They say that "No news is good news" so if this page has not been updated for a while its a sure sign that
nothing has gone wrong!
Check back regularly for latest news updates.
12th March 2022
Wow, I really can't believe how long it's been since I last posted anything on here. Firstly, we can't ignore the fact that the biggest news over the last couple of years has been Covid and, thankfully, we've all managed to stay safe and relatively healthy. I hope you're all managing to stay safe and well too. I haven't acquired any new machines lately but I'm still regularly checking Ebay and Gumtree on the look out for suitable records whenever I can find them.
Here are links to several video clips which have been uploaded to Youtube over the preceding months - they are:
HMV157 Rhapsody in Blue,
HMV Model 58 Paul Whiteman,
HMV110 Arthur Schutt,
Selecta Portable The Tennessee Ten,
HMV157 Muggsy Spanier,
Zonophone Model 1 The Royal Court Orchestra,
19th November 2019
Today I've managed to add two new video clips to the website. The first is of the green HMV102 play a recording by Tommy Dorsey and the second is of the newly refurbished Pathe Portable playing 'Moonlight in Mexico' by Ambrose and his Orchestra.
14th November 2019
After many long months the second of this years purchases, a 1930's Pathé portable, has been refurbished and added to the collection and photos pages. Hopefully I'll be able to find time soon to film some video clips of both new machines.
28th July 2019
15th July 2019
I’ve just realised how long it’s been since I last posted any news updates so here’s a quick catch-up. There are currently two new machines in my collection which are going through the workshop before being added to the website. The first is a slightly earlier (c.1933/34) HMV102 in green which was acquired recently and is just being completed. In generally very good condition throughout, and fitted with the later 5B soundbox, it’s currently being cleaned and fully lubricated/serviced. The second recent acquisition is a Pathé portable which is going to require some more serious work to repair the damaged governor. I’ll add more updates on both of these machines as work progresses. The collection of records, needle tins and accessories also continues to grow at a slow-but-steady pace.
13th February 2019
I think it must definitely be time for a news update. No new machines have made their way into my collection recently but all of the gramophones are still getting regular use and general maintenance to keep them in good working order. I still add records to my collection fairly regularly and try to post YouTube clips as often as I can. I still get a lot of contact from people who have acquired - either bought or inherited - reproduction gramophones that they mistakenly believe to be genuine. A couple of years ago I added a page to this website specifically to cover these machines and how to recognise them but many people still seem to be confused - to the point that I've been called some pretty rude names after having to tell someone that their machine is a fake! I think one of the problems is that people are unaware of just how long these fakes have been around and I'm often told I "must be wrong" because their parents or grandparents have had the gramophone for over 30 years. Well . . . they've certainly been around that long. In fact fake gramophones or 'Crap-O-Phones' have been readily available since the 1970's so it's not impossible that somebody may have had one of these machines for nearly 50 years . . . but it's still a fake. There is plenty of information available online and I would encourage everybody to research properly before they make a purchase. As a matter of interest - and just so you can see what kind of value-for-money you wouldn't be getting from such a machine - take a look at this screen-shot from one of the Indian Export Websites. For 1,200 Indian Rupees (Currently £13.16p) you can obtain, direct from the factory, a fake 'His Master's Voice' horn gramophone - regularly advertised on Ebay (other online auction sites are available) for £150-£200. It's also worth noting that they list availability as 3000 units per month! It's no wonder that the European markets are flooded with these rubbish machines. End of rant!
1st October 2018
There is nothing much new to report at the moment other than the fact that my New Year's Resolution to update the site more regularly seems to have failed miserably! Other projects are currently taking precedence so there isn't even much happening with the collection but I will get back to them as soon as I have more time. Meanwhile the collection of records, needle tins and accessories continues to grow slowly but surely.
