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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 6:16 am 
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Victor II
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So many audio formats, so little listening time!
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:49 pm
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
Wow what a transformation - that cabinet and the works are certainly looking good now. Almost like new! Very good that you were able to save the finish and bring it back from the brink. Hope you find the parts you are looking for soon.
I am interested in all forms of audio media including: gramophones, phonographs, wire recorders, the tefifon, reel to reel tapes, radiograms and radios.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:24 am 
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VTLA
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Again, looks very beautiful. Great job. I didn’t safe it, you did, and you deserve the praise.

In regards to the tonearm, I would really try the suggestion that was made earlier I this thread and create some kind of washer under the tonearm to lift it up a bit. Maybe that’s all it needs to counter the sagging?

Andreas


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 10:55 am 
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Victor II
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So many audio formats, so little listening time!
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:49 pm
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
nostalgia wrote:

PS, for "phonosandradios": IF you ever remove 6 black screws from your machine, when servicing your 156a, please tell me where they belong.


If you've got a picture of them and a measurement of their length I can have a look to see where they might of come from.
I am interested in all forms of audio media including: gramophones, phonographs, wire recorders, the tefifon, reel to reel tapes, radiograms and radios.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 2:47 pm 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 701
Location: My gramophone repair room
The last month I kept an eye on a Columbia 153A for sale, not knowing then that the tonearm on my 156A was destroyed. I had constantly postponed the service of the 156A, knowing it was missing its needle boxes and door knob, but..when you phonosandradios started this thread, it also ignited my desire and dedication to service my own 156A. When we discovered some days ago that our tonearms were bad, I made an offer on the 153A, but it was rejected. The seller wanted 175 euro for it. I have during the last day been in more contact with the seller, and after long netogiation, I was offered to get it for 120 Euro. I accepted the offer, and drove out today, totalling 200 km, to bring the machine back home. I did not sleep much last night, because the negotiation was for some time halting, and not until 2 am today, the agreement was made, and I immediately drove out.

Pictures tell more than words, so I upload a photo of how my 156a now is looking. I knew before I bought it that both a duster and a round tin of Columbia needles was under the lid, and even if I dont really need the rest of the cabinet, I could not resist take the machine, even if my monthly budget told me, no more gramophones for a while. But when will I next time find a machine with these goods, and also the tonearm I needed for my 156A? I had to buy it!

I have the correct soudnbox for the 156A, I will attach that tomorrow. I need to open,clean and oil the "new" tonearm, right now it is quite stiff and will not flex easily.

Thanks again for all greetings and support..and "phonosandradios", now I cross my fingers that you also find the tonearm for your machine! If I see one, I will of course also tell you!

PS. The doorknobs on the 153A are different than those on the 156A, so I still have something to look for.;)
PS II. The color of the plush probably should be purple, but I can also live with green for now..
PS III. The Columbia tin is orange, not yellow.

By the way, have someone ever tried to clean the velour/plush on a Columbia turntable, and if yes...what did you use?

I have myself cleaned HMV felts with Vanish stain remover, and it has been successful, even if it is VERY important to rinse for a long time to remove all the stain remover from the felt ( myself I hold the turntable under the water tap), and also allow the felt to dry completely ( using a hair dryer before drying in air over night) before closing the lid of a HMV portable. I learned the hard way that way on a light blue HMV 101, where the residue of the stain remover contaminated the record tray and made a pale blue circle on the record tray and HMV logo almost faded off completely, all contaminated from the turntable when the lid was closed!


Attachments:
Complete.jpg
Complete.jpg [ 624.39 KiB | Viewed 221 times ]
Duster 1.jpg
Duster 1.jpg [ 492.46 KiB | Viewed 221 times ]
Duster 2.jpg
Duster 2.jpg [ 623 KiB | Viewed 221 times ]
Needles.jpg
Needles.jpg [ 431.43 KiB | Viewed 221 times ]


