The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Re: Diamond Disc or Amberola Machines?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:17 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1416
The Amberola isn't going to compete well with their rather tiny horns compared to a Laboratory model disc machines. Plus the "Wow" factor if far more prevalent in cylinders than disc. I have tried cylinder machines a few times and always was unhappy with the overall sound.


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 Post subject: Re: Diamond Disc or Amberola Machines?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 8:17 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
Stop for a visit when in Oregon.
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 12:25 pm
Posts: 5604
Location: Albany, Oregon
My Amberola 1-A would be the last Edison to leave the basement. Jerry Blais


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 Post subject: Re: Diamond Disc or Amberola Machines?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:56 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 2162
Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
Jerry B. wrote:
My Amberola 1-A would be the last Edison to leave the basement. Jerry Blais


Jerry:

The Amberola 1-A looks like a nice machine. While I have never seen one play in person, it looks like it would compete well with most Diamond Disc machines in terms of volume. I have a Amberola 30 and 50, and the 50 seems to be equivalent in volume to the B-19 Chalet tabletop Diamond Disc Model.

The Amberola 1-A is a dream machine, very nice from what I can tell from a google search.

Jerry


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 Post subject: Re: Diamond Disc or Amberola Machines?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:02 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
Posts: 2162
Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
larryh wrote:
The Amberola isn't going to compete well with their rather tiny horns compared to a Laboratory model disc machines. Plus the "Wow" factor if far more prevalent in cylinders than disc. I have tried cylinder machines a few times and always was unhappy with the overall sound.


Diamond Disc machines, especially the laboratory model do seem to put out a louder volume. As far as the wow factor, I notice it more on belt driven machines, and some Amberola 30’s and 50’s. If The mandrel balance springs are changed and good, it does help reduce the wow factor. I have noticed the Edison Amberola V with the flywheel seems to have minimal wow. I purchased one on eBay and that was a disaster, the seller busted up the cabinet and shipped the busted cabinet in one box, the lid in another and the motor and other parts in another.

Maybe one day I will find a Amberola V.


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 Post subject: Re: Diamond Disc or Amberola Machines?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 11:35 pm 
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Victor IV
Edison, Columbia, Victor, Pathé...and oddball makes
Joined: Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:06 pm
Posts: 1037
I was just reading through this thread, and I had to smile to myself, because my first interpretation of the phrase “wow factor” was like “wow, look at that cool old phonograph! That really is impressive!”

And cylinders certainly do bring that to the table, because of their uniqueness to today’s mindset. Most folks are just used to seeing discs, at least those of us that still remember 33 RPM records, or even (for some, at this point) CDs.

Any healthy Edison cylinder machine, possibly excluding those with tiny motors like the Gem and some of the Amberola X models, should be free of unacceptably noticeable wow or flutter. The last Amberolas, the 30, 50, and 75, share a common mechanism and are smooth, quiet, and reliable.

So to answer the original question...

If we are playing an Edison blue amberol cylinder, well-recorded and from the direct recorded era (prior to the practice of dubbing all cylinders from diamond discs), on a Diamond A, B, or C reproducer that has been properly rebuilt, on any of the larger horn Amberola machines, it will give a diamond disc a good run for its money. And almost every Amberola is a lot smaller than every diamond disc machine.

Early cylinders sound better but are often boring. Desirable late ones tend to be expensive. Diamond discs are plentiful and usually pretty cheap. But the tabletop DD machines are heavy and large and have small horns (and less bass).

So it depends upon one’s desired balance of content vs the size of the hardware needed to play it.

If I had to pick: Amberola. I’m lucky enough to have both “1”s (A and B), but my favorite cylinder machine is my V, which is turbine-like in its smoothness and silence, and sounds great.


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 Post subject: Re: Diamond Disc or Amberola Machines?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2018 12:02 am 
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Victor I
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Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 12:24 pm
Posts: 183
To my way of thinking, with the exception of the very first amberolas that would play 2 and 4 minute cyls., it's disc machines all the way. I prefer my cylinders from a 2/4 geared open horn machine, so I'm not limited to just one type.

That said, even though it's limited to blue amberols, I've often wished I had an Amberola III to pair up with my A-150! Alas, the early floor model Amberolas are outside my price range.


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