FS: Custom-made Welte Licensee Vorsetzer. This is the instrument that
caused a sensation at the Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles and wound
up featured on Polish TV and in a video. A "Paderewski and His
Friends" recital was played on a restored 1872 8'5" Steinway to an
audience that included Paddy's god-daughter and one of his finest
pupils and several others who knew him. They loved it!
The instrument was designed by and largely executed by the one and only
Jim Miller. The stack was built from scratch and is absolutely superb.
Fingers were hand made by Jim. Shortly before the recital, Larry
Broadmoore repouched the stack, replaced the striker pneumatics with a
new design by Jim and rebuilt the control units.
The vacuum source is an outboard centrifugal unit custom built to my
design (and incorporating suggestions from Jim) by Jeff Turner of
Craftsman piano. A special industrial suction unit uses a separate
cooling air circuit such that it can run indefinitely with the suction
side closed off without overheating. It can pull close to 100 inches
H20; for the Paderewski recital in a fairly large hall, 55 inches
suction was used. Has a first-quality Bodine permanent magnet roll
drive motor with Bodine controller insures absolutely constant roll
In my semi-advanced age, my wife has ordered vacuum out the door.
Soon, an excellent upright Ampico and _maybe_ a fully (really) restored
5' 8" Mason and Hamlin will be available; both have Bodine (shunt wound
with variable regulated armature voltage speed control) roll drive and
electronic control (a small computer in the case of the M and H).
Anyway, my reward for compliance is an excellent Disklavier that really
does play the many reproducing rolls now available in electronic form
But, there is work left to be done on the Vorsetzer. First of all,
it is naked, no outer case. That's the biggest thing. Also, smaller
bleeds would improve very fast playing performance. The transmission
control is still full manual although I have the electronics thought
out (essentially the same as the M and H which was very carefully
designed and executed). The soft pedal needs a bigger valve.
This instrument needs and deserves a good home. I don't even want
to think how much time and $ I have in it. $2500 FOB my garage in
Phoenix. Close to 200 excellent Welte rolls, mostly the marvelous
Tonnessen/McClelland subscription recuts (all of them), are separately
available as a set. Feel free to contact me for more information.
Jim Phillips <email@example.com>