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MMD > Archives > November 1996 > 1996.11.01 > 01Prev  Next

Comments on Shipping Music Boxes
By Chuck Walker

Nancy Fratti's comments are very well taken and based on a LOT of experience. Angelo Rulli makes a good point about protecting combs and I agree with him as long as the comb is not on its own bedplate such as a comb being sent for repairs or an already disassembled box being sent for work (shudder).

However, as Nancy points out, the assembled music box is its own best protection. She tapes the combs, glass panels, and provides good shock protection with double boxing and foam insulation to cushion the (musical) box in the event of a large drop. During restoration, a great deal of time is often spent in setting the combs properly. This may include some delicate and sometimes unbalanced shims under the comb base. For example, I once installed thin shims of three different thicknesses under the rear edge of a cylinder box comb to balance the sound level and chord timing. It was amazing how much this improved the overall sound of the piece. Having put this much effort into restoration, I would prefer to not disturb the comb setting by removing it and hoping the owner will get it back correctly.

Regards, Chuck

Chuck Walker (
Hopewell Junction, NY

(Message sent Thu 31 Oct 1996, 04:21:23 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

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