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MMD > Archives > November 1998 > 1998.11.19 > 10Prev  Next

Felt 'Soft' Rail in 1920 Steinway Duo-Art
By Al Pebworth

Has anyone seen a Steinway "M" Duo-Art (1920) that used a "Practice
Style Rail with Felt Tabs" to provide the soft rail function?

There is _no_ hammer Lift Rail  on this piano, and there never has
been.  When the Soft function is called for, a pneumatic on the keybed
moves this rail with the felt tabs to a position between the hammers
and the strings.  Really my questions would be:

Did it work?  How well?  How did they prevent the tabs from being bent
when the rail was moved when a hammer was striking?  How much did the
felt change the tonal qualities of the piano?

The "Did it Work" and "How Well" questions are asked, because I assumed
that it did work, until I opened the valve box that controlled the
pneumatic, and found that the top valve adjustment had been screwed
down "tight" against the valve face, thus disabling the soft function.
There were no signs that the box had ever been opened, nor is there any
sign on the felt where it had any wear from being placed between the
strings and the hammers.

I'm sending a couple of pictures of part of this rail along, and
I guess that it will be posted where the other pictures are located.
Any information would be greatly appreciated, as this restoration is
approaching the finish line.

Al Pebworth
Pebworth's Player Piano Center
Home of Yesterday's Music

 [ We'll place the two images at the Pictures web page, with an
 [ appropriate title.  That's sure a strange device for a grand piano.
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Fri 20 Nov 1998, 01:54:28 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  1920, Duo-Art, Felt, Rail, Soft, Steinway

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