The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Re: Columbia Grafonola Viva Tonal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 10:08 am 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1375
Location: South Carolina
I think Columbias are dropped due to their pot-metal problems on some models, and because there's not so much of a serial number database left. I had to buy some Columbia machines before I really was sold on their excellence.

By the way, there is a big difference between a cheap Columbia and a good one. But even back in 1906 they were making some lovely cylinder Graph-o-phones; I had a Model BK for 2-minute cylinders. The double-spring motor was very quiet and was lubricated by a brass pipe manifold that you dripped oil into the top of, and the spring-loaded Lyric Reproducer (after a bit of alterations) outperformed the Edison Model C on my other cylinder phonographs.
It was unsurpassed in my modest collection for volume & clarity on early wax records.

The Columbia 202 I have is incredibly well-made and I only wish I had gotten one of them first, instead of a Victor Victrola 2-65 portable. I very much enjoyed my Victrola but the old machine had parts made out of cardboard and began crumbling--something I don't see the Columbia doing. "Its voice lives on" because I traded the Victor reproducer for the Grafonola machine but if anyone wants spare parts from a 2-65 Victrola I have some.

Columbias are lovely and their styling is extremely classy. Though I don't see why they sell for cheap, I'm certainly not complaining! Never mind that the earliest models can sound tinny...the Columbia Records were bass-boosted enough and play extremely well on them.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia Grafonola Viva Tonal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 2:49 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: 2861
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
The Columbia 201 and 202 portables survived into the EMI era, and once Columbia's contract with Garrard for the supply of motors expired they acquired HMV motors.

Here is my late 202 with HMV side wound motor, alongside it's predecessor the 112a :


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112a & 202.JPG
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 Post subject: Re: Columbia Grafonola Viva Tonal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 3:39 pm 
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Victor III
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Keep'em well oiled
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 2:51 am
Posts: 551
Location: Madrid, Spain
I only have one Columbia machine, the huge de luxe portable 113a, with a wonderful sound coming from its Big Horn. But I must say that's the sound being good, it doesn't have the clarity and wonderful range the HMV 102. Besides that I'm always painful about the bad tracking alignment... It's really horrendous.
I've never owned one of the later Columbia's with their plano reflex tonearm which solves this issue...
Inigo


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia Grafonola Viva Tonal
PostPosted: Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:26 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1375
Location: South Carolina
Plano-reflex is pretty gentle on records. The OP's got a beautiful machine that should do nicely.

If you have room, I'd recommend sampling a little newer Columbia with that tonearm and see how you like it. They can be wonderful!


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia Grafonola Viva Tonal
PostPosted: Sat Nov 30, 2019 5:32 pm 
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Victor II
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 248
Location: Anywhere the Wind blows
I want too to say congratulations on acquiring this beatiful Columbia console gramophone. It looks great! I have myself picked up this hobby during the last year, and it has already given me lots of joy and I have learned a lot during the last 6-7 months. This forum is a real treasure in finding and getting lots of good advice, and people here are always very friendly and supportive. During the last months I even started to service my machines, starting with a single spring portable HMV, and stepping up to double spring HMV's and Victrola. Confidence comes with experience, and it is all learning by trying and failing, and learn to walk before one try to run.
Lately I have started to collect also Columbia gramophones, and I also have one console Columbia. A Columbia 156a, from c. 1929. I received help here on the forum to identify it, from the same Columbia Experts here, that helped you identify your own model. My Columbia console model is however not as beautiful as your model, at least not yet. I will start working on it when spring comes, since it definitely needs some love and care, to regain its former beauty. Good luck with your gramophone!
PS. I will not even comment why the iron is standing on the floor next to the gramophone... :roll: ..I know, sacrilege


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