3rd September 2018
I can't believe that its been over five months since I posted any updates but too many other projects keep getting in the way. Nothing much to report but I have spent the last couple of days carrying out some essential maintenance on several of the gramophones. My HMV157, crocodile covered HMV101 and Decca 120 have all been lubricated and the HMV Model 58 has had attention to the tone-arm pivot and governor. I've also re-built one of my spare brass HMV Nº4 sound-boxes with a new set of rubber gaskets.
29th March 2018
I've just added a new video clip of the Columbia Model 100 playing a recording by Layton & Johnstone.
24th March 2018
A new addition to the collection is a Columbia Model 100 which was found a few weeks ago on an internet site. It has recently been cleaned and serviced and I've just added it to the Collection and Photos pages of the site.
4th March 2018
There have been a couple of new batches of video clips added to the website recently. The first two are 'Missouri Blues' played by Six Brown Brothers on my G&T Senior Monarch and 'I Miss My Swiss' by Paul Whiteman's Orchestra played on the HMV Model 157. This weekend I've added three more: Debroy Somers Band playing 'Dance of The Navvies' on my HMV SB101, a blinding arrangement of 'The Jolly Jazzers' performed by Sid Phillips And His Band and, finally, the B-Side of Missouri Blues - 'I'll Say She Does' a medley played by the Six Brown Brothers on my c.1925 Gilbert Geisha portable. Enjoy!
16th February 2018
I've spent this afternoon changing the spring in my SB101 as mentioned below. I've put a few pictures on the 'Workshop' page which can be found here. Once the new spring has settled in I'll try to post a new video clip.
13th February 2018
I finally got around to ordering a replacement spring for the crocodile blue HMV101 which has arrived today so that looks like a job for this weekend sometime.
28th January 2018
I can't believe that it's been 7 months since I added any updates to the site. That doesn't mean that my interest has waned at all . . . it's just that family life, work commitments and other projects keep getting in the way! However, New Year . . . New Resolutions, my aim is to add updates to this page more frequently and to add new video clips whenever I can. As far as the machines are concerned, I have several tasks that are awaiting attention; I've decided that the crocodile HMV101 (mentioned below) will need a new spring after all so I'll look to source and fit that as soon as I can. A few of the gramophones could also do with a lubrication and minor service . . particularly the Columbia Grafonola which I played a couple of nights ago and I'm still toying (off and on) with the idea of having the metalwork on my Senior Monarch re-plated. Off now to enjoy an afternoon of vintage music.
23rd June 2017
Things can certainly change quickly! It's been barely two weeks since I added the blue, crocodile skin HMV101 to the website and at that time I mentioned that the record storage tray had the wrong grain on it. Since then I've managed to find a correct, crocodile pattern record tray which has now been fitted. I'd also suggested that the spring would probably need replacing but it seems to be improving the more its used. Today I've added a new video clip of it playing "Back To Those Happy Days" performed by the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra.
10th June 2017
Last week I mentioned another on-going restoration project which has just come to fruition. Many of you will appreciate that, to me, originality is an important factor in my gramophone collecting which is why I have a natural aversion to machines that have been made out of parts. This is mainly because they are usually cobbled together from a nasty miss-match of bits and trying to pass themselves off as some long lost Edwardian horn gramophone. However . .
A few months ago I was contacted by someone who wanted to send me pictures to see if I could help identify their ‘rare’ HMV portable. I took a look and replied that, although very nice, what they had was a standard, black HMV model 101 and that it wasn’t particularly rare - I've got 4 of them. In fact, on checking, I discovered that I’ve actually got 5 of them (2 in my collection, an extra frontwind that I’ve been intending to put on Ebay, and 2 old parts machines). Around this time the empty case from a SB101D blue crocodile came up for sale. This set me thinking - did I have enough parts between it and the 2 spare machines to assemble a working gramophone? You can read about the outcome on the collection page.
5th June 2017
Two new video clips have been added to the site today. “Someday Sweetheart” performed by Artie Shaw and His New Music, played on the Columbia Model 113a, and “Driftwood” performed by The Caroliners and played on my G&T New Victor.
