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 Post subject: Parts and Tips for Rebuilding Columbia Reproducer?
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:18 pm 
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Victor III
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Location: The (Mostly) Quiet Corner, Connecticut, USA
This is the reproducer that came with the Columbia 'Elite' discussed in this thread: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=40468 Rather than flog that dying horse, I figured I'd ask questions here. I'm eager to rebuild this, because from what I heard of it testing the machine, it seemed like it should be capable of very good sound. Its original gasket was at least intact, but so completely hardened that it shattered when I turned the reproducer upward to take it off.

Question one: I didn't find ⅛" black surgical tubing on eBay, which is where I usually get stuff like that. Can anyone suggest a source?

Two: Don't wanna take this apart until I'm ready to put it back together, but it looks like it has a thick rubber isolator, Victor Exhibition style, sandwiched between the mounting hardware and the reproducer? What's a good source for this?

Three: I've never rebuilt a Columbia reproducer, but I'm assuming that it ain't much different from rejuvenating a Victor. Does anyone have any tips?

Oh, and Four: Is this the 'Concert' reproducer, or does it have another name?


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"Gosh darn a Billiken anyhow."- Uncle Josh Weathersby
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 Post subject: Re: Parts and Tips for Rebuilding Columbia Reproducer?
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 9:50 pm 
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Victor VI
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Location: Western, WA State
Here is how I rebuild these reproducers. It's similar a a Victor or any other reproducer. First, you can't get any black tubing that I know of. I cut white exhibition rubber tubing to the proper lengths. I use a black sharpie and color the tubing. A little tedious, but where else can you get black tubing? For the gasket in the back, I don't know where yu can get this. What I do is remove the gasket and the plates. Keep the screws in the little holes for the proper orientation. Get some black silicone RTV sealant, available at an auto store or a hardware store. Butter each side one at a time with a thin coat. Then screw it down, That's why you leave the screws intact. Wipe away te excess with a paper towel. The reproducer is now airtight. This reproducer is one of the earliest Concerts. The later ones and Concert Grands had an Aluminium Diaphragm. My Elite came with the Concert Grand, probably an upgrade.
Harvey Kravitz


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 Post subject: Re: Parts and Tips for Rebuilding Columbia Reproducer?
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2019 10:23 pm 
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Victor III
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Location: The (Mostly) Quiet Corner, Connecticut, USA
Wow, thank you Harvey -- that's all very useful, especially the tips about the back gasket. Do you think the back gasket would regain some flex from WD-40, as sometimes works with Exhibition gaskets? I know that too much rigidity in those messes up compliance. Or have you found that the cushion the sealant gives is soft enough?

I'm kind of surprised that no one sells the back gasket. Is this model of reproducer especially scarce?

I did find black surgical tubing on eBay, but the smallest diameter I could find was 3/16", which, from looking at the original gasket, would be about a sixteenth too fat. If it's not otherwise available, maybe I'll dig a little deeper. I'll report.

I know you're also the proud owner of an 'Elite'. I love the little thing, and I think it'll restore beautifully. With relatively little online information about this model, I'm wondering: does anyone have an idea how many were produced in its short day?

Thanks again for the suggestions, Harvey...

Cody K
"Gosh darn a Billiken anyhow."- Uncle Josh Weathersby


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 Post subject: Re: Parts and Tips for Rebuilding Columbia Reproducer?
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:07 pm 
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VTLA
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If that back gasket is still intact I would try to create a mold from it and fill it with black RTV Silicone. That way you will not only get a tight seal, but also better compliance, because the whole thing is soft. One time I found one of these with the gasket completely crumbled away. I just filled the gap completely with Silicone and cut away the excess after it hardened.

Good luck
Andreas


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 Post subject: Re: Parts and Tips for Rebuilding Columbia Reproducer?
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 12:49 pm 
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Victor III
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Location: The (Mostly) Quiet Corner, Connecticut, USA
Thanks, Andreas, that's a very good suggestion. I may try that, though I'm still hoping to salvage the original in some way.

Meanwhile, I've found a seller who has ⅛" outside diameter black surgical tubing, but only offers it in 25-foot lengths. I've sent a message asking if it's possible to get just a foot or two, hoping they'll be willing to sell a short length. I'll report back when (or if) I hear from them...
"Gosh darn a Billiken anyhow."- Uncle Josh Weathersby


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 Post subject: Re: Parts and Tips for Rebuilding Columbia Reproducer?
PostPosted: Wed May 15, 2019 3:21 pm 
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Victor III
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Location: The (Mostly) Quiet Corner, Connecticut, USA
Located and ordered two feet of black ⅛" surgical tubing! That's way more than I need but shipping was five bucks (two and a half times the cost of the tubing) so I figured I'd order enough to share if anyone on the forum needs a half a foot or so. It'll be easy enough for me to just stick it in an envelope and mail it. Leave a note in the thread if you PM me, so I'll know to log in.
"Gosh darn a Billiken anyhow."- Uncle Josh Weathersby


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