Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

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epigramophone
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by epigramophone »

By way of comparison, here is my late 202 alongside one of my 112a's :
Attachments
112a & 202.JPG

nostalgia
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

I put a bid on a younger "brother" of your black Columbia 202 yesterday evening, Roger. It was up for €75, but since I knew it was for sale in remote area, and I by pure coindicence visit this remote area for a doctor visit tomorrow, I put a €20 euro bid on it, and the seller accepted the bid, and would even drive out to meet me outside the doctor's office. I guess he was happy to sell it, and well...since I don't yet own a Columbia 202, I could not resist it at this price. It may look dusty and dirty, but the record album is where it should be, and that made it not too hard to decide to grab it, really.
This is an earlier version with the winding key in front and Garrard motor, right?
By the way, what are these double turntable mats that I have seen on quite a few Columbia portables? Were they equipped with double mats?
Attachments
Columbia 202.jpg

epigramophone
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by epigramophone »

I know of no gramophone which was fitted with a double turntable mat. The 202 pictured, a bargain at 20 Euro, has simply had a piece of velvet laid over the original.

A possible reason is that the metal eyelet in the centre of a Columbia/Garrard turntable mat makes replacement a little more difficult than with HMV's plain felt.

Phono48
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Phono48 »

epigramophone wrote:I know of no gramophone which was fitted with a double turntable mat. The 202 pictured, a bargain at 20 Euro, has simply had a piece of velvet laid over the original.
Either that, or the edges of the velvet have just come away from the gap round the edge of the turntable, as often happens. I usually push them back with the back of an ordinary table knife.

nostalgia
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

I will collect this model 202 tomorrow, then I will see how the turntable mat looks like. And, I have probably only come across 3-4 homemade extra mats on some Columbia portables here, that most probably were homemade, it explains the double layer of mats.
When we talk about mats, and if a change of turntable mat is needed for Columbia portables, first question...is it velvet, and if yes, have you been able to find substitute sheets online (Ebay) that work well? We have earlier discussed HMV portable felts, and they are easy to get on Ebay as squares, but I can't remember we talked about Columbia mats?

Phono48
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Phono48 »

I have never found a modern velvet that works. There is always a distinct pile to the fabric, so depending on which way it is viewed, the shade changes from dark to light. When fixed on a turntable, you get a most unpleasant effect as the turntable rotates. I'm pretty sure that the velvet on the 202 you are getting has just come away from the edges, and the dark blue showing is the portion that would normally be tucked into the rim, the main part having faded to a lighter shade, hence the appearance of a double mat. But we'll wait and see...

Barry

epigramophone
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by epigramophone »

Most modern velvet is intended for upholstery and curtains. It is often synthetic and is too thick for making replacement turntable mats.
My wife suggested a high quality soft cotton dressmaking velvet which is much thinner. It has a very short pile and a matt finish.
Here is the result of using it on my Columbia 113a turntable, which a previous owner had recovered in HMV style green felt.
Attachments
IMG_2264.JPG

Phono48
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by Phono48 »

epigramophone wrote:Here is the result of using it on my Columbia 113a turntable, which a previous owner had recovered in HMV style green felt.
That looks good!

nostalgia
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

I collected the black Columbia 202 yesterday, and also a black Columbia 206, that I made an offer on 3 weeks ago. I paid in total € 45 for them both, so I could not resist the temptation. I also want some more portables to service,after finishing the HMV 34 motor, and since I not yet have serviced a Garrard motor, this was a good chance to step up also the learning curve, before moving on to servicing a Columbia floor model (and later in spring return to a couple of HMV 32 motors.)
I am uploading some photos taken after a small superficial morning wash with Swarfega classic, as we can see there was only one turntable velvet map on the Columbia 202, the fringes at the rim of the mat fooled us all (but not Barry):;)I think your suggestion will work too, Barry, using a knife to put the mat back in its place, after gluing it, since it has fallen off completely. When I look at it, I am tempted to clean it with the stain remover I used for HMV turntable felts with success, but...knowing that it is much harder to find replacement fabrics for the Columbia portables, the fear that the mat may shrink in the process, will probably abstain me from cleaning it under water, if someone here does not come up with a better idea.
The Model 206 spins and runs, and also the 202 (but is slow), so there I will get my chance to open and service a Garrard motor ! The 202 is also missing the needle box cover, while the 206 is complete. I also was surprised to how the tonearm was fastened on the model 202, since it is fastened to the lid spring, and because of this makes the tonearm feel a bit "shivery", but I guess that it works just fine, since nothing seems broken in this area. I guess I just need to get used to the Columbia ways of doing things. The build quality of the model 202 feels very very good by the way, and not at all inferior to the HMV standards of the same period, as far as I can evaluate it from the first hours of looking closer at this gramophone. The model 206 is also of excellent build quality, and being a newer model, and also manufactured after Columbia merged with HMV, one can see strong similarities with the HMV model 102.
I am also adding two photos of the soundbox that was attached to the Model 206, after looking at some photos of the Columbia soundbox no 28 that I (after reading the His Master's Gramophone Book) understand was often accompanying this model, my guess is however that the soundbox on my 206, is the 5C soundbox, simliar to the HMV 5B soundbox, ( Maltese cross pattern on the 5C soundbox).
If any of the above information is wrong, please correct me though.

Challenges for the gramophones seen so far: Full check on the motor on the 202, missing needle box on the 202 , and some "normal "case surgery with glue" needed on particular the model 206, normal spring/motor cleaning on the 206.

PS The velvet on your beautiful Columbia 113A looks great, Roger. Very well done, and cudos to your wife too:)
Attachments
Columbia 202 (2).jpg
Columbia 206 vs 202 (6).jpg
Columbia 206 vs 202 (5).jpg
Columbia 206.jpg
Velvet 202.jpg
Columbia Soundbox No 5C(2).jpg
Columbia Soundbox no 5C.jpg
Columbia 206 vs 202 (3).jpg
Columbia 206 vs 202 (4).jpg
Last edited by nostalgia on Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:17 pm, edited 2 times in total.

nostalgia
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Re: Columbia portables..the endless enigma?

Post by nostalgia »

I found this photo of an alternative version of the Columbia Model 206 online, during its short life span, it appeared changes both to the color of the turntable mat, the soundbox and also needle tray of this model. The photo shown here has the ordinary HMV 102 needle tray. According to His Master's Gramophone book, the version shown below with brown turntable felt and ordinary needle bar was made during the WW2, and was supplied differently due to wartime shortages.
Attachments
Columbia 206, alternative version.jpg

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