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 Post subject: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 12:58 pm 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 932
Location: North Oregon Coast
Make: Home Made one of a kind
Model: n/a
Serial #: none
Year(s) Made: late 1920s to early 1030s
Original Cost: n/a
Case/Cabinet Size: machine: 14 ¼" wide, 12 ½" high, 18 ⅛" deep - base: 15" wide, 31 ¼" high, 18 ¾" deep
Turntable/Mandrel: 10" with red felt
Reproducer/Sound-Box: HMV No. 4
Motor: HMV ? - Can someone help identify it from the pictures?
Horn Dimensions: Internal horn
Reproduction Parts: n/a
Current Value:
Interesting Facts: This machine is built to look like it is an Opera House. It has very good quality phonograph works inside and sounds incredible when played.

This machine was found in a Seattle Craigslist listing in February 2017. A very interesting machine with a very mysterious past that is totally unknown. The motor is old so it is an original phonograph of some kind. An odd hint is that there is Willamette Week newspaper folded inside under the motor (I guess to catch oil and grease) from Portland in 1988. Must be the last time someone worked on it or something. Who knew is had been in Portland! I am fairly confident it is much older than that, but who knows. My guess (based on mine an others ideas) is that the whole thing is at least 80 years old based on the British parts. Definitely a one-off.

When I picked it up the motor was very sluggish and it would not play a record. On the way back to Oregon from Seattle I dropped it by the shop of forum member Cliff (CDBPDX). I got home a couple of hours later and he called and told me it was ready and working great. He and his wife were going to visit the Oregon coast the next day and brought the motor by and we got it all together and working. Thanks Cliff!

Perhaps one day someone will be able to identify it. At least we know it has been on the west coast for 30 years!

This link is to the Craiglist thread on the forum when this machine originally showed up. The Craislist listing is long gone. http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=28879


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-- Dan

Visit My YouTube Channel
Visit the OTAPS Home Page http://otaps.org


Last edited by melvind on Mon Feb 20, 2017 9:10 pm, edited 6 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:01 pm 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 932
Location: North Oregon Coast
More pictures.


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-- Dan

Visit My YouTube Channel
Visit the OTAPS Home Page http://otaps.org
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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:26 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 2667
Lovely machine. I particularly like the "hidden" crank escutcheon.

Please make a video!


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 1:50 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Who is John Galt?
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:08 pm
Posts: 6041
Location: New York's Finger Lakes
Who knows why certain machines appeal to certain people, but this Opera House phonograph really appeals to me. Maybe it's because I like architecture; I don't know. But what a wonderful, interesting machine! :)

George P.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:23 pm 
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Victor IV
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A Hobbyist Specializing in Sales and Repair of Spring Motor Phonographs
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 11:43 am
Posts: 1902
Location: Castle Rock, WA
Bravissimo! A truly awesome phonograph from many perspectives! I am privileged to have seen it in action, the sound is bright and clear, everything you would hope for. Caruso sounded spectacular! Thanks!
Cliff's Vintage Music Shoppe, Castle Rock, WA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QIz_IpaVrW8


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:37 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 959
Very interesting machine!
Evidently the soundbox is HMV, but the arm does not look like an HMV, the HMVs have a different attachment interface to the motor board, and also the attachment to the soundbox looks unusual. The break is a generic part utilized in many many machines, mostly Swiss and German. The motor could be Swiss or German. HMV motors are normally stamped with HMV and a number, have you found any markings on it?

Given the very professional woodwork, I would guess it was made in Germany, more precisely in the Black Forest. There are some beautiful Black Forest gramophones fitted in colorful wooden Chalets, including moving parts like water wheels. For sure they had (and still have) the skill set to build such beauty.

Can you reach inside and find out if it actually has a real horn or only the wood frame? and how does it sound?


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 2:52 pm 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 932
Location: North Oregon Coast
CarlosV wrote:
Can you reach inside and find out if it actually has a real horn or only the wood frame? and how does it sound?


The screen material on the top of the machine does not come off, but when I look inside it appears to have a wooden horn mounted pointing up. I cannot tell if it a horn from an actual machine or one that was made for this purpose. The machine is very loud with wonderful sound. I did not touch the soundbox. It is fantastic sounding and plays both acoustic and orthophonic records equally well. I am amazed at the sound.

I will be posting a YouTube video as soon as I figure out to embed it correctly.

Dan
-- Dan

Visit My YouTube Channel
Visit the OTAPS Home Page http://otaps.org


Last edited by melvind on Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:06 pm 
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Victor VI
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I'm Feeling Cranky
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 3174
Location: Livonia, NY
Dan,

What a very fascinating machine! Absolutely stunning in its detail. I can't imagine how much time and effort must have gone into its construction.

A true act of passion!

Best,
Fran
Francis; "i" for him, "e" for her
"Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while" - the unappreciative supervisor.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:07 pm 
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Victor III
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music is time travel and strings moments in time together like nothing else I know -- Kathleen Lane
Joined: Sun Mar 08, 2009 1:23 am
Posts: 932
Location: North Oregon Coast
Here is a YouTube video of the machine playing Enrico Caruso singing "O Sole Mio" recorded March 10, 1909 in New York.

I made this video with my phone so not the best fidelity. The machine sounds much better in person. I attempted to make a video with the lid open as well, but the phone seems to emphasize the soundbox sound which I don't hear live with the lid open.

(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)

-- Dan

Visit My YouTube Channel
Visit the OTAPS Home Page http://otaps.org


Last edited by melvind on Tue Feb 14, 2017 5:36 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 131 - Opera House Phonograph
PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2017 3:09 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:48 pm
Posts: 1407
Location: SF Bay Area, Calif.
What an amazing machine! The workmanship is clearly top-notch. It must have taken someone ages to construct. The hidden crank escutcheon is brilliant.


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