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Vintage Gramophones and Phonographs

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 Edison Cylinder player
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 Return to top of page · Post #: 1 · Written at 3:10:58 PM on 17 April 2014.
Art's avatar
 Art
 Location: Ipswich, QLD
 Member since 22 October 2013
 Member #: 1437
 Postcount: 886

Hi Guys,
Anyone got one of these?

Image Link

and do any of them still work?
I think it might be risky trying to use one because I know the cylinder media are very fragile now.

He wants $900 for this one.
Cheers Art.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 2 · Written at 8:14:03 PM on 17 April 2014.
Brad's avatar
 Administrator
 Location: Greenwich, NSW
 Member since 15 November 2005
 Member #: 1
 Postcount: 4398

I've seen good examples of phonographs in working order, playing the cylinders that they were designed for though yes, some cylinders are in better nick than others though the same applies to 78RPM records.

I have a view that the steel needles used apply too much weight to the media and have always worried when playing 78s on my own gramophone. I guess that some things are just better left as display pieces.

One way around this is to get cylinders cut from modern materials that can take the punishment better though this would not be an easy thing to do given the lack of equipment necessary to produce them.


‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾‾
Brad.

A valve a day keeps the transistor away...

 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 3 · Written at 8:51:32 PM on 17 April 2014.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 4013

This guy makes Edison wax cylinders:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWs5EW1m2Ro
.

His website is one of those lamentable "under construction" affairs, and looks like it's been so since 2011. However, there is a contact form on it:

http://www.borriaudiolabs.com/contact.html.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 4 · Written at 10:48:42 PM on 17 April 2014.
Art's avatar
 Art
 Location: Ipswich, QLD
 Member since 22 October 2013
 Member #: 1437
 Postcount: 886

When I joined up here I was unemployed and looking for bargains Grin
but now my options are a bit better.

Can't buy it today, but it's definitely on the cards.
$1200 on the tag, quoted $900, which means I reckon he'd
let it go for $800 or a little less maybe.

It had a sign "Do not touch", and I didn't think to ask if it played,
but if it did, I think it would be a done deal.
If I saw it run once, I wouldn't ever have to use it again.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 5 · Written at 10:58:53 PM on 17 April 2014.
Art's avatar
 Art
 Location: Ipswich, QLD
 Member since 22 October 2013
 Member #: 1437
 Postcount: 886

This is how I know they are fragile:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxGWENAv_oA.

Well I can see the funny side,
but that could ruin a whole player if you didn't have another one.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 6 · Written at 11:47:29 PM on 26 April 2014.
Damien T's avatar
 Location: Perth, WA
 Member since 24 February 2014
 Member #: 1515
 Postcount: 23

Didn't the Edison cylinder machines always have a diamond stylus?


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 7 · Written at 7:46:13 PM on 28 April 2014.
Airzone's avatar
 Location: Maclean, NSW
 Member since 30 May 2008
 Member #: 291
 Postcount: 337

The earlier Edison cylinder players used Sapphire reproducers.
The Edison cylinders where wax, the brown wax cylinders were very soft and only lasted a number of plays. They then went to the black wax which was harder and lasted longer. These are now VERY brittle and can shatter just by pushing them too hard on to the mandrel.
From here they went to the Amberol Blue cylinder which were advertised as indestructible. (Well sort of, but very strong and long wearing)
To answer Art's question, yes I have two Edison Standard machines, three GEMS, two Home machines, two Amberola's, two Diamond Disc players and two hundred cylinders. I also have a number of steel needle gramophones which I regards and the working class of players, 78 rpm flat discs. 600 - 78 rpm records.
Some are on my web site:
My Edison Players

I made a video after restoring a motor from one of my Edison players (wind up)
Edison Motor Running
In the background is an actual Edison cylinder playing.

Also a good link here:
Wikipedia


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 8 · Written at 7:11:53 AM on 29 April 2014.
Redxm's avatar
 Location: Tamworth, NSW
 Member since 6 April 2012
 Member #: 1126
 Postcount: 401

^ nice collection.
I have a red gem, with the correct 2/4 min reproducer. Fully restored over a 18 month period with parts from USA and UK, when the dollar was 50c.
I have about 15 blue cylinders. I did the nickel plating myself.
also have a 1929 rexonola wind up gramo. Unrestored, works perfectly. I have 2 milk crates full of 78's, most of which you wouldnt want to play.

