PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Discussions on Talking Machines of British or European Manufacture
User avatar
Inigo
Victor V
Posts: 2170
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:51 am
Personal Text: Keep'em well oiled
Location: Madrid, Spain
Contact:

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by Inigo »

:D :D
Inigo

old country chemist
Victor II
Posts: 270
Joined: Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:06 pm

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by old country chemist »

Hello John, in reply to your question . I am reasonably old, I was chemist in Pharmacy, and I used to travel in the country to various shops where I did locum work. I retired in 2012. I am an Aberdonian by birth, lived there till I was 11, then moved down south, and that is when I started collecting these musty old, highly breakable, gash records!-and I have not looked back since! Wonderful hobby, and wonderfully interesting people on this Forum. Long may it continue.



I do like the horn picture, I wish my "Neo-Balmain" horn was as long as that one, then it would produce (hopefully), some very good tones with terrific bass response into the bargain!!

jboger
Victor III
Posts: 948
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 pm

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by jboger »

Hi Alistair:

Thank you for your response. After I posted what I wrote I was afraid it might be taken in the wrong spirit. One needs to be extra careful on the Internet, and sometimes truly innocent statements/comments/remarks can be misinterpreted. But that was not the case here.

I too am "reasonably old." Retirement is looming in the near future. As for my grandmother Mary Macleod, my mother's account of why she came to the US as a little girl differs from her brother, my uncle. My uncle claimed she came over as a servant girl, whereas my mother said that she was adopted but not legally. I believe there is some truth in both versions. It was a Presbyterian minister that brokered my grandmother's arrival. Her father abandoned the family and went to New Zealand to raise sheep. And her mother and sister died in a fire in Manchester. That left her alone in Manchester until she came to New Jersey sometime around 1908.

Well so much for family histories. They're usually only of interest to those immediately related. My grandmother, my mother, my uncle--all those people are gone.

So back to phonographs. May I say something heretical? Are EMG machines an acquired taste? Those huge horns seem to menacingly loom over you ready to suck you into a black hole or into another dimension. No offense meant to anyone.

User avatar
Inigo
Victor V
Posts: 2170
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:51 am
Personal Text: Keep'em well oiled
Location: Madrid, Spain
Contact:

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by Inigo »

Emg
..
I suspect this is true until you put a record on the platter and play it... Then the magic starts! :D
Inigo

User avatar
emgcr
Victor III
Posts: 883
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by emgcr »

jboger wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 1:08 pm Are EMG machines an acquired taste? Those huge horns seem to menacingly loom over you ready to suck you into a black hole or into another dimension.
Ha ! Yes, they do indeed suck you into another dimension but they are never menacing unless you consider "holographic" sound difficult to take. I have lost no friends to date..............but they are always hungry to express themselves to unsuspecting newcomers. Oh what a joy it is to behold the reaction on such occasions. Please don't miss the chance to experience one for real.
Last edited by emgcr on Sun Sep 19, 2021 4:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

jboger
Victor III
Posts: 948
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 pm

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by jboger »

Well, I'm afraid I've ambushed Alistair's discussion of his Balmain horn to some other topic. Sorry about that.

I did listen to some of the lieder on emgcr's channel. The German art song is definitely a wonder especially in the hands of such masters as Schubert and Schumann. The sound is impressive, but I can't deconvolute what is due to a well preserved record and that which is due to the EMG's play-back qualities. So I guess I will need to locate one of these machines and hear for myself.

The Balmain is an interesting horn. So aren't the EMG horns. Apparently the shape of the horn--which affects air flow--has an impact on sound reproduction. Is this possibly true, that the UK phonograph designers gave more thought to the shape of the horn than designers elsewhere?

John

epigramophone
Victor Monarch
Posts: 4063
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Personal Text: An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by epigramophone »

The men who designed the EMG and Expert gramophones considered that folded horns were a compromise. Their goal was to achieve the best sound quality possible, hence the huge external horns made of acoustically inert materials. Their appearance was of secondary importance. To experience how successful they were, there is no substitute for listening to one "live".

I will be seeing and hearing the "Balmain" this coming week, tested with a selection of soundboxes and records.

When I arrived at Alastair and Jane's house yesterday afternoon, the machine was already set up in their conservatory which spans the full width of the rear elevation.
Two soundboxes were tried, a Meltrope I and an HMV 5B. Getting an airtight seal was easy with the Meltrope's rubber coupling but tricky with the HMV's metal insert.
The records ranged from opera to dance band, and the volume was capable of exceeding 100dBC with a medium tone needle.
At no time was there any problem with skating or skipping and the sound quality exceeded my expectations, especially as a conservatory is not ideal acoustically. For a scratch built machine using unproven components it really is an impressive achievement.
Some fine tuning remains to be done to make weight adjustment easier.
Unfortunately Adrian had not brought his camera, but we do intend to film it at a later session.

Roger.
Last edited by epigramophone on Wed Sep 22, 2021 8:20 am, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Inigo
Victor V
Posts: 2170
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2017 1:51 am
Personal Text: Keep'em well oiled
Location: Madrid, Spain
Contact:

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by Inigo »

How would I love to be there....! UK government lifts the restrictions for Spain just on October 4th... I cannot attend the Malvern meeting this year! :(
Inigo

User avatar
emgcr
Victor III
Posts: 883
Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:57 am
Location: Hampshire, England.
Contact:

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by emgcr »

jboger wrote: Sat Sep 18, 2021 6:07 pm .....I can't deconvolute what is due to a well preserved record and that which is due to the EMG's play-back qualities.....
This may help with the deconvolution ?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiM_npAfzfo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbtikGV8WHo

jboger
Victor III
Posts: 948
Joined: Tue Jun 24, 2014 10:12 pm

Re: PAPER HORN "BALMAIN"

Post by jboger »

1. So, what's this? Ginn developed the Wall of Sound before Phil Spector? Amazing.

2. Vivaldi--always such a bright, crisp clear sound. The man knew how to write for strings and the female voice. How they interweave is a marvel.

3. Aware of Leonard Cohen but not all that familiar. After Spielberg came out with Shrek, it seemed everyone was singing Hallelujah.

4. Now a request: Bach's B minor mass. Through an EMG horn. It'll take better than an hour, though. Or how about Dudley Moore's take on the Col. Bogey March? Ha!

John

Post Reply