The subject of figure building was presented to me by Billy Sobe, one of our members here on Ventriloquist Central, and he asked me about mechanics and what people look for, direct linkage or cord control and which is better. He is in the beginning state of building figures and is ready to move on to building his own designs and wanted my opinion.
I told him that both of these are good. Direct linkage though can present a major problem if one of the functions decides to let go. You first would have to have a mechanical aptitude to do repair and would certainly have to have a rather complete tool kit with you to be able to make that repair.
With cords for the controls it is usually just a matter of tying a new knot or even replace the whole cord. A much simpler undertaking that most anyone could do.
The great figure makers of the past including Marshall, Spencer, Coats, Jackson and some of today premier builders Guyll, Hartz and Payes all use cords for the controls.
If direct linkage was SO much better why don’t they all build them?
Direct linkage also can become loose and very noisy with chatter and squeaks but cord controls are usually quiet. I have seen some fine builders using direct linkage and their mechanics need repair very quickly or are noisy. The direct linkage controls will give you problems and you will have to send them back to the makers for repairs which means long down times for your figures.
I have 3 McElroy figures in my collection and they are all done with direct linkage and I can tell you if one of those malfunctioned it would be a nightmare for you to get fixed. And they are noisy to use as well.
I have 40 Marshall figures many with the original cords still in them and they work fine and are as quiet as a church mouse.
So what is best?????
I vote for cord control. Just my opinion.
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