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MMD > Archives > March 2002 > 2002.03.18 > 08Prev  Next

Tubing Connections for Seeburg Style "L"
By Art Reblitz

Tubing Connections for Seeburg Style "L"
  And Other A-roll Cabinet Pianos

The small Seeburg L cabinet piano has 54 notes  The lowest bass note
is the third B below middle C, equal to note 15 in an 88-note piano.
The highest treble note is the third E above middle C, equal to note
68 in an 88-note piano.  The pitch standard is A=435 Hz.

With eleven wrapped two-string bass unisons playing from low B up
to A, the lowest plain string on the long bridge is the second A# below
middle C (note 26 in an 88-note piano).

The Seeburg L plays 65-hole style "A" rolls  These rolls play 58 notes,
from C through A (notes 16 through 73 in an 88-note piano).  Although
the lowest note in an "A" roll is C and the lowest note in a Seeburg L
is B, the L does not transpose, but is tubed to play at concert pitch.
Here's how:

  "A" roll scale for cabinet style Seeburg L coin piano

  1 Low vacuum to piano stack
  2 Sustaining pedal
  3 Play (cancel rewind)
  4 C (lowest note in roll; second lowest note in piano)
  5 C#
  6 D
  7 D#
  8 E
  9 F
 10 F#
 11 G
 12 G#
 13 A
 14 A#
 15 B (1st and 13th notes in piano, coupled together with
      a "jumper" tube on stack)

chromatically up through

 56 E  (highest playing note in piano)
 57 F  (teed to next lower F, tracker bar hole 45)
 58 F# (teed to next lower F#, tracker bar hole 46)
 59 G  (teed to next lower G, tracker bar hole 47)
 60 G# (teed to next lower G#, tracker bar hole 48)
 61 A  (teed to next lower A, tracker bar hole 49)
 62 Not used (for pipes or xylophone in larger models)
 63 Rewind
 64 Mandolin attachment; hammer rail up (soft)
 65 Shutoff (subtracts one credit from coin accumulator)

The same piano and scale are used in the late style keyboardless
Seeburg model C with xylophone, the Western Electric Mascot, and the
Coinola Cupid.  Western Electrics and Coinolas do not have a pneumatic
expression device for tracker bar hole #1, and use only the hammer rail
for automatic expression.

Larger keyboardless A-roll pianos, including the Seeburg K and Western
Electric X, were copied from the Automatic Musical Co. keyboardless
piano made by Haddorff and later used in the Link 2-E cabinet piano.
This piano has 61 notes tuned from G-G  In A-roll pianos, the lowest
three notes are not used, leaving a 58-note scale of low A# through
high G and transposing "A" rolls down two half steps  Consequently they
sound a little "tubby" compared to their keyboard-style counterparts.

(The same piano back was also used in G-roll and 4X-roll pianos
including the Seeburg KT, KT Special, equivalent Western Electric
models, and the Nelson Wiggen 4X, 5X, and 6  With three unused bass
notes and 10 octave-coupled bass notes, they play in the correct key,
unlike their A-roll counterparts.)

A few Nelson-Wiggen Style 8 keyboardless pianos that play "A" rolls
have little 54-note pianos as in the Seeburg L et al, but most of them
have full 58-note pianos  They are non-transposing, making them many
collectors' favorite little A-roll pianos because they are the only
ones that play the music as intended  They are also the only little
American nickelodeons that were originally tuned to A-440.

Art Reblitz

 [ Many tracker scales and key frame layouts are included in the book,
 [ "The Golden Age of Automatic Musical Instruments," copyright 2001
 [ by Arthur A. Reblitz, and in "Treasures of Mechanical Music,"
 [ copyright 1981 by Arthur A. Reblitz and Q. David Bowers.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Mon 18 Mar 2002, 03:22:03 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  Connections, L, Seeburg, Style, Tubing

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