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How to tell the Ampico 'A'
from the Ampico 'B'

There are numerous differences between the Ampico 'A' and the Ampico 'B' player mechanisms. In fact, there are so many differences that an entire book has been written about both systems. However, the purpose of this short webpage is to give everyone an easy way to tell them apart.

Although some may disagree, the most significant difference is the Roll Motor. In the 'A', the motor is vacuum driven. In the 'B', the motor is electric. However, the motors in both systems are located inside of the piano, so telling them apart might still be difficult for the novice.

Fortunately, Ampico made another change that's very easy to see from 'the outside'. Specifically, I'm referring to the Tempo Indicator and the Tempo Pointer. In the 'B', the numbers on the Tempo Indicator are arranged in a circle. In the 'A', they are arranged in a straight line. In the 'B' the Tempo Pointer is the largest lever and it moves in a circular manner. In the 'A' the Tempo Lever only moves Right and Left.

There you have it! Nothing complicated.

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