Before school ... Edison phonograph

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by HiFi in WYO, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. HiFi in WYO

    HiFi in WYO The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.

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    So this is my great grandparent’s Edison. Looks pretty sad but its been in my Dad’s garage for several years and in mine for a few more. I’m going to try and clean it up a bit and see what happens. The table does still turn freely.

    And yes, that is a turkey thawing out for the smoker tomorrow!


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  2. gguillot

    gguillot AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's great to have such an old family heirloom! I'd restore it and treasure it from that standpoint alone. Maybe you could scare up some old 78's and a new needle and enjoy some tunes. :music:
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  3. HiFi in WYO

    HiFi in WYO The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.

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    Thanks. I actually do have a box of old records and I believe a few needles somewhere. So far it’s cleaning up but it will need to be taken apart. Lots of corrosion.

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  4. woodj

    woodj Super Member

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    Interesting how those old bearings held up.
     
  5. Vintagecheap

    Vintagecheap AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great player! Does that play Edison diamond disks or regular 78's. I haven't seen many of the Edison players even when I was collecting them. They can be a lot of fun to restore.
     
  6. quiet

    quiet AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    At least you have one. I think it's in VERY good shape. And the history too. Good for you. Maybe a clean and repair is what's in order.
    Restoration? Well, that could be a bit of a job.
     
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  7. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    That is the standard Diamond Disk reproducer, meant for the 'hill-and-dale' grooves used on the DDs. A conventional side-to-side groove reproducer is angled differently, as seen here:
    [​IMG]
    That's from my Columbia phonograph, which has had a incorrect Victor ID tag installed for some reason. Unfortunately, the tonearm is stiff, and the spring in the motor has given out. The cabinet sure looks nice, though:
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. EngineerNate

    EngineerNate AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    My grandparents had one with the big horn on it. I can't remember whether it played the cylinders or old 78s. When my grandpa died I think one of my dad's brothers ended up with it.

    Cool project!
     
  9. SpruceMoose

    SpruceMoose Super Member

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    Here’s my 1919 Edison:

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    And no, I didn’t gut it to install the dynaco and Dual equipment. It was already being used as a glassware display case at an antique shop.

    Here’s another shot:

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    The Stereo 70 on top of the Double Advent is now in the bottom compartment of the Edison.

    Funny thing is, we also have a Columbia Grafanola!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  10. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

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    My dad picked up an Edison a couple years ago. I will see if I can find pictures of it. The person selling it had a hundred or so Edison records, so that has been fun.
     
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  11. squirrelnest

    squirrelnest Addicted Member

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    I used to rebuild those old Edison's....I like the volume control....a lever that slides a plunger into the speaker "cone".
     
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  12. woodj

    woodj Super Member

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    Neat,
     
  13. judsonw

    judsonw Well-Known Member

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    That is better than my dad's. You can have the mute in or out of the horn and you can have the 'screen' in front of the horn, thus allowing for four levels of loudness.
     
  14. Sandstrom

    Sandstrom Seldom turns out the way it does in the song Subscriber

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    Nice Dynason!
     
  15. SpruceMoose

    SpruceMoose Super Member

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  16. HiFi in WYO

    HiFi in WYO The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.

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    Wow, great info! Not sure you can change the needle? It looks affixed. I cleaned a ton of corrosion off it, and there is still a needle present.
     

     

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  17. HiFi in WYO

    HiFi in WYO The universe is a big place, perhaps the biggest.

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    It’s down in the cave now. I did have the lattice grill, that cleaned up nicely too.

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  18. toxcrusadr

    toxcrusadr AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Those needles were changed out quite often I thought. Although the Diamond Disc player may be different. Most of them, you'd buy a little metal can of disposable needles and change them out after a few records.

    Definitely look up some info and resources on the web, and a free manual download. Watch out for that windup spring if you disassemble the innards - that thing will kill you if it gets loose.
     
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  19. AdamAnt316

    AdamAnt316 Collector of heavy things Subscriber

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    As the name implies, Edison used a diamond stylus for the DD machines. Probably one of the first uses of one for playing phonograph records; most regular phonographs used steel needles which had to be changed out after every play, though needles made of stronger materials like osmium and sapphire were available. The idea of the steel needles was that, at the high tracking weight used for acoustic phonographs (think ounces rather than grams! :eek:), it was better to have the needle wear out than the record it was playing. To that end, at least some acoustic records had some sort of grit embedded in the shellac. I'm pretty sure that the diamond stylus used in the Edison Disc phonographs was meant to be replaced, though I'm not exactly sure how.

    The Diamond Disc was meant as a refinement of the existing acoustic phonograph concept. The diamond stylus was part of it; it allowed Edison to use a finer groove pitch, allowing for five or so minutes per side where a normal 10" record contained maybe three. The slightly higher speed (80RPM vs. 78RPM allowed for somewhat higher fidelity, and that may have been the reason for the 'hill-and-dale' grooves (though that might've just been Edison stubbornly sticking to the same cutting method his earlier cylinder records had used).

    A standard Diamond Disc phonograph won't be able to play back regular acoustic discs, though third-party reproducers were available to allow them to do so (dunno if they also provided ways to reduce the platter speed to 78RPM). Similarly, a DD record shouldn't be played on a regular acoustic phonograph, as you won't get any sound, and will likely ruin the grooves at the same time. A modern-style turntable with a stereo cartridge, however, will be able to play them back, though you may have to mess with the wiring of the cartridge, and increase the platter speed to 80RPM.
    -Adam
     
  20. Dr Tinear

    Dr Tinear AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I picked up a Model VV-XI Victrola today. I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, so I don't know what repairs it might need. It appears to be complete -- no missing parts. Nice to see that someone else on AK appreciates those great vintage acoustic reproducers.
     
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