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 Post subject: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal ?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:55 pm 
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Victor III
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I must admit that I haven't actually heard an external horn gramophone play.

So I wonder, do they sound better than an internal horn gramophone ?

I suppose they generally have earlier sound boxes / Reproducers so may sound better with early acoustic records ?

I also wonder whether wooden external horns are better sounding than external metal horns ?

I think that maybe EMG gramophones can be excluded from this thread as they are considered to be 'beyond reproach' by many people - so thinking about all the others.

Maybe this is a subjective thing ?

Thank you for your opinion though.
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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:07 pm 
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Victor III
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Answer: It depends. The sound from a Victor V with large horn is generally better than an early Victrola with its small squarish horn.

An internal horn Orthophonic, Viva-Tonal, HMV re-entrant, large Brunswick, etc. or HMV saxophone machine will outperform the external horn machines (excluding Expert/EMG).

If you have a scratchy record, the ability to close the lid on internal machines so equipped will reduce the scratchiness.

I prefer Metal morning glory horns to either straight metal horns or wood horns. Wood horns can soften some of the scratchiness, but they also filter off the midrange. Similar story with metal re-entrant horns vs wood horn Orthophonics.

My 2 cents. YMMV.
Best regards ... AZ*


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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:15 pm 
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Victor III
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AZ* wrote:
Answer: It depends. The sound from a Victor V with large horn is generally better than an early Victrola with its small squarish horn.

An internal horn Orthophonic, Viva-Tonal, HMV re-entrant, large Brunswick, etc. or HMV saxophone machine will outperform the external horn machines (excluding Expert/EMG).

If you have a scratchy record, the ability to close the lid on internal machines so equipped will reduce the scratchiness.

I prefer Metal morning glory horns to either straight metal horns or wood horns. Wood horns can soften some of the scratchiness, but they also filter off the midrange. Similar story with metal re-entrant horns vs wood horn Orthophonics.

My 2 cents. YMMV.


Ah, I see.

So, generally (apart from EMG/Expert) an internal horn gramophone with a lid that closes has better sound than an external horn gramophone - particularly useful information for me as I like hearing ancient 'scratchy' acoustic records.

Thank you so very much for such a clear and informative response !
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We're setting off with soft explosion


Last edited by poodling around on Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:16 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
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Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
poodling around wrote:
I must admit that I haven't actually heard an external horn gramophone play.

So I wonder, do they sound better than an internal horn gramophone ?

I suppose they generally have earlier sound boxes / Reproducers so may sound better with early acoustic records ?

I also wonder whether wooden external horns are better sounding than external metal horns ?

I think that maybe EMG gramophones can be excluded from this thread as they are considered to be 'beyond reproach' by many people - so thinking about all the others.

Maybe this is a subjective thing ?

Thank you for your opinion though.


Lots of variables here.

An outside horn machine can certainly rival Orthophonic or Viva Tonal tabletops with a correctly rebuilt No. 4 soundbox for electrical recordings.

There's no comparison to the large Orthophonic or Viva Tonal machines, though.

A larger outside horn machine like a Victor D, V, VI will give better fidelity because the sound chamber is longer than a I,II,III, or E.

Wood horn vs metal horn is a debate that's totally personal preference. For example, some listeners prefer the wooden horn of a Credenza, others claim metal horns of other Orthophonics sound "brighter". Same with outside horn machines- personally I prefer the oak speartip on my Vic V, but others would prefer the big metal witch's hat. As with everything else, making sure seams are sealed and the horn fits the elbow snugly is crucial, otherwise you'll get unwanted resonance that shouldn't be there.


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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:23 pm 
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Victor V
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Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
Here's an example of a late reproducer on an early machine. It's my old Vic V. It lives in Cincinnati now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZaOLCxirOs


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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:25 pm 
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Victor II
Martin - 16 y/o
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In my opinion, internal horns sound better. Most internal horns are wooden, and reverberate the sound to come out warmer. Lids make a huge difference, not only because of surface noise, but also the the noise emitted from the exposed diaphragm. Larger orthophonic style tone chambers give a nice sound stage, emphasize bass, mediate the high frequencies, but can muddy mid frequencies at higher volumes.

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:30 pm 
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Victor III
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gramophone-georg wrote:
poodling around wrote:
I must admit that I haven't actually heard an external horn gramophone play.

So I wonder, do they sound better than an internal horn gramophone ?

I suppose they generally have earlier sound boxes / Reproducers so may sound better with early acoustic records ?

I also wonder whether wooden external horns are better sounding than external metal horns ?

I think that maybe EMG gramophones can be excluded from this thread as they are considered to be 'beyond reproach' by many people - so thinking about all the others.

Maybe this is a subjective thing ?

Thank you for your opinion though.


Lots of variables here.

An outside horn machine can certainly rival Orthophonic or Viva Tonal tabletops with a correctly rebuilt No. 4 soundbox for electrical recordings.

There's no comparison to the large Orthophonic or Viva Tonal machines, though.

A larger outside horn machine like a Victor D, V, VI will give better fidelity because the sound chamber is longer than a I,II,III, or E.

Wood horn vs metal horn is a debate that's totally personal preference. For example, some listeners prefer the wooden horn of a Credenza, others claim metal horns of other Orthophonics sound "brighter". Same with outside horn machines- personally I prefer the oak speartip on my Vic V, but others would prefer the big metal witch's hat. As with everything else, making sure seams are sealed and the horn fits the elbow snugly is crucial, otherwise you'll get unwanted resonance that shouldn't be there.


I may misunderstand but I think you say that if the external horn machine has a number 4 sound box then it can rival a tabletop with electric recordings - which of course I do have.

Wood vs metal horn is personal preference.

Very interesting.

Thank you gramophone-georg
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We're setting off with soft explosion


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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:35 pm 
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Victor III
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Mormon S wrote:
In my opinion, internal horns sound better. Most internal horns are wooden, and reverberate the sound to come out warmer. Lids make a huge difference, not only because of surface noise, but also the the noise emitted from the exposed diaphragm. Larger orthophonic style tone chambers give a nice sound stage, emphasize bass, mediate the high frequencies, but can muddy mid frequencies at higher volumes.

Martin



I see. So it seems that internal horn gramophones do indeed tend to sound better. Thank you for giving me the reasoning behind this view as well Martin.
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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:38 pm 
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Victor III
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gramophone-georg wrote:
Here's an example of a late reproducer on an early machine. It's my old Vic V. It lives in Cincinnati now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZaOLCxirOs



Thank you gramophone-georg.

The machine certainly sounds very good with the late reproducer.
Sun turnin' 'round with graceful motion
We're setting off with soft explosion


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 Post subject: Re: Do external horn gramophones sound better than internal
PostPosted: Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:22 pm 
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Victor O
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Location: Syracuse N.Y.
The later acoustic playback machines (Orthophonic-Vivatonal) uses an extended length horn and gradual exponential throat with larger horn mouth to extend the low frequency cut off. The low frequency extension was also aided by modifying the sound box armature lever stylus to diaphragm ratio. The folded wooden horn in the Orthophonic further help to attenuate the high frequencies.

So to my ears the Orthophonic players sacrificed the high frequencies for the low. Maybe it was not a bad thing as the record surface noise is reduced with a more satisfying bass sound.

As for external vs internal, I think there are many factors here. I look for a longer more slender exponential horn with a larger mouth and a sound box with a low mass larger stiff diaphragm and small mass stylus armature for best sound. Look at the Edison with a 250 horn: I think Edison provided the best overall playback design for both cylinder and disc.


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