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 Post subject: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it ok?
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:43 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
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Location: South Carolina
Whilst browsing for bargains at Ye Olde City Dumpe today I picked up a pair of Califone schoolhouse phonographs. One is a 1430 and the other a 1420. I think they are transistor powered.

Are these things worth using to play records on? I don't want to subject vinyl records to a crummy stylus & end up destroying them, that's why I retired my Crosley in the first place & went over to a cabinet Victrola for 78s and a high shelf for the vinyl.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:25 pm 
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Victor V
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If you use a fresh stylus then it's probably alright. I wouldn't trust the stylus installed on there, it could be worn out or been abused..

https://www.lpgear.com/product/CALIFS1430K.html

The Califone would not be MY choice to play vinyl but people have different needs. Betting dollars to donuts the 78 styli for these if - you can find them - are sapphire tip ? :|


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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 8:54 pm 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1107
Location: South Carolina
Okay...I have a mix of mono & stereo records in my vinyl stash and a bunch of 78s (Of course!) because my primary music players are windup Victrola & Columbia stuff.

I think the LP and the 78 styli are all sapphire tip.

Thanks for the tip. I need to put power cords on them and see if they will go before I spend $30 on a new needle. Hopefully there are some hacks I can do to modify them--maybe a new tonearm.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:46 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2011 12:23 am
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Location: NW Indiana B-19;VV-IV; VV-VI;VV-XVI; Edison Home B; Amberola 30; Col. BK; Magnola;
The Califone is ok to play 78’s on as long as the stylus is in good shape. They were used to also play 33 ⅓ and 45 r.p.m., however they are probably not as good for vinyl records, but anything beats those lousy new Crosley or Victrola badged machines.

Over the years there were various models of the Califone made. The earliest Califones used tubes in the amplifier, while the later ones were more modern transistor type. I would recommend the transistor type which would most likely be cheaper to operate.
Back in the 1990’s, I used to repair and even sell used Califones and Newcombs. By the late 1990’s into the early 2000’s they were not as desirable. Now I wish that I kept the original motors, idlers, stylus and parts since records are coming back.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 1:06 am 
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Victor IV
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Man who ride on tiger find it very difficult to dismount! Charlie Chan
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Quote:
Betting dollars to donuts


I never heard that idiom before hearing it from Uncle Vanya, and don't know what it means. Does it have a translation for a west coast guy? Marc.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 2:08 am 
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Victor V
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
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Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
marcapra wrote:
Quote:
Betting dollars to donuts


I never heard that idiom before hearing it from Uncle Vanya, and don't know what it means. Does it have a translation for a west coast guy? Marc.


It means you are sure of something, like "sure as sh*t", only more polite. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 5:14 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 798
Location: Italy
VanEpsFan1914 wrote:
Are these things worth using to play records on?


They are absolutely fine and to some degree philological to play shellac 78s, especially the late ones made in the '50s.

If by "vinyl" you mean 78 RPM vinyl records, they are fine just as well.

But if by "vinyl" you mean instead a well preserved collection of Hi-Fi records, or even worse newly made 33 LPs, then by any means no. The arm with which these califones are equipped is far from having the light weight and geometry that is needed in order to play LPs the proper way and causing no damage, and the same is true concerning the pick-up compliance.

However, if the vinyl records in your collection have been intensely played in the past with all kind of record players with that type of arm and pick-up combination, they are already irreparably damaged, so you can go ahead playing them carelessly with califones and that kind of stuff as the damage has already been done.


Last edited by Marco Gilardetti on Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 7:40 am 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1107
Location: South Carolina
While my 33rpm collection is very low value, I have some classical discs appearing mint & unplayed...and prefer to keep them nice like that. I won't be playing good vinyl on a Califone, thanks.

And for 78s I am still homebrewing that electric thing with a bunch of vintage parts, so when I can get to doing some woodworking & re-cap the amplifier that project might come along.

Thanks all for the info! Glad I stopped here before I tried to start them up.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 8:59 am 
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VTLA
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Joined: Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:36 am
Posts: 2540
Location: Delaware
If you want to play 78s and all kinds of Vinyl records without damaging them then do yourself a favor and buy a good modern turntable like the one that Donniej has currently listed in the Yankee Trader section http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=38958. I bought that same player a year ago and simply love it. This one comes already prepared for DDs and 78s, but you could easily revert it back for LPs or simply get another headshell for those.

Andreas


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 Post subject: Re: Playing vinyl & shellac on a Califone 1400 series--is it
PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 9:11 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 798
Location: Italy
I fully agree with the above suggestion, and I discourage you to replace the arm on the califones as you firstly mentioned: not only you would not get an acceptable result with geometry etc, but you would also alter a vintage turntable that will be worth nothing after having been modified. Good arms are pretty much expensive by the way.

If you prefer turntables with a more classic look, also in order to better fit your furniture, there are other alternatives featuring 78 RPM speed like the Thorens TD 240-2, currently in production, which is an excellent Hi-Fi turntable that you will never regret having purchased.

https://www.thorens.com/en/thorens%C2%AE-td-240.html


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