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Electric Reproducing Pianos (The Artecho)
(Tuners' Journal - Cont. from June, 1928)

By Wilberton Gould, Member N. A. of P. T., New York City

Service, as defined by Webster: "An act of one who serves."

It is one of God's greatest gifts to mankind, for who is happy who does not serve? Hence it follows that service requires sacrifice. It is the foundation stone of every enterprise. Whatever it may be, its success or failure depends upon whole-hearted co-operation.

And may service and sacrifice continue to be the keynote of our progressive Association.—The Author.

The Artecho

As mentioned in the previous article in this series, before attempting to service any type of electric reproducing piano it is essential that the piano action be in proper regulation, otherwise it would be useless to attempt to adjust the reproducing action. It is also very important that the operating tracker ports be known and remembered.

Any reference made to the adjusting of pressures of this type of reproducer applies to both the upright and grand model, and should be kept in mind. Although the assembling may differ in position the pressures remain the same.

The operating tracker ports now under consideration are as follows, reading from the left end of the tracker bar to the right:

Ports Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are the bass intensities, that is:

No. 1 controls first intensity, or 6-1/2 inches mercury or water gauge.

No. 2 controls second intensity, or 8 inches mercury or water gauge.

No. 3 controls third intensity, or 12-1/2 inches mercury or water gauge.

Port No. 4 controls the sustaining pedal or damper lift.

Port No. 5 controls the bass cancel valve, that cancels bass intensities.

Port No. 6 controls the bass diminuendo

Port No. 7 controls the bass crescendo valve.

Port No. 8 controls the bass hammer rail lift, up to and including piano note No. 44.

Reading from the treble end of the tracker bar, right to left :

Ports Nos. 1, 2 and 3 are the treble intensities, that is :

No. 1 controls the first intensity, or 6-1/2 inches mercury or water gauge.

No. 2 controls the second intensity or 8 inches mercury or water gauge.

No. 3 controls the third intensity, or 12-1/2, inches mercury or water gauge.

Port No. 4 controls the treble cancel valve, which cancels treble intensities.

Port No. 5 controls the treble diminuendo valve.

Port No. 6 controls the treble crescendo valve.

Port No. 7 controls the treble pianissimo device.

Port No. 8 controls the treble hammer rail lift.

Port No. 9 cancels pianissimo, and bass and treble hammer rail by a single short perforation on the music roll. This port also controls the re-roll, when there is a long perforation at the end of the music roll.

There are eighty-three speaking notes on the tracker bar and, with the addition of the foregoing control ports make a total of one hundred tracker ducts.

The control switches on the upright model are located on the left-hand side of the spool box, and are as follows:

The top switch is the repeat lever.

The middle switch is the automatic lever, which must be at the "On" position, when playing Artecho rolls.

The lower switch is the modifying, or volume control, switch, and has three positions, set according to the desire of the person operating the instrument.

On the grand type these switches are located on the drawer at the left hand of the spool box, and are plainly marked.

On the upright model there is located at the left-hand end of the pneumatic stack a manifold and intensity valve control box, with a cap which, when removed, exposes to view eight adjusting screws named in the following order, reading from left to right:

First adjusting screw controls No. 3 bass intensity, and is set at 7 inches above normal setting.

Second adjusting screw is the second bass intensity, and is set at 2-1/2 inches above normal setting.

Third adjusting screw is the normal bass regulation and is set to read a minimum of 5-1/2 inches, or so that repetition is clear and clean, with the tempo at 70.

Fourth adjusting screw is the first bass intensity, and is set at 1 inch above normal regulation.

Fifth adjusting screw is the third treble intensity, and must read the same as the third bass intensity, or 7 inches above normal regulation.

Sixth adjusting screw is the treble normal regulation, and must agree with the bass normal regulation, or 5-1/2 inches.

Seventh adjusting screw is the second treble intensity, and likewise must agree with the second bass intensity reading of 2-1/2 inches above normal setting.

Eighth adjusting screw is the first treble intensity, and must agree with the first bass intensity reading of 1 inch above normal. In a condensed form the reading will be as follows:

Bass Intensities Treble Intensities
Normal 5-1/2 inches Normal 5-1/2 inches
First .... 6-1/2 inches First .... 6-1/2 inches
Second ..... 8 inches Second ..... 8 inches
Third . 12-1/2 inches Third . 12-1/2 inches

Should the gauge reading show less than the required figure, the adjusting screw should be turned "Out," and if more, turned "In." Both bass and treble must agree. When the pressures agree tighten the lock nut on the adjusting screw.

The pump pressure is regulated to read thirty inches, and is adjusted at the adjusting screw on the pneumatic on the top of the pump, at the left. If the pressure is less than the required reading turn "In," and if more turn "Out."

To make the gauge readings the modulating lever must be at the "Up" position and the automatic lever must be "Down." This point should be observed carefully; otherwise, the pressures cannot be set correctly.

Should the readings on the bass and treble ends fail to agree, or should there be considerable difference in the readings between the ends, inspect the switch valves of the modulating and automatic levers for leaks in the tubes in the switches themselves or the faces of the switches, and correct. The tubes must be air-tight, otherwise the readings will not be correct.

The bass and treble crescendo tests must agree, or have a pressure of twenty-one inches. Turn the adjusting screw "In" if the metering pin rises less than twenty steps, and "Out" if it rises more. The metering pin should rise twenty steps to be correct. The crescendo test will be taken up more fully in the succeeding article in this series.

In the grand model the manifold and intensity valve box is located underneath the case at the rear, and adjustments are made the same as in the upright model.

The electric cut-off is controlled in two ways : in the upright model by a spoon valve in a groove in the take-up spool, and in the grand model by a port in the take-up spool. In both cases the music roll must either raise the spoon or cover the spool port, or the electric switch will cut off the current. In the grand model it is important that the thrust bearing in the take-up spool is tight and does not leak ; otherwise the electric switch will operate and shut off the current. See that the spring is of sufficient tension to force the spool to the right, but not so strong that it will throw too much friction on the right-hand bearing.

Further details regarding this type of action will be taken up and completed in the October issue of THE JOURNAL.

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This page was last revised March 9, 2021 by John A. Tuttle, who Assumes No Liability
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