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Balmain or EMG ?
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Author:  soundgen [ Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Balmain or EMG ?


Author:  Orchorsol [ Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

Expert ;)

Author:  emgcr [ Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

Yes---incorrectly titled photo---Expert Senior. I see the date is January 1973---they would never have made such a mistake in contemporary days ! Sir CM (who died in 1972) would have turned in his grave...............

Author:  Phototone [ Sun Mar 02, 2014 9:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

OK, I'll bite. What does a Balmain gramophone look like???

Author:  emgcr [ Mon Mar 03, 2014 6:43 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

Here are a few extracts and photos which show the principles of the Balmain gramophone. The chief advantages are that it is possible to achieve perfect tracking without compromise and a horn without bends. The reproducer is attached directly to the end of the horn and the whole assembly then advances in a straight line on wheels/rails or on a bath of mercury for near frictionless locomotion.

untitled.png1.png [ 825.01 KiB | Viewed 1949 times ]
untitled.png [ 291.24 KiB | Viewed 1949 times ]
File comment: A modern copy built by an enthusiast.
IMG_3273.jpg [ 652.92 KiB | Viewed 1949 times ]
IMG_3272.jpg [ 631.89 KiB | Viewed 1949 times ]
File comment: Note Hornby 0 tracks and bogies. Click to enlarge.
IMG_3271.jpg [ 528 KiB | Viewed 1949 times ]
IMG_3255.jpg [ 523.63 KiB | Viewed 1949 times ]

Author:  alang [ Mon Mar 03, 2014 11:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

Interesting contraption. If I understand that correctly, this machine does not have a feedscrew or similar? This means that even if the whole assembly slides nearly frictionless, the needle in the groove still has to move this whole mass. Sounds like quite a bit of force on the groove walls to me. Or did I miss anything?


Author:  emgcr [ Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

Well observed ! There is no feed-screw, it is only the needle progress which produces locomotion but it is a good idea to fit screw jacks to the underside of the turntable/base unit (or table legs) so that an optimal level, perhaps with gravity assistance, can be established thus minimising loads which, as you correctly suggest, is desirable. Neither example pictured seems to have this important feature. With everything properly balanced, the situation is really akin to that of a swinging tonearm although it is true that, because of the slightly greater mass involved, set-up accuracy is more critical. These paper horns are quite thin and light in weight, thus the total mass is not so very different to those systems employing heavy cast metal tonearms etc.

Author:  Phototone [ Tue Mar 04, 2014 12:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

How does it sound, in comparison to an Expert or EMG?

Author:  emgcr [ Tue Mar 04, 2014 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

Good question ! I have never heard one but, in response to your enquiry, I am trying to get in touch with the owner of the beautifully home-made example.

Watch this space................

Author:  Lenoirstreetguy [ Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Balmain or EMG ?

Compton Mackenzie's Balmain had the horn mounted on floats in baths of mercury....not something that one would care to have about the house these days. But it certainly would reduce the friction to virtually nothing. Mackenzie always maintained until the early 30's that it was his favourite gramophone. I think the Expert Senior and the EMG Mark Xb won his heart over the Balmain. Percy Wilson wrote an amusing account of fitting the Balmain with his first exponential horn in late 1925 or early '26 in the The Gramophone Jubilee Book .

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