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MMD > Archives > December 1999 > 1999.12.01 > 15Prev  Next

Kastner Autopiano with 178-hole Tracker Bar
By, forwarded

I'm forwarding a message I received about a very unusual
tracker bar.  Can any of you figure this one out?

Sam Harris

 - - -

From: (Atica Arquitectos)
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 1999 18:12:09 +0100

Subject: Kastner Autopiano with 178-hole Tracker Bar

 -- forwarded message, please reply to sender and MMD --

Dear friends:  My name is Inigo, and I'm writing you from Madrid,
Spain.  I've just visited your web site and I really have to congratu-
late you for all the good  work you have done with it.  Besides that,
the reason of my email is that I just inherited a Kastner Autopiano,
in apparently good shape on the outside, but with serious problems with
the "pianola" or piano player.

We took the piano to the only man that we know in Spain that restores
this antiques, who has a little workshop here in Madrid.  But the
surprise once we opened is that this man had no ever seen a pianola
like mine, because it has a double 88-note scale in the inside!  The
drawing I'm sending you explains how the two groups of 88 holes are
disposed in the piece where the roll goes through (I don't know the
name in English).

The problem, as you can imagine, is that the two levels of tubes that
are born in that piece, are made of rubber that is absolutely like
stone, and will break in 1000 pieces as soon as we touch it.

The question is, if we start the restoration, will the pianola work
if we only achieve to restore the main group of tubes (the horizontal
central line) and ignore the tubes on the two sides?  In other words,
are they independent scales, or do they have to work together so the
pianola can sound correctly?  Obviously, if we can only repair the
central tubes, we will only be able to play that type of rolls, which
I think are probably the standard rolls, aren't they?

I'm sending you a front drawing of the tracking bar so you can see what
it looks like.

 [ Dave Smith <> wrote: ]

> Hi Inigo,  I see that you have written to several about your
> questions regarding the tubing of the tracker bar (the brass bar
> with all the nipples on it).
> From your diagram, my first thought is that you have a Recordo player
> mechanism.  The Recordo (both foot pump and electric system) uses the
> usual 88 notes or nipples in the middle, PLUS 5 extra holes on each
> end that triggers the 5 different levels of expression the Recordo
> system plays.
> I recommend that you first make a diagram of the tubing and where
> it all goes, and then replace _all_ of it!  Tracker tubing is readily
> available.
> I hope this helps; I'd be interested to know if others agree with
> my opinion.
> Dave Smith

The piano is foot pumped and was made in 1905, but I don't think it's
what you call "Recordo", because the tracker bar has the 88 nipples
in the middle, and then on the left side is a group of nine lines with
four nipples on each (that makes 36), and on the right side is another
group of nine lines with six nipples on each (that makes another 54),
plus a couple of nipples on the extremes that I think are for the
control of speed and strength of the roll.

So as you see, besides the standard 88, we have 90 extra nipples,
with their 90 tubes that go in parallel to the standard 88 tubes.
Any ideas about it?

Thank you so much in advance for your time and dedication.  We will
be waiting for your expert advice!


 [ See this unusual tracker bar at
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Tue 30 Nov 1999, 17:15:30 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  178-hole, Autopiano, Bar, Kastner, Tracker

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