31st May 2017
Time for another update as it’s actually been about 8 weeks since I posted anything in this news page. Over the Bank Holiday weekend I managed to get down to some general maintenance on some of the machines – lubrication being the most obvious requirement but a couple of auto-brakes (Decca model 10 and Columbia 113a) needed attention too. After that I decided to do a couple of more videos which I’ll add to the site soon. I also have another restoration project on the go which I’ll give more details of a little later.
22nd March 2017
More of the latest Youtube videos have been added to the website today; 'Way Down Yonder In New Orleans' performed by Victor Silvester's Jive Band and played on my Decca Model 120 and the March 'Lancelot' performed by The Bohemian Orchestra and played on my G&T Monarch Senior.
21st March 2017
It seems ages since I last added anything to the site . . I can't even believe that its been 4 months since I posted any news! Life has been hectic during the Christmas and New Year period but life with the gramophones goes on; new records still magically appear in mysterious plain packages together with needle tins and assorted gramophone paraphernalia. All of the machines also continue to get regular use and maintenance to keep them in full working order. I have realised that I'd put some clips on Youtube that hadn't been linked to this site so I've just added a clip of my HMV110 playing 'Samum' performed by Bertini & His Band to the videos page.
20th November 2016
Once again, spare time has been a rare commodity recently but I've still managed to find some time for catching up with odd little jobs. The replacement turntable for the HMV157 has been renovated and re-felted and is now sitting happily on the machine and at the same time I've taken the opportunity to track down the source of a persistent rattle on the horn. It turns out that most of the screws securing the metal horn to the wooden frame and cabinet weren't tight - I suspect due to the wood shrinking slightly over the years. All is now good and the rattle is no more! I'm also still adding to the record collection on a regular basis so I must get around to posting some new videos soon.
19th October 2016
I've realised that it has been several weeks since I last posted any updates on the site. Things continue along nicely with the machines getting plenty of use and occasional maintenance and I still keep acquiring records and needle tins when I see things that take my fancy. I have, during this period, found time to add a new video clip featuring Guy Mitchell & Rosemary Clooney. This was played on my HMV157 which has always (since I've owned it) had a 'wobble' to the turntable due to someone in the past forcing it to try to remove it. I've recently found a better example which will be restored before being swapped.
11th July 2016
I managed to find time over the weekend to film a video clip of my Peter Pan gramophone playing "Carry Me Back To My Old Carolina Home" performed by Joseph Samuels & His Orchestra with vocal chorus by Arthur Hall. Emerson record N°10559 recorded 6th November 1922.
3rd July 2016
Having finished the HMV109 overhaul which I'd undertaken for a friend-of-a-friend It had been a relatively quiet month but I have recently acquired a Peter Pan gramophone which has had the usual routine of cleaning and servicing and has now been added to the collection and photos pages.
3rd June 2016
The recent bank holidays coupled with some extra time off work has allowed time for a bit of TLC on some of the machines:- general maintenance, lubrication and regulation. My blue HMV102, red Decca Salon 10 and Columbia 113a have all received a small amount of attention. I've also managed to add 4 new video clips in the last few weeks: Victor Type R playing 'The Black Diamonds Band', Columbia 113a playing 'The Westchester Biltmore Orchestra', Decca Salon 10 playing 'The Benny Goodman Trio' and finally the HMV102 playing 'The Coleman Hawkins Orchestra'. The 5a sound box from one of my 102's has finally succumbed to cracks in the pot-metal (both front and back) so I'll be looking out for a suitable replacement.
29th April 2016
Here's the second of this week's new video clips - "Smiling Back At The Smiling Moon" performed by The Hottentots on Eclipse N°179 from 1932, and being played here on my c.1930 HMV Model 157.
26th April 2016
I've managed to add a couple of new video clips this week, the first of which is this fun recording of "Alice's House" by Leon Zimbler & His Band playing on the G&T Monarch Senior. The track is a late acoustic recording from 1926 and, although the disc has a few surface marks and scratches, it's typical of a 1920's dance orchestra and great fun too.
