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MMD > Archives > November 2000 > 2000.11.27 > 07Prev  Next

Identifying 1970s Kimball Player Actions
By Ed Gaida

I have received a lot of email lately about the later style player
mechanism installed in Kimball spinet pianos in the 1970's, or maybe

Years ago, when Kimball was still making those players, I wrote to
the factory and received four service manuals from them.  One of the
manuals was a photocopy and they did not bother to put a cover on it.
Its letter designation remains unknown, at least to me.

If you have a Kimball player and need a manual, I can photocopy the
correct one for a charge of $13.20 which includes postage.

Deciding just WHICH one you need will be more difficult than trouble-
shooting the player mechanism.  For example the earliest manual has
production numbers designating when certain changes took place, i.e.:

  Number 200 up to and including 350
  Number 500 up to and including 800 (No mention of what happened
    to those between 351 and 499!!!! ...the dumpster, maybe?)
  Number 800 (sic) up to and including 1020
  Number 1021 up to and including 1499, and
  Number 1500 up to 2000.

That is the earliest manual I have, but it has no date.

The next manual is for the Model "D" but does not give any production
numbers.  It is dated June, 1977 and has a single schematic, 11" X 17"
inserted in the rear of the booklet.

There is a manual for the Model "E" and "F" also.  Neither of these
have dates, however, they both have three large 11" X 17" schematics
inserted.  Both of these models had the valves clamped to the pneumatic
deck, Ampico style.

Model "D" which one would think would have come first, has valves
glued on, with the proviso that Prior to 1972 valves were glued
directly to the wooden pneumatic rails, and from April 1972 on there
was a cork gasket glued between the valves and the pneumatic boards.
An interesting photo shows how to remove a non-working valve.  A
phantom hand is attacking the offending unit with a screwdriver and
pounding same with the palm of the other hand!

Models "D", "E", and "F" show a single motor driving the roll.  The
earlier manual I have, which is a photocopy without a cover and gives
no model designation, shows _two_ motors -- one for forward the other
for rewind.  These motors are not available anymore, at least no one
that I have corresponded with knows of a place where you can buy them.

If anyone can add to the above information, please do.  There are a lot
of them out there, and in the past, for want of a supply of plastic
valves, I have removed the mechanisms so the piano dealer could sell
the piano as a "straight" piano.

I have always wondered what happened to Models "A", "B", and "C" and
whether the unmarked manual could have had one of those letter

Ed Gaida

(Message sent Mon 27 Nov 2000, 20:37:37 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)

Key Words in Subject:  1970s, Actions, Identifying, Kimball, Player

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