I use the very popular PianoDisc system. PianoDisc are an industry leading manufacturer of piano silent systems and you can read about them at www.pianodisc.eu. You can read the manual here
What’s the difference between the 2 options?
I emailed the manufacturer for help creating a list of differences and here is what we came up with:
- Both units carry out the same basic task of preventing the hammers hitting the strings whilst you play so that no acoustic noise is produced. Sensors detect what notes you are playing and send the sound to the headphones instead, just like on a digital piano. You can of course choose to play acoustically or digitally. The piano functions in both modes.
- The cheaper GT-2 model has no easy way to get your own recordings off the unit. You would have to use the USB-MIDI connection to export the file to MIDI software on your laptop. The more expensive Magicstar lets you plug a USB stick into the unit and transfer the MIDI file (.mid) direct to the USB stick. You can then easily share that file via email or upload it to the internet.
- The Magicstar has an improved LCD/Graphic display.
GT-2 System (the cheaper option)
The PianoDisc system lets you plug in headphones so that only you can hear what you are playing. When you activate the silent option a cushioned rail is lowered in front of the hammers which then prevents them from hitting the strings. Therefore, the only noise produced is that of the keys being pressed.
The system also has a record & playback function which could prove a useful practising aid. The record & playback functions only works whilst the silent system is enabled which obviously means you’ll have to have the headphones on to use it. The unit also has MIDI in, out and thru just in case that is of any use for linking up to a computer etc.
Does it affect the touch?
There is no negative affect on the touch of the action. It still feels exactly the same to me and we’ve never had any complaints about the action feeling different after the conversion.
Does it replace the practise pedal?
The silent conversion process does not affect the practise pedal. You still get to keep the middle pedal.
How long does the conversion take?
I usually have silent kits in stock which means I can have the conversion complete within a week and then we can get a delivery date booked straight away.
How to calibrate the keys in future
Every now and again the keys may need calibrating on your silent piano. This will only need doing if you notice that some of the keys don’t play as expected when in silent mode. Perhaps some notes don’t sound at all in the headphones or other unexpected sounds could be heard. In this case, there is usually nothing to worry about. Just follow these instructions:
- Make sure all cables are plugged in properly
- Turn the power on
- Set the piano to normal playing mode
- 1-2 seconds after turning the device on press and hold the METRO key. Let go when the words “KEY INITIALIZE” are disaplyed.
- Press each key from the very bottom to the very top in order one after the other at medium speed and medium volume. Then press the left and right pedals down fully and let go
- Press the METRO key once. The new data takes a few seconds to save and the calibration is now finished.
- If you feel that individual keys are playing too loudly/softly please refer to the manual (page 28 of my copy) for instructions on how to adjust individual keys.
- Any questions? Just email email@example.com and we will do our best to assist.