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 Post subject: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:34 pm 
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VV-IV
Dan Christensen
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:08 pm
Posts: 8
I just bought a Cecilian phonograph and am looking for information and help, as I've never owned a phonograph before.

History: Can anyone give me more information about this model, e.g. an estimate of when it was made, and any other history? I've attached some images to this message.

Usage: How much should it be wound up, how should the speed be set, are there other adjustments I should do, etc?

Needles: I understand that I'm supposed to replace the needle after each side played. It came with a jar of needles, and there seem to be two types: one gradually tapers to a point, and the other narrows quickly then remains that narrow for a while before coming to a point. Are these for different volumes? Is replacement simply a matter of inserting the needle and tightening the thumb screw? If the needles look good under a magnifying glass, can I assume they are unused? Any recommended source for replacement needles (I'm in Ontario).

78s: Should any 78s work fine, or should I try to find older ones? Where does one find 78s these days?

Thanks so much for any help!


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 5:55 am 
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VV-XIV
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I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 2495
Location: Albany NY
The Cecilian was made in Toronto Canada:

http://keithwright.ca/CAPP/Cecilian/Cecilian.html


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 7:04 am 
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VV-IX
VV-IXa
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:33 am
Posts: 144
Location: Yorkshire, Pennsylvania
I'm sure many will jump in to answer your questions, but on Needles...Yes, it is as easy as loosening the thumb screw, toss needle, insert new, and tighten thumb screw. The easiest source for new needles is on Ebay...there are many sources there and they are relatively cheap. Generally, differing diameters will indicate Loud/Medium/Soft tone needles....thicker is louder.
Records- Again, there are a ton of 78's on Ebay. Or search on-line for 78 auctions, there are several of those being held at all times, one was announced here about 2 days back (look in the Music category).
Nauck's is another big one, his current auction closes 11/5. Then again, you can hit the local antique stores/malls, flea markets. Also record swap meets, music collectors that generaaly are not specializing in 78s, but you may find some. John


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 9:46 am 
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VV-IV
Dan Christensen
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:08 pm
Posts: 8
Thanks for the tips so far. The needles that came with the machine are a fair bit thinner than the hole that holds them. The thumb screw tightens fine and they work, but I'm surprised they don't fit more snugly. Is this normal? And should they be inserted until they hit the end of the hole?

How do I know when to stop cranking? So far I've been very cautious.

Any more info about the history? Date originally sold, approximate price it would have sold for back them, approximate value now (it works)?

Thanks,

Dan


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 10:15 am 
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VV-XIV
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2011 8:14 pm
Posts: 2094
Location: Merritt Island, FL
78s were made by the millions and there are tons of them around. They are at that in-between stage -- between being perceived as outdated junk by many before they eventually become rare antiques when they start to become scarce in years to come due to breakage and people just throwing them out in the trash. As a result most of them are quite cheap. People come to clear out their late parents’ or grandparents' home and just want to get rid of them.

In addition to the sources already mentioned Craigslist is a good place to check for 78 rpm records for sale in your area. I recently got a lot of 107 records for $7 that way and similar lots show up that way from time to time. Some of the individual records in these lots will often be too rough to be keepers, but at that price you just keep the good ones and pitch the bad ones. And sometimes you find lots with some really nice titles in excellent condition and occasionally a rare valuable recording, because the people selling them have no appreciation for what they are.

Especially as you are a beginner, buying these inexpensive Craigslist/thrift shop lots is an excellent way to start. That is what I did and I am really happy I did. That way I got exposed to a lot of music and artists I did not know even existed. Then after discovering what I really like (and don’t) I am much better equipped to go fill in my collection with higher priced records from dealers.

Be a little leery of eBay at first. There are some real bargains to be found there, but many casual sellers have a wildly exaggerated idea of what a record is worth. And also causal sellers often do not know how to pack 78s so they don’t get broken in transit.

You can find threads on this forum about the best ways to clean records you buy. There are also internet dealers from whom you can get good quality paper sleeves to store them in, etc.

You have a handsome machine and I hope you have a great experience as you begin to explore this fascinating hobby.

Clay
"I don't suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it."


