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 Post subject: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:33 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Sun May 01, 2016 12:12 pm
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Hi Folks,
Has anyone tried using mortight finger caulk for sealing the gap between the cast iron and wood on the internal horn instead of wax? I tried it and am very pleased with the results! I definitely hear a richer tone out of my Victor VV-405.


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 8:13 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 2347
Location: Near NY's Capital
I've been using clear silicone tub and shower caulk available from any hardware store, Lowe's or Home Depot and the stuff makes a huge difference in a machine's overall sound, be it a Credenza, 10-50, XI, XIV, XVI...yeah, I've used it on just about everything. It seems to be sold by many different makers, but all of the ones I've used give the same nice results. I like the clear because you can't see it when you open the horn compartments up.

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:08 pm 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 12:01 pm
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Location: Allentown, Pennsylvania
ZeroHero56 wrote:
Hi Folks,
Has anyone tried using mortight finger caulk for sealing the gap between the cast iron and wood on the internal horn instead of wax? I tried it and am very pleased with the results! I definitely hear a richer tone out of my Victor VV-405.


I'm familiar with Mortite, although I've never used it on phonographs. I see no reason why it wouldn't be suitable. It has the advantage of being clean to work with, and it's easily removable. I have a roll of it that must be at least 30 years old, and it's still useable. I wouldn't hesitate to use it on my XI (but the factory original looks to be in good shape. BTW, my XI is celebrating its 100th birthday this year!).


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:50 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 8:41 pm
Posts: 26
Henry wrote:
ZeroHero56 wrote:
Hi Folks,
I wouldn't hesitate to use it on my XI (but the factory original looks to be in good shape.

I just acquired a VTLA. I've seen many posts about why sealing the horn on an Orthophonic is a good idea, but should I consider sealing the horn on a non-Orthophonic Victrola? (And also sealing the end of the taper tube?) Or would doing that not make much of a difference in sound quality?


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:56 pm 
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Victor V
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Location: Near NY's Capital
I think it's always a good idea to seal any joints. For something like a VTLA, good grease seals in the tonearm joints will make a difference. If you can see light in any of the horn joints when you shine a light in, you have potential leaks which can cause reduced volume.

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:18 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 4:34 pm
Posts: 363
Location: Pittsburgh
Slightly off topic to this thread. Can you seal the joint in a Victor IV arm? (where the base of the taper meets the casting) Was there something there originally. What would you use now?


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 7:56 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:33 pm
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Location: Near NY's Capital
I seal tonearm joints with plumber's grease. I also take the U-tube out and seal the part that screws it together, just a little grease in the threads. Seems to make a difference, at least to my ears.

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 8:52 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:41 pm
Posts: 238
Location: The verifiable exact geographic center of California.
OrthoSean wrote:
I've been using clear silicone tub and shower caulk available from any hardware store, Lowe's or Home Depot and the stuff makes a huge difference in a machine's overall sound, be it a Credenza, 10-50, XI, XIV, XVI...yeah, I've used it on just about everything. It seems to be sold by many different makers, but all of the ones I've used give the same nice results. I like the clear because you can't see it when you open the horn compartments up.

Sean


I was intrigued by this thread and finally decided to seal the horn on my little Consolette. I was not anticipating this to turn into the 3-4 hours it took to do so, but this was chiefly because it took longer than expected to reinstall the horn (little wedge-shaped wood blocks that flank the horn sides and which in turn attach to the inside body of the cabinet via long wood screws at an acute angle; was a BEAR getting them lined up with the holes and then lined up in turn with the cabinet holes). At any rate, following removal, I took the horn outside into the very bright California sunlight and saw only one very tiny sliver of light where the wood sections were glued (bees-waxed?) together. Absolutely dark otherwise, but I'm convinced that light isn't the only litmus test for an airtight horn. I used clear silicone caulk as well (very easy to work with and quick drying), leaving no cracks or seams unsealed, whether they admitted light or not, and particularly where the cast iron elbow joined to the wood.

Long story short, following the arduous reinstallation of the horn (replacing grill and doors, etc.), I frankly wasn't expecting much of an improvement. This little waif was a rescue, but sports one of Wyatt's superbly rebuilt soundboxes. Well now, imagine my wide-eyed surprise when playing the first record with one of Soundgen's medium tone needles. I was quite literally floored. This little unit even makes some decent bass now. The reproduction was always good, but now it's fantastic for such a small machine.

I can't recommend enough to others to inspect and seal their horns - whether they think they need them or not. I am very pleased with the results.
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~ Mark Twain


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 8:29 am 
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Victor V
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Posts: 2347
Location: Near NY's Capital
It's pretty amazing, isn't it? One of my "waiting list projects" is an 8-7 Schoolhouse that now needs cosmetic finishing up. When I got it, the guy who picked it up for me said "it's really quiet, the tonearm support and reproducer are trashed". The tonearm support wasn't trashed at all, but the pin had come loose. The reproducer went off to Wyatt for his magic and I sealed the horn and all associated tonearm joints with plumbers grease. The machine will blow you out of the room. I'm glad you're happy. It's the first thing I do with an orthophonic machine when I get one. Makes a huge difference.

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Victrola Horn Caulking
PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 1:25 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:41 pm
Posts: 238
Location: The verifiable exact geographic center of California.
OrthoSean wrote:
It's pretty amazing, isn't it? One of my "waiting list projects" is an 8-7 Schoolhouse that now needs cosmetic finishing up. When I got it, the guy who picked it up for me said "it's really quiet, the tonearm support and reproducer are trashed". The tonearm support wasn't trashed at all, but the pin had come loose. The reproducer went off to Wyatt for his magic and I sealed the horn and all associated tonearm joints with plumbers grease. The machine will blow you out of the room. I'm glad you're happy. It's the first thing I do with an orthophonic machine when I get one. Makes a huge difference.

Sean


It is absolutely amazing, Sean. Now I need to find the plumber's grease you mention. I do seal the tonearm joints, but have only used conventional lithium grease for that. How does the plumber's grease differ?

Thanks again,
Charlie
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. ~ Mark Twain


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