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 Post subject: Sound Box Conundrum...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:56 pm 
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Victor Jr
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Another fine mess.
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:37 am
Posts: 7
Location: Suffolk by the sea...
Hi, My first post on here having started my shellac journey before Christmas and on the excellent advice of Orchorsol just purchased a beautiful Micro-Perophone Chromogram MP22.

The MP22's motor was refurbished by a retired engineer and looks (and sounds) in excellent condition, he bought the machine without a sound box and fitted an HMV 4, I purchased a Meltrope III and have been trying out both.

The problem I have is that the Meltrope is tonally very good, especially with vocals but lacks definition with consonants. S's, M's, F's are very smudgy and ill-defined. The HMV 4 gives good 'annunciation' but is lacking tonally where the Meltrope really shines.

Both sound boxes look in good condition and the only real physical difference is that the Meltrope grips the tonearm with an elderly (though not perished) rubber collar while the HMV has a more robust, firmer bayonet fitting.

Is it just a fact of life with this old kit and I'll need to try a few more sound boxes? Or is there something else I should be doing?


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 Post subject: Re: Sound Box Conundrum...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 2:36 pm 
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Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 2532
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
Congratulations on acquiring one of the best cabinet gramophones that most people have never heard of. You will find several posts about my Chromogram MP23 elsewhere on this forum.

My MP23 came to me with it's original soundbox which gave disappointing results, but a rebuilt Meltrope I transformed it's performance. It was my everyday player for years until I caught the EMG/Expert bug, and I still use it regularly. There are others on the forum better qualified than me to advise on the subject of soundbox maintenance and adjustment, who I am sure will help you.


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Chromogram 23 003.JPG
Chromogram 23 003.JPG [ 86.9 KiB | Viewed 424 times ]
Chromogram MP23 001.JPG
Chromogram MP23 001.JPG [ 83.64 KiB | Viewed 424 times ]
Chromogram MP23 002.JPG
Chromogram MP23 002.JPG [ 82.01 KiB | Viewed 424 times ]
Chromogram MP23 003.JPG
Chromogram MP23 003.JPG [ 106.42 KiB | Viewed 424 times ]
MP23 001.JPG
MP23 001.JPG [ 73.07 KiB | Viewed 424 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Sound Box Conundrum...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:18 pm 
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Victor Jr
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Another fine mess.
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:37 am
Posts: 7
Location: Suffolk by the sea...
Lovely - mine certainly sounds really good...I can see more varieties of Sound Box will be arriving for audition in the post soon.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound Box Conundrum...
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2019 3:42 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 740
Location: near Utopia, South East England
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on getting it and installing it in the domicile - great to hear you're enjoying it!

Despite appearing to be mass produced, Meltropes can sound a bit different one to the next. There's another thread on here where another collector went to great lengths rebuilding a Meltrope 3 due to the same slight complaint, a lack of treble. Of course yours may well benefit from a rebuild, and/or a Meltrope 1 or 2 (more scarce) might be better in that regard, but I'm not sure.

With high quality gramophones the obsession can bite as it does with hi-fi, chasing the next increment in sound quality. Some of this is personal taste (similarly, when it comes to the EMG and Expert boxes, I find the Experts have more treble response yet a lot of afficionados favour the EMG 2 spring which sounds darker to my ears). I think the trick is: by all means one should go after an improvement, but also try to enjoy what one has without being super-critical. But it can bug me at times too!


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 Post subject: Re: Sound Box Conundrum...
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2019 11:36 pm 
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Victor Jr
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Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2017 12:07 pm
Posts: 10
Location: Chicago, IL
I have two Meltrope III soundboxes, both rebuilt. One is absolutely superb - the other just doesn't sound as good. I keep tinkering and hoping. Graham Rankin was here recently, and together we drilled the chuck hole on the second one bigger so it would accommodate a medium Burmese Colour Needle, but it still isn't quite there. I am not sure why, but clearly there are variations in them.


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 Post subject: Re: Sound Box Conundrum...
PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:38 am 
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Victor Jr
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Another fine mess.
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 10:37 am
Posts: 7
Location: Suffolk by the sea...
These sound boxes are old bits of kit.....and time takes its toll.


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