First, I do not understand why an Ampico would be set up to play 88-
note rolls, when there are so many wonderful Ampico rolls that would be
Converting an Ampico to Pianomation, would be similar to pulling the
engine out of a vintage Packard automobile and replacing it with a
Volkswagen engine. Yes, it would work, but a valuable piece of history
would be destroyed.
It is my feeling that nothing old and of quality should be altered from
its original state. Stop for a moment and think of the beautiful Vic-
torian homes that have been stripped of their original architecture and
reduced to modern mongrelization.
I recall that my grandmother was always "modernizing." In her home she
had a beautiful oak side-by-side cabinet, a desk & book case combina-
tion). Convinced by her peers and by modern conformists that it was
old and obsolete, she decided to saw it in half, making two separate
units. What she did not realize was the fact that each section would
require four legs. When it was successfully sawed in half, she discov-
ered that two legs for each half were lacking. Therefore she chose to
saw off the remaining two legs of each piece. When they were removed,
it also removed some of the main support and weakened both pieces. In
a last effort to hold it together, she nailed reinforcements on each
side, which turned it into a horrendous mess. Eventually it became
totally useless, and was taken away by the trash man. Thirty years
later, I was watching "Antiques Roadshow." There was a cabinet identi-
cal to the one she destroyed, appraised on the show at $5,000.
My advice is to sell the Ampico to someone who will appreciate it and
replace it with an inexpensive piano, where drilling holes and patching
on attachments will not matter.