Home Manuals Supplies Search Consult Contact Testing Service

Aeolian Themodist Tubing

Occasionally I'll have the time to help someone figure out a problem they're having with a particular mechanism. In the case below, the gentleman couldn't figure out how to hook up the tubing for the Theme Control Box in his Aeolian Themodist player. This correspondence took place in September 2013. So, it only took me 1-1/2 years to get around to completing this webpage. Typically, I get things like this done within weeks, but this one fell through the cracks. As they sometimes say, 'Better late than never'.

Hi Aaron,

Now, about the five tubes.

1) The one larger tube is main vacuum supply. It comes from the expression box, which receives its supply from the very large hose that's connected to the exhauster assembly.

2) The tube that's pictured on the right in the diagram, which goes to the device labeled the 'One Finger Tracker Adjuster' is also main vacuum supply. However, it comes directly from the exhauster assembly. Generally, you will find that there's a small 3/16" OD elbow on the back of the exhauster assembly that's located right in the middle. That tubing gets connected to the roll tracking device (the two opposing bellows that adjust the position of the music roll), marked "C" in both 'photo1a.jpg' and 'photo2a.jpg'.



While I'm on the topic, the two elbows on the back of the spoolbox (marked 'A' and 'B') get connected to the two tubes on top of the tracking device. See attachment 'photo1a.jpg'.

3) Next we'll address what is referred to as the 'Pedal Unit'. In the tubing diagram, it's shown as the tube/valve on the right side of the theme box. That is incorrect. In fact, it's the tube on the left end of the box (looking from the front of the box). This is evidenced by the piece of red felt which covers the exhaust port for the valve.

Concerning the operation of the three valves in the box, this one is the most difficult to understand because the diagram is incomplete. What Mr Vance left out are two connections on the box, which I've marked as 'E' and 'F' in the attached picture (tubing-theme.jpg). In effect, those connections are used to either 'enable' or 'disable' the operation of the Pedal Valve. At this point in time, I won't go in to how that happens or why that function even exists. What is important, at this time, is where the hoses get connected.


There should be a lever in the spoolbox marked Pedal On/Off (or Sustain On/Off or Loud On/Off). It should move the block of wood seen in 'photo2a.jpg' that I labeled 'Pedal'. The hoses that I've marked 'E' and 'F' get connected to the nipples under that block.

4/5) Moving on; Finally we get to the Bass and Treble Theme Control Valves. Refer to 'tubing-theme.jpg' to see which is which. but note that in your unit (see 'photo2a.jpg) the treble valve is on the left and the bass valve is in the center. However, where the hoses connect on the 'J' block, their order is reversed. I would strongly suggest rearranging them to avoid confusion.

Lastly, referring again to 'tubing-theme.jpg', I'll address what are most commonly called 'trigger tubes'. These are the tubes that connect to the trackerbar, and as perforations in the music roll pass over the corresponding holes in the trackerbar, signals pass to the corresponding pouches which 'trigger' the valves into operation. In your unit, there are three trigger tubes: Treble Theme, Bass Theme, and Sustain (or Pedal). The location, or position of those holes in the trackerbar are noted in the attached diagram named 'tracker-themodist.jpg'.



John A Tuttle
Portions of this email may be used in a future article related to the operation of the Aeolian Themodist player mechanism.

Player Piano Reference Materials - Click Here

We Gladly Accept These Cards
Discover, VISA, MasterCard

back to top..To The Top of this Page . . . . . . . . . . . back to index ..To The HOME Page

This page was last revised February 5, 2019 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
For The Accuracy or Validity of the Statements and/or Opinions
Expressed within the Pages of the Player-Care Domain.
Cartoon Graphics by E7 Style Graphics (Eric Styles)

Since "Player-Care" is an internet business, I prefer that we correspond via E-Mail (click here to fill out the 'Request Form'). However, if I'm not in the middle of some other activity, you can reach me at 732-840-8787. But please understand that during the hours from 8AM-5PM EST (Mon-Sat), I'm generally quite busy. So, I probably won't answer the phone. If you get the answering machine, please leave a detailed message stating the reason for your call. Also, repeat your name and phone number clearly and distinctly. By necessity, I prioritize everything in my life. And, if you call and just leave your name and number, and ask me to call you back, it might be a day or two before I return your call. Why? Because I don't know why you want me to call and I might not be prepared to assist you in an effective and efficient manner. If you leave me an E-Mail address (which I prefer), spell it out phonetically. The more you do to help me, the more I can help you in return. Don't rush. You have four minutes to record your message.

Grand 16 IconGrand 32 Icon

407 19th Ave, Brick, NJ, 08724
Phone Number 732-840-8787
(Voicemail Only, No Texts)
Upright 32 IconUpright 16 Icon

Google Adsense Ad