Ellen and I are heading out to Charlotte to attend the MBSI Convention,
at which I plan to give a workshop presentation regarding the specifics
of the Ampico A and B, and to show physical evidence in detail never
before presented, to my knowledge, exactly why the model B Ampico is
not required to have any particular compatibility with the model A or
earlier systems. I will be passing out illustrated booklets
highlighting the presentation.
I am pretty excited about what I have to offer here, since part of the
demonstration includes a performance of the Ampico B playing the oldest
rolls I could find, including some with over 6" long single-sided
crescendos in both bass and treble. One of the rolls is an original
in a faded green box dated 1914. While this part of the demo is on
videotape, it is recorded with a camera with which it was possible
to remove all audio limiting circuits and capture the sound as it came
directly into some pretty good professional mikes, and so it will be
played back on a large stereo system provided by the workshop
committee. I really appreciate the opportunity they are providing me
to let all who are interested hear, for the first time, what they've
only been told about for years.
There will be several more things of interest the guests can look
over, but the presentation will begin with roll coding standards (For
example, have you ever wondered how they could play one note in a chord
louder than the others in the same chord? I show you right on the roll
how this is done). They will see how several rolls are coded and what
certain things cause the piano to do. Then, they will see the complete
Ampico system in action on the bench with the pump and amplifier
(Nothing clamped or artificially closed off), with three simultaneous
gauges operating and showing what happens to all gauges when the roll
is controlling it. Finally, they will hear as live a performance as it
is possible to get, along with the roll codes they are watching at the
same time, lined up on markers, making it easy to watch.
I hope that as many as are interested in the mysterious Ampico system
will join me in this presentation. Bring your thinking caps, because
things are going to move quickly. But I think I can make it worth your
time. By the way, I also show you why, if you own an Ampico, you need
new crescendo springs.
And if anyone doubts that Ampico rolls were really able to copy the
playing of the great artists, and were mainly just advertising hype,
they need to hear what these rolls are able to do when played from a
computer program through the Stahnke Boesendorfer concert grand on
the famous Telarc CD-80489 we have been hearing about. Remember, the
pneumatic instrument, when especially regulated for the concert grand
dynamics, was able to play those rolls in exactly the same way.
Please introduce yourself to me when you get there. I want to meet
as many friends of MMD as possible.