What I need first are any patent numbers or manufacturer
names on the expression device. There were about a dozen
companies that made Recordo expression mechanisms. The
largest companies were Auto De Luxe, Pratt-Read, Schulz,
and Motor Player Co.
As most technicians usually discover early in their career,
'you can't have too much information about the Recordo'.
The system was installed by dozens of companies, and it
seems like they all had their own particular way of setting
the system up to match the basic design of their existing
player pianos. As such, parts are located in various places,
a variety of air switches are employed to operate certain
functions, and it's not uncommon to find that the various
components in the system were made by more than one company.
There is only one thing standard about the Recordo system,
and that is the trackerbar scale. And, the only reason it
is the same in all systems is because of the coding of the
Recordo rolls. Another thing that is relatively standard
is the vacuum levels for the five degrees of volume, but
they aren't 'cut in stone'.
Looking back on my career, I think I was very lucky to run
into a Recordo during my first year in business. It forced
me to consider 'function' as opposed to 'design'. In other
words, I had to figure out how things worked on my own. It
wasn't until years later that information started to surface
concerning things like tubing diagrams and diagrams of the
internal workings of the various makes of expression boxes.
As for references, I believe the best book getting a handle
on the system is 'Player Piano Servicing & Rebuilding':
Then, if you can find any patent numbers, I can research the
system and find out who made it. From there we can pick the
reference that is closest to the one in the piano.
Hope this helps get things moving.
John A Tuttle