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 Post subject: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Victor O
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Submitted for you approval: Hope I'm not committing any "newbie" faux-pas by jumping in with this, but I read no one had posted a Brunswick yet. Here goes!

Make: Brunswick-Balke-Collender Co.
Model: 207
Serial # 3091-88133
Year(s) Made: 1921
Original Cost: Seems to have been in the $140-$150 range according to period ads. Approx. $1800 in 2013 dollars!!!!
Case/Cabinet Size: 45"T x 19"W x 21"D
Turntable/Mandrel: 12"
Reproducer/Sound-Box: Ultona Single Patented 1917
Motor: 2-spring
Horn Dimensions: Wooden internal, approx. 10"T x 15"W Rectangular.
Reproduction Parts: None.
Current Value: ? -- Hopefully more than the $50 we paid (Came with a couple dozen records..a fair deal?).
Interesting Facts: This particular machine, as pictured, has the Brunswick Ultona single reproducer. When working properly, it is capable of playing both "Victor" style, and Pathé disk records from the same reproducer. There is also a "Double Ultona", that has an Edison head on the other side. You swivel the reproducer head, and slide the tone arm in and out, to adjust it to play whatever format record that is on the platter. There is also a sliding weight that you adjust for proper pressure upon the record. It has been described as the "swiss army knife" of reproducers. Apparently Brunswick was the only company to make one player that could play all three formats. Don't know how interesting this is, but it has a knob on the right side that turns an internal baffle for volume control. I've seen photos of some that seem to have a knob you pull or push in or out to do the same thing.

My wife brought this back from Texas while on a business trip. Seems pretty complete. Needed mainspring repaired (done). There seems to be some damage to the tip on the reproducer where the Pathé stylus would go, and lock nut for it is missing. Also, the base for the tone arm (not the arm itself) has a chunk out of the casting where the "stop" used to be that kept the arm from swinging against the inside of the cabinet on the right. Doesn't interfere with operation, but I do need to replace that part. The inside of the cabinet right there has some scratching from the tone arm hitting it. Speaker cloth is replacement, and seems way too thick. Muffles the sound quite a bit. Believe cabinet is "tiger walnut". (Thought it was just scuffed up at first!)


Attachments:
File comment: After minimal cabinet work with Howard's Finish Restorer and Feed-n-Wax. We like our antiques to look "antiquey".
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File comment: Came with a couple dozen records..a few Brunswicks!
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File comment: As found.
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"Before we start, the Steinway people have asked me to say that I'm playing a Baldwin piano tonight.." -Victor Borge


Last edited by carylee on Sun Nov 10, 2013 10:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 3:29 pm 
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Victor O
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:21 am
Posts: 50
Here's a couple photos of the "innards" that I couldn't get posted in my first post. This is after the repair of the broken mainspring, and the cleaning of the the old, black, solidified, ancient stuff, and relube with some molybdenum grease and "zoom-spout" oil for electric motors. Hope that's the right kind of stuff. It's what I had on-hand. I was a little apprehensive of the mainspring, but I'm pretty mechanically inclined. Fixing it was a breeze once I figured out what needed to be done. About two inches of the end of one spring was broken off. Trimmed the broken/cracked end to undamaged metal, and drilled a new hole, and made it "pear shaped" with a dremel tool. Works now at least. Don't know how long repair will hold up on a 90 year old spring, but perhaps until I can secure a couple extra springs.

One other thing: Seems the speed control had broken some time in the past. There's a big nut soldered in underneath that the speed knob screws in to, and it presses down on the end of the speed control arm. Spring tension raises the arm when the control knob is backed off, but there's no "connection" between the end of the knob and the arm. It works, but it seems to work in reverse..in that turning it towards "fast" will slow it down and eventually stop the platter from spinning. Turning it towards "slow" presses the speed control arm down, and releases the other end from pressing against the governor flywheel..which makes the motor speed up. Weird. It appears that the knobs used to be stationary, and the arm might have has a threaded insert. Now the knob itself raises and lowers in a stationary nut.


Attachments:
1029131302.jpg
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1029131235.jpg
1029131235.jpg [ 683.54 KiB | Viewed 4025 times ]
"Before we start, the Steinway people have asked me to say that I'm playing a Baldwin piano tonight.." -Victor Borge
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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:06 pm 
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Victor III
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Posts: 832
Location: Clearwater, FL
That's a nice machine! Welcome to the forum and thanks for adding a Brunswick to the lineup.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:39 pm 
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VTLA
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:36 am
Posts: 2544
Location: Delaware
Welcome to the forum and thanks for posting your machine. Nice machine.

