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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 15, 2018 1:23 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
No. They did not significantly penetrate the society until the beginning of 20th century, as the scarcity of early machines proves, and by the end of the Great War they were heavily discounted and relegated to the corners of advertisements. They were at the top for 15 years, 20 to be generous. Horrible machines like the 32 have nothing to share with the great classic gramophones like the Monarchs etc.


Horrible machines? :lol: Send them all to me if you don't like 'em! 4 spring motors with a No.4 reproducer... beautiful cabinet... what's not to like?

What about all the outside horn cylinder phonographs? I think you're trying to rewrite history a little, Marco. ;)


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:49 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 727
Location: Italy
Orchorsol wrote:
I'm interested to hear why you dislike the Model 32 Marco.

Andy, I would first like to stress out that, if you like it, I'm happy with you and would do nothing to convice you otherwise. However, to my eyes the 32 is the sole genuine external-horn gramophone that I would mistake for a crap-o-phone. Its pyramid-style, un-ornated, style-less case is the least impressive of all in my opinion. Technically, made as it was with a mix of orthophonic and non-orthophonic parts, it's a nonsense and it was terribly outdated even when new.

gramophone-georg wrote:
What about all the outside horn cylinder phonographs? I think you're trying to rewrite history a little, Marco. ;)

You are the first to mention phonographs, we were discussing about gramophones. In any case, cylinder phonographs fall so short from being an icon today, that I have yet to find anyone who knew about their existence before showing them one of my machines (of course I'm talking about men-in-the-street, not other collectors or enthusiasts).

Coming to the point of "re-writing history", I challenge anyone to demonstrate that before the "improved Berliner Gramophone" with motor of 1897, gramophones had any substantial penetration in society with millions of units sold. As a side note, the mentioned "Nipper" painting was registered as trade mark in 1900, so once again we're at the beginning of the 20th century.

As early as 1906, the first internal-horn Victrolas were introduced. As already said, by the end of WWI they were largely dominating the market as period ads clearly show, with a vertical fall of number of models of external horn machines available, and many discount sales to get rid of them.

By 1925 orthophonic machines became available. On the other hand, the first experiments for combining a radio receiver with an electric motor/pick-up gramophone began as early as 1922, and by 1925 both Brunswick and Victor, in partnership with RCA, announced their fully electric radio and phonograph machines. By 1926, Brunswick dismissed all of their acoustic machines (although later they re-introduced their Prismatone line) and went all-electric.

I would then say that HMV 32 being a relic of a distant past in 1930 is a statement very hard to challenge.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:53 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 686
Location: near Utopia, UK
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
Orchorsol wrote:
I'm interested to hear why you dislike the Model 32 Marco.

Andy, I would first like to stress out that, if you like it, I'm happy with you and would do nothing to convice you otherwise. However, to my eyes the 32 is the sole genuine external-horn gramophone that I would mistake for a crap-o-phone. Its pyramid-style, un-ornated, style-less case is the least impressive of all in my opinion. Technically, made as it was with a mix of orthophonic and non-orthophonic parts, it's a nonsense and it was terribly outdated even when new.

gramophone-georg wrote:
What about all the outside horn cylinder phonographs? I think you're trying to rewrite history a little, Marco. ;)

You are the first to mention phonographs, we were discussing about gramophones. In any case, cylinder phonographs fall so short from being an icon today, that I have yet to find anyone who knew about their existence before showing them one of my machines (of course I'm talking about men-in-the-street, not other collectors or enthusiasts).

Coming to the point of "re-writing history", I challenge anyone to demonstrate that before the "improved Berliner Gramophone" with motor of 1897, gramophones had any substantial penetration in society with millions of units sold. As a side note, the mentioned "Nipper" painting was registered as trade mark in 1900, so once again we're at the beginning of the 20th century.

As early as 1906, the first internal-horn Victrolas were introduced. As already said, by the end of WWI they were largely dominating the market as period ads clearly show, with a vertical fall of number of models of external horn machines available, and many discount sales to get rid of them.

