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 Post subject: Re: NUNTIO VOBIS GAUDIUM MAGNUM: La Voix De Son Maître HMV 1
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 3:19 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:57 am
Posts: 628
Location: Hampshire, England.
Congratulations Marco---you have a fine machine there. I have one too and, as has been said, the 163s have a reputation for "punching above their weight". They do perform very well and I hope it will bring you great happiness.


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 Post subject: Re: NUNTIO VOBIS GAUDIUM MAGNUM: La Voix De Son Maître HMV 1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 4:59 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 885
Location: Italy
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
phonosandradios wrote:
I've always pondered though what the purpose of the two slits on the back of the cabinet which go through into the record compartment are for. Possibly to allow a sliver of higher frequencies to seep out from under the closed lid to enhance the overall sound heard from the machine?

I haven't seen this detail yet, I will investigate and see if turns a light on in my mind.

I have finally seen these slits you mention - and I have to thank you for poiting me to this feature, as possibly I might never have noticed their existence! In my opinion they don't have to do with sound, but are designed as an air escape route in order to ease closing and (particularly) opening the lid without generating strong air flows around the edges.

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Interestingly I once saw a photograph of those carved wood inserts on the door - those fancy swirls. Well this photo (not taken by me) shows one of these carvings that had been damaged and do you know they are not actually wood at all but cast resin! Would you believe it as they have wood grain marks and everything.

I didn't notice this detail so far as well, but I'm not really surprised as while unpacking the gramophone I was pondering how such carvings would require highly specialised personnel, actually nearly-artist carvers, and I was wondering how they managed to produce these doors by industrial numbers at reasonable costs in reasonable time. Well, now I know their trick... Quite obviously they went the "cheap" way... ;)

Again, now that you pointed me to it, it is clear that the wood is carved absolutely flat, and that the swirls are just applied on top of it. Although cheap, they look good I have to admit!


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 Post subject: Re: NUNTIO VOBIS GAUDIUM MAGNUM: La Voix De Son Maître HMV 1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:37 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 885
Location: Italy
Thanks Inigo, Mormon and Emgcr for your comments and cheers! I fully agree with you that the 163 is "all substance", and that's why I especially like it: the entire body is filled from top to bottom with that well-known marvel horn, without kitsch bar compartments, useless record shelves, or a dumb large size front just in order to "furnish" (=clutter) the house. I would not replace it by any means with any other machine (excepting its UK bigger brothers, which are however even harder to find).

I also like very much the sobre aesthetics of the 163 - I only wish it had plain straight legs as the 157 or no legs at all instead of those cheesy and silly turned legs, which my granny already considered stuff for nostalgics. I also appreciate the squareness of the lid, which fortunately doesn't recall a coffin or a lunch box or a bottle of coke or some other trivial object. I have often wondered why gramophones - basically all makes all times - were made with these nonesense backward styles instead of liberty, rationalist, novecento italiano or whatever else; but in this discouraging scenario the 163 stands as one of the most sober and elegant machines.

Judging by the two-dozen records played so far I seem to agree that efficiency was kept a bit aside in this machine, in favour of some bass enhancing. I might change my opinion later, but I was expecting it to play louder overall, but with less bass. Instead this wonder of engineering has a very mild sound and its bass is able to make the floor tremble, literally! As a phisicist, I almost can't believe that the groove of a record may shake a house, but I have to realise that it's exactly what happens when the acoustic impedance adaptment that this terrific machine delivers is applied to a record. :o


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 Post subject: Re: NUNTIO VOBIS GAUDIUM MAGNUM: La Voix De Son Maître HMV 1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:01 am 
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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
The clarity and crispness of the sound will improve of you do a serious soundbox overhauling work. It can sound marvelous
Inigo


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 Post subject: Re: NUNTIO VOBIS GAUDIUM MAGNUM: La Voix De Son Maître HMV 1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:44 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 885
Location: Italy
Yes, of course, thank you. The soundbox has been already rebuilt and was "borrowed" from another machine, as explained in the original post. The gramophone sounds wonderfully, and actually I wouldn't like it to play any crispier than this: I like it especially for its well balanced sound.


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 Post subject: Re: NUNTIO VOBIS GAUDIUM MAGNUM: La Voix De Son Maître HMV 1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:08 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 871
Location: Dover, UK
Heartiest congratulations Marco, a superb machine! This is one of those purchases you will never regret - it will repay you endlessly with pleasure.
BCN thorn needles made to the original 1920s specifications
www.burmesecolourneedles.com


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 Post subject: Re: NUNTIO VOBIS GAUDIUM MAGNUM: La Voix De Son Maître HMV 1
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:51 pm 
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Victor Jr
Spin'em Fast!
Joined: Thu Aug 15, 2019 1:26 pm
Posts: 26
Marco,

Happy for your acquisition of a 163. You will love it! And I agree with you about design. The HMV 163, 193 and 202 have restrained, tasteful, oak casework that, to me, is quintessentially English. A friend of mine is a fine cabinetmaker by hobby and he marvels at the quality of the factory-built HMV casework. And while I think the same can be said for the high-end Victor machines, I've always thought of much of the Victor line to be furniture that plays music. The HMVs re-entrants seem to be instruments first, furniture second.

By the way, its my understanding that some (if not all) of the original HMV re-entrants were introduced with the No.5 soundbox, the clone of the Victor orthophonic, and they were soon abandoned due to inferior pot metal construction that quickly deteriorated. I've played both my 163 and 193 with HMV 5a, 5b, soundboxes and a rebuilt brass orthophonic (thanks, Wyatt) and the tonal characteristics change with each, as one would suspect. If you really want to be impressed with your 163, try fitting an orthophonic to it. Regardless, benefit per cost, I think the 163 is the "sweet spot" in the HMV line.

Enjoy! Robert


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 Post subject: Re: NUNTIO VOBIS GAUDIUM MAGNUM: La Voix De Son Maître HMV 1
PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2019 3:33 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 991
Congratulations, Marco, I am happy that you were able to find probably one of the last few of these residing in Italy. I suggest you try thorn needles (Orchorsol sells great ones), they are very compatible with the reentrants and really improve the sound - the records must be in good shape, though, otherwise the needle will wear out before the end of the side. A counterweight also helps.


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