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MMD > Archives > May 2010 > 2010.05.15 > 06Prev  Next

Stems Dresden "Combinola" Piano Player
By John A. Tuttle

Hi All,  A player technician in Italy wrote to me about a Stems
Combinola Dresden piano player.  He's having a problem figuring out
the scale design.  I have to admit, it's unlike anything I've ever
seen.  As he explained it, there are the 88 regular note holes and
four Standard-type tracking holes, but between the note holes and the
tracking holes there are five holes on the right and five holes on
the left.

Immediately, my thought was, 'this should be easy', but that soon
changed when I saw the drawing he sent.  The shape and positioning of
the holes is unlike anything I've ever seen.  I went to "The Golden Age
of Automatic Musical Instruments" to do some research and came up with
a tracker bar scale that appears to be very similar, if not identical.
It's the Hupfeld Triphonola.  What leads me to that conclusion is a
comment the technician made about the unit having "a double pneumatic
for play and re-roll function".  Also, the position of the Bass Theme
and Treble Theme, and the Auto-Sustain are the same as in his drawing.

What I'd like to know is if anyone has ever encountered this particular
system (the "Combinola"), and if so, do you have any insight regarding
the mechanism?

John A Tuttle
Brick, NJ, USA

 [ The firm also sold the "Grandiola" player, described as "very
 [ deluxe", see 
 [ -- Robbie

(Message sent Sat 15 May 2010, 04:30:21 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Combinola, Dresden, Piano, Player, Stems

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