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 Post subject: DIY Bettini-esque mods to Columbia--HOW TO.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 3:13 pm 
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Victor III
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 633
Location: South Carolina
HOW TO MAKE A POOR MAN'S BETTINI REPRODUCER FOR 2 MINUTE CYLINDERS.

If the mica diaphragm in your Lyric cylinder reproducer has gotten bad and the tiny loop in the center gone to the point where it won't stay in any more, try reattaching it.

If it's still junk, or if it's fallen out,or if you have bad diaphragms lying in the parts drawer and want to experiment, here is how to make a poor man's Bettini-style reproducer for your Columbia graphophone.

You will need:

1 set Edison Model C diaphragm gaskets.
1 junk diaphragm from an Edison Diamond A, B, or C reproducer.
1 original stepped mica diaphragm from a Columbia Lyric.
1 Columbia Lyric reproducer in need of aural assistance.
Staple,
Adhesive of choice--stratena or superglue


Remove the celluloid cone from your Edison diaphragm and clean the threads out of it.

2. Take a wire, with a small loop in it, and put that through the center of the Edison cone and the Columbia mica diaphragm. (You could also make a glass diaphragm without ruining original Columbia parts.)

3. Glue all that together to make a mica or glass version of an Edison Diamond diaphragm.

4. Link up the parts with a staple like a normal rebuild on the Lyric model reproducer.

5. Slip on your favorite 2-minute Indestructibles.

I tested it with a variety of records--modern and vintage. The reproducer outperformed my unrealistically high expectations. With Matt Tolentino's "Too Much Mustard One-Step" (2015) it was able to reproduce both the reedy tenor of the accordion without honking or blaring, and the deep oom-pah bassline of the tuba.

"Five Foot Two" by Webb's New Society Syncopators is well-played but is such a busy recording that most phonographs have trouble playing it back, especially with a small conical horn. While a morning glory or cygnet would have been nice the BK Graphophone managed to make a brave effort at keeping up. The record is a grueling test for most economy and midgrade cylinder talking machines, but it was at least listenable.

With string recordings the Graphophone really shone--I played "Pickets" by Spats Langham and "La Carnauba Waltz" by Matt Redman. The modified Lyric helped to curb blasting, honking, and surface noise (admittedly minimal on modern recordings) and it made the impression that the musicians themselves were auditioning again.

All testing was done in a conventional bedroom designed with no regard for acoustics, and all records were played through a 14" replica brass horn.

Try it, you'll like it!


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Bettini-esque mods to Columbia--HOW TO.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 4:51 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:48 pm
Posts: 1284
Location: SF Bay Area, Calif.
That sounds like an interesting modification. I'd love to see some pictures of the details, and video of the results. But I don't understand the Bettini analogy.

The three most important things that distinguish Bettini reproducers from others of that early era are the size of the diaphragm (quite large), the material (aluminum), and the stylus mounting (a 'spider' with several legs). It's also designed to 'float,' much like early Columbia reproducers but unlike Edison or Columbia Lyric. In addition, there is a weight to counterbalance the reproducer and allow for fine-tuning the stylus pressure on the record.

What you describe doesn't sound like it has any correlation. :?:


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Bettini-esque mods to Columbia--HOW TO.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 5:45 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 1952
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
TinfoilPhono wrote:
That sounds like an interesting modification. I'd love to see some pictures of the details, and video of the results. But I don't understand the Bettini analogy.

The three most important things that distinguish Bettini reproducers from others of that early era are the size of the diaphragm (quite large), the material (aluminum), and the stylus mounting (a 'spider' with several legs). It's also designed to 'float,' much like early Columbia reproducers but unlike Edison or Columbia Lyric. In addition, there is a weight to counterbalance the reproducer and allow for fine-tuning the stylus pressure on the record.

What you describe doesn't sound like it has any correlation. :?:


I think I understand where Eppy is coming from. Since the Bettini setup was a huge improvement to these machines, he chose that word. He's saying this might be the poor man's way to improve the machine like Bettini did. To the unwashed among us, this makes sense.

Nobody but real geeks who can afford the real deal would be as specific about it, but maybe your pointing this out might give him some even better ideas. 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: DIY Bettini-esque mods to Columbia--HOW TO.
PostPosted: Sun Oct 21, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Victor III
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 633
Location: South Carolina
TinfoilPhono,

Thanks for your kind words and clarifications! I had neglected to look up the original Bettini specs, (and know also that I can't afford the real thing) but the idea was to use the general idea of a "spider" to exert broad areas of pressure on the center of the diaphragm rather than just tugging. This makes it more sensitive and a lot louder.

As all of us know, a Lyric is rather small inside like a Model C Edison so I am not able to go overboard with add-ons. The cone was put in as a combination of the Bettini principle of a larger attachment point for the stylus linkage, and the application as found in older portable gramophones of the aluminum-diaphragm type.

I kept the mica there because it helps date the reproducer to, I think, 1906 or '07. My BK is probably an early model.

Once I get free time and camera batteries all on the same day I can upload pics and try my hand at a video...it's really a wonderful sound for something with such a small horn. Saves me money from trying to experiment with horn equipment, and now I can concentrate on 2m Indestructibles.

(Those 2-minute records the Graphophone takes are getting darned hard to find these days! Sheesh!)


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