Last edited by nostalgia on Sun Aug 30, 2020 5:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 4:35 pm 
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Victor II
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So many audio formats, so little listening time!
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:49 pm
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
Excellent, I am very glad that you have been able to find most of the parts you needed and with the added bonus of a record duster and needle tin - both also look to be in lovely condition too. That tone arm also is in very nice condition. I bet a suitable door knob will soon turn up and your machine will then be complete. On the subject of the door knobs - if you get the chance to buy a set it could be worth while getting both to make sure they are a good matching pair. When I bought the replacement one for my HMV machine I wish I had bought the matching pair as there was a very slight difference in the colour and size between my original one and the replacement one. Only I notice it - but even after 10 years I wish I had replaced both so that they were a perfect match :)

Next you will have to let give it a sound test and report back. I've not yet heard mine so it would be great to see how yours sounds.
I am interested in all forms of audio media including: gramophones, phonographs, wire recorders, the tefifon, reel to reel tapes, radiograms and radios.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 3:51 am 
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Victor III
Keep winding up
Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 701
Location: My gramophone repair room
The 6 black screws belonged to the grill. I had hidden the grill high up on a shelf in my sitting room while working on the cabinet , so the cats would not play with it. Mystery solved!

I had a closer look at the door knobs on the Columbia 153A this morning, there are 3 left on that cabinet, since one door knob also is missing on that cabinet. The knobs on the 153A have the exact same look and design, but they are 3-4 mm wider in front.
I have decided to use black lacquer on two of the knobs from the 153A and use them on the 156A, then the 156A will have a matching pair.
I doubt a Columbia expert ever will stand on his knees in front of my 156A and measure the size of these door knobs, really :geek:
Still I will, as the mad collector I am, of course keep the original black button from the 156A, in the rare event another original button ever show up. (Even if they are slightly different in size, one must not forget that they are hand made, so this could be a natural anomaly).

I will post some feedback about sound tests, and even make a small video on Youtube, when I have serviced the tonearm.


Attachments:
Door knob 156A.jpg
Door knob 156A.jpg [ 513.56 KiB | Viewed 207 times ]
156A.jpg
156A.jpg [ 474.02 KiB | Viewed 207 times ]
Door knob 153A.jpg
Door knob 153A.jpg [ 531.97 KiB | Viewed 207 times ]
153A.jpg
153A.jpg [ 418.15 KiB | Viewed 207 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 6:02 am 
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Victor II
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So many audio formats, so little listening time!
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:49 pm
Posts: 283
Location: Wiltshire, UK
I think that with those door knobs no one will ever notice and if a "correct" set come along you could always upgrade... but honestly once they have been painted no one but you will ever know they are aren't from a 156a. As you say natural variation in handmade parts may account for the slight size difference in any case.

Will look forward to the sound test on this one, as I said I have yet to hear what mine sounds like. I am just ordering a supply of thorn needles for it so it is ready to go when a new tone arm is located.
I am interested in all forms of audio media including: gramophones, phonographs, wire recorders, the tefifon, reel to reel tapes, radiograms and radios.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 8:13 am 
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Victor II
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So many audio formats, so little listening time!
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:49 pm
Posts: 283
Location: Wiltshire, UK
I've bought this thread back again as I have recently bought another columbia cabinet machine so that I could extract its tone arm to replace the bent and unusable one in the 156a. However the 153 that I bought I have just discovered used a shorter tone arm that the 156a which results in really bad record tracking.

I am going to put a wanted add in the trader part of the forum to see if anyone has a plano reflex tone arm I could buy that has specifically come from a 156a columbia machine. I will also include measurements of the length of tone arm that I am looking for.

If anyone reading this thinks they have such a tone arm on a junk machine or in their pile of parts could you send me a PM please as I would happily buy it from you so that I can finish this project.
I am interested in all forms of audio media including: gramophones, phonographs, wire recorders, the tefifon, reel to reel tapes, radiograms and radios.


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:13 am 
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Victor IV
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Keep'em well oiled
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You'd better repeat the request in the trader section, under a WANTED subject...
Inigo


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 Post subject: Re: Columbia 156a viva tonal gramophone
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:54 am 
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Victor II
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So many audio formats, so little listening time!
Joined: Fri Oct 11, 2019 4:49 pm
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Location: Wiltshire, UK
Inigo wrote:
You'd better repeat the request in the trader section, under a WANTED subject...


err, in my post above I think that is what I said I was going to do..
I am interested in all forms of audio media including: gramophones, phonographs, wire recorders, the tefifon, reel to reel tapes, radiograms and radios.


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