The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Victor Automatic Brake Issues
PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2018 8:15 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Sun Mar 18, 2018 5:01 pm
Posts: 8
I've read a few posts here concerning the late automatic brake on Orthophonic machines triggering and stopping records in mid play. I was experiencing that exact problem and no adjustment of the brake mechanism did any good. I had essentially given up and changed the proper automatic brake for a semi automatic brake. But putting on a record one day last week I had inadvertently left the lid of the machine open (and I do follow the instructions inside the lid as it does effect the sound, as well as for the fact that "Close cover before striking" always seemed good advice with matchbooks.) Glancing over at the machine as it played, I noticed a very slight, almost indiscernible wiggle in the tone arm. This seemed to suggest where the problem with the automatic brake's premature triggering might lie. And the possible cause seemed to be a similar indiscernible problem that was not with the tonearm of brake itself, but with the platter. Switching out the platter for a spare I had aside, and reinstalling the automatic brake, I found that was indeed the issue, as the brake now was working just as it should. And measuring the platter that was take out very carefully, I found it to be very slightly off true. Such very minor movements seem to be too small to make a difference, but it does appear that the automatic brake is sensitive enough that they do have an impact. So the key for some who have the issue with these would seem to lie with very careful observation of the operation and careful measurements to be sure that the platter is running true so as not to cause any outward motion of the tonearm that can inadvertently trigger the automatic brake.


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 Post subject: Re: Victor Automatic Brake Issues
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 5:49 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:25 pm
Posts: 312
Thanks for the info. I've never had this exact problem, but it seems lots of people do.


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 Post subject: Re: Victor Automatic Brake Issues
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2018 6:51 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 3389
Location: Western, WA State
In all my years of collecting, I always dis-engage the automatic brake. Same with late Grafonolas, and Edison DD's. These records had closing grooves that were not standardized, and would stop during mid-play. I have no problem getting up to stop the record. Besides, I need the exercise anyway. :lol: :lol:
Harvey Kravitz


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 Post subject: Re: Victor Automatic Brake Issues
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 3:29 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 711
Location: Italy
JFM19 wrote:
I've read a few posts here concerning the late automatic brake on Orthophonic machines triggering and stopping records in mid play.

I usually read the opposite: that early automatic brakes are accused to fail.

I am personally persuaded of the opposite, that is that the mechanism was ingenious and reliable (see at the bottom of this previous post), and your experience in any case strengthens my opinion. Another recent "plus one" here.

I agree in general with Phonofreak that these gizmos were superfluous and a quite useless added cost to the machines. At least for my taste, especially during "serious" listening sessions, the risk that something goes wrong with the auto brake surpass manyfolds the convenience of having the disc automatically stopped. I must admit, however, that in a recent "picnic with the gramophone" the auto-stop feature proved very convenient while I had my hands busy with sandwiches... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Victor Automatic Brake Issues
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 5:01 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 837
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
I agree in general with Phonofreak that these gizmos were superfluous and a quite useless added cost to the machines.


They are not essential as a motor and an arm, but I like their complication and especially when the brake actually triggers at the end of the play. I have one machine - a Bassanophone - with the most complicated brake ever made for a gramophone, and it is the part I prefer on the machine (there is a thread on the machine somewhere in this forum). I guess it is my engineer soul at work.


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 Post subject: Re: Victor Automatic Brake Issues
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 6:05 am 
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Victor III
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 711
Location: Italy
I understand you, and agree from that point of view! Not strictly gramophone-related, but some years ago I had to rehaul a Perpetuum Ebner PE66 turntable. It took me a while but in the end I realised that the side of the arm itself is used by that machine to "probe" the circumference of the record; the size of the record is then mechanically memorised by some fricion pads, and the machine can subsequently automatically put the pickup at the outermost grooves - whichever the size of the record, even non-standard ones! All with only one button for start, stop, record change and everything else!!! If anything fails or goes out of tolerance is a repair nightmare, but I was absolutely impressed!

"Bassanophone" returns a half dozen pages of results. Do you remember in which thread its auto-brake mechanism was discussed?


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 Post subject: Re: Victor Automatic Brake Issues
PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2018 6:06 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:41 pm
Posts: 230
Location: Riverside, California
I'm the lucky owner of a Bassanophone. I like the auto-stop a lot, but it will get out of order if you move the machine (found that out recently). Very touchy, as it directly stops the governor with a felt pad, and it has little room for error. It's actually very reliable for me--but I've gotten used to it. It's basically an adjustable knob next to the tonearm which connects to what looks like a coat hanger-like piece of wire under the motorboard and actuates a felt pad against the governor. Nice, easy stop.

I believe this came about before Victor's automatic brake, and honestly, I find the Bassanophone to be much more reliable than the brake on my Victrola X, made years later. Have I told everyone lately how much I dislike Victor auto brakes? :lol:
"There are two kinds of people in this world: people who eat grapes in the grocery store and good people."


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