The Saphone, Pathé style machine

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Victor IV
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The Saphone, Pathé style machine

Post by kirtley2012 »

Just got a soundbox to get this machine running, I got it with what I thought was a broken spring, I opened it all up and found the spring had just slipped off of the center shank, I hooked it back on and it seemed to work, though there's a chance the spring could be cracked in the center, hard to tell, though for now it seems to be holding a wind

The Saphone company was apparently made by employees of Pathé and based in London, I've seen a photo of a more elaborate model, though I've not seen another like this, simple though quite attractive machine

Victor II
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Re: The Saphone, Pathé style machine

Post by Gramtastic »

Hi Alex,

I have the same machine ! Mine was owned by a retired Colonel who stuck labels off his favourite cigars inside the doors and fitted battery lights in it - I am told he kept cigars inside ! It came with a lot of 14" Pathés of regimental marches etc. I can imagine him sitting by it at night smoking a cigar and listening to rousing military marches !!

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Re: The Saphone, Pathé style machine

Post by Menophanes »

Some forty years ago I bought a large (12-inch turntable) table gramophone, with a Pathé sound-box and the name 'Saphone' on the double-spring motor but bearing no other identification. I have always assumed that it was a home-made effort put together from assorted parts, but from this thread it seems that the machine may actually have been commercially made after all. Unlike the ones illustrated, it has a lid.

Whether amateur or professional, it was very poorly designed; no matter how I adjusted the tone-arm length and sound-box angle, it could never be induced to track for more than thirty seconds or so. The only way I could make use of it was by putting the Pathé record on the turntable of an H.M.V. 101 portable, positioning this machine close beside the Saphone, and swinging the tone-arm of the latter right over the side so that it bore on the H.M.V. turntable – thus using two gramophones to play one record.

Oliver Mundy.

Victor VI
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Re: The Saphone, Pathé style machine

Post by epigramophone »

That I would like to have seen! What a pity there was no video sharing technology 40 years ago.

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