Reply To: Tokai Gakki PC-1

Alan Brinton

Does anyone have anything new to report on the Tokai Gakki PC-1? I was never able to get my PC-1 back together and in playable condition. Its design was innovative and ingenious, and it’s a beautiful instrument. But I think it was too fragile and unstable and by design and not suited to automated mass production. The PC-1 has more of the character of a hand crafted instrument. Furthermore, although Tokai Gakki experimented with a few of its features in some other early Yamaha Pianicas, the PC-1 ended up having almost no discernible influence on the basic Yamaha design (of the P-25, 32 and 37) that prevailed and is manifested in the current P-25F, P-32D/E, and P-37D. So in terms of engineering and visual aesthetic, the PC-1 is of great interest; but in terms of historical influence it’s an anomaly.

The situation is different, it seems to me, with more recent innovative designs, even if they are not well suited to mass production. More recent innovative designs are, to some extent, being put on display in musical performances and having their design and development processes chronicled (here!).

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