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MMD > Archives > June 1996 > 1996.06.24 > 09Prev  Next

Ampico A/B Modification
By Craig Brougher

Pat Mullarky asks:

> My question for the group:
> The piano (Ampico A/B) has only one Crescendo, tubed to the Treble
> side. This Crescendo is tee'd to both Expressions. It was built this way,
> as I found no screw holes where a second Crescendo would have/could
> have been mounted, and there were no "tubing stains" on the Bass
> Crescendo tracker-bar tubes. Would it be against the credo of restoration
> to add the second, Bass Crescendo? I have a spare in my shop from a
> parted-out junked Ampico.

Suggestion: Everybody seems to think that unless the Ampico uses two crescendos, it is only half an Ampico. So I'm going to issue a challenge/test/or whatever-else-you-call-it. Go ahead and hook up another crescendo, but first, find a dozen Ampico rolls, dating 1921 or later. Record them on a good tape recorder. Then put on your second crescendo and record them again. Wait a week or two before you listen to the tape (because every time we do something "extremely ingenious" like this we want to believe so strongly that we have made a difference that nobody can tell us differently, and from that time on, we are convinced, so let's be fair). I am betting you that after you let the project cool and then compare your same tunes played with and without the second crescendo, you will not be able to tell any difference!

To do this the "right" way, record them on separate tapes, put them into a dual cassette deck side by side, then play back the left, then the right cassette. You will be able to listen to the same tune back to back.

As a matter of fact, I can asure you that you will not hear any difference at all (unless you include a few crazily coded wildcard rolls from the Hupfeld roll series). The reason is because all of those rolls cut after 1921 (for sure, and mostly all Ampico rolls from 1916) didn't have enough difference between the bass and treble crescendo coding to be able to hear it. The crescendos always work together anyway, so why have two of them? And if there is no loss of response when you operate two spring pneumatics instead of one, then you have a fully operational Ampico, so don't worry about it.

Craig B.

(Message sent Tue 25 Jun 1996, 02:10:52 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  A/B, Ampico, Modification

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