19th April 2016
I decided to have an evening of gramophones last night and spent around three hours listening to various records on various machines. Also, as oil and grease can dry out or wear off over a period of time, I took the opportunity to do a bit of servicing on some of them too. My Senior Monarch in particular was sounding quite dry and was also running a bit slow so this has been attended to and regulated. I must get back to some more video clips soon.
1st April 2016
Another new video clip has been added this week, "Someone Is Losin' Susan" performed by The Broadway Bellhops on an HMV Model 100 portable.
21st March 2016
I've managed to add 2 new videos to the site over the weekend; The Decca Junior 2A playing "It Always Starts To Rain" sung by Albert Whelan, and the HMV157 playing "A Taxi Driver's Serenade" performed by Ambrose & His Orchestra with vocal by Anne Shelton
14th March 2016
23rd February 2016
Today I took delivery of a new acquisition; a 1926 Decca Junior 'Trench' style gramophone. It's in very good general condition and requires very little work to get it up to standard - just a sound box rebuild and a new turntable felt. It will be added to the site soon.
21st February 2016
After a period of having very little to report I've finally got around to catching up on various things and in the last week I've actually managed to add three new videos to the site. Check out these latest Decca 120, HMV 58 and Columbia Grafonola clips.
2nd February 2016
I don't usually undertake repair work for others but recently a colleague brought me an HMV109 belonging to a friend who wanted to know if I would carry out some refurbishment on it. I agreed to give it a general clean-up, check & service the motor, replace the brake leather and rebuild the sound box. I'm leaving all the casework untouched for now so the owner can decide what they want to do with it in the future.
4th January 2016
HAPPY NEW YEAR from the gramophone collector. It's been a busy period over Christmas & New Year as usual but I've just managed to find time to post a video clip of my recently restored HMV Model 58. Hopefully time will allow for some more clips over the coming weeks.
8th December 2015
I've just managed to find a bit of spare time recently to record a video clip of my New Victor playing 'Granny, You're My Mammy's Mammy' performed by the Club Royal Orchestra - complete with it's replacement sound-box. Will need to do the same with the HMV Model 58 now!
3rd December 2015
In my previous news posting about the HMV Model 58 I mentioned swapping soundboxes so I thought I would take some time to elaborate a little further. The Gramophone Co. (HMV) In England didn't start producing their own Exhibition soundboxes until 1918. Prior to this date all soundboxes had been imported from the USA - usually still branded as 'The Gramophone Co.' but clearly marked 'Made In USA'. When I bought my G&T New Victor a few years ago it came with a 'His Master's Voice - Made In England' Exhibition soundbox which is clearly much later than the 1905-1907 date of the machine, but I didn't bother to change it at the time. However, when the 1922 Model 58 arrived without a soundbox it seemed like a good opportunity so the later, English box was fitted to the Model 58 which left the New Victor in need of a suitable replacement. Fortunately I've obtained a lovely USA Exhibition (albeit a Victor) from Walt Sommers (Gettysburg Antique Phonographs) which has just been rebuilt by him to his usual excellent standard. Job done!
19th November 2015
It's been a little while since there was anything to report on new machines (mostly through a growing lack of space) but I recently acquired a HMV Model 58 hornless. This was in the usual dirty/scruffy condition requiring some work on the cabinet but it appeared to be original, untouched and complete with the exception of being minus its soundbox. The casework has been cleaned and repaired where necessary and the metalwork has been cleaned and polished, the motor lubricated & adjusted and the turntable felt replaced. It has now been paired with the correct style of British built 'Exhibition' soundbox which had previously been incorrectly fitted to another of my machines (the G&T New Victor) and today I've added the HMV-58 to the collection and photos pages.
4th November 2015
22nd September 2015
Not much has happened recently and there are no major issues to report but I still keep picking up records when I get the chance. Among some recent purchases was a Red Nichols recording of 'Nobody Knows' on the Brunswick label. I've added a video clip of it playing on my restored Selecta portable.
