I have an up-and-running Aeolian organ and an Estey console which
needs a lot of work. Inasmuch as I have Estey music rolls I figured
that I would play them on the Aeolian console and manually set the
stops. With a few minor modifications I was able to play the Estey
rolls. Then I ran into an unexpected problem.
The first Estey roll I tried to play was #403, "The Snow is Dancing",
by Debussy. This has a lot of arpeggios and they would not sound as
the roll was playing. The roll speed specified was Tempo 60 and I had
to slow it down to Tempo 30 to get the notes with single hole punches
I next played an Aeolian roll ("Toccata" from "Suite Gothique" by
Boëllmann, #1217), which has sections where rapid single notes are
played. The speed of this roll was Tempo 40 and the roll sounded all
of the notes.
I measured the punched hole sizes and found the Aeolian to be
approximately .044 inches diameter and the Estey rolls to be
approximately .040 inch diameter. Further, I found that the Estey
notes which did not play were single holes, whereas the equivalent
note on the Aeolian roll was two overlapping holes, which I feel
is a significant difference. I looked at several other Estey rolls
and did not find many more with single hole punches for single notes.
I have an Aeolian test roll which has single punched holes for the
notes, and when I played this roll many of the notes did not play
unless I slowed down the roll speed. There was no roll speed specified
on this roll.
Does anyone have a recommended play speed for this Aeolian test roll or
know what repetition rate I should expect? The problem is associated
with the console and the roll playing portion of the organ since one
can play very fast notes manually.
Some questions I have are:
1. Is there a preferred procedure to adjust the two screws which
set the electrical contacts for each note on the console? The proper
setting is needed to get a high repetition rate.
2. Is the Estey console more responsive and able to play a rapid note
formed by a single punched hole?
3. Is it possible that I need to rebuild the pneumatic section of my
Aeolian console to get a faster response?
4. Would it be effective to somewhat increase the pressure in the
pressurized roll box on the Aeolian?
5. Should a second punched overlapping hole be added on the Estey roll
notes which do not play with the single hole?
[ The pouches must be supple, stray leakage must be minimized and
[ then equalized by bleed adjustment, and the spring force must be
[ equalized before the contacts are adjusted. See the technical
[ article by Richard Vance, "Pneumatic Switch Assembly for Reading
[ Music Rolls - A New Design to Make Contact Pouch Boards for
[ Converting Player Roll Pneumatic Signals to Electrical Contact
[ Closures", at http://www.mmdigest.com/Gallery/Tech/vanceSwitch1.html
[ -- Robbie