(Listing of 70 Known Player Actions)
This list is far from complete. Please write to me if you have any pertinent information to share. If technical information is available, I am willing to purchase any Service Manual or Diagram for a reasonable price. Click Here to send me your contact information and comments. Signed: John A. Tuttle
Next to each piano manufacturer's name is one or more numbers. Each number represents a different Player Piano Action. Clicking on the number will take you to a 'Systems' page which may have a short description of that action along with pictures or drawings (if available). Compare what is described in the page against the player action in your piano. Every 'Systems' page has a link to the applicable Service Manual or Technical Reprint, if one is available.
In some cases, companies used different player actions in different models and/or at different times during the heyday of the player piano. If you have tried all of the selections that are offered here, and you still can't find a match, I'd like to know. The completeness and accuracy of this listing depends in part on you. As new information comes to light, the list is immediately updated. If it's not in this list, please write to: John A Tuttle
For historical information about a piano company, please visit the Blue Book of Pianos website. For another source of historical information visit the Howe Collection, Piano Series webpage.And for even more information, provided by Bill Kibby, visit "Pianohistory.info".
The piano brands in this listing are German, English, French, Austrian and Canadian. At the time player pianos were popular, the UK market tended to look to Germany for top-quality instruments (and rightly so). Some piano makes had many different players fitted, particularly better brands, such as Broadwood, that were not directly tied to a particular player maker.
Disclaimer: This listing is only as accurate as the information that has been provided by numerous sources. It is not possible to verify all of the information. However, if you are positive that something in the listing is in error, please bring it to my attention and it will be corrected.
Instruments made in Europe that used the Ampico system (as fitted by Marshall & Co. in London) mostly used genuine Ampico/Amphion parts, but reportedly sometimes used left-over Angelus stacks.
Allison - (English) - 9, 27
(Still in Work)
9. Phonola (Hupfeld): Bluethner, Ronisch, Grunert (the latter two eventually becoming own-brands). Many other brands were fitted with Hupfeld players, either Phonola or Claviola - a bit like a European Standard. I have records of instruments from Neumann, Niendorf. http://www.pianola.co.uk/hupfeld%20ronisch.html 10. Pianola (Aeolian, using imported or locally-manufactured actions): Ibach; Ernst Munck; Broadwood (all early, before the familiar Steinway, Weber, Steck, Stroud, Farrand and Aeolian brands were used as in America - the Ernst Munck factory being purchased and renamed Steck).
As well as all these, the PPG list has loads of player pianos that didn't
give enough information to identify the player action in them, so there's
plenty of opportunity to fill out this list. There are also brands I don't
have information at hand for, such as Pleyela, that clearly ought to be
When it comes to details of player actions, the worst omission from
American-centred literature is probably Hupfeld, who produced
massively-engineered works of jaw-dropping build quality and complexity. The
majority of the other player actions commonly encountered were derived from
American originals, some changed a bit. For instance, Standard actions
fitted in Europe were offered with Themodist-like actions which do not
appear in the original literature, and special inserts were stuck into the
UK versions of the service manuals.
When it comes to details of player actions, the worst omission from American-centred literature is probably Hupfeld, who produced massively-engineered works of jaw-dropping build quality and complexity. The majority of the other player actions commonly encountered were derived from American originals, some changed a bit. For instance, Standard actions fitted in Europe were offered with Themodist-like actions which do not appear in the original literature, and special inserts were stuck into the UK versions of the service manuals.
4. H.C. BAY
9. AUTOPIANO, (See Note)
12. CABLE CO.
14. STORY & CLARK
16. PRICE & TEEPLE
19. ARTEMIS (KRELL)
20. MELVILLE CLARK
23. HARDMAN (AUTOTONE, PLAYOTONE)
25. JACOB DOLL
26. STRAUCH BROS.|
27. OTTO HIGEL
28. WINTER & CO.
30. H. P. NELSON
32. BJUR BROS.
33. HENRY F. MILLER
34. BEHR BROS.
35. WESER BROS.
38. MASTER ACTION
39. FARRAND (CECILIAN)
40. BUSH & LANE (CECILIAN)
41. A. B. CHASE (Artistano)
43. NATIONAL AIR-O-PLAYER
44. MASON & RISCH
46. KRANICH & BACH
47. AMERICAN PLAYER ACTION
48. WRIGHT & SONS CO.
51. UNIVERSAL (MOD.)|
52. CLASSIC (MOD.)
53. KOHLER & CAMPBELL (MOD.)
54. STORY & CLARK (MOD.)
55. KIMBALL (MOD.)
56. AEOLIAN 64 & 88 Note (MOD.)
57. WURLITZER (MOD.)
58. KONTROLLIOLE (German)
59. LOWERY (in work)
60. AMPICO (Reproducing)
61. APPA (Automatic Player Piano Actions, small-time successors to Aeolian's UK operation in the 1930s)
62. CAROLA (made by Bluethner, UK, in the early 1930s)
63. CLAVIOLA - see Phonola
66. WELTE-MIGNON (Original - Reproducing)
67. DUO-ART (Reproducing)
69. WELTE-MIGNON (Licensee - Reproducing)
72. PHILIPPS (DUCANOLA) of Frankfurt, Germany
NOTE: American-made actions fitted in the UK by sole agents Kastner & Co.
The majority of the information presented on this web page is here because of the generosity of Julian Dyer, who heads the Player Piano Group in England. (Click Here to read the letter that he sent to Player-Care.) Other information has been provided by those who have visited Player-Care over the years.
407 19th Ave, Brick, NJ, 08724
Phone Number 732-840-8787