In Digest 980706 Don Teach writes:
> There were several versions of the B Ampico. The two most common
> references are to what is known as the full B and the half B. Mason
> & Hamlin, Knabe, and Chickering all got the full B with everything
> you would expect a B to have. The other pianos usually got a B
> stack without the individual note pneumatics having the little fine
> adjustments for the softest playing. They also were missing some
> other parts that made a B so nice that I can't remember right now.
> I don't remember seeing a full B Ampico in any other brands.
This writing bothers me a little bit as it leads us to believe that
the Ampico B was not installed in the _other brands_. I have never
seen one of the _other brands_ (except for the Wheelock, which was
known to be an A/B) that was not a full B.
This is not to say that there are not some of them out there. I have
a Fischer Ampico that I restored about 25 years ago that has ALL the
amenities in it that a B piano is supposed to have. I once had a
Marshall & Wendell Ampico B that was a full B also. These pianos fall
in the _other piano_ category.
My reason for writing this is not to _flame_ Don Teach, as I consider
him a friend of mine. BUT, for the people who have an _other piano_
that is really a full B, this writing could be devastating in that it
could make all _other pianos_ with Ampico B's in them less desirable,
therefore less valuable. I can see a couple of thousand dollars fly
out of my piano overnight.
I don't plan to part with mine, but there are other people who might
someday want to sell or trade. Or how about the people who bought a B
_other piano_, and don't know what to look for to see if it is a full B
or not? They are probably pretty unhappy with the person who sold it
In my opinion, I think Don needs to enhance his article to correct this
problem. By the way, Don states in his article that he is not an
Ampico expert. I would like to make the same disclaimer. I do not
claim to be an Ampico expert either.
[ Editor's note:
[ Bill, re-writing doesn't occur in a forum like MMD -- it's
[ already history -- but dialogue continues, and that's why your
[ letter is most welcome. Your concern, as I see it, is that all the
[ facts aren't presented. That's okay, follow-on letters will expand
[ the knowledge. The MMD Forum is opinions and facts, and, sometimes,
[ distortions presented as facts. Fortunately, intentional distortions
[ are infrequent, and usually transparent.
[ Don Teach prefaced his letter:
[> There was an excellent article in an old AMICA bulletin authored
[> by Jeffrey Morgan and Richard Howe.
[ What are your views about this article? Does it present a different
[ implication of value?
[ For what it's worth (or not worth), my Ampico B Weber grand was
[ originally fitted with a 1912-style stack without the lost-motion
[ mechanism. Installing the 'proper' 1929 stack hasn't altered it's
[ value (or non-value); it remains an 'other brand', and will never
[ attain the value of a 'name' brand. The Weber Ampico is mainly a
[ rare curiosity.
[ -- Robbie