By 1925 orthophonic machines became available. On the other hand, the first experiments for combining a radio receiver with an electric motor/pick-up gramophone began as early as 1922, and by 1925 both Brunswick and Victor, in partnership with RCA, announced their fully electric radio and phonograph machines. By 1926, Brunswick dismissed all of their acoustic machines (although later they re-introduced their Prismatone line) and went all-electric.

I would then say that HMV 32 being a relic of a distant past in 1930 is a statement very hard to challenge.

Hahaha, I didn't take it amiss Marco, I was just interested in your view, which I take as aesthetic and 'evolutionary' in terms of gramophone development - I take your point that in many respects the Model 32 was something of a living dinosaur - but they do sound very good indeed, even without augmentation with an EMG horn! As to style, EMGs and Expert cases were even more austere in terms of shape and ornamentation (except for beautiful veneers on some) so I suppose the Models 30-32 occupy a sort of middle position in their utilitarian design.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:34 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 727
Location: Italy
I actually prefer much more the aseptic look of EMGs and Experts - they were basically designed as professional gear or laboratory equipment, and in that sense they are ageless. What I really dislike in the HMV 32 is the intentionally outdated (but at the same time poor) design, that perhaps was deployed to attract uneducated customers that wanted to finally own the big huge gramophone with the horn they couldn't afford at the beginning of the century.

However, basically all gramophones had a more or less outdated look even when new. Given the years in which they peaked, they should have been all more or less influenced by art nouveau, but very few of them were, and in most (all?) cases the influence was really minimal. The vast majority of them looked just like old furniture. And by old I mean "old": neo-classic if you were lucky, but there are many examples of imperial style furniture that look way more modern than any gramophone. For gramophones, styles as old as the chippendale were resurrected, which is completely crazy in my opinion.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:27 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sun Oct 25, 2009 12:53 pm
Posts: 1133
Location: Michiana
Marco Gilardetti wrote:

The vast majority of them looked just like old furniture. And by old I mean "old": neo-classic if you were lucky, but there are many examples of imperial style furniture that look way more modern than any gramophone. For gramophones, styles as old as the chippendale were resurrected, which is completely crazy in my opinion.


Well, of course it is folly to judge the values of another era by the standards of our own.

The day of the mechanical talking machine overlaps the tail-end of eleclecticism in decoration.

At the turn of the last century if one was consciously "decorating" a room the first decision to be made was "what period shall it be?".

Between 1900 and 1915 or so the common choices would be "Early English" (anything from Henry VIII through George II), "Chippendale" "Adam", "Regency", in the French manner "Régence", "Louis Quinze", "Louis Seize", "Directoire", and "Empire", in America a generalized "Colonial" style was popular. (In the early years of the century "Colonial" was essentially a revival of 1830s American Empire, though by 1915 or so the style more generally referred to styles inspired by the furniture of the Pilgrim Century.)

Very grand homes indeed might have had a library or drawing room decorated in the Louis Quatorze, Italian Renaissance or Henri
IV styles.

Then we have "modernism", but one stylistic choice out of many. In the 'States "Modern" would have probably referred to "Craftsman". In Europe it would have referred to the Jugendstil or to L'Art Nouveau.

So, a "Chippendale" talking machine would have been perfectly at home in a "Chippendale" parlor, as would an Adam machine look well in a room furnished in that style.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 6:09 pm 
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Victor VI
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 3859
Location: Albany NY
Uncle Vanya wrote:
Very grand homes indeed might have had a library or drawing room decorated in the Louis Quatorze, Italian Renaissance or Henri
IV styles.

Then we have "modernism", but one stylistic choice out of many. In the 'States "Modern" would have probably referred to "Craftsman". In Europe it would have referred to the Jugendstil or to L'Art Nouveau.

So, a "Chippendale" talking machine would have been perfectly at home in a "Chippendale" parlor, as would an Adam machine look well in a room furnished in that style.


