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MMD > Archives > August 2000 > 2000.08.17 > 08Prev  Next

Player Piano and Player System Manufacturers
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  This posting is mainly addressed to all of the player
piano rebuilders in the group.  But, first I want to thank all of the
kind people who took the time to write encouraging letters about my
current project to list player piano makers and the player systems they
installed.  Thank You!  (The listing has already changed three times
-- Yeah!)

To the rebuilders in the group, when you have a moment, please take
a look at the listing (URL below) and let me know if you have any
additions.  The primary listing was made years ago and I feel
relatively confident that there are some companies that are not listed.

Also, if you know of any player systems that are not listed, please
send me any and all information you have on hand.  If required, I will
gladly purchase the information, especially if it is of a technical
nature, i.e., tubing schematics, unique pneumatic devices and unique
player systems.  I'm not looking for 'something for nothing'; that's
not realistic.

The URL is

(By the Way, I haven't addressed the reproducing piano systems or the
Expression systems at this point in time.  That project is slated for
sometime next year, the Good Lord willing and the creeks don't rise.

There are a number of player systems about which there is no known
technical information.  One example is the 4-tier, wooden pouch
pneumatic Henry F. Miller action with the air motor mounted above the
spool box.  Another example is the Lauter-Humana.  (That's why I've
created a number of web pages about that action.)

As a side note, some people have expressed concern about making
technical information available to the general public.  The crux of
their concern is that I am 'taking food from their table'.

From where I sit, nothing could be further from the truth.  My own
father expressed a similar concern over four years ago when I posted
my first web page about the basic operating principle of a player piano.
Since that time my player rebuilding/service business has more than

Why?  I think the answer is quite simple.  When the average player
piano owner realizes how complex the average player piano really
is, they understand that the work should be left to a professional.
And that's why I went to such great lengths to create the Player
Technicians Listing.  (If you're not on it, you should write to me.
Now it's FREE!)  I refer people to that listing no less than ten times
a week.

Despite a common belief, people aren't stupid.  Oh, they can be
thick-headed, but when push comes to shove, they move over and let
the pro 'do his thing'.  And what's the worst that can happen?  The
owner tries to fix his own unit, fails, and then hires a pro to clean
things up.  What's wrong with that?

From where I sit, that means more work for _us!_  The 2-5 percent of
people who actually do all the work and get the unit going again still
need to have the piano tuned.  If the owner had never started the
project, you wouldn't get that tuning job -- now would you!

I've been saying it all along: you have to give to get!  It's simple
logic that really works.  Keeping information 'hidden' from the public
only serves to destroy the future of that information.  For when we're
all dead and gone, only the information we have given (or provided) to
the world will live on.

Off the soapbox,

John A. Tuttle

(Message sent Thu 17 Aug 2000, 21:46:44 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Manufacturers, Piano, Player, System

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