27th August 2015
It seems like quite a while since I posted any news or added anything to the site. The summer months have been very busy as usual but I've managed to find time to carry out some routine maintenance on several machines - the leather pads on the governors tend to run dry and need to be kept well oiled and other parts of the mechanism will need re-greasing from time-to-time. I was also checking through some recent record purchases last night and though that its about time I uploaded some new videos so will try to find time over the next week.
17th July 2015
30th June 2015
New Senior Monarch video clip added today. 'Peggy' performed by The London Dance Orchestra.
27th April 2015
New video clip added to the website today. Thorens Excelda playing 'Honey' performed by Ben Selvin & His Orchestra.
12th April 2015
6th April 2015
Just a few small, routine maintenance jobs for the Easter Bank Holiday weekend. When I acquired my HMV110 last year it was fitted with a very nice N°2 soundbox which I assume is original. I do, however, have a soft spot for the early, all-brass N°4's and was fortunate enough to pick up another a couple of months ago at a reasonable price. At the same time I ordered a rebuild kit and new mounting rubber from Walt Sommers in Pennsylvania www.victrolaguy.com and so today I've finally been able to spend a little time rebuilding it with new diaphragm, gasket and mounting rubber for use on the HMV110. I will, of course, always keep the N°2 with this machine as its original soundbox! At the same time I've also replaced the brake leathers on the 110 & 157 as they were almost worn out.
31st March 2015
A new Gilbert Geisha video clip added today. I decided that this is another machine that hasn't seen enough use lately so here it is playing an early recording by Arthur Pryor's Band.
15th March 2015
Changes made to the Salon Decca 120 photo album.
9th March 2015
Another new video clip has been added to the website today. This is another of my attempts to demonstrate vintage records playing on appropriate machines. The recording of "I'll Dance Till De Sun Breaks Through" dates from c.1913 and the Zonophone Model 1 is a little younger at 1919/20. Remember that this disc is over 100 years old!
2nd March 2015
New Decca Model 10 video clip added.
9th February 2015
Sternogem portable video clip added.
6th February 2015
3rd Februaury 2015
Following the receipt of more details the description of the Decca Model 120 on the collection page has been updated. Many thanks to Philip Gordon-Booth for the information.
31st January 2015
I've just taken delivery of another recent eBay purchase; a 1930’s Decca 10 portable in a maroon case. By the end of the 1940s the era of the acoustic gramophone had come to an end in most developed countries and, as they gave way to electric machines, wind-up gramophones were relegated to sheds, garages and attics. Because of this the pattern of preservation of these machines is often very similar with the outside of the case being dirty, worn or damaged but the inside surviving fairly well. This is exactly the condition of this new Decca 10 which will receive the usual treatment of cleaning, servicing and adjustments before being added to the collection.
17th January 2015
Sternogem portable added to photos page.
17th January 2015
Sternogem portable added to collection page.
21st December 2014
Christmas video added to the site today. Merry Christmas from The Gramophone Collector.
6th December 2014
Another Columbia Grafonola video clip added to the site today.
5th December 2014
It's interesting how your musical tastes can change over time and lately I've found that I'm attracted to early, acoustic recordings from the late teens and early 1920's. Many of these are performances of popular music which were right on the cusp between ragtime and early jazz. Also found among some recent record purchases was an October 1922 recording of Arnold Johnson & His Orchestra playing "You remind me of my mother". Today I filmed a video clip of it playing on my Columbia Grafonola which can be found here.
29th November 2014
Nothing much to report lately although I do still keep picking up needle tins and records along the way. In amongst some recent record purchases was a smoking-hot recording of "That Da Da Strain" by George Brunis & His Jazz Band which I've recorded playing on my HMV Model 97B. You can see the video here.
11th November 2014
New HMV-110 video clip added.
10th November 2014
New Senior Monarch video clip added.
30th October 2014.
