Adjusting and Fixing
Chris Dale lacing up a tape frame in the Mark VI
In addition to the camaraderie and fun, we
occasionally get some work done.
For most of us, that means adjusting
keyboards and lacing frames.
Dennis Keldie has a go at threading the 3/8" stuff.
John Bradley and Martin Smith of Streetly
Electronics tackle the heavier stuff, such as wonky motor controllers, twisted
frames, motor realignment, head problems, and so on. Hey, I'd rather leave
the tough stuff to them.
|Does this look like a Mellotron
keyboard assembly line or what?
Terry Conheady has a go at lacing some tapes.
Below - Dan Miso offers words of support.
|YOU NEED A 'TRON REPAIRED...?
||All the way from the UK...
JB in action!
Also helping out with Mellotron repairs:
The Mellotron Professor Jerry Korb
|John Bradley and Jerry Korb. These two
guys scare me. John used to work for his father Les Bradley at
making 'trons, and he's been fixing them now for years. Jerry built
the beautiful JK-MK6, maintains an
M400 he bought new, has rebuilt an M300 bodged by someone else (and
trashed in transit to make matters worse), and he's restoring a Mark I
So if you need the most bizarre problems in a 'tron fixed,
And be watching for pictures of "Julia" at a later time so you can see
Jerry's fine work (if the JK-MK6 wasn't impressive enough :-)
OUR KEYBOARD MAESTRO---IN MORE WAYS THAN ONE!
A word about pinch rollers: Streetly is currently looking
into having pinch rollers produced, so stay tuned. (New pinch rollers are
currently available from Dave Kean if you
need them now.) John and Martin report that they are experimenting with a
few designs and materials to see what works best, and then they'll make them
One of the problems with Mellotrons is the tape stock. At
the time of the design of the original machines, tape stock was much different.
In addition to sonic quality changes, the tape formulations have changed, and
the coating on the back of the tapes isn't quite the same as before. New
tape drive mechanisms have kept pace, but our ol' Mellotron mechanisms are
unchanged and are at the mercy of the tape stock. So Martin and John will
be experimenting and will try to come up with something to keep the tape flyin'
through our trons.
AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE...
Yeah, it happens. When you're lacing tapes,
it's easy to cut the tape at the start mark for the sound rather than at
the cut mark.
One in Philly, now one in Toronto.
Frank Samagaio (author of The
laces up a tape frame in Dan's EMI machine
We got a good deal of work done during the weekend, and then John and Martin
had a few boxes to finish up while they were still milling about Toronto.
Martin provided me with a quick update on
the machines that were fixed during the week:
We had our work cut out with these and made them sound as good as we
could in the limited time. They all need new rollers, pad
arms, bearings etc. etc. but they were a lot better.
Sounds like good news, and I'm sure the owners of those
machines were pleased.
Thank you for the update, Martin!