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News 2013

20th December 2013

New HMV101 video added.

 

5th December 2013

I've finally managed to track down another early brass-backed Nº.4 sound box to replace the Nº.2 that was on my front-wind HMV101. As I already had a new gasket and diaphragm in stock I decided to rebuild it too so I hope to add another 101 video soon using the new sound box.  I've also recently replaced rubber gaskets on a couple of other sound boxes including the Gilbert Geisha.

 

29th November 2013

After a few weeks of not having much spare time I've eventually found an opportunity to get some technical jobs done. Today I've finally fitted the new spring to the Decca 120 so it's nice to have that back in working order. I've also rebuilt the Exhibition soundbox on the G&T Senior Monarch. All in all a decent days work.

 

25th November 2013

Victor Model 'R' video clip added. This certainly isn't what you would call hi-fidelity but with a 1907 record playing on a 1902 machine it's definitely an authentic demonstration of the sound my great-grandparents might have enjoyed ... assuming they could afford to own such a machine.

 

24th November 2013

Mikiphone Pocket Phonograph video added.

 

4th November 2013

HMV102c, Mikiphone, Victor Model R and G&T Monarch Senior add to the photos page.

 

4th November 2013

Four new machines added to collection page.

 

21st October 2013

New HMV157 video clip added.

 

19th October 2013

Today I've added a new Gilbert Geisha video clip.

 

18th October 2013

After replacing the damaged tone arm on the Grafonola and swapping the soundbox I decided to add a new video demonstrating the results.

 

15th October 2013

A few months ago, when I wrote the description for the Columbia Grafonola, I mentioned that the tone arm had been broken and repaired and that I was keeping a look out for a suitable replacement. Well, today a package arrived from Indiana containing a tone arm that I managed to find on eBay a couple of weeks ago. As a bonus it came fitted with a lovely Columbia N°6 soundbox which should improve the sound even more. This evening they've been cleaned and adjusted and fitted to the machine. I've also ordered a diaphragm and gasket kit from the USA in order to rebuild the soundbox properly. The collection and photos pages have both been updated. 

 

13th October 2013

It seems that sometimes fate plays its part in certain situations; for a while now I've been unhappy with the running of my Decca 120. It wouldn't play through 2 sides of a record without a bit of additional winding and I suspected that the spring was getting weak. The other night, whilst I was giving it a couple of extra winds - BANG - broken spring! I've spent a bit of time this afternoon stripping it down and removing the old spring* in readiness for obtaining a replacement so I'll keep you posted.

* Important notes on gramophone springs

If, like me, you use the internet as a source of information you'll discover that half the world will tell you:- "Gramophone springs - dangerous things - don't touch 'em - they'll chop your fingers off soon as look at you - leave it to the experts." However the other half of the Internet says:- "Gramophone springs - they're not so bad - Yes, they ARE dangerous so DO treat them with caution - but they're not beyond the skills of a moderately technical person."

I say:-

• Don't attempt this unless you're competent and confident,

• Read everything you can - books, online, anything you can find,

• Study as many pictures and diagrams as you can find - video clips too, so that you know precisely what you're getting in to,

• Nothing beats asking questions of people who have actually done it,

• ALWAYS wear proper protective gloves and safety glasses,

• If you are in anyway unsure then DO leave it to the experts. 

 

7th October 2013

Another G&T New Victor video clip added.

 

6th October 2013

G&T New Victor video clip added.

 

4th October 2013

Selecta video clip added.

 

28th September 2013

Selecta portable added to collection page and Selecta folder added to photos.

 

24th September 2013

OMG. The next time I suggest something like replacing the rexine on a portable gramophone can somebody please have the sense to stand up and slap me! The Selecta is nearly complete barring the last couple of detail jobs but I have to admit that I'm impressed with the way it's turned out - even if I say so myself. A full description of the restoration can be found in this video.

 

21st September 2013.

Selecta update. The Selecta portable which I'm restoring is progressing well. All of the mechanical and structural jobs have been completed and I'm just about to make a start on re-covering the case with new Rexine­­®. Once this job is completed I will be able to re-assemble the machine. More updates will follow.

 

20th September 2013

HMV model 2012 video clip added.

 

15th September 2013

Today I added another video clip - this time showing off the Swiss-made Jupiter picnic gramophone.