Funny thought of the day ... A few months ago I was challenged via email by the 'gramophone police' who like to patrol the internet. I was told that I shouldn't be playing 78rpm records on wind-up gramophones anymore because they're valuable and rare. I chuckled to myself this evening when I noticed that there are 45,506 listings for 78 records on eBay UK alone! Just saying ...
28th October 2014
Not much to report at the moment although I have just purchased another frontwind HMV101 which, although a bit tatty, was advertised very cheaply. I'll probably give this one a light restoration and then sell it on.
10th October 2014
Just when you think that everything is under control and you’ve caught up with all those little jobs fate can suddenly find something to throw at you. Having had the outside casework of the HMV 110 French polished and (seemingly) attended to all of the mechanical issues I settled down to enjoy it - I even filmed a video clip for youtube. My only slight concern was how long it would run on a full wind and, although it had improved during the last week-or-so, I’d convinced myself that one of the springs was not running right - probably caked-up with hardened old grease. WRONG!
On Tuesday morning I set about stripping down the motor and removing the springs from the barrel with the intention of cleaning and re-greasing them. Imagine how surprised I was (peeved even - choice language came into play!) to discover that one of the springs was broken, clearly explaining why it had only taken around 25-30 winds. Still, no panic, a quick visit to the interweb had a replacement spring in the post so I cleaned up the spring barrel and associated parts together with the remaining good spring.
Thursday lunchtime saw a timely visit from the postman and within an hour my latest addition was back to full health, now taking 50+ turns for a full wind and playing 3-4 10” sides. Never a dull day! I’ve posted a series of photos here of the spring replacement.
6th October 2014
A new HMV110 video clip has been added today.
3rd October 2014
After some minor interruptions along the way I have finally managed to get the HMV Model 110 home from the French polishers and reassembled. Today I've photographed it and added it to the collection page.
16th September 2014
The French polisher has just finished the casework on the HMV110 and matching cabinet. I know it looks quite dark but he's actually used the original internal colour as a pattern and it matches beautifully. I'll look forward to finding some time later this week to reassemble it.
15th September 2014
Last month I reported that I had purchased a quantity of Bob Crosby records and yesterday I added a new video clip of my Columbia Grafonola playing 'A Precious Memory'.
4th September 2014
Nothing to report on the HMV110 at the moment as the polisher is away on holiday this week so work will resume when he returns on Monday. I'll post more updates or pictures when available.
2nd September 2014
New Colibri clip added to the videos page.
29th August 2014
Colibri portable added to collection page.
26th August 2014
A couple of visits to the French polisher have allowed me to photograph the restoration of the HMV110 as a work in progress. See pictures of the progress here.
19th August 2014
The HMV110 has been completely disassembled and the case and record cabinet are already with the French polisher. Whilst they're away I'll clean and check all of the internal parts and fittings, and also adjust and lubricate the motor. More updates to come.
18th August 2014
Sunday was a busy day out involving a 280 mile round trip to collect a new purchase from Nottingham. This is a HMV Model 110 table grand dating from 1924/25 which is in an oak case complete with matching record cabinet. This had apparently been in the seller's family and is, fortunately, completely original & untouched. Normally you have to contend with non-original fittings such as sound boxes or winding handles, swapped motors leaving redundant/filled holes in the motor board or just missing, odd and chewed-up screws. Not in this instance! The outside casework (of both gramophone and record cabinet) is typically worn and needs to be repaired and re-polished but the inside has survived amazingly well and should respond to a good clean and a bit of metal polish.
15th August 2014
There haven't been any new machines added to the collection for a while . . yet . . (watch this space) but I have been on a bit of a record buying spree over the last couple of weeks with 35+ new discs including a quantity of USA Decca's, mostly Bob Crosby but some Jimmy Dorsey too. I'll look forward to checking them and adding them to my database this week.
14th August 2014
'Fake Gramophones' page added to website.
22nd July 2014
Last week I said that I must try to find time to film a video clip of my Columbia 113a. I've just realised that I'd already done it but forgotten to add the link to the videos page . . so here it is.
