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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:35 am 
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Victor V
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:47 am
Posts: 2401
Location: Jerome, Arizona
Acoustic recordings sound dull on Orthophonic machines because you are mixing technologies. The label changes on Victor records reflect changes in the recording process at the Victor studios and subsequent changes in reproducer architecture. Certain records sound better -- or worse -- on different machines because the records were intended to be played with certain reproducers based on the era of concurrent production.

I cannot address your question about HMV's because I've never owned any or been exposed to them.

The aluminum diaphragm of an Orthophonic reproducer is certainly brighter on high frequencies and enhances hiss (c.f., "Close Lid While Playing").
"All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds." Richard Brautigan


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:45 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1507
This also has come up. Some think everything sounds better on the larger horn.. I followed some suggestions last time and tried my Banner Columbia records on it, and they were right in that on those particular records for some reason the reproduction was favorable sounding. It might be because the columbia's seem to have a wider tonal range in that acoustic and even electrical period and it brings it out. For most record I like you always had a feeling that something was lacking by playing the acoustics on a credenza, but I may not have given sufficient testing.


Sean as to the "blast" factor. That was not the real issue, although similar to it. I think the buzz was in my ears from the super vibrations given off by the machine. I found that same factor with all the victors I owned and the reproducers were in very good rebuilt condition. It may be that some are not sensitive to the effects such as that, but I am.

On the question of the Brunswick, after we discussed it this morning I went next door to walk and played the machine with a good Victor European recording of the Hungarian Fantasy in four parts. Then I placed a piano record on the Edison, I guess you know what happened. The Edison sound ran rings around the Victor Recording in tone and presence. Those darn Edisons just have the superior tonal range and reproduction it would seem. The really startling thing is how good the best of my new diaphragm designs sounds, unfortunately so far no matter what I do I can't reproduce the clarity that the first one displays!


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:47 pm 
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Victor V
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Location: Near NY's Capital
Nat,

I have an HMV 145, essentially an HMV 130 with legs. The horns are the same. I really enjoy the sound of acoustics played on it, as well as electrics. It's a LOUD little thing!

Larry,

I know we have gone over this before, but I really don't agree with you. A nicely rebuilt Victor reproducer with everything the way it should be will sound phenomenal. I have very sensitive ears, trust me, I have never heard the ringing you speak of. Well, I have, but only on hearing some idiot playing a 1930s, 40s or 50s 78 with a machine / reproducer not designed to be played like that. Even a rebuilt reproducer is going to go into overload and over resonate. That would definitely cause a nasty and unpleasant tone to me, otherwise if you stick to what I posted before, I really doubt you will hear those things. Who was doing your rebuilds?

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:48 pm 
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Victor II
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Location: Hayden, ID
What about the Auxetophone? It's certainly loud and clear!


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:16 pm 
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Victor V
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Location: Near NY's Capital
That they are!

:D :D

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:31 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1496
Nat wrote:
Which got me to wondering: how do acoustics sound on something like an HMV 130 - a "semi-ortho" with its much smaller, metal horn, or a VV 2-55 (I'm rebuilding one now)? Or does the orthophonic reproducer bring up extraneous noise?

Hi Nat:

Actually, there's nothing "semi" about the HMV 130, in terms of its incorporation of the Orthophonic (Western Electric) design principles. In fact, it's as much an Orthophonic (though the Gramophone Co. did not use this as a brand name) as any member of the HMV exponential horn gramophone line, including the Re-Entrant horn models. The 130 is simply equipped with a smaller tone chamber--though still exponential in design.

Now, it is true that the design of the HMV #5a/5b sound box differs from the original Victor Orthophonic (#5) sound box. The Gramophone Co. basically used the same needle bar pivot they employed on the earlier #4 sound box, for whatever reason, and seated the diaphragm in felt gaskets instead of paper backed rubber. In addition, a screw-on back plate replaced the more cumbersome one used on the Victor sound box.

In terms of performance, I and other collectors I know, have found that the Victor Orthophonic sound box is more powerful--especially in the mid-range and to some extent, bass output--than the modified HMV version. On the other hand, when I tried my Orthophonic sound box out on my HMV 102 portable, while I found it's performance was significantly enhanced, the horn seemed somewhat over-driven, and there was a noticeable rattle coming from the metal motor-board on certain loud passages when loud tone needles were used. The HMV 5a, though less efficient, seemed better suited to the all metal tone chamber. (This makes me wonder if the sound box was modified to perform better with the all-metal horns the Gramophone Co. used.)


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 1:39 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
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Sean,

Its been years since I owned an acoustic period Victor. But as I recall the issues occurred mostly with voices such as Caruso where loud passages would cause a vibration that was unpleasant. As I recall I rebuilt the reproducers my self, perhaps there was something I missed in those days about proper adjustments that could have caused it.


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:43 pm 
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Victor V
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Location: Near NY's Capital
Hiya Larry,

It sounds like maybe there were some needle bar adjustments that weren't quite "right". They can be tricky at times. Adjusting the balancing springs on a #2, for example, to perform without a rattle can often take longer than the rest of the rebuild itself. If you don't have everything just right with them, you WILL get buzzing or rattling from one. It's funny you mentioned Carusos, they're what I use to adjust the springs on a #2 after the initial rebuild and balance is done. If you can play "O Sole Mio" with a loud tone steel needle and get no rattles or buzzes, you've got the springs right and you tighten down those lock nuts and you're done. I think you'd be surprised at what a properly done #2 or Exhibition is capable of. I know I certainly was the first time I heard one properly; it was really eye (ear?) opening!

I've actually bought a "rebuilt" #2 (not from you, Walt, yours was great!) from an ebay seller that was so bad I tore it down and did the whole thing over. I expected to anyway with most "rebuilders" who don't really know what they're doing.

Another thing I noticed on one I did recently is that the tension springs had lost all of their "spring" and really weren't doing anything. I replaced them and that took care of the problem. Has anyone else come across a set of them that were just shot, but not at all broken? I always replace bent ones and broken ones, but I think this was the first time I ever came across a set that had just lost their "spring"!

Anyone? Walt?

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 4:01 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 630
Location: Romney, West Virginia
Auxetophile wrote:
What about the Auxetophone? It's certainly loud and clear!

According to popular belief, if someone really wants to find an Auxetophone, all you have to do is set a friend of a friend loose in the countryside. :P


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 Post subject: Re: Best sounding Victor?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:44 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:47 am
Posts: 2401
Location: Jerome, Arizona
bbphonoguy wrote:
Auxetophile wrote:
What about the Auxetophone? It's certainly loud and clear!

According to popular belief, if someone really wants to find an Auxetophone, all you have to do is set a friend of a friend loose in the countryside. :P

The Oregon countryside!

Arrah go on!
"All of us have a place in history. Mine is clouds." Richard Brautigan


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