Did HMV ever manufacture a circular gramophone?

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nostalgia
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Did HMV ever manufacture a circular gramophone?

Post by nostalgia »

Since I last summer reignited my hobby/obsession with collecting, and later on, restoring/repairing gramophones, I of course quickly came into contact with the so called crapophones, manufactured in Asia, with fake HMV logos, destined to try to fool buyers into believing they could buy a genuine HMV gramophone. Often many of these HMV crapophones had a circular design, and they are, as we know, still sold on marketplaces like Ebay etc. Before being fortunate to be able to get hold of and buy the wonderful "His Master's Gramophone" book, I had myself no possibility to check if HMV ever had manufactured a model, somewhat similar in appearance to the crappy asian "non HMV" circular "things". When spending more and more time on this forum, I also of course understood that HMV never had manufactured circular acoustic gramophones.

Until yesterday, it was however also totally unknown to me, that HMV in fact HAS manufactured what is very close to a circular gramophone (semicircular), from around 1930, that is electrical! I will not have a strong opinion about if this model ever was the base for the asian circular crapophone or not, but I still felt it could be interesting to have a look at it,for those who are unfamiliar with this unit, even if it is electric and strictly thinking, falls outside the scope of this forum.

Myself, I think it is kind of cute, and one can also recognize familiar parts from the acoustic HMV gramophones if having a look at this Youtube video. A big warning though, when the owner starts to play a record, the sound is awful ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTOswybanZs

So here it is, the semicircular HMV Model 122A :)

PS. I do not own this machine, and don't intend to buy it.
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Last edited by nostalgia on Fri Jun 12, 2020 7:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

Phono48
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Re: Did HMV ever manufacture a circular gramophone?

Post by Phono48 »

HMV certainly never made a circular acoustic gramophone, so we can safely say that any such machines we come across are Indian - made fakes. The one you have pictured is a very common model here, being made under the trade names "His Masters' Voice", Columbia, and Marconi (all part of the EMI organisation). They were made to plug into the "gram" socket of valve radios, so that one then had a "radiogram".

Barry

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Re: Did HMV ever manufacture a circular gramophone?

Post by epigramophone »

The Columbia version was the Model 228. The quality of reproduction largely depended on the quality of the radio to which it was connected.
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jamiegramo
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Re: Did HMV ever manufacture a circular gramophone?

Post by jamiegramo »

I always found the quality of sound reproduction on these machines, when hooked up to a period radio, rather disappointing compared to an HMV 102. The heavy weight of the magnetic pick-up doesn't seem to offer any advantage either and I found more record wear probably in part because of the steeper angle of the needle. Having an example is probably more desirable with the HMV logo and the rounded shape creates some interest but in the past I never found these machines easy sellers.

Once I saw a similar example where the magnets had been removed and tonearm lightened and a more modern cartridge fitted. Although not original it was much more fun and practical to use and still looked the part.:)

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gramophoneshane
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Re: Did HMV ever manufacture a circular gramophone?

Post by gramophoneshane »

The HMV Model 122a was the electric motor version of this machine, while the Model 122 had a spring motor, and was intended for use with battery powered radios.
These were also produced at HMV's Australian factory in Homebush, Sydney, and have the Sydney, NSW transfer instead of the Hayes Middlesex transfer.

The 122 seems to have been made in far fewer numbers than the 122a, which was introduced in time for Xmas 1939, and was apparently so popular they had trouble keeping up with demand.
Probably why they started to manufacture them here in Australia as well.

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Lucius1958
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Re: Did HMV ever manufacture a circular gramophone?

Post by Lucius1958 »

nostalgia wrote:Since I last summer reignited my hobby/obsession with collecting, and later on, restoring/repairing gramophones, I of course quickly came into contact with the so called crapophones, manufactured in Asia, with fake HMV logos, destined to try to fool buyers into believing they could buy a genuine HMV gramophone. Often many of these HMV crapophones had a circular design, and they are, as we know, still sold on marketplaces like Ebay etc. Before being fortunate to be able to get hold of and buy the wonderful "His Master's Gramophone" book, I had myself no possibility to check if HMV ever had manufactured a model, somewhat similar in appearance to the crappy asian "non HMV" circular "things". When spending more and more time on this forum, I also of course understood that HMV never had manufactured circular acoustic gramophones.

Until yesterday, it was however also totally unknown to me, that HMV in fact HAS manufactured what is very close to a circular gramophone (semicircular), from around 1930, that is electrical! I will not have a strong opinion about if this model ever was the base for the asian circular crapophone or not, but I still felt it could be interesting to have a look at it,for those who are unfamiliar with this unit, even if it is electric and strictly thinking, falls outside the scope of this forum.

Myself, I think it is kind of cute, and one can also recognize familiar parts from the acoustic HMV gramophones if having a look at this Youtube video. A big warning though, when the owner starts to play a record, the sound is awful ! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTOswybanZs

So here it is, the semicircular HMV Model 122A :)

PS. I do not own this machine, and don't intend to buy it.
The sound on the video is awful, because the gramophone was not connected to a radio: all we're hearing is the sound of the needle, unaided by any amplifier.

- Bill

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gramophoneshane
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Re: Did HMV ever manufacture a circular gramophone?

Post by gramophoneshane »

This video of mine gives a better idea of the sound, although it's only being amplified by a cheap 30's reproduction Thomas radio from the 1980's.

https://youtu.be/Fr2HDYWcfwE

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