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MMD > Archives > July 1997 > 1997.07.31 > 14Prev  Next

Suction Boxes
By Bernt Damm

In response to Thomas Henden:  My experience with the PPC suction box
(220V model) is that it runs very quietly if the piano is air-tight and
the motor does not need to run at a very high speed.  I have never made
any modifications to the box if installed on a restored piano.

To test if your piano is tight, put a strip of masking tape over all the
tracker holes, put the tempo on maximum, put the piano into play mode and
hold the air motor with one hand.  Now pump the piano.  If you can
pump without a major resistance, your piano is not up to spec.  and the
suction box will need to run faster to compensate for any leaks which
will result in more noise.

I could of course be wrong and the PPC suction box is just not the
quality it used to be as so many things...

I also know one 'purist' in Holland who installed the suction box in his
cellar and then ran a pipe up through the floor and into his piano.  I
can't remember what suction box type that was but that piano was very
quiet and one could hear only the air-leaks hissing on the silent part of
a roll.  I often wonder whether he ever fixed the leaks or if he just
moved his whole piano to cellar in the end.

As for your other question about the Duo-Art parts, I cannot really
answer that as far as the availability of parts goes but from the
Duo-Arts I have worked on, I can tell you that the installation of these
parts will not be an easy task.  Assuming that your piano is not of the
Themodist type, I think you will need the following and more to do a
proper job:

  Expression box
  Themodist valves
  Soft pedal pneumatic
  Automatic rewind/play pneumatic and valve box
  Division in the stack and an extra pipe connection for the treble half.
  Extra holes in the tracker bar, i.e., another tracker bar.
  Switching blocks for Duo-Art ON/OFF
  Rewind cutoff pneumatic and take up spool with sensing hole.
  etc. etc.

I think that your best bet is either to buy the complete insides of a
junked Duo-Art or to buy a proper Duo-Art and ship it to Norway.

They are sometimes for sale in Germany and England.


Bernt W. Damm
Cape Town, South Africa

(Message sent Thu 31 Jul 1997, 20:07:43 GMT, from time zone GMT.)

Key Words in Subject:  Boxes, Suction

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