After commenting on the treadled player piano's reroll brake, I thought I
might add a caveat and discuss the reproducing player's reroll brake,
because their purpose is a bit different. Same mechanism, just a little
tighter adjustment, because on the reproducer, the purpose of the brake
is to snug up the paper on the roll. That's important for the larger
rolls that were cut for 'reproducers' but were not usually treadled by
88 note players until QRS cut some longer program rolls -- like Carnival
of the Animals (and yes, I know the exceptions). Since the treadled
player is a manual player by intent, it was decided to let the pedalist
tend his rolls. But since the reproducing player is "automatic," then
the mechanism was to tend the rolls.
That said, the Ampico B that tears rolls on rewind, does so not because
of an inferior tracking system, but because of too much tension in the
tracking fingers. About 22 years ago, I explained how to avert this
problem completely, in the AMICA Bulletin. To this day, every Ampico B
I have restored uses this system of counter-tension springs that
"float" the fingers with almost zero tension. It was a design error
that was never corrected, but the rebuilder who knows better will never
tell you "They just tear rolls up, and there's nothing you can do
about it. Ignore it.
No properly restored tracker system will shred an old roll on rewind
as long as it played well to begin with, and that's all there is to it.
Don't believe the nonsense that roll tracking systems are poor at
best. Just keep in mind one fact -- somebody had to rebuild that
tracking system so it could "not work right" all over again.