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MMD > Archives > April 1998 > 1998.04.01 > 25Prev  Next


Marque-Ampico
By Michael Potash, forwarded

--- forwarded message, please reply to sender and MMD ---

 From: potash@volpe5.dot.gov (Michael Potash)(fwd)
 To: artcraft@wiscasset.net
 Subject: Re Marque-Ampico postscript
 Date: Wed, 01 Apr 98 14:12:00 EST

Dear Douglas,  You may post this for me in the MMD, or just pass it
around as you wish:

I have owned and enjoyed my Franklin Marque Ampico for many years.
It is a pedal player piano with a switch for auto or manual.  I tend to
use the manual setting about 80 percent of the time, since I prefer to
interpret ALL rolls as the Muses move me.  (If you love to listen to
lots of music, then you certainly have the right to play music in any
way that gives you joy.)

Using the auto setting (the expression mechanism)  can be also be musi-
cally exciting, but this greatly depends on the roll.  Unfortunately,
most original Ampico rolls do not use the full potential of the expres-
sion mechanism, and they are quite bland.  Just look at the lack of
variety in the dynamic coding at the sides of the paper.  Fortunately,
there are several newly arranged rolls now available that really speak
to my piano and make it truly sing.

Note that my pedal Marque Ampico does not have crescendos.  Soon after
I purchased my piano, I had grand plans to restore a set of crescendos
and install them.  At first I was certain that I absolutely had to do
this.  A friend of mine successfully performed this operation on his
Frankin Marque-Ampico, and I observed no significant difference.

In spite of this, I marched ahead and purchased some used crescendo
pneumatics, rebuilt one of them, and set them aside for future
installation in my piano.  As the months and then years past, I realized
more and more that I was getting FULL satisfaction playing my piano
without the crescendo mechanism at both auto and manual settings.

And so the Ampico crescendo mechanism certainly appears to be an add an
option of little significance and with little or no musical/technical
accuracy.

Michael Potash


(Message sent Thu 2 Apr 1998, 02:44:12 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

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