A query to MMD people about recut Ampico piano rolls: Can anyone tell
me how individuals or companies who market recut editions of Ampico
rolls manage to situate and punch the holes accurately? Accurately,
that is, as measured by Ampico originals?
I have heard that rolls recut by Givens, Klavier, and Keystone had some
advantages in regard to accuracy because of their use of "original"
equipment. Is there anything to that? Or is everybody who recuts
rolls in the same boat in regard to accuracy?
How is a roll recut anyway, by anybody? By taking an existing roll
and measuring the distance between holes, and creating a new master?
And here's a corollary question: If you acquire a recut roll, do
you see any need to hang on to an old fragile original, except for
sentimental reasons? Or might the old fragile original have some
advantage in regard to accuracy?
Presumably these questions might apply to an evaluation of recut
rolls on other labels.
Thank you for your attention,
L. B. Brown
[ Editor's note -- Accuracy & Economics :
[ My 7-kg dictionary of 1927 says that accuracy implies accurateness,
[ i.e., "in conformance with a standard or requirement, as the result
[ of care or pains; free from failure, error, or defect; exact, as,
[ an accurate calculator."
[ The holes in music rolls produced in the US and UK were replicated
[ from master rolls in the same way, and with the same accuracy, that
[ Hollerith (IBM) cards duplicated financial data. Just as duplicate
[ Hollerith cards match hole-for-hole, so do copies of accurately
[ produced music rolls match hole-for-hole. The accuracy is
[ determined by comparing the position of the holes and scalloped
[ points of the copies with the original or master roll.
[ The accuracy is expressed as the percentage of holes which conform
[ when the original roll is compared with the copy. One can use
[ an inspector's optical comparator (a bit tedious!) or use a
[ high-quality optical scanner and computer to make the comparison.
[ Most of the contemporary roll recutting firms leave the question
[ of accuracy up to the customer, since great accuracy isn't demanded
[ and measuring the accuracy is time-consuming. Recut music rolls
[ generally don't need 100% hole-for-hole accuracy to satisfy the
[ But, as with copying Hollerith cards, 100% accuracy in copies of
[ music rolls is indeed attainable "as the result of care or pains."
[ I hope we'll hear from the roll recutting firms about accuracy and
[ how they measure and control it, and about what they offer those
[ customers who are willing to pay extra for 100% accuracy.
[ -- Robbie