The Craftsman style just din't take off in talking machines, even though there were many houses with straight lined woodwork and furnishings. You can find a reasonable amount of craftsman styled pianos, but talking machine makers did not introduce models with mortise and tenon joints, massive square members & other such "quaint" details.Yes, there was an Amberola in such a case, and a handful of other such machines, but they are harder to find than such oddities as machines with horns made from mirror glass. People went with traditional styles, perhaps in a fashionable fumed finish.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:18 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
Orchorsol wrote:
I'm interested to hear why you dislike the Model 32 Marco.

Andy, I would first like to stress out that, if you like it, I'm happy with you and would do nothing to convice you otherwise. However, to my eyes the 32 is the sole genuine external-horn gramophone that I would mistake for a crap-o-phone. Its pyramid-style, un-ornated, style-less case is the least impressive of all in my opinion. Technically, made as it was with a mix of orthophonic and non-orthophonic parts, it's a nonsense and it was terribly outdated even when new.

gramophone-georg wrote:
What about all the outside horn cylinder phonographs? I think you're trying to rewrite history a little, Marco. ;)

You are the first to mention phonographs, we were discussing about gramophones. In any case, cylinder phonographs fall so short from being an icon today, that I have yet to find anyone who knew about their existence before showing them one of my machines (of course I'm talking about men-in-the-street, not other collectors or enthusiasts).

Coming to the point of "re-writing history", I challenge anyone to demonstrate that before the "improved Berliner Gramophone" with motor of 1897, gramophones had any substantial penetration in society with millions of units sold. As a side note, the mentioned "Nipper" painting was registered as trade mark in 1900, so once again we're at the beginning of the 20th century.

As early as 1906, the first internal-horn Victrolas were introduced. As already said, by the end of WWI they were largely dominating the market as period ads clearly show, with a vertical fall of number of models of external horn machines available, and many discount sales to get rid of them.

By 1925 orthophonic machines became available. On the other hand, the first experiments for combining a radio receiver with an electric motor/pick-up gramophone began as early as 1922, and by 1925 both Brunswick and Victor, in partnership with RCA, announced their fully electric radio and phonograph machines. By 1926, Brunswick dismissed all of their acoustic machines (although later they re-introduced their Prismatone line) and went all-electric.

I would then say that HMV 32 being a relic of a distant past in 1930 is a statement very hard to challenge.


You were talking about big flowery horns, and that is what I was responding to. Sorry, but when I think of "big flowery horns" cylinder talking machines come to mind. I don't know of too many gramos with these, aside from the big Victor or HMV machines... and even then, while somewhat flower shaped, they weren't really "flowery" like cylinder horns.

But, as far as the outside horn fascination being a fairly recent thing... how long were EMGs manufactured? Then, there are things like the "Guild Grafonola" gramophone which is like the original crapophone, only it wasn't marketed as an "antique" and it actually worked quite well. These came out going on 60 years ago now, and they must have been damned popular because the things still show up everyplace... so I don't think the fascination with an outside horn gramo being "iconic" is all that recent of a trend... unless you consider over 60 years ago to be "recent".


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:26 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:57 am
Posts: 552
Location: Hampshire, England.
gramophone-georg wrote:


... how long were EMGs manufactured?


The majority of EMGs with external horns were sold from the latter part of the nineteen-twenties until the outbreak of WW2. That was their heyday but a few were sold after the war---perhaps residual stock although there is proof that some horns were built in the late nineteen-forties.


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 Post subject: Re: On the subject of horns.
PostPosted: Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:50 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 858
gramophone-georg wrote:

But, as far as the outside horn fascination being a fairly recent thing... how long were EMGs manufactured?


Acoustic EMGs and Experts with the large external horns were manufactured at least for about 10 years (1930-1940) and sparsely during war times whenever they got the order from a customer - Graham should have more accurate dates, he is our in-house EMG guru. They were more of a cottage production, made to order and customized in many cases.

HMVs with external horns - not only the 32, but the 31 and 33 as well - were sold in India into the 40s.

I agree with Marco however that the above are exceptions, and by the end of WWI the external horn machines fell out of fashion and were replaced by the internal horn cabinets and table tops.


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