2014 holiday shopping guide, Sibelius blog style


Hardware (or, the really big stuff)

315W+orw5gLDriving everything is the Mac Pro, late 2013 “trash can” model. Call it what you will, it’s super-fast and super-quiet. I’ve had it since February of this year and it’s a remarkable workhorse — even saving me on energy costs! The stock version is the 3.7 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon E5 Processor with 12 GB of RAM and 256GB flash storage. I ordered mine with 32GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage, so hopefully it will be future-proof, or at least future-resistant, for a while.
Price: $3,000 with stock options; $4,300 as ordered.

I spend lots of time staring at two identical HP ZR30w 30-inch monitors, which have since been discontinued by HP. This may be a good thing if you’re willing to pick up a used or refurbished model. If you’re looking for a newer version of an HP 30-inch monitor, it looks like the Z30i is the successor to the ZR30w. I find that the more screen real-estate available to me, the more productive I am. A common setup while I’m orchestrating is to place Logic on one screen and Sibelius on the other, running in ReWire mode, with both programs fully maximized.
Price: varies, a “like new” model from a reputable seller is about $800. (The newer Z30i is $1,200.)

Gazing into the Hudson River through twin HP ZR30w 30-inch monitors

These next several items are only really for those readers who do lots of printing on their own — and by lots, I mean sometimes printing 400 lbs. of music in a week, like we do at NYC Music Services for Carnegie Hall’s Link Up national program.

cp6015xThe first of these is a hefty color laser printer: the HP CP6015x. What’s nice about the 6015x or the 6015xh is that the internal trays can hold up to 12×18 paper, and print it double-sided using the automatic duplexer. This is essential for quickly turning out a large quantity of 9×12 “concert”-size parts. The printer isn’t cheap, it’s not small or light, and it’s not quiet — oh, and sometimes I feel like I’m keeping HP in business with all the toner that I buy. But it’s reliable and replacing parts is very easy to do, which is a good thing when blowing through that duty cycle with regularity. (We also have a CP5225dn with the extra tray for smaller jobs.)
Price: $3,000-$4,500ish; lots of used and refurbished models are available.

While there is a folding attachment available for the CP6015x, it only folds up to 11×17 (tabloid) size paper — not quite large enough for 12×18. Luckily there is the Martin Yale 1812 Autofolder to step into the breach, and does it ever fold like a champ:


What else needs to be said about this machine? It folds paper really, really fast.
Price: $2,100.

Rapid 106 Electric Saddle StaplerOnce all of that paper is folded, it needs to be stapled. For that, there is the Rapid 106 Electric Saddle Stapler. It works via an electric foot pedal that you press to activate the stapling mechanism. If you’re saddle-stapling hundreds of parts at a time like we sometimes do, it saves a lot of strain over the manual variety. Be sure to get the 66/6 and the longer 66/8 staples, not the regular staples, for this machine.
Price: $416.


  1. Andrei

    On this Thanksgiving Day in the US, I’d like to express my gratitude to you, Philip, for your insights, shared experience, advocacy, and for continuing this very useful blog so well. I’m sure I speak for many in our Sibelius and music notation community… Best wishes for the holidays and forward, Philip!

    1. Philip Rothman

      Thanks, Andrei, same to you!

  2. Justin

    What a great list. I feel fortunate to already have three of these volumes in my library!

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