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MMD > Archives > May 1999 > 1999.05.08 > 08Prev  Next

Orchestrion Pipes
By Craig Brougher

Hi Art,

That is very interesting about the pipes. We certainly agree about the
purposes of these instruments, and I have no quarrel with any of it. I
fully agree. I also believe that you agree that pipes with anything
less than quarter sawn panels are cheaply made pipes, too.

I have seen European pipes, and the ones I have examined closely don't
begin to resemble what you have described. So it just goes to show one
thing -- anybody can slop something out without even trying. It takes
conscientious, continual effort to be consistently good, doesn't it?
This is a question of pre-war or post war production, possibly,
corporate management policy changes, political turmoils, a factory
that was broke, whatever. Or possibly, a lemon. It wasn't what they
made their reputations on, right? You too have seen better, haven't you?

I don't think anything is really proved by citing exceptions to the
rule.  As far as I can see, we both agree, and given your experiences,
I understand your reservations, now.  On the other hand,  I haven't
made the claim that nothing crappy ever came out of Europe. I stuck to
the things I knew for sure, and had seen. I see no disagreement here
by mentioning the exceptions.

Reminds me of the story about the Rolls Royce. They had a customer here
in the States whose Rolls broke down. They sent a mechanic from England
over to fix it, and after it was fixed and he wanted to pay the bill,
they told him nothing was wrong, so they couldn't charge him. After
all, it was a "Rolls." The moral is the same-- Europe has always built
the grandest, the best, and the most expensive with the finest work,
materials, etc. in the world. Once in awhile though, some bad stuff
gets out anyway. Their best defense has been to just deny it. What is
proved to the contrary, once the obvious economic structures of the
two systems and their customer base has been so obvious to everybody?
We cannot convince a Cadillac owner that my Chevy has anything at all
better in it -- even if I took out my superior ashtray and showed him.
I'd just make him mad.

I have seen American pipe chests with knots, but I have never ever seen
a pipe with one. So that, in my opinion, is an oddity museum piece. (Of
course, some might say it was one of several " replacement pipes" too.)
It might be hard to prove conclusively that those pipes were absolutely
the original ones. A lot can happen in 80-90 years. Then again, so what
if they were? There are just too many good violin ranks out of Europe
to cast aspersions with a few poorly made ranks. So frankly, I don't
see where we're going with the subject.

I'm just looking for some superior wooden violin pipes, sometime. That's
all. Just haven't been able to find what I want.

By the way, you might watch about sending personal return mail from
"Reply" when my particular posting about another subject was addressed
to more than just the one you want to talk with. I was obliged to cc:
these recipients, since you had also sent them a copy, too. I realize
it was just an accident.  No problemo.


(Message sent Sun 9 May 1999, 01:44:40 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Orchestrion, Pipes

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