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 Post subject: What Columbia Portables Have Pot Metal?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Victor II
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Location: Wolverhampton, Uk
What Columbia Portables are affected by potmetal? If they are all affected which ones can you get any reproduction parts for? or at least affected.

Thanks, Jake


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 Post subject: Re: What Columbia Portables Have Pot Metal?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 4:47 am 
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Victor IV
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Almost all pre-EMI Columbia portables have pot metal in their construction.

Models prior to the 1929 Plano-Reflex range have one piece pot metal tonearms on which the soundbox can be turned upwards to facilitate changing needles, but the joint is often seized solid and will break if force is used on it.

The Plano-Reflex models have pot metal joints connecting the tone arms to the horns, and these are often found to have broken. Worst of all are the 112/112a/202 portables, which have pot metal parts locating long narrow pot metal horns which connect at the far end with lugs in the wider tin horn. These joint are also vulnerable to breakage and are difficult to repair, as I can testify from personal experience.


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 Post subject: Re: What Columbia Portables Have Pot Metal?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 1:12 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:38 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
12jslater wrote:
What Columbia Portables are affected by potmetal? If they are all affected which ones can you get any reproduction parts for?


There are no reproduction parts available. The best you can do is a repair, which, as has been said, can be difficult. The most common fault is a complete break where the base of the arm meets the internal horn, but even if the joint is complete, they have often swollen into an oval shape, making the arm very sloppy. There is a bolt which looks as though it can be adjusted to tighten the joint, but any attempt to turn it is pretty certain to break the collar completely. In my experience, the little tin 100s are the worst, I've had about a dozen over the years, and not one of them had a really good arm joint.


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 Post subject: Re: What Columbia Portables Have Pot Metal?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2017 6:42 pm 
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Victor II
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Location: Wolverhampton, Uk
Is the tone arm pot metal on the Columbia 109? I have seen when the tone arm plating has come off and revealed the metal underneath to look like potmetal.


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 Post subject: Re: What Columbia Portables Have Pot Metal?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:24 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:38 pm
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Location: United Kingdom
Whether or not the arm is brass or pot metal depends on which model of the 109 you have. If it's the original version, with the straight arm, then yes, it's pot metal, but if you have the later version, the 109A, with the Plano-Reflex arm, then it's brass. Fortunately, both versions of the the 109 don't have the pot metal connection at the base of the arm, they are solid brass, although below that the internal horn is pot metal, and they do tend to swell and distort. The result is that quite large pieces suddenly "ping" off, leaving quite deep holes. Purely a cosmetic problem, though, as the holes can be filled with car body filler and painted over.


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