The little people of the house, at one stage were doing "old things" at school. The class were amazed to see a working phonograph.

Ben


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 9 · Written at 10:40:28 PM on 3 May 2014.
Maven's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT
 Member since 23 August 2012
 Member #: 1208
 Postcount: 581

Steel needles could quickly shorten the life of even bakelite 78rpm disks. I think they were used mostly in the later phonographs that had electronic pickups (more or less a telephone-style carbon mike with a needle-holder attached to the diaphragm). Those pickups could be comparatively light.

The older pure-acoustic pickups, that just "amplified" the sound through horns of various types, needed heavier weight on the needles to get the volume. We had one that my father had inherited from his aunt. With it came some little tins of copper (alloy) needles that had to be changed after a few plays, but it was better to sacrifice the needles than to scrape the music out of the tracks on the record. I was always told not to use the steel needles on "good" records (the ones my Mum happened to like).

Maven


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 10 · Written at 12:06:42 AM on 4 May 2014.
GTC's avatar
 GTC
 Location: Sydney, NSW
 Member since 28 January 2011
 Member #: 823
 Postcount: 4013

The older pure-acoustic pickups, that just "amplified" the sound through horns of various types, needed heavier weight on the needles to get the volume

What I fondly called the nail-under-a-brick system.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 11 · Written at 8:52:26 AM on 5 May 2014.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 2747

I did make comment on turntables an lubrication failure recently and since then I have a Collaro AC.7 moving through that has the gearbox made of what is known as, "Pot Metal" in the US and "Die Cast" here (several alloy blends).

This stuff is not only found in Radios & Automobiles. They did stupidly use something like it in Washing machine pumps so the Alkaline detergents could eat it. The stuff in radio's exfoliates in a similar fashion to steel and disintegrates, especially if there is moisture. The Collaro gearbox is doing this. By the time its found it's too late.

I have had three turntables so far this year with lubrication issues

Getting back to the salt mine: It is very important that the springs in wind up Clock mechanisms & Gramophones are lubricated.

You fail: They fail.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 12 · Written at 11:12:26 AM on 5 May 2014.
Maven's avatar
 Location: Canberra, ACT
 Member since 23 August 2012
 Member #: 1208
 Postcount: 581

"Pot Metal" in the US and 'Die Cast" here (several alloy blends).

Hear hear! Those cheap alloys should never have been used in mechanical components. You find them in some VCR mechanisms as well.

I suspect it is an aluminium component in the alloys that oxidises too easily, and also makes them too prone to wear. Even some lubricants will attack aluminium.

Maven


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 13 · Written at 1:37:17 PM on 5 May 2014.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 2747

From memory (its on the web) The offender is Zinc and as we know Zinc is the sacrificial metal on galvanised iron etc. and Aluminium against Iron (so we make iron motor blocks & put Aluminium heads on it?) Clever country.


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 14 · Written at 1:48:51 PM on 5 May 2014.
Damien T's avatar
 Location: Perth, WA
 Member since 24 February 2014
 Member #: 1515
 Postcount: 23

The most annoying use of pot metal I deal with is drive-in movie speakers. Retapping threads in that crap is not fun!


 
 Return to top of page · Post #: 15 · Written at 7:35:15 PM on 5 May 2014.
Marcc's avatar
 Location: Wangaratta, VIC
 Member since 21 February 2009
 Member #: 438
 Postcount: 2747

We could probably fill a page with the stupid, inappropriate & ill conceived end uses of this crap. It needs less heat to work it, so it is cheap to make stuff out of it.

The Collaro has issues with bolts hole stripping and I have considered Loctite to bond in a threaded stud & just use nuts on it. You must use coarse threads in it to reduce stripping (like a self tapper, but Pilot bore first. That stuffs corrosion resistance is hopeless and its strength not a lot better

That's what I love about my Ute. Cast iron water pump, block and Thermostat housing. Pump seal failed, puled it out, cleaned and after 56 years, stuff all corrosion. It can be refitted & put back in.


 
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