Good news for player pianos! Doug Johnson of Schaff Piano Supply
Company has just called and promised me that Schaff plans to sell 7/32"
tubing, of the same quality as their 5/32", which, in my mind, is the
best tubing ever offered for players in my lifetime. This is going to
be good stuff! I told him I would tell everybody and he would have no
trouble at all getting rid of the first 10,000 feet and covering his
Now, the importance of this is twofold -- First, 7/32" tubing has 36%
greater cross-section. Almost all players use it and were designed for
it. So you have close to a 40% greater margin of air-carrying capacity,
which certainly will make the difference between prompt roll tracking
and reroll/repeat. Many players are weak in this feature simply because
quality 7/32 tubing was not available and the rebuilder could not force
himself to use poor quality rubber. I agree with that. Better to use
something marginal that will stay on the nipple, at least for awhile.
Second, when you stretch 3/16" tubing over 7/32" nipples, you put in
a permanent 17% stretch that destroys the elasticity of the tubing in
just a few years' time. Owners of player pianos better check and see
if that's what they have in their player because, possibly in 10 years,
that 3/16" tubing is likely going to either fall off the nipple, or
crack, or both.
Third, the only 7/32" tubing available presently is some junk that kinks
off while in use. Why? I have no idea. But I have used it in critical
situations where air carrying capacity is crucial, and have discovered,
some 6 months later, that it has kinked and closed itself completely
off where it is run in a bundle, going around corners or clamped
normally in a tubing guide.
So I suspect that Schaff will have this for sale in a month or maybe
less. Check with them and get your order in. We're going to love it,
and should appreciate what it's going to do for the performance and
longevity of many players. 7/32nds has been the Achilles' Heel of
player rebuilding performance and time in service.
[ The Schaff web site is http//www.schaffpiano.com/ -- Robbie