What is it?
The LX is a high-resolution player piano system designed by Wayne Stahnke and marketed by his company Live Performance from 2006 until 2014.
The LX was designed to be installed as a retrofit into existing pianos by qualified piano technicians and rebuilders. It originally cost about USD $10,000 installed for a system with real keyshift (soft pedal) capability and USD $9000 for a system with emulated soft pedal.The LX design was acquired by Steinway in early 2014 and relaunched in 2015 as the first version of Steinway's Spirio player piano system. In 2019, Steinway replaced the LX-based Spirio system with a newly-commissioned player system called Spirio | r (also known as Spirio Record; the r designates recording capability). The new system is also available in a playback-only variant (Spirio Play). The updated Spirio design is capable of playing music in the LX's streaming format music but uses completely different hardware that is incompatible with the resources on this page.
The LX can play music in several streaming audio formats played into the system's stereo LINE IN jacks:
- Native high-resolution LX format CDs and MP3 files
- Yamaha Pianosoft Plus Audio (CDs must be ripped to a lossless format such as FLAC, Apple Lossless, or WAV)
- PianoDisc CDs and MP3 files
- QRS Pianomation/PNOmation CDs and MP3 files
- Superscope/Marantz Pianocorder CDs and MP3 files
Using the Line Out Jacks
The stereo Line Out jacks should be connected to powered speakers or to a home stereo system. They provide the accompaniment audio present in certain music tracks that plays in sync with the piano.
Even Play Calibration
Using the Accessory Power Outlet
Using the MIDI IN Port
Using the Remote Control
Playing MIDI Files
FAQQ: Where can I get an LX system to install in my piano?
A: The LX is no longer on the market but kits are obtainable if you are determined. A couple of technicians and piano dealers have stockpiled a few original kits. Contact me for details. Q: What is the purpose of the LX's 9-pin HOST port?
A: If you connect a serial cable between this port and a computer running a terminal program like TeraTerm configured for 38400 baud N/8/1, you can observe some informational messages at power-up indicating the versions of firmware modules BOOT (the bootloader) and PLAY (the main software). Messages are also displaying indicating the progress of firmware updates and calibration activities. The HOST port does not support any incoming commands during normal operation.
Converting Floppies to MP3 Files
Diskettes archived with PPFBU may be batch converted to MP3 files suitable for playback on newer player piano systems using the companion program MID2PianoCD.
To do this:
Be sure that Write Tag Files is enabled while archiving your floppies, and be sure to enter the text information as completely and accurately as possible.
Click Add Folder and point MID2PianoCD at the base folder to which you've archived your diskettes. All of the diskettes will be imported into MID2PianoCD's Files to convert window automatically.
Under Encoded output path, select Use output path specified below and point MID2PianoCD at a new empty folder where you want to store the MP3 files.
Under Output format, select the type of player piano system you have and choose MP3 as the audio file type. Leave Prepend format identifier unchecked.
Click the Advanced button and ensure that the source velocity profile is set properly for the type of diskettes you are converting. Select Disklavier for Yamaha floppies or Full range for PianoDisc floppies. (As this is a global setting affecting all files in the batch, you should convert only one type of floppy disk at a time.)
Click OK to close the Advanced Features window.
Click Start Conversion to batch convert the selected performances
Copy the encoded, tagged MP3 files to your MP3 player just like any other MP3 files, connect the MP3 player to your piano's audio inputs, and play the files. Ensure the MP3 player's volume is turned up reasonably high (at least 80-90%) and ensure that any special features (equalization, bass boost, etc.) are disabled. If the files fail to play, double-check that the left and right stereo plugs are not swapped and that the player piano controller is in the proper mode to accept external input.
Converting Floppies to CDs
Diskettes archived with PPFBU may be batch converted to CDs suitable for playback on newer player piano systems using the companion program MID2PianoCD.
To do this, follow the steps in the preceding section, but set the audio file type to WAV instead of MP3.
After the conversion process has completed, locate the WAV files MID2PianoCD generated in the target folders, and use any CD-burning package (EZ CD Creator, Nero, etc.) to burn an audio CD-R or CD-RW of each album. Use Disc-At-Once mode to burn the CD, if available, and be sure to close the session. Do not create a data CD (i.e. a CD with files and directories on it) or the disc will not play on your piano.
PPFBU is available for free. But if you find it useful, please consider making a $20 contribution to offset my costs and encourage further development. This program contains no advertisements, spyware, crippled features, nagging, or other such junk, so I rely strictly upon user contributions to cover my time and expenses in developing this tool.
You can send a contribution using any of the following methods:
- Using PayPal
Click the button to contribute via PayPal.
You don't have to be a PayPal member to contribute, and you can use your credit card.
- By check or money order - U.S. residents only
Please contact me by email for the payment address (my email address is at the bottom of this page).
This software is designed for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. It might run under some Windows emulation environments, such as WINE, though this has not been tested.
- Version 1.4 (7/19/2018)
- Improved handling of malformed Yamaha ESEQ files
- Version 1.3 (6/14/2017)
- Improved support for 1.44 MB Yamaha diskettes
- Added support for 1.44 MB PianoDisc and Disklavier floppies
- Improved support for Yamaha Disk Orchestra Collection content
- Improved handling of disk read errors
- Version 1.1 (3/17/2013)
- Now unmuting piano track in MIDI files converted from Pianosoft Plus material
- Fixed initialization of song titles from Yamaha floppies lacking PIANODIR.FIL
- Fixed bug: SYSEX messages were being omitted from ESEQ->MIDI file conversion
- Version 1.0 (3/5/2013)
- First public release
If you have questions or suggestions, please send email to Mark Fontana:
This software and web site are not affiliated with Steinway, Yamaha, PianoDisc, QRS, Marantz, or other companies mentioned. All trademarks are the property of their respective owners and are mentioned strictly for informational purposes.Copyright © 2020 Mark Fontana