Replying to the Ampico "B" Problems
By Mike Walter
Replying to the Ampico "B" problems:
Getting the Ampico "B" to respond properly to all formats of AMPICO rolls is a daunting task, indeed. But if sufficient care is used in rebuilding the "B eeast" I'm sure that it will be worth the while.
While replacing the pouches in the valves, and cleaning the ball bleeds may help cure your ills, here are a couple more suggestions which may help restore the "B".
Rebush the fingers through which the poppet wires travel. The wires must be free of any type of corrosion. It has been suggested to replate all of the wires to guarantee that there is a minimal amount of friction at this point.
Open the striker pneumatics to the recommended distances. It has been noticed that often times when a piano was placed in a home, it sounded "too loud". The solution was to close the striker pneumatics some. It did the trick. Of course, soft passages didn't always come as good, but that brings around the third point. When the piano was new, the regulation on the piano was close to perfect. With very, very close tolerances on let off and drop off, the piano would be able to negotiate even the most difficult roll, including "Islamey", played by Julius Chaloff, which incidentally is an "A" roll.
As an interesting sideline, the American Piano Company did offer to its customers a service contract whereby they would visit a customer's home three or four times a year to make certain that their piano was performing at perfection. The service personnel would take care of anything that was out of order: valves sticking, action regulation, tuning, noisy pump, etc. at a low annual fee. I don't know how many years this service contract was offered, but it was available. If any one wants more info on it I'll be glad to dig up what I can.
For anyone who want to have their "B" piano working at peak performance should get the note compensation roll which is available through Keystone Music Rolls. The roll number is AMPICO 70601.
(Message sent Sun 17 Dec 1995, 21:42:06 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)