Hupfeld Kreutzbach Phonola

S/N 43364

Patented By Hupfeld in 1902

 

 

Ludwig Hupfeld was established in 1880 in Leipzig, Germany. The company was one of the first manufacturers of the "Reproducing" pianos. Hupfeld won great acclaim for their complex "Orchestrions". These devices had multipleinstruments in one case, played by a perforated roll. After obtaining the elite status that their large instruments gave them, Hupfeld began manufacturing smaller instruments. These pianos first started out as 61 note players then eventually evolved to 85 note players.

The complexity of their "Reproducing"instruments carried over into their development of player pianos. The mechanisms in Hupfeld's players are one of the most complex of any of their contemporaries.

In 1918 Hupfeld joined forces with Ronisch Piano Company. In addition to the Phonola, they also manufactured the Phonoliszt, Violano, Triphonola, and Violano-Virtuoso.

Upon initiating work on this instrument, I contacted sources both in this country and in Europe trying to obtain schematics of this particular player action. I could not locate any. I found tracker scales for things like the Phonoliszt and DEA but nothing for the Phonola. I then contacted The Hupfeld company and was told that all of that data was destroyed after WWI. Since this instrument had been previously worked on by another person and that person had modified some of the mechanisms, the task of getting this wonderful and complex piano functioning was daunting.

We persevered and struggled with the complexity of the "Phonola" and in the end, the instrument came out just great! Because of the previous modifications, we did have to install an external vacuum source to operate this instrument. Fortunately the owner had a great chest in which to install the vacuum and its controls. The player functions very well.

The sound and the functions go to show the quality that Hupfeld once had and now has.

I am pleased to have worked on this fine instrument.

Here are some photographs showing the refurbishment of this instrument.

 

 

Case In Stripping

 

 

 

Stripping Bench Lid

 

 

Measuring Old Decal

 

 

Testing Old Surface Before Stripping

 

 

 

Lower Player Mechanism Removed

 

 

Player Mechanisms Before Removal

 

 

 

 

 

Player Stack Before Repair

 

 

Primary Pouches

 

 

 

Old "Pillow" Pouches

 

 

 

Making New "Pillow" Pouches

 

 

 

Making New Pneumatic Boards

 

 

Pouches, Valves, & Valve Seats

 

 

 

Assembling Lower Doors

 

 

Installing & Leveling Keys

 

 

Regulating Action

 

Hupfeld Name Inlay

 

 

Hupfeld Complete

Hupfeld & Vacuum Chest

 

 

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