(acoustic toy piano with nice sound)
This old acoustic toy piano made in China has an astonishingly high
sound quality and velocity sensitive keys despite it employs an incredible
simple mechanism. Like most such toy pianos it unfortunately lacks sharp
(black) keys, which limits its use. I don't know how old this thing is,
but it looks like from 1970th.
15 mini- keys (only flats - no sharps, velocity sensitive)
wooden case with plastic keys
acoustic tone generator based on 15 steel rods hit by wooden hammers on
It is astonishing how high the sound quality of this thing is; the timbre
is somewhere between clock chime and vibraphone. The highest few notes
have a strange bassy drone. The case is almost completely of wood; only
the keys and their bearing component is of white plastic and some damping
felt parts. When any key is pressed down, its rear end slings up a hammer
against a metal rod above it. The hammers are simply formed by a comb of
punched out cardboard strips with small wooden cubes glued to its ends
as clangers. The rods are of partly rusty steel and resemble ordinary long
nails of different length, those are held by a wood part at one end. The
mechanism is even velocity sensitive playable although it ignores weak
key hits and the key bearings are rather wacky which prevents gliding on
the keys, but the only thing it is really missing in comparison to a real
piano is a damper mechanism that muffles the rod when its key is released,
thus it sounds more like a vibraphone or glockenspiel.
I really don't understand why nobody manufactures a longer keyboard instrument
with working sharp keys based on this simple mechanism; with less wacky
keys it would be certainly very well playable and it could have been built
easily in the size of a modern electronic keyboard (not such a heavy monster
like a Rhodes piano or the like).
Here you see a bottom view on the opened instrument;
to the left are the rods with the hammer row, in the middle lie the loose
plastic keys. To the right you see the case bottom with the key bearing.
Here you see how the plastic keys rest on their bearing.
Their right ends hit the hammers when pressed.
These hammers are simply made from a cardboard strip
with a wood block glued to it. To the right you see the steel rods hit
I also own a toy piano by Bontempi (with orange and white plastic
case) which resembles the Baby Piano but it plays and sounds way
worse. Another small and wacky acoustic keyboard instrument I own is the
very bizarre Nigam Bulbul Tarang.
of these screws voids warranty...