PianoDisc Systems: Innovation and the Potential for Sticky Keys

Steinway piano

Music lovers and pianists appreciate the nuances of the acoustic piano’s action—the mechanical way that keys connect with hammers and ultimately produce sound. While these instruments are wonders of engineering, they are also sensitive to environmental conditions and sometimes require careful calibration or attention from a technician.

One modern addition to acoustic pianos is the PianoDisc system.  Let’s explore what this technology is, and how it could potentially lead to a common piano problem – sticky keys.

What is a PianoDisc System?

A PianoDisc system is an aftermarket retrofit that turns your acoustic piano into a player piano. It does this through solenoids (electromagnets) that activate the keys. This system allows your piano to play itself! PianoDisc systems can play MIDI files, record your performances, and even connect to the internet for streaming music or remote concerts. 

Why Might PianoDisc Cause Sticky Keys?

While convenient and amazing in many aspects,  the PianoDisc system adds a layer of complexity to the piano’s action. Here’s where the potential for sticky keys comes in:

Humidity: Pianos (especially those with intricate parts like a PianoDisc system) are sensitive to humidity. Fluctuations in humidity levels can cause wood components to expand or contract, which in turn can affect the alignment of the system and lead to sticky keys.

Lack of Maintenance: Over time, the PianoDisc system, like any piano, requires maintenance. Dust build-up, wear of parts, and the need for regulation can all contribute to problems like sticky keys.

Installation and Calibration: If the PianoDisc system is not meticulously installed and calibrated, the solenoids and other components could interfere with the natural movement of the piano keys. Even slight misalignments can make keys sluggish or sticky. 

A Real Life Case Study

Recently we serviced a Steinway piano with a PianoDisc system. After thoroughly inspecting the beautiful piano, we discovered that the PianoDisc system wasn’t installed quite right. Once we corrected the improper installation, we were able to fully solve the sticky keys problem for our client.

Resolving Sticky Keys

If you suspect your PianoDisc system is causing sticky keys, the best course of action is to contact one of our qualified piano technicians who is experienced in installing and servicing similar types of complex systems. They will be able to diagnose the root of the problem and make the necessary adjustments or repairs.

Making Your Piano Play Like New

If your piano has sticky keys, we’d love to make it work and sound like new. Give us a call at (210) 593-8329 or request a quote

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