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:00 am 
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VV-IX
VV-IXa
Joined: Fri Oct 08, 2010 7:33 am
Posts: 144
Location: Yorkshire, Pennsylvania
P.S.- To add...once you've done some reading around here or on other sites you'll realize that not all 78 rpm records are the same. Your machine looks to be an acoustic model...early 20's my guess? So you don't want to be playing Bing Crosby records from 1940 on it with steel needles. You'll quickly wear out such records. In general, you'll want to get records from 1910-1925. Electric recorded 1926-30, Edison diamond discs records, vertical vs. lateral....are all another story. I'd suggest you look up Tim Grayck's web pages, good info there for starting out and learning which records are which, etc. Google will find him. I hope you stick with the hobby....as stated above, if you like music in general you'll find some amazing stuff from your Grandfather's, or Great-Grandfather's, era out there. I wouldn't hazard a guess as to value, it would be considered an "off brand" as compared to Victor/Edison/Columbia/Pathé/Brunswick, maybe best to enjoy. It looks to be in nice shape cosmetically. Yes- You can insert the needle until it stops.


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 12:22 pm 
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VV-X
Joined: Wed Nov 24, 2010 12:37 pm
Posts: 405
Records from the earlier electric era, up to around 1934, shouldn't do too bad either.


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:34 pm 
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VV-XI
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 702
Location: UK
You are right to treat the motor with caution, as it could still be running with the original spring(s) after 90 years or thereabouts.

Some people prefer to let the motor run whilst winding, but I leave the brake on and have never had a problem. In theory the spring can be wound until it comes comes up against a stop which is there to prevent over-winding, but I prefer to stop winding as soon as any resistance is felt. By trial and error you will discover how many turns the handle needs to play a record all the way through without losing speed.

Bumping noises can indicate that the spring(s) need cleaning and re-greasing, a job which should not be attempted by a beginner.

A simple way of checking the speed is to place a piece of paper between the edge of a record and the turntable, then against your watch count the number of times it flashes past as the record plays. You could instead use a stroboscope, but that is far too high-tech for me!

When you have established the correct speed, the pointer on the speed control may no longer read 78(or sometimes 80)rpm. Most machines have an adjustment on the motor board which enables the pointer to be moved without losing the setting.

Finally, at the end of every playing session the motor should be allowed to run down BUT NOT COMPLETELY, otherwise the spring may become unhooked from it's barrel.

Quite a lot to think about, but it will soon become second nature.


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 1:59 pm 
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VV-XII
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:35 pm
Posts: 1214
Location: just outside Philadelphia, PA
epigramophone wrote:
Bumping noises can indicate that the spring(s) need cleaning and re-greasing, a job which should not be attempted by a beginner. . . . Finally, at the end of every playing session the motor should be allowed to run down BUT NOT COMPLETELY, otherwise the spring may become unhooked from it's barrel.



regarding cleaning the motor and the springs, you've got to start sometime - so don't be deterred if you're interested in learning and don't mind the mess. just make sure you read up first on what you'll be doing and how to correctly go about it (books are available and there's plenty of information here and elsewhere online). paying someone else to do this type of work is definitely the easier and safer route, but the cost can add up and, with less valuable machines such as this one, leave you with something worth far less than the amount you've got sunk into it (not that that should stop you, of course, if you don't mind that and aren't looking to just sell it).

and so far as letting the machine wind down each time after you're finished using it, that's certainly your choice, but it's not necessary (I'd advise it if you were going to just put the thing into storage indefinitely, but otherwise it doesn't really matter).


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 Post subject: Re: looking for information on Cecilian phonograph
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 2:34 pm 
Offline
VV-IV
Dan Christensen
Joined: Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:08 pm
Posts: 8
Thanks again for the tips. About needles, I am about to order some fresh ones. Am I right that standard Victrola needles should work fine? Three types of needles that came with the machine are in the image below. Is the bottom one supposed to be soft? That's the type I've been using so far, but it seems quite loud and the sound is a bit distorted. This is with some old, very heavy 78s that came with the machine and which are in rough shape---I still need to find some better ones. By the way, do the soft (quieter) needles cause less wear to the record?

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