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MMD > Archives > October 1998 > 1998.10.31 > 04Prev  Next

B.A.B. vs. Wurlitzer 165 Snare Drum Mechanisms
By Art Reblitz

The Wurlitzer 165 organ plays two reiterating snare drum beaters from
one hole in the roll.  One beater is connected to a valve that causes
it to reiterate and forces the other "slave" beater to alternate with
it.  Ideally, a single punch in the roll would produce a single snare
drum tap, but in general it's more like a short burst of sound, not
necessarily a single tap.

The B.A.B. system uses two single-tap beaters with very powerful
pneumatics, played from two separate holes in the roll, as in Gavioli
and most other European fairground organs.  With this system, either
hole in the tracker bar produces a loud clear single tap; for a
continuous drum roll, the roll alternates the two beaters rapidly.

I've worked on both types of organ enough to know that there's simply
no way to get a Wurlitzer 2-beater reiterating snare drum mechanism to
play a rapid succession of single taps as clearly and distinctly as two
single stroke beaters.

It's possible to adjust a Wurlitzer mechanism to sound _okay_ playing
B.A.B./165 conversion rolls, but _not quite as good_ as B.A.B. rolls
playing two single-stroke beaters.

Art Reblitz

 [ Aha, good information -- thanks, Art!   Marc, perhaps you and John
 [ Malone could temporarily install a B.A.B.-type snare drum on his
 [ Wurlitzer 165 organ while you record the music.  -- Robbie

(Message sent Sat 31 Oct 1998, 15:26:52 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  165, B.A.B, Drum, Mechanisms, Snare, vs, Wurlitzer

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