Today I set up the "Neo-Balmain machine in the car port, as plenty of room!
I set it all up on an old door we had kicking around, which lay on a couple of my wife's trestles. After levelled the gramophone, I found that I had to raise the motor cabinet about 1.6 inches on blocks, so that the needle was level in the soundbox from a side view, on the record, A weight adjuster is to be sorted, but I used an old clamp, weighing 72 grams to weigh the soundbox in the grooves. I will probably add height adjusters to the bottom of the cabinet , so that different soundboxes of different sizes can be utilised. A no 4 mica is being used at present for tests, and seems quite good. The sound from this machine is not particularly loud using a medium tone steel needle, but the clarity is good, and the overall "openness" seems reasonable. I may not have got the acoustics quite right with the horn that I made, but it is acceptable. A little muddiness, perhaps is evident with heavier sounding discs a couple of 1930s orchestral records of the lighter kind, but well recorded. Time does not allow me to try many more today, but when the machine is next assembled, I hope to be able to report back favourably!
Really all the thanks for this "one off" machine must go to that very original thinker, Adrian Tuddenham, from Bath, Someset. Many messages passed between us on various designs throughout most of last year, and this year the making took place-not always getting it right, but interesting all the same, the horn manufacture had started last year. This final design may be the only gramophone it's type in the world using Watt linkages to help the horn move in a straight line across the record.
I am sending a few pictures for you folks on the forum to see. As I said there are still a few things to sort properly, BUT it does seem to work well-and that is what we wanted. A proper table is to be made before long, and sturdy! as the whole contraption is very heavy, the horn alone with it's appendages weighs 7.2 kilograms.