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MMD > Archives > July 1998 > 1998.07.10 > 11Prev  Next

Value of Ampico B Pianos
By Bill Pohl

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
to them.

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.

Bill Pohl

 [ 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

(Message sent Fri 10 Jul 1998, 15:56:23 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Ampico, B, Pianos, Value

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