Looks like you have already learned quite a bit about the inner workings. Congratulations on your main spring repair, that's not the easiest job to start with. The issue with your tonearm is unfortunately not uncommon, many machines used pot metal for these parts which tends to get unstable over time.

The case is made from quarter sawn oak, also called tiger oak sometimes.

I don't know this specific speed control. You might be able to get a replacement from one of the vendors listed on our links page, but you might also decide that it works as is and leave it alone. This particular machine is not that valuable, so investing a lot of money into it might not make sense. But for $50 you definitely got a good deal.

Enjoy
Andreas


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 6:02 pm 
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Victor IV
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Great job on the main spring carylee. That's how they are supposed to be repaired, but so many people just send them off for a new spring. You figured it out on your own, and did it right. Good phonograph at the right price.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:38 pm 
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Victor O
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Joined: Tue Oct 29, 2013 4:21 am
Posts: 50
Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement. Dug into the reproducer rebuild today and the dreaded cast ring broke into three pieces while prying it out. It looks like it was already cracked in one spot. Anyone got a spare laying around? Any ideas? I'm thinking about possibly making one (or having one made) out of steel...anyone think of reason that's not a good idea? Seems kind of strange that they would make that part out of cast pot metal, when a steel washer would SEEM to be so much better.

Thanks, Cary
"Before we start, the Steinway people have asked me to say that I'm playing a Baldwin piano tonight.." -Victor Borge


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:19 pm 
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Victor II
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avid 22 years old collector
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:28 pm
Posts: 284
Location: Montreal, Canada
carylee wrote:
Thank you all for the kind words of encouragement. Dug into the reproducer rebuild today and the dreaded cast ring broke into three pieces while prying it out. It looks like it was already cracked in one spot. Anyone got a spare laying around? Any ideas? I'm thinking about possibly making one (or having one made) out of steel...anyone think of reason that's not a good idea? Seems kind of strange that they would make that part out of cast pot metal, when a steel washer would SEEM to be so much better.

Thanks, Cary


a steel washer would be much better, but keep in mind these machines were mass produced and what ever money could be saved was saved. another thing to note is that they weren't expected to last 100+ years. ;)
Machines I own: Edison Standard A, suitcase Home, Home A, Triumph A & B, Columbia type BS, Standard Model A, Victor E, IV & V, Pathéphone No.4


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:55 pm 
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Victor II
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Posts: 456
Location: Canada
I disagree with the claim that investing money in this machine may not make sense from a financial standpoint.
Sometimes I think that people place to much value in the word 'value' itself.
Are you going to sell this machine in the future in the hopes of making profit? Probably not. After bringing the machine up to spec., are you going to derive a lot of pleasure from it? Most definately. And so will future generations who will inherit it. So go ahead and get a replacement arm and grille cloth. This is a hobby with a devotion to preserving machines that have outlive their original owners, not a used car lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 10:57 pm 
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Victor II
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BTW, congratulations and Welcome to the forum. This is a wonderful machine. I have the same model but, sadly, in mahogany.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph #92 - Brunswick 207
PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 1:34 am 
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Victor O
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Torjazzer wrote:
I disagree with the claim that investing money in this machine may not make sense from a financial standpoint.
Sometimes I think that people place to much value in the word 'value' itself.
Are you going to sell this machine in the future in the hopes of making profit? Probably not. After bringing the machine up to spec., are you going to derive a lot of pleasure from it? Most definately. And so will future generations who will inherit it. So go ahead and get a replacement arm and grille cloth. This is a hobby with a devotion to preserving machines that have outlive their original owners, not a used car lot.


My wife and I are finding that antiques in our home help make it more of a home. So much of what we all buy in stores today is "throwaway", and we're not too fond of the styles either. Antiques that worked decades ago and still work today just make us feel good. My wife collects green depression glass. Our house is full of kerosene and oil lamps, that we actually use. Antique kitchen stuff. We've got a 1938 RCA floor model radio in the living room, with electric tuning no less (a work in progress)! The Brunswick Phonograph is there too. We're little by little replacing our furniture with OLDER, antique stuff, instead of newer. So I agree that the value of antiques isn't alway just in the cash money. Of course, that doesn't mean I want to pay through the nose for stuff either! It's good to know that I got a decent deal on the Brunswick (Honestly, I kind of figured I did, considering the condition, and my knack for fixing things on the cheap). What really kind of surprised me is that the machine pictured here was listed on craigslist, with photos, in a fairly large Texas city, for almost 6 weeks before I found it, and my wife just happened to be there on a business trip. It was kismet!
"Before we start, the Steinway people have asked me to say that I'm playing a Baldwin piano tonight.." -Victor Borge


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