Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

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Steve
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Steve »

Now I have the oddball 9000 example and my 9000A I'm on the lookout for a 206. If anyone has one they want to sell or knows where one is for sale, I'd be very grateful for the heads up.

Thank you!

nostalgia
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

Congratulations on finding and getting this Columbia 9000 too, Steve.
It looks amazing, and if it is a prototype, well...it makes it all even more interesting.
Well done :clover: :geek:

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Steve
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Steve »

My 9000 arrived today. It's fantastic! The wings are more robust and much better quality than the normal 9000 / A. It looks quite stunning.

There must be another one out there like it though. The hunt starts here......

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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Inigo »

Congrats! In the photos you sent it looked fantastic, solid and attractive. ..
Inigo

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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Oedipus »

Very interesting!

I suggest that this 9000 is the original version, and the 9000A is the more familiar one with 102-style corners, revised winder clip position and chromium turntable.

A possible reason for the 101-style corners could be that in those early post-war years of difficult supplies, EMI dug out an old stock of 101 corner shields and revised the 102 case to suit them. The brown turntable is no surprise -- we know that Garrard did not supply chromium turntables and Hayes had to have them chromium plated, at a time when chrome supplies were limited, so in 1946 they clearly 'made do' with the standard Garrard finish.

The passing reference to a pre-war 9000 is in an internal memo in the EMI Archive, and is a bit vague -- it may actually be referring to the 206, so should not be relied on as firm evidence unless a 9000 turns up with a B/3 or B/4 serial number.

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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Oedipus »

PS Apologies re the brown turntable; I realise it is only the plush which is brown, and on a black Columbia it would normally be blue. Supply problems would be the reason, just as some coloured EMI portables at the beginning of the war had brown felt turntable mats.

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Steve
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Steve »

Thank you as always for your invaluable input, Oedipus.

I'm not sure if you noticed that the case appears to be an earlier style (possibly pre-EMI?) Columbia case? Please note the distinctive pair of lid hinges in addition to the long piano hinge.

IIRC these are reminiscent of the 112A or 202 models but I'd need to dig my portables out to check!

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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Phono48 »

Steve wrote: Tue Aug 03, 2021 8:17 amIIRC these are reminiscent of the 112A or 202 models but I'd need to dig my portables out to check!
Yes Steve, you're right. I just checked, and that hinge, with the two additional "wings" is fitted to the 112A, the 201, both versions of the 202 (front and side winding) and also the 206 but not the 204. It does suggest that yours is a very early 9000, utilising an earlier case. I wonder why they found it necessary to move the handle socket and clip to the side of the case, when it obviously worked quite well where it was, as on yours? The "new" position does look a bit awkward, to say the least! One also wonders why, if they were using obsolete cases, they didn't use them for the 206, which preceded the 9000?
Barry

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Steve
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Steve »

All good relevant questions, Barry, which sadly no one alive will ever be able to answer!

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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Phono48 »

If we assume that this 9000 is using an earlier style of case, i.e. 112 or 202, have you seen any filling in of the winding hole, oval hole where the earlier handle ends folded into, or the four holes where the earlier carrying handle would have been? Just curious!

Barry

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