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 Post subject: Re: La Voce Del Padrone model 144.
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:44 pm 
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Victor O
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Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 9:51 am
Posts: 53
Location: Italy, UK
Marco Gilardetti wrote:
MODEL 144

I could find nor catalogue nor commercial entries for this portable, but it has been discussed quite extensively on a thread on this forum. Clearly derivative of the rightly famous HMV 102 model, it features a Thorens 530 motor and other parts probably made by Thorens side by side with some distinctive HMV hardware like the manual brake tab, the key lock and the revolving corner needle holder. The original poster (fellow "HMV130" on this forum, who intially had no idea about this Italian-specific line of gramophones) very cleverly dated it between 1939 and no later than 1945 judging by the motor with which it was equipped, and he also guessed that the oxidized bronze fittings ranked it as a de luxe model. I have to agree in full, and in my opinion the model 144 might have taken the place of the previously available model 103/103A.

The unit was unfortunately found in poor conditions. However, when disassembled, it showed a high quality and very well engineered exponential horn. Also interesting is the automatic brake control lever, which features writings in Italian language.

The original post can be read here. I'm re-uploading the pictures that were provided for that thread below, as there is an 800 pixels limit which inhibits simply linking to them.


Thank you for the reference, it is very appreciated. Indeed I had no idea about these italian HMV gramophones - I wrongly thought the usual UK models were sold until the start of WW2 and thereafter only German or Swiss machines were avaliable in very limited quantities.

Unfortunately the restoring process of the Mod. 144 that I bought few years ago (which is shown here and in mine original topic) has been suspended and the machine itself has been set-aside due to some serious damages of the motor and turntable plate. I hope I will be able to find a right thorens turntable replacemnt to restore it propely.

Following the translations of the advertisements.

    Deluxe Mod. 103 - The deluxe gramophone of exquisite workmanship, power and naturalness in sound reproduction. Perfect in every way. No. 1 diaphragm. Exponential horn. Amplifying tonearm. Single spring motor. 25cm turntable for records of greater diameter. Graded speed control. Automatic brake. External and swivel needle holder. Record tray for 12 records of 25cm. Key-lock. Bronze metal corners. Available in black, red, blue leatherette. NATIONAL PRODUCT.

    Mod. 104 - Refined gramophone capable of clear, natural and sharp sound reproduction. Diaphragm of exclusive design. Exponential horn. Amplifying tonearm. Single spring motor. 25cm turntable for records of greater diameter. Graded speed control. Automatic brake. External and swivel needle holder. The lid is equipped with a record storage for 6 records up to 25cm each. Key-lock. Rubber feet. Nichel or oxidised plated fittings. Leather handle. Available in black, red, blue leatherette. Approx. 5kg. NATIONAL PRODUCT.

    Mod. 137 - Graceful and perfect case. Excellent reproduction of sound and voices. New diaphragm "La Voce del Padrone" No. 33A. Exponential horn. Swan neck tonearm. Speed control. Automatic brake. Angular swivel needle holder. Record tray that can be set on the turntable. Key-lock. Available in black, blue, dark red.

    Mod. 139 - Solid and practical case capable of remarkable sound performance. New diaphragm "La Voce del Padrone" No. 36. Exponential horn. Swan neck tonearm. Speed control. Automatic brake. Covered needle cup. The lid is equipped with a record storage for 6 records. Double key-lock. Available in black, blue, red, brown.


Last edited by HMV130 on Sat Oct 24, 2020 6:44 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: La Voce Del Padrone Italy-specific portable gramophones.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:04 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:58 am
Posts: 731
Location: My gramophone repair room
I want to say thank you a lot once more to our Italian friends for uploading photos, and in detail writing about the different La Voce Del Padrone portables made in Italy. Myself I did not even know that HMV had a branch in Italy, that not only imported UK made models, but also manufactured portables with unique model numbers.
Without this kind of research being done, it is of course a big risk that this part of the European gramophone history simply will be forgotten, in particular since also these machines are extremely hard to find in today's Italy.
I have enjoyed much reading this thread, and it feels very good to have this Italy specific thread, also for copies of any of the mentioned portables hopefully showing up in the future.

What is written on the forum is searchable on Google, and adding this unique information also makes it more plausible that current non members possibly owning one of the mentioned portables may find his/her way to the forum, and in this way show or tell about their gramophones. This thread is of course also important in elevating the interest of European portables in general.


Last edited by nostalgia on Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: La Voce Del Padrone Italy-specific portable gramophones.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:19 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 1211
Location: Luxembourg
Quite nice research work, Marco! While there are tons of documentation about English HMVs, there is very little about the machines the company sold - and in the case of Italy, built - in other European countries. Collectors (me included) tend to dismiss as counterfeits any machines that don't fit their preconceptions of a legitimate product (like: Swiss parts on an HMV, a sacrilege evidently, absolutely and conclusively FAKE!!!!) only to be eventually contradicted by actual research like yours. Congratulations!

The scarceness of such portables today helps to explain how that VDP 32 (discussed in another thread) showed up as a unique example, maybe only a very small number of them was sold in their production time.


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 Post subject: Re: La Voce Del Padrone Italy-specific portable gramophones.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:29 am 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3514
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
Most of the VDP portables discussed appear to be from the EMI (1931 on) era, so I hope that I am not hijacking this thread by posting a couple of Italian Columbia variants.


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 Post subject: Re: La Voce Del Padrone Italy-specific portable gramophones.
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:32 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun May 27, 2012 2:38 pm
Posts: 944
Location: United Kingdom
Extremely interesting Marco, and thanks for posting. Just a thought - I wonder if the difference between the "A" and "B" models may be similar to those of the 102, the "A" being the replacement of the "universal" autobrake with the one used thereafter, and the "B" being the changeover from metal to wooden motorboard? If not these specific variations, something along those lines that suggest minor cosmetic changes?

Barry


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 Post subject: Re: La Voce Del Padrone Italy-specific portable gramophones.
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2020 7:06 am 
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Victor IV
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F. Depero, "Grammofono", 1923.
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:19 am
Posts: 1065
Location: Italy
Thanks everyone for your kind and positive comments, they are much appreciated!

Concerning the suffixes, as the model begins being named "104A" in 1937, then the name is changed to "104" in 1938, and then reverted back to "104A" in 1939 and 1940, I got the idea that the suffix has no real meaning, or that the updates (supposed there were any) to the machine were really minimal. In any case, only finding a "140" and comparing it with a "104A" will tell. As far as I know, no "104" surfaced so far.

I as well came to realize that most probably also few Columbia models were specific to Italy. Moreover, there are some models by Odeon - namely the "Odeon Portable" and the "Olympic" - that I suspect having been made in Italy. Of course all of these, if proven to be exclusive and legitimate Italian models, would deserve a specific topic. However, so far, only approximate sketches on sleeves have been found. There are no pictures of the actual machines available as far as I know. Also, before drawing any conclusion, some chats with people from other countries would be necessary, in order to exclude that the mentioned models were also available elsewhere. With HMV/LVDP it was easier because either the model number was different by any other used in UK/USA, either the gramophone was branded LVDP and not HMV and was completely different by any other sharing the same model number. This happens not to be such an easy case with Columbia. Anyway, I suggest discussing these in a separate topic.


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