Bob Taylor was asking about a Welte test roll. I have one he can
borrow, if he doesn't find one to buy. He is welcome to use it, but
as with any technician's test roll, once you become used to the
tracking, etc., you never trust that you can find one just like that,
again. All test rolls are not equal.
Regarding the setting up of a Welte Licensee, they can be very frustrat-
ing because the regulating procedure is incomplete and requires a lot
of back-and-forth retesting, sometimes for several days, before a sweet
balance is achieved between the various levels and timings required.
As the valves are seating and the pump flaps getting tighter again,
everything changing, including the friction involved in the
mezzo-forte and hook angle, nothing remains the same.
But the worst feature of the design, in my opinion, are the air leakers
which are stuffed with batting. It swells with moisture, which changes
the leakers with humid or dry days. You can have the instrument
perfectly regulated one month, and the next it is a little bit out,
just due to that one factor, alone. So I suggest changing the filters
out to something that doesn't swell with moisture.
Those who aren't satisfied with their Welte Licensees might ask Player
Piano Co. to send them a copy of the free reprint I gave them, several
years ago, on regulating the Welte Licensee grand. Hint: You start
regulating that player on its side! By the time you put it on its legs,
everything is done, up to the first (I think) ten steps or so. From
that point, regulation is easy to do on your back-side.
The test roll is just fine, actually. It's the piano that's the
[ I've also heard that the "leaker" is very critical, because it sets
[ the fast decrescendo rate ("forzando off"). Would a pinhole bleed
[ be suitable, or should the felt "leaker" be replaced by a laminar-
[ flow constriction like honeycomb or a cluster of tubes? Has anyone
[ experimented with this? -- Robbie