Hi Tim, Your problems with the auto-sustain are not at all uncommon.
I think the main problem is the manner in which the auto-sustain is
adjusted. Most (if not all) the books on rebuilding and regulating
player mechanisms tell you to set the auto-sustain to pull the dampers
a full 1/8" away from the strings. That's a Full Open Sustain, and very
few artists use the pedal in that fashion.
As most pianists will tell you, they feather the pedal like a fine
race car driver. Very rarely does a race car driver 'floor it'. If they
did, the wheels would just spin and they'd go nowhere fast. The same
premise is true of the sustain pedal.
My suggestion would be to change the setting on the sustain pedal so
that the dampers just barely clear the strings when the auto-sustain
device is fully activated. It may require a little bit of testing to
get it to work just the way you want but it can be done fairly easily
with the limiting screw on the top of the auto-sustain device.
John A. Tuttle
John Tuttle "Self-Playing Pianos" http://www.PlayerCare.com
407 19th Avenue E-Mail: JohnTuttle@PlayerCare.com
Bricktown, NJ 08724 "We Keep Your Music Rolling"