James Farris's Manualo player stalling on XP rolls is likely due to one
of the following:
A) Too much tension on the top brake shoe, the friction brake which
engages during play to prevent roll flutter over the tracker bar.
B) Not enough tension, thus having the take-up spool develop loop-
gaps in the paper during play and eventually slipping until it
C) Auto tracker is shifting the top shaft too close to the frame,
causing sprocket, chain or collar to bind against the supporting
Most likely is:
D) Set screw on large drive gear is loose.
I think usually there are two on Manualos. But the shaft on some of
these is one long rod going through the entire take up spool. It could
be here (on the spool itself) that slipping occurs. Generally there is
a set-screw collar on each flange of the spool and it can be adjusted
initially for basic roll alignment. I know that this lower spool
usually cannot be removed from the spoolbox without disassembling the
box itself and removing this rather long rod. It is most likely that
one or more of the set screws on this shaft (rod) is slipping, since a
loose sprocket would obviously show itself during rewind.
One final thought. The paper used on new rolls has a tendency to slip
more easily than the older stock. It's almost automatic for me to
tension the top right flange between selections on an XP roll to give
the bottom spool a moment to tighten slightly or find a musical moment
of pause to do the same. Remember, this is low tech, requiring patience
and human interaction to achieve satisfactory musical results. It also
allows one to become part of the performance; a person who does this
well can call himself a "Pianolist."
Eric J. Shoemaker