Author Topic: Ray-Mac vs Torrington vs tapered vs untapered...  (Read 1452 times)

Offline Groove4Hire

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Ray-Mac vs Torrington vs tapered vs untapered...
« on: March 31, 2016, 02:44:31 PM »
I have sparkletop suitcase from 64 and a spare harp from another 60s suitcase. I took a look at both harps and it seems that one of the harps has a big mix of different tines whereas the other seems to have the same tines except the tines missing. I have attached some pics... What would you say is which type of tines here?









Jon
Rhodes-tech, www.vintagebua.no, Norway

Offline The Real MC

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Re: Ray-Mac vs Torrington vs tapered vs untapered...
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2016, 03:04:09 PM »
Early Raymacs were untapered and had a shorter life.

Tapered tines became the rule during the Raymac era as they decreased broken tines and warranty returns.  There were no untapered Torringtons or Schagler tines.

Raymacs had thicker tuning springs, that is their primary trainspotting feature.  Also the tine stock was thicker on Raymacs.  My sparkletop has a couple of Torringtons that replaced long-ago-broken Raymacs and the difference in stock thickness was easy to see to the eye.  Frankly I hear little difference between them.

Edit: d#mn autocorrect!
« Last Edit: April 01, 2016, 10:49:40 PM by The Real MC »

Offline Ben Bove

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Re: Ray-Mac vs Torrington vs tapered vs untapered...
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2016, 02:27:42 PM »
What Real MC said.  A good thing to note - you can tell the differences by looking at the bottom of the tine blocks as well.  There were also different iterations of the taper itself.

Besides the black tine blocks which are easy to recognize as the earliest untapered tine, on the bottom of the tine blocks you can see the different sizes and shapes of the "circle." In your first picture, I can see at least 3 types of tines. 
1) where the flat part of the circle goes almost to the edges of the blocks (black and silver blocks, no taper)
2) slightly smaller circle, and a rounding off of the edges of the tine block with a gentle taper
3) even smaller circle (tine block almost looks polished) and very rounded off tine block edges, sharper taper

Basically, the taper got sharper gradually over time.
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Offline pnoboy

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Re: Ray-Mac vs Torrington vs tapered vs untapered...
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2016, 06:31:09 PM »
I'm no expert, but I can say that my '78 model has tines with a shorter taper than earlier pianos.  I don't know when the transition occurred.  I will also say somewhat tentatively that I don't think the evolution of the tines really changed the tone of the piano all that much.  I think that hammer tip hardness, pickup position, amp, speaker, and speaker cabinet are the important determinants of tone.  The sound of my piano changed quite drastically when I changed the hammer tips.