 

27th August 2013

Yesterday was Bank Holiday Monday and, not having any real plans, I decided to have a bit of a maintenance day on a couple of the machines. Like most mechanical things, gramophones don't like to sit unused for long periods of time which is why I try to rotate them regularly. That way they all get some regular use but, despite this, its still good to give them a decent run every now and then. Sometimes I just run the motors without playing any records, winding the machine fully and then letting it wind down and doing this a couple of times. I went through the process with a few machines yesterday but was particularly reminded of how fond I am of my front wind HMV model 101 so I decided to film a new video clip and add it to the site. Work also continues at a slightly slower pace on the Selecta which I'm restoring - hopefully more news to come soon.

24th August 2013

New Decca Model 120 video clip added.

 

21st August 2013

Another Gilbert Geisha video clip added.

 

18th August 2013

Gilbert Geisha video clip added.

 

17th August 2013

Gilbert Geisha folder added to photos page.

 

17th August 2013

New addition.

Gilbert Geisha added to collection page.

 

9th August 2013

Another new HMV-157 video clip added.

 

7th August 2013

New HMV-157 video clip added. I recently managed to find my misplaced (long lost) Røde NT-4 microphone and decided to make a video clip using it for the audio track. You can see - and hear - the results here.

 

5th August 2013

Needle Tins page updated.

 

29 July 2013

Selecta update: The Selecta portable is now completely disassembled and all of the old Rexine® leathercloth has been removed - although much of it was on the verge of falling off anyway! A couple of the original pieces may be re-usable but most will be kept to use as patterns now that I have the new material to hand. The wooden case is now in the process of being stripped and sanded before treating and filling the old worm holes. Mechanically the motor has been cleaned and serviced, the pitted brake has been replaced with a NOS part and all of the internal fittings have been cleaned and polished. The 'Maxitone Junior' soundbox has been rebuilt with a new diaphragm and the internal horn has been stripped, primed and resprayed in satin black. I had previously assumed that all of the exterior metalwork would need to be re-plated but today I've started sorting through the parts and find that they are more dirty than worn. A little bit of time spent with a soft wire brush and a pot of metal polish should see all of these fittings cleaned up nicely with only the minimum of brassing - and I'm certainly happy to live with that.

 

21 July 2013

Just managed to get the winning bid on a nice piece of black rexine® material on eBay which should be enough to re-cover the case on the Selecta.

 

19 July 2013

Another recent purchase is a Selecta gramophone which I managed to find on eBay. It's in a terrible state at the moment:- mechanically pretty much complete and working but the casework is awful. The rexine® covering is completely ruined, the case itself has quite a lot of old worm holes in it and the exterior metal fittings will need to be re-plated. I'm planning on doing a full photo-restoration but this might be a long job so don't hold your breath!

 

19 July 2013

I've managed to make a few purchases recently, one of which was a miniature 3½" Imperial record of Jack Payne and his orchestra issued as a promotional item in 1932. It's really cute and lots of fun - it even still has the original record sleeve with it. I've posted a video of it playing on one of my HMV101's.

 

14 July 2013

Back after a couple of weeks away on hols. I've just added new video files for the HMV100 and Zonophone Model 1.

 

17 June 2013

I must say thanks to Alexander, a gramophone enthusiast from Germany, who has contacted me with further information about my G&T horn gramophone and has correctly identified it as a New Victor as well as confirming it's age. It's details in the collection page have been updated accordingly.

 

11 June 2013

Looking through some spare soundboxes today I found an HMV Nº.4 with lots of stress fractures in the front cap. Unlike the earlier brass versions these later 'pot-metal' Nº.4's are well known for developing cracks in the back body but in this case I was surprised to find the back in near perfect condition. This soundbox is a wreck so I'll just have to keep my eyes out for another which has cracks in the back but a good cap - at least then I'll be able to put the best bits of both together and salvage one decent soundbox. Click here for a picture.  

 

03 June 2013

Another new Decca 120 video clip added.

 

02 June 2013

New Decca 120 video clip added.

 

30 May 2013

New HMV-100 & HMV-102 video clips added.

 

26 May 2013

Thanks to a couple of recent eBay purchases, I've managed to add 12 more needle tins to my small collection.

 

24 May 2013

Decca 120 folder added to photos page.

 

24 May 2013

Decca 120 added to collection page.

20 May 2013

New HMV-101 video clips added.

 

20 May 2013

New Baby Monarch video clip added.

 

18 May 2013

This week the collection has grown by 1 with the arrival of a Decca model 120. Once I've given it a good going through I'll add details and pictures to the site soon.

 

09 May 2013

Needle Tins page added to site.

08 May 2013

New Baby Monarch video clip added.

 

07 May 2013

New Columbia Grafonola video clip added.

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