Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Discussions on Talking Machines of British or European Manufacture
OrthoFan
Victor V
Posts: 2193
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm

Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by OrthoFan »

I was culling through some old bookmarks today and spotted this -- https://www.gramophonemuseum.com/links.html

Buried in one of the jumps was page about the EMG Mark VII cabinet gramophone:

https://www.gramophonemuseum.com/emg-gr ... k-vii.html

Based on the Youtube clip, embedded in the page, it has an impressive sound. According to the specs, the tonechamber--tonearm & horn -- measures 79 inches which makes it seven inches longer than the tone chamber fitted into the Credenza (8-30) and the HMV 163.

At an original price of about 50 pounds, it sold for about the same as the Credenza model, factoring in the exchange rate at the time -- 1 pound equals $5.00 -- though considerably more than the 30 pound selling price of the HMV 163.

Anyone ever come across one of these or hear one in person?

OrthoFan

User avatar
Orchorsol
Victor IV
Posts: 1640
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:03 am
Location: Dover, UK
Contact:

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by Orchorsol »

Here's a playlist of videos of my Mk VII (I hope the link works): https://www.youtube.com/@burmesecolourn ... ?query=vii

The sound is sublime. Frank James's book suggests that the design was largely by Balfour Davey who had recently joined EMG.
BCN thorn needles made to the original 1920s specifications: http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4DNb ... TPE-zTAJGg?

User avatar
Orchorsol
Victor IV
Posts: 1640
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:03 am
Location: Dover, UK
Contact:

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by Orchorsol »

That's strange - there was a reply from emgcr before mine, but now it's disappeared...
BCN thorn needles made to the original 1920s specifications: http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4DNb ... TPE-zTAJGg?

OrthoFan
Victor V
Posts: 2193
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by OrthoFan »

Orchorsol wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 5:34 pm Here's a playlist of videos of my Mk VII (I hope the link works): https://www.youtube.com/@burmesecolourn ... ?query=vii

The sound is sublime. Frank James's book suggests that the design was largely by Balfour Davey who had recently joined EMG.
Many thanks for posting that! Your Mk VII sounds great in the videos, so I can just imagine what it would be like in person.

The horn looks like the type of thing Brunswick could have installed inside their acoustic "exponential horn" Panatrope, had they really worked it out, or put a little more thought into what an exponential horn should be like. (wood'a, should'a, could'a...)

OrthoFan

User avatar
epigramophone
Victor Monarch Special
Posts: 5292
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Personal Text: An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by epigramophone »

Frank James estimated that no more than 100 Mk.VII's were made. Priced at £40 (Oak) £45 (Mahogany) and £50 (Walnut) they were the most expensive EMG's ever made, and these prices put them in competition with the HMV193 and 194.

User avatar
Steve
Victor VI
Posts: 3278
Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2009 4:40 pm
Location: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, New York, Evesham

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by Steve »

epigramophone wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:27 am Frank James estimated that no more than 100 Mk.VII's were made. Priced at £40 (Oak) £45 (Mahogany) and £50 (Walnut) they were the most expensive EMG's ever made, and these prices put them in competition with the HMV193 and 194.
Frank didn't rate the Mark VII at all. I only heard one example he had for sale very briefly and it didn't exactly impress me either. It was a 1927-8 machine so it was in contention with the re-entrant models as you say. I doubt owners of 19 or 20 series HMV re-entrants were especially worried about it.

User avatar
Orchorsol
Victor IV
Posts: 1640
Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:03 am
Location: Dover, UK
Contact:

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by Orchorsol »

Steve wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 7:40 am
epigramophone wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 4:27 am Frank James estimated that no more than 100 Mk.VII's were made. Priced at £40 (Oak) £45 (Mahogany) and £50 (Walnut) they were the most expensive EMG's ever made, and these prices put them in competition with the HMV193 and 194.
Frank didn't rate the Mark VII at all. I only heard one example he had for sale very briefly and it didn't exactly impress me either. It was a 1927-8 machine so it was in contention with the re-entrant models as you say. I doubt owners of 19 or 20 series HMV re-entrants were especially worried about it.
Interesting! Frank does also say in the book that some enthusiasts rank it as the finest model that EMG ever made. My example was previously owned by a concert pianist who also had an Expert Senior, and he rated the Mk VII as very much superior. Personally, I just can't engage with the which-is-best question. Different records, different soundboxes, different acoustic environments (room and positioning) mean that comparison between these wonderful gramophones can never be definitive, even to my own ears, let alone anyone else's. Some records sound better on the Mk VII than my Mk Xb Oversize.
BCN thorn needles made to the original 1920s specifications: http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4DNb ... TPE-zTAJGg?

User avatar
emgcr
Victor IV
Posts: 1101
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by emgcr »

Orchorsol wrote: Sat Jun 08, 2024 6:16 pm That's strange - there was a reply from emgcr before mine, but now it's disappeared...
Mea culpa. I commented on ownership of the three Mk VIIs I have come across which, upon reflection, I thought might have been inappropriate. Better to allow those owners to come forward should they so wish. Both are members of this forum.

I have heard Andy's fabulous instrument which is in almost "as new" condition and of enormously high build quality as well as being extremely heavy ! The sound is indeed sublime and, of course, slightly different from other models---but they are all magnificent in their own way. Such is the joy and happiness produced by every EMG and Expert gramophone ever made. Apart from the (currently) unique and incredibly beautiful Mk V EMG, the Mk VII must rank as the rarest EMG of them all.

anchorman
Victor II
Posts: 354
Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 8:50 pm

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by anchorman »

Agree 100% with graham. They’re all lovely. I’ve listened to both Andy’s mk VII, AND his Xb oversized with the fabulous fiberglass horn made by Graham… I do prefer the larger external horn, but the mk VII is nothing to scoff at.

Personally I find the credenzas entirely overrated. It could be that the one I listed to needed work on its horn. The wood can separate and allow air leaks compromising the sound. It may have also been the records that were played for me. Of the American machines, I much prefer the Columbia viva tonals.

CarlosV
Victor IV
Posts: 1878
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Location: Luxembourg

Re: Was this EMG's answer to the Credenza & HMV 163?

Post by CarlosV »

Orchorsol wrote: Sun Jun 09, 2024 9:07 am My example was previously owned by a concert pianist who also had an Expert Senior, and he rated the Mk VII as very much superior.
Isn't the MKVII horn a conical one? with such shape and small bell diameter compared with the external EMG/Expert horn, it should be less linear spectrum-wise and its low cutoff frequency should be much higher. On a side-by-side comparison the large EMG/Expert should sound better, right?

Post Reply