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 Post subject: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 10:10 am 
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Victor I
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:20 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Boyertown, PA
Well, I haven't ... but I've been curious about these machines for so long. It hit me again this morning. I was doing some adjustments on one of my 1909 Columbia BI Sterlings (in my profile pic there). Adjusting the needle bar springs, getting it to sound as perfect as possible (it was recently expertly restored). Playing a late acoustic record on it. THEN out of curiosity, I pull out the HMV 102D MOS that's sitting underneath this machine, and put the same record, and the same "extra soft" needle on it. The sound just blows me away. The dynamics and musicality. Then I put a loud needle on this tiny machine, same record, and the sound fills the whole first floor of the house with beautiful, bass-rich (to a degree) music.

I've never owned, but have heard the latest, biggest orthophonic machines before, and while the sound from the 102 I experienced this morning isn't, of course, up to that standard, it comes SO much closer than my two fairly large Columbia BI Sterlings.

I fell in love with gramophones again this morning. I was taken back to the first moment I heard one. I put a couple more records on the 102, and ended up late for work, and now here I am furiously typing. 8-)

So, the basic question: Does the HMV 32 horn gramophone sound as rich as the 102 portable? (Maybe that's a dumb question ... maybe it sounds much better ... I just don't know.) In the unlikely event that I were able to locate one here across the herring pond, I would probably put one of my restored 5Bs on it.

I DJ with these two Columbia BI Sterlings at small, intimate events, playing lots of electric records on them (they were modified a bit, with softer gaskets, to do that) but I don't feel the same joy I used to feel when DJing with a couple 102s, and I can sense that my audience doesn't feel that joy either, because I don't think the music sounds as surprisingly dynamic as I know it can. The big silver horns LOOK cool, no doubt, but ... :|

What I think I might like to do is, trade my two Columbia BI Sterlings for one HMV 32 (if I can find one), and perform with just a 32 and a 102. I think the visual contrast would be fun and interesting for the audience, and I'm pretty sure I'd be happier with the sound.

Sorry for the big blather ... anybody care to weigh in?
“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.”

P. G. Wodehouse


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 11:04 am 
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Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 2875
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
I have not hears an HMV32 at first hand, but I can offer a word of caution.

The HMV32 has the narrow bore tonearm and the No.4 soundbox, so you cannot use a No.5B unless you either fit a rear coupling from a No.4 ( with the risk of damage when removing the coupling) or use a proprietory adapter to take up the difference in diameters.


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 12:58 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:52 pm
Posts: 33
Location: Chicago
SteveM wrote:
I pull out the HMV 102D MOS that's sitting underneath this machine, and put the same record, and the same "extra soft" needle on it. The sound just blows me away. The dynamics and musicality. Then I put a loud needle on this tiny machine, same record, and the sound fills the whole first floor of the house with beautiful, bass-rich (to a degree) music.... anybody care to weigh in?


Well, I can't weigh in on the 32, although I dream someday of owning one, but I have both an HMV 102D MOS and an HMV 101 portable, both of which I just love. And both of which I pretty much only ever use Soundgen's Extra Soft needles in, because anything larger blows my house down. The 101 has slightly better bass, but the 102 has slightly better overall balance; the tonearms and horns on both are exceptionally efficient and very well engineered. (The 5B I use on my 102, I bought NOS/MIB, but the No 4 on my 101 was expertly restored and rebuilt by Wyatt Markus, who goes by MicaMonster here.)

I'm working on getting out to pick up a pair of HMV 109 table cabinet gramophones soon; if the horn on that model is anywhere near as efficient and responsive as the horns on HMV portables, I believe I will be in for a real sonic treat.


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:18 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 994
I have one HMV32, and it definively sounds much better than any portable, HMV102 included, even with the mica HMV4 soundbox and the old-fashioned tin horn. Some people suggested that replacing its horn with an exponential one would bring its sound to a quality comparable to the EMGs/Ginns, I believe motivated by the similarity in tonearm-horn connection between these machines. I never tried that, in particular because an exponential horn like the Cascade is much rarer than an HMV32, and probaby as expensive. As to replacing the soundbox, as Epigramophone mentioned it would require an adapter, and replacing only the soundbox would not make a significant change in the sound, without also replacing the horn.


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:31 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1568
I believe it was the HMV-31A (Colonial model) that was fitted with the #5a sound box and corresponding tonearm -- http://www.radio-antiks.com/IndexRadio- ... MV_31A.htm
Attachment:
1Capture.JPG
1Capture.JPG [ 54.95 KiB | Viewed 1015 times ]


OrthoFan


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:43 pm 
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Victor I
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:20 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Boyertown, PA
Thank you for all the responses, I appreciate the information.

The hunt is on!

Can anybody tell me ... what sort of piping is inside the cabinet? A simple connection or does it wrap around the motor?

shoshani ... I hope you'll post about those 109s when you get them, very interesting!
“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.”

P. G. Wodehouse


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:50 pm 
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Victor I
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:20 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Boyertown, PA
OrthoFan wrote:
I believe it was the HMV-31A (Colonial model) that was fitted with the #5a sound box and corresponding tonearm -- http://www.radio-antiks.com/IndexRadio- ... MV_31A.htm
Attachment:
1Capture.JPG


OrthoFan


Ahhh ... got it. Rarer than hen's teeth, I would imagine.
“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.”

P. G. Wodehouse


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:50 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1568
SteveM wrote:
Can anybody tell me ... what sort of piping is inside the cabinet? A simple connection or does it wrap around the motor?


If you check out the link I provided, one of the thumbnail images shows the internal connection. but here's a capture in case it isn't showing up on your PC for some reason:

Attachment:
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG [ 119.58 KiB | Viewed 1007 times ]


OrthoFan


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:54 pm 
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Victor I
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Joined: Mon Oct 21, 2013 2:20 pm
Posts: 186
Location: Boyertown, PA
OrthoFan wrote:
SteveM wrote:
Can anybody tell me ... what sort of piping is inside the cabinet? A simple connection or does it wrap around the motor?


If you check out the link I provided, one of the thumbnail images shows the internal connection. but here's a capture in case it isn't showing up on your PC for some reason:

Attachment:
Capture.JPG


OrthoFan


Oh, geez ... awesome, thanks, I hadn't clicked it. Amazing stuff!
“The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.”

P. G. Wodehouse


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 Post subject: Re: hmv 32 horn gramophone ... ever heard one? (long)
PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2019 1:55 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1568
SteveM wrote:
Ahhh ... got it. Rarer than hen's teeth, I would imagine.


There are a few YouTube Videos --
I especially like this one showing the 31a fitted with a large EMG horn -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9P1trPQYh_s

OrthoFan


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