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MMD > Archives > February 1997 > 1997.02.19 > 13Prev  Next

Aeolian Orchestrelle Help Wanted
By Bill Wilkinson

Since I've seen the last few digests, I know to put this part first:

   Bill Wilkinson
   Snohomish, Washington (about 30 miles from Seattle)
   8/44 (52)
   No guess as to average, but I know I'm close.

What got me started here was that just this month I was given an Aeolian Orchestrelle that *looks* to be in restorable condition, though not without a lot of work.

I should note that vigorous pumping on the pedals does reward me with a lot of ciphers, but only if one or more stops are open (in other words, the mutes are working). (Why is a cipher "zero" in writing, but an "on" reed in organs?)

Perhaps a third of the keys will produce notes. Others are presumably trying to turn on ciphers, still others have hoses missing, problems with the pneumatics, etc. (I can't see both sides at once!) The crankshaft bellows do turn the roll mechanism, at least a little. In other words, it *tries* to work, even though it doesn't quite make it -- it doesn't *want* to die!

I have a non-automatic organ I want to tackle first (to get experience), so if and when I finish restoring the other, I will try to turn my attentions to this beast. Is it worth it? I saw one for sale for only $2500.

Also, I have six ranks of reeds (minus 12 at low end of one rank) still in their cells, torn out of some unknown works. I'm not trying to be stingy with these -- I'll be glad to swap for miscellany at some time in the future -- but first I want to make sure I don't need some for my own restorations.

One of these days, I'd love to be able to afford a nickelodeon or similar instrument, and my wife is ga-ga over Regina machines. I think our interested in mechanical players started years ago with a visit to the collection that Knotts' Berry Farm had. (Is it still there?)

It'll be a couple of years before it matters, but I would also be interested in a 58-hole test roll.

Any comments on the Aeolian are welcome. Feel free to email me directly if there's no point in the whole group seeing them.

Bill Wilkinson

P.S. Speaking of rolls, anybody want to enlighten me on the availability and cost of suitable ones? Again, private email is fine.

(Message sent Thu 20 Feb 1997, 01:55:00 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  Aeolian, Help, Orchestrelle, Wanted

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