16th July 2014
It's been a month since I last added any updates to the site ( I really don't know where the time goes) although much still goes on. I have found time recently to record a new video clip using one of my HMV101's which has been added to the videos page. The machines all get plenty of regular use and servicing and I still add records and associated accessories to my collection. No major news to report as far as the gramophones themselves are concerned although when I bought my G&T Senior Monarch I briefly considered having the nickel re-plated as it is all pretty worn. In the end I decided not to bother, one reason being that the winding handle which came with it was not the correct style. These early, internal threaded handles are pretty hard to find but I'm glad to report that, although its taken me quite a while to track one down, I recently managed to find a replacement. So now its back to my original dilemma - now that I have all the correct parts do I get them re-plated or not? Watch this space. I must also try to find time for a clip of my Columbia 113a
17th June 2014
Today I've added a new video clip showing a demonstration of a 'Core' record repeater in use on my G&T New Victor.
16th May 2014
5th May 2014
1st May 2014
I've managed to find a bit of time this week to record 2 new video clips on the Monarch Senior. The first is 'Pop Goes Your Heart' and the second is 'Day In, Day Out' both played by Harry Leader & His Band. As explained in the video descriptions this record is badly cracked (on the verge of breaking completely) so I decided to record these wonderful performances before they're gone.
14th April 2014
I don't actually have much to report at the moment but thought it was about time I added an update. With spring having arrived DIY season has taken over for a while and this looks set to continue for the next couple of weeks at least, although I did find time to rebuild the Exhibition soundbox off the New Victor with new gaskets and mica diaphragm. There are no new machines to report although there always seems to be a fresh supply of records and needle tins and I've just bought a wonderful cabinet to display the tins better. At the same time I've put up more heavy duty shelves in the gramophone room for storing machines and records. When I get some spare time (lol) I suspect the next task will be to look at the Victor Model R as the spring is very weak and almost certainly needs replacing so that looks like it will be my next major job. I'm also hoping to add new video clips as and when I can.
24th March 2014
New Edison Gem Phonograph video clip added.
26th February 2014
Another day off today and I've managed to post 3 new video clips in the last 24 hours! I've added a clip of the red Columbia 9000 and also two clips of the Decca 120 with the Sid Phillips Band playind 'Tiger Rag' and 'Sister Kate'. These are the first clips of the Decca that I've managed to film since replacing the broken spring a few weeks ago so it's nice to have this machine back in working order.
24th February 2014
Had an extra day off work today and managed to add a new video clip showing the newly restored Edison Gem cylinder phonograph in action.
21st February 2014
I've been busy with other musical commitments over recent weeks but now that they are finally out of the way I can get back to my collection and start posting some new video clips. Today I've added the Columbia 9000 and the Edison Gem Phonograph to the collections page.
24th January 2014
I’ve always claimed that I’m not interested in cylinder phonographs so it may come as a surprise that I’ve just bought one. It certainly came as a surprise to me (it was even more of a surprise to ‘she who must be obeyed’) but I couldn’t resist the temptation of owning one of these fascinating devices any longer. I’ve managed to find a cheap Edison Gem and a small selection of 2 minute cylinders. The machine is cosmetically a little scruffy around the edges (it is 111 years old after all) but mechanically complete so I’ll tidy it up as best I can and make sure that its running ok before adding details and pictures to the site.
20th January 2014
Gramophone & Typewriter Senior Monarch video clip added.
19th January 2014
Well, its been over a month since I last added any news items so I thought it was probably time for a catch up. Other than enjoying listening to my machines I've not had any technical issues to deal with but over the Christmas and New Year period I have managed to add to my collection of 78rpm records and needle tins. I haven't yet managed to post any video clips of the re-sprung Decca 120 so I must try to get around to that. The big news, however, is that I've managed to add another gramophone in the shape of a lovely red Columbia 9000. I'm in the process of cleaning and servicing this at the moment and will be adding details and pictures in the next few days.
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
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."
• 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
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. Full details to follow.
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
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 (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
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
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
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