[ Ref. 040718 MMDigest, Rebuilding Ampico Symphonique
In response to Howard Wyman's missing cut-out block, it is my feeling
that it probably was left out intentionally, and he is better off
without it. The cut-out block used in the model "A" Ampico can be a
source of trouble unless it is in perfect working order. The block also
contains fine wire screens to trap dust, but no provision to remove the
dust unless the block is disassembled. The leather pouches within the
block prevent any back-flow of air when using the tracker bar pump. The
Ampico expression units will function very nicely without this device,
and less parts mean less things to go wrong.
The cut-out block was intended for playing non-Ampico rolls, or adding
your own interpretation to Ampico reproducing rolls by using the finger
buttons (which I find too sluggish for serious use).
After the depression in 1929, the Ampico corporation must have realized
that the end was near, because they started using their older parts
supply. For example, the late spinet Ampicos used model "A" expression
units, long after the Model "B" had been put on the market. In the
past 50 years, I have seen many variations within the Ampico
mechanisms. I have a feeling that slight changes were made daily.
Our own Baby Ampico, was made about 1928, contains model B unit valves,
and has no cut-out block. It works very nicely and I have not
experienced any problems.