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 Post subject: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:27 pm 
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Victor III
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Have I read some-where that some gramophone turn-tables were driven using a weight on the end of a piece of string ? The weight gradually lowered to the ground and this powered the turntable ? Therefore no spring required ?

If this is a real thing, does anyone have one - or have a photo or some information about them ?

Or did I dream this ?
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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:55 pm 
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Victor IV
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Below is a phonograph, not a gramophone, it is a French Lioret. You can see the weight chain under the machine. The recording turntables were also moved by weights. I never saw a weight-driven disc gramophone, but they may exist.


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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 6:58 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:50 am
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Most studio recording lathes were powered that way.
A gramophone needs more power to overcome drag on the record compared with the wax cutter on a lathe and a lathe needs about 40lb and a 4 foot drop or less weight and a longer drop.

the Loiret cylinder demonstration machine was equipped with a weight motor, someone added that while I was typing


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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 7:04 pm 
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Victor III
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I see - sort of.

Can anyone explain / show how this system actually worked ? The mechanics. Maybe a diagram or patent or something showing the 'mechanics' ?

Something clear and simple for me to understand. Like those books for 'Dummies' lol !
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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2021 10:43 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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Simply speaking a Lioret machine works similar to a weight driven cuckoo clock. The weight powers the gearing instead of spring driven gearing.
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 9:43 am 
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Victor VI
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The only weight driven gramophone I have ever seen appeared at an auction in Bristol in 2008. Clearly home made, it had a spring motor modified to be weight driven, and to run for the duration of a record this required a drop of several feet. The EMG style horn had it's narrow end greatly lengthened into a saxophone shape, and the entire machine was mounted on a giant wooden frame. It sold for a little over £200, with most of it's value being in it's EMG soundbox. Also included in the sale was a wooden stool for the buyer to stand on when operating the machine.

It made the front cover of the Summer 2008 CLPGS magazine, which included a full description with pictures. It would be interesting to know it's present whereabouts.


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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 12:06 pm 
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Victor III
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epigramophone wrote:
The only weight driven gramophone I have ever seen appeared at an auction in Bristol in 2008. Clearly home made, it had a spring motor modified to be weight driven, and to run for the duration of a record this required a drop of several feet. The EMG style horn had it's narrow end greatly lengthened into a saxophone shape, and the entire machine was mounted on a giant wooden frame. It sold for a little over £200, with most of it's value being in it's EMG soundbox. Also included in the sale was a wooden stool for the buyer to stand on when operating the machine.

It made the front cover of the Summer 2008 CLPGS magazine, which included a full description with pictures. It would be interesting to know it's present whereabouts.


Very interesting indeed.

Thanks epigramophone.
Sun turnin' 'round with graceful motion
We're setting off with soft explosion


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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 1:21 pm 
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Victor Monarch Special
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epigramophone wrote:
The only weight driven gramophone I have ever seen appeared at an auction in Bristol in 2008. Clearly home made, it had a spring motor modified to be weight driven, and to run for the duration of a record this required a drop of several feet. The EMG style horn had it's narrow end greatly lengthened into a saxophone shape, and the entire machine was mounted on a giant wooden frame. It sold for a little over £200, with most of it's value being in it's EMG soundbox. Also included in the sale was a wooden stool for the buyer to stand on when operating the machine.

It made the front cover of the Summer 2008 CLPGS magazine, which included a full description with pictures. It would be interesting to know it's present whereabouts.

Do you have a picture of it?
"The phonograph† is not of any commercial value."
Thomas Alva Edison - Comment to his assistant, Samuel Insull.

"No one needs a Victrola XX, a Perfected Graphophone Type G, or whatever you call those noisy things."
My Wife


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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 2:35 pm 
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Victor VI
An analogue relic trapped in a digital world.
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 3590
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
As the front covers of more recent magazines are on the CLPGS website for anyone to view, I am happy to post the cover of my personal Summer 2008 copy.
The article within the magazine is of course subject to copyright, so I cannot reproduce it here.
As you can see, I was not exaggerating about the machine's bizarre appearance :shock: .


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 Post subject: Re: Gramophone driven using weights instead of a spring ?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2021 4:13 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
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Location: Luxembourg
epigramophone wrote:
As the front covers of more recent magazines are on the CLPGS website for anyone to view, I am happy to post the cover of my personal Summer 2008 copy.
The article within the magazine is of course subject to copyright, so I cannot reproduce it here.
As you can see, I was not exaggerating about the machine's bizarre appearance :shock: .


Very strange indeed! And replacing records while standing on that narrow stool suddenly becomes a dangerous action. It might however have a good sound, as the horn looks exponentially shaped and the soundbox is one of the best that can be found.


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