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 Post subject: Re: Decca Trench Type Machines, Value?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:14 am 
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Victor Jr
Cheeki Breeki
Joined: Sat Feb 23, 2019 9:36 am
Posts: 5
Phono48 wrote:
I've found the majority of Decca portables (with the notable exceptions of the 120 and 130) to be very poorly built, usually of rough plywood, and having very thin plating on the fittings. In the case of these "trench" models, they also have very noisy motors. However, having said that, they are visually attractive, and if the soundboxes are in good order, sound reasonably good, but definitely not in the same league as the HMV or Columbia models of the same era. I certainly wouldn't pay over the odds for one.


Well, after all, they were made during wartime, with heavy restrictions on the use of resources, and once the machines had reached their final customers, they might well be destroyed in a bombing. So, it makes sense to build them out of cheap, thin materials since the industrial effort was put first on war production, and then, after the armistice, on reconstruction and on the reintegration of the former soldiers.


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 Post subject: Re: Decca Trench Type Machines, Value?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:21 am 
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VTLA
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:36 am
Posts: 2483
Location: Delaware
When I had just started collecting maybe 8 years ago I saw a Decca trench model on eBay that I still regret not buying, because I've never seen another one as nice as that. It had a nice stitched leather case and copper colored horn and fittings. It was in very good condition, but I did not know back then if it was rare or reasonably priced. It definitely would have been for the looks, because I still have never heard one in person. Oh well...

Andreas


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 Post subject: Re: Decca Trench Type Machines, Value?
PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:46 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:38 pm
Posts: 684
Location: United Kingdom
Yak_Forger wrote:
Phono48 wrote:
I've found the majority of Decca portables (with the notable exceptions of the 120 and 130) to be very poorly built, usually of rough plywood, and having very thin plating on the fittings. In the case of these "trench" models, they also have very noisy motors. However, having said that, they are visually attractive, and if the soundboxes are in good order, sound reasonably good, but definitely not in the same league as the HMV or Columbia models of the same era. I certainly wouldn't pay over the odds for one.


Well, after all, they were made during wartime, with heavy restrictions on the use of resources, and once the machines had reached their final customers, they might well be destroyed in a bombing. So, it makes sense to build them out of cheap, thin materials since the industrial effort was put first on war production, and then, after the armistice, on reconstruction and on the reintegration of the former soldiers.


The above argument may have been true if it were not for the fact that long after the first World War, right up to the end of production in the late 1950s, Decca continued to produce portables that were very cheaply made. As said before, with the exception of the 120 and 130, all the Decca portables I have had over the years looked reasonable enough, but internal investigation proved them to be very poorly made.


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 Post subject: Re: Decca Trench Type Machines, Value?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 4:35 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 771
Location: Italy
alang wrote:
It definitely would have been for the looks, because I still have never heard one in person.

The Trench sounds very reasonably for being a reflex machine, and with a skillfully rehauled soundbox can give some emotions. As all reflex machines, however, the accuracy of sound reproduction is far from the performances of orthoponic portables. In any case, what I consider most outstanding in the Trench is the remarkable correction of the tracking error, which is almost perfect - an even more remarkable feature if one considers that this is a cheap portable, while instead extremely expensive tabletop or floor units were ingeneered with a dreadful tracking error.

Limitations aside, by all means a Trench is a very nice addition to whichever collection.

Phono48 wrote:
Decca continued to produce portables that were very cheaply made. As said before, with the exception of the 120 and 130...

Well... Although the 130 is one of the best sounding orthophonic portables ever made, if not "the" best, its crafting is also definitely not at top levels. Many of its parts are hammer nailed rather than screwed, which of course give you nightmares when a repair to any of such parts is needed.


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 Post subject: Re: Decca Trench Type Machines, Value?
PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2019 4:48 pm 
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Victor Jr
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78 rpm - music to my ears!
Joined: Mon Jul 30, 2018 8:29 am
Posts: 9
Location: North Yorkshire, UK
Django wrote:
I have been looking at Decca portables with the reflective horn. They look to be a higher quality machine than most portables and aaI like the look. They are generally expensive in the US and I was wondering what a fair price would be if the machine was in good condition. I am looking at one with the tooled covering, but it seems expensive for a portable. Than you in advance for any input.



I love my Decca portable - spent hours and hours getting it into excellent condition. Refurbished the soundbox, dismantled and re-greased the main spring - almost rebuilt it.

You'll never escape the very (very!) noisy motor though. So long as that's what you expect when you buy, then you'll enjoy your purchase.

Good luck!
Money doesn't make the world go around, but a fine Garrard wind-up motor can help!


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