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 Post subject: Adapting HMV 5A soundbox for small tonearm
PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2019 6:24 pm 
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Victor IV
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Buyer of broken things
Joined: Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:10 pm
Posts: 1332
Location: North Shields, UK
A while ago when I was wanting a simple gramophone just so I had a way to play my 78s I bought a tatty HMV 145 gramophone from facebook marketplace, I got it cheap and I mainly wanted the HMV 5A soundbox that was on it, I've since upgraded from the 145 so took the soundbox and listed the machine for sale cheaply then set about adapting the 5A, it would obviously only fit on the large bore HMV tonearm, and the rubbers in the back were rock hard, I had a spare rubber meltrope collar and found that it fit's fairly comfortably inside the 5A, so even just a loose fit it will go on the expert tonearm snug, and airtight, I only gave it a quick go but it seems to sound very good through the big horn, it also seems to be a much lighter soundbox than the Expert and Meltrope soundboxes

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 Post subject: Re: Adapting HMV 5A soundbox for small tonearm
PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:50 pm 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3428
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
You were lucky or clever to have removed the old fitting without damaging the fragile pot metal back plate.
I have seen many HMV soundboxes ruined by attempts to change their back fittings.


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 Post subject: Re: Adapting HMV 5A soundbox for small tonearm
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:00 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2827
Location: Biggenden, Queensland, Australia
The HMV Model 11 electric pick-up actually came with an adaptor/sleeve in its throat which can be used to fit a 5a soundbox to a small necked tonearm.


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 Post subject: Re: Adapting HMV 5A soundbox for small tonearm
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 8:52 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Tue Jun 30, 2009 8:17 am
Posts: 444
Location: Victoria. Australia
Quote:
it also seems to be a much lighter soundbox than the Expert and Meltrope soundboxes

That may well be it's drawback. Try adding weight to the 5a. I stuck a thick strip of blu-tac to the back of the 5a and found it's bass response improve on an Expert. With that in mind, I tried it back on a re-entrant but couldn't hear any difference.


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 Post subject: Re: Adapting HMV 5A soundbox for small tonearm
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2020 6:28 am 
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Victor I
Joined: Mon Jun 13, 2011 8:05 pm
Posts: 127
Alex, I must have missed this thread the first time. Nothing new about that though. I have done what you have done with a HMV 5a or b box in the past and also with a Victor Orthophonic. Neither sounded as good as the EMG or Expert 4 spring that I had at the time. You may well have come across a particularly good example, or maybe one whose characteristics suit the EMG/Expert sound reproduction system? Certainly interesting. It would be great if the HMV 5a/b worked well, because their lightness would suit them for steel needles and they're a lot more available than EMG and Expert 2 springs.

I also want to say that both HMV boxes a and b and the Victor Orthophonic are lovely sounding boxes when used on their own gramophones. I've usually found that the Victor can add a richness in the treble to the HMV sound train that its own soundboxes don't. But good examples
of both are very pleasing to listen to.


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 Post subject: Re: Adapting HMV 5A soundbox for small tonearm
PostPosted: Wed Oct 21, 2020 2:31 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:52 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Chicago
I bought a 5A on eBay specifically to have its back adapted for my smaller bore HMV New Gramophone models; Wyatt Markus (micamonster) installed his proprietary isolator compound and used the brass ring and bayonet pin of the type/size found in the No 4 and No 2. As it turns out, the difference in diameter between the 5A and the 4 (for which the older HMV tonearms were designed) resulted in unexpected tracking error on my two HMV 109s. However, the tracking error is minimal - only toward the center, beyond where normal record grooving is - on my HMV 101 portable. On which, by the way, the 5A soundbox sounds phenomenal. Really opens up the treble on a machine that already has outstanding bass considering its size.


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 Post subject: Re: Adapting HMV 5A soundbox for small tonearm
PostPosted: Thu Oct 22, 2020 11:25 am 
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Victor O
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:52 pm
Posts: 56
Location: Chicago
gramophoneshane wrote:
The HMV Model 11 electric pick-up actually came with an adaptor/sleeve in its throat which can be used to fit a 5a soundbox to a small necked tonearm.


I wonder if there's anyone with a small machine shop who could make these today. I'll bet there'd be a small market for them.


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