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 Post subject: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 11:34 am 
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Victor Jr
young collector
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Hey guys,

I recently found 44 edison amberol records near my house for a great deal, and I ran over and purchased them from the guy. Sadly 3 of them were broken, and one case was empty.

I have two questions.
I am pretty new to collecting Cylinder records. What makes certain ones valuable? Are the Edison Amberol more desirable than the Gold Moulded ones? I know the brown wax ones are rare and highly collectable. I really have no knowledge about these records so any information would be awesome! Most them are in the original cases, but a couple are not..... Are the ones that are not in the correct case worth less than the ones that are?

Secondly, how in the world do i clean these? I tried soap and lukewarm water.. but I was scared it was going to break! so how do you guys go about cleaning these?

also should I keep that cardboard case they were in? it looks original? I was thinking about making a cabinet to store them in... Should the be stored standing up or laying down?

Thanks everyone!

David


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 12:40 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 2858
Location: Near NY's Capital
Congrats!

Wax Amberols are probably the most fragile of all cylinders. They are known to self-destruct, especially when exposed to rapid changes in temperature. I've never attempted to clean one other than wiping them off (in groove direction) with a microfiber cloth. They tend to develop a haze over time. The haze will come off when you play them, although some of mine required repeated plays. I wouldn't dare use water or any detergents, they're just too fragile, but I know some people clean them with labtone. I've never found it to be necessary.

For years, I was terrified to play wax amberols after having several of my favorites crack, split, shatter etc. I had one literally fall apart while it was playing on my Triumph. I've since become more daring about playing them. What I do now is bring them into the room the machine I'll be playing them on is located, usually my 1A, which is in a typically warmer room. I leave them for at least 24 hours in the room with the machine undisturbed. After that, I'll remove the lids from the boxes and let the cylinder warm up even more, the mandrel of my machine is usually rather warm as well since this room is near my pellet stove this time of year. Make sure your hands / fingers aren't freshly chilled from a drink, either. When everything is at a similar temperature, carefully slide the cylinder onto the machine's mandrel until it's just snug. You should be good to go, of course use care. This may sound like overkill, but after doing it this way for about 4 years now, I've had just one amberol self-destruct, as opposed to dozens before.

I prefer to keep my cylinders all stored upright in totes with snap on lids. WalMart sells "under bed" ones that are the ideal height for cylinders and I've got all mine stored in these that aren't otherwise in cylinder cabinets. They're great, sturdy and stackable. Cylinders are a real pain to store, especially when you've got a few thousand :lol:

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2019 3:08 pm 
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Victor IV
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A new blank with authentic formula and spiral core!
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 10:50 am
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Location: 615 1/2 South Main Street Princeton IL 61356.
I have to agree, never use anything on the wax Amberols, other than a microfiber cloth, or camel hair chip brush. The one problem with cylinder wax is the compound can change several thousandths of an inch with differing temperatures, however the molecules don't like that so much, and that is what causes cracking and fracture.


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2019 1:13 am 
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Victor VI
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:17 am
Posts: 3215
Location: Where there's "hamburger ALL OVER the highway"...
To join the chorus: wax Amberols should generally be handled like unexploded bombs. A pity, since some good selections on them were never reissued on Blue Amberols. As for value, that depends on the selection, artist, and condition: a mint wax Amberol will sound extremely good, but they often wore out after repeated playings. They were essentially a compromise and a stopgap, after Edison lost his first patent rights on celluloid cylinders, and before he bought out the Philpott patent for the Blue Amberols.

An original box and lid is always a plus for any cylinder, as well as an original record slip; but I don't think it makes a huge difference in value.

- Bill


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 8:38 am 
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Victor Jr
young collector
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Awesome guys! Thanks for the advice.

How much do you generally pay for cylinders? I paid $75 for these.... which I thought was a good deal


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Sun Nov 10, 2019 5:46 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 2858
Location: Near NY's Capital
I'd say $75 for all those cylinders was a great deal as long as you're happy with what's on them. Cylinders or any record's value varies depending on content. I'm always willing to pay a higher price for something that fits my collecting / musical taste. Most wax amberols with lids even can be found in the $3-$5 range at the shows, but any of the more desired titles can and will usually cost more. One guy at this past Wayne show, however, was set up in the lot on Saturday had a ton of random cylinders in condition ranging from wrecked to mint, he was asking $5 each but the price went down significantly if you bought in quantity. I came away with 40 of my choice for $100 and some were questionable looking, but at that price, it was worth the gamble. I ended up with a couple of duds, but overall I was pleased.

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 2:57 pm 
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Victor III
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:51 pm
Posts: 621
Location: USA
I generally avoid wax Amberols. I acquired some when I bought an Edison Standard about 30 years ago. Several fell apart in my hands, others were moldy. Too fragile for my use.

I hope you are playing these with an appropriate sapphire reproducer such as an H, and not a diamond one. :o
Best regards ... AZ*


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 3:36 pm 
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Victor II
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Martin - 16 y/o
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 6:27 pm
Posts: 467
Hey David, glad to see you've made it onto the forum. Personally I've been quite lucky with wax amberols. Having an N reproducer on my standard E, I feel attracted to get wax amberols despite their fragility. If I had the choice between a wax copy and a blue amberol, I would take the blue amberol, but it's not always an option. There is a lot of great recordings that was never transferred (most of which I dont have because of my long record wishlist :monkey: )

Martin


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:17 pm 
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Victor Jr
young collector
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Yes i have an edison standard b with a 4 min model h reproducer.


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 Post subject: Re: How do I clean my Edison Cylinder Records
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2019 10:44 pm 
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Victor VI
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Joined: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:17 am
Posts: 3215
Location: Where there's "hamburger ALL OVER the highway"...
AZ* wrote:
I generally avoid wax Amberols. I acquired some when I bought an Edison Standard about 30 years ago. Several fell apart in my hands, others were moldy. Too fragile for my use.

I hope you are playing these with an appropriate sapphire reproducer such as an H, and not a diamond one. :o


Funny: I've seen broken, worn, and hazy wax Amberols, but I've never seen a moldy one... :?

- Bill


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