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MMD > Archives > August 1996 > 1996.08.29 > 05Prev  Next


Loudness vs. Pleasure
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,

I've enjoyed the treatise on Duo-Art volume levels for the past week or two, but all of the "solutions" to the "problem" have been rather involved.

I, too, have a number of customers who complain about their reproducers being "to loud". My solution has satisfied every one of them and it's very simple. But first, let me say that when I encounter this "problem", I realize from the start that the customer wants "background" music and not an artistic performance, so I react accordingly.

I simply install a _very good_ variable speed control in line with the motor. This simple procedure allows the customer to set their own "comfortable" volume level without changing _any_ calibrated settings.

I know what you're going to say: that it messes up the low end and some notes won't speak at all. Right, but at that low level you'd have to be within a few feet of the piano to "not hear" the missing notes. Besides, I tell the customer that it will happen. The point is, I leave it up to the individual. After they've spent hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars getting the unit restored to factory specifications and like-new quality, it would be insane to "undo" all that expensive work to satisfy an unrealistic need.

Reproducing pianos were never intended to be used like a stereo system, and I have no problem telling the customer that fact. But if they insist on utilizing the instrument that way, why shouldn't I make a few more dollars and accommodate them in a safe and sane manner?

Just my opinion.

Musically, John Tuttle

P.S. I also tell them that if the level is set too low, the automatic rewind and shut-off may not work correctly and the auto-sustain and hammer rail lift (subdued) may not have enough "umph" to do their respective jobs.

[ Ed. Note: An interesting approach, John. Does the motor get hot?
[ I always thought that induction motors (excepting torquer motors)
[ were likely to overheat at lower-than-normal voltage. -- Robbie


(Message sent Thu 29 Aug 1996, 14:17:35 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

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