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 Post subject: Featured Phonograph № 14 - Edison 3-C Long Play phonograph
PostPosted: Mon Apr 20, 2009 7:18 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:22 am
Posts: 1001
Make: THOMAS A. EDISON, INC.
Model: 3-C
Serial # 675
Years Made: 1926-27
Original Cost: unsure(?)
Case/Cabinet Size: 44" L x 22" W x 37" H
Turntable/Mandrel: 12"
Reproducer/Sound-Box: Standard & Long Play
Motor: 2-spring
Horn Dimensions: largest size / 250
Reproduction Parts: n/a
Current Value: who knows nowadays
Interesting Facts: laboratory model - very large - great looking ornate grill - neat-o dual reproducer holder - identical to 2-C cabinet, just larger.

From Tim Gracyk's website: These console or "low boy" machines were made in 1926, lasting only a year on the market. It was Edison's attempt to introduce a long-playing record system. The company wanted something new to compete against radio and also the other companies' switch to electrical recording. But the experiment failed because the records, with 400 grooves to the inch, were too fragile to stand up to daily use. Also, one had to do a lot of winding to get the 36 foot long motor springs ready to play for 20 minutes for 10-inch discs and 40 minutes for 12-inch discs! These records, which played at 80 rpm, wore out too quickly and were too faint in volume, compared to Victor or Columbia records of the day, not to mention radio.

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W62mP1x46T8[/youtube]


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:20 am 
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Victor I
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:02 am
Posts: 160
Location: In the land of Pork & Bergman
I have never seen (or heard of) this model before. What an interesting machine!
They must be very rare?

IMO its also shows Edison famous stubborn head. No way he would conform to the massproduced standards. Even if it meant putting out a doomed machine, he'd do it anyway.

Have someone here ever tried to clean & regrease those monster springs?
When you're done with that, you could certainly stay home from the gym, without guilt.

Thanks for sharing!
Searching for The Sound


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:04 am 
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Victor VI
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Edison Records - Close your eyes and see if the artist does not actually seem to be before you.
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 3760
Location: Česká Republika
B.B.B wrote:
I have never seen (or heard of) this model before. What an interesting machine!
They must be very rare?

IMO its also shows Edison famous stubborn head. No way he would conform to the massproduced standards. Even if it meant putting out a doomed machine, he'd do it anyway.

Have someone here ever tried to clean & regrease those monster springs?
When you're done with that, you could certainly stay home from the gym, without guilt.

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Phonophan79 for sharing this. They are an incredibly rare machine. I guess it's understandable why they never caught on but on the other hand they were really ahead of their time. To my knowledge, there was no other commerical recording that would play 40 minutes without intervention until the advent of the 8 track tape, (also more or less a failure, casette tape and ultimately the CD.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 3:11 am 
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Victor I
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Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:02 am
Posts: 160
Location: In the land of Pork & Bergman
Valecnik wrote:
B.B.B wrote:
I have never seen (or heard of) this model before. What an interesting machine!
They must be very rare?

IMO its also shows Edison famous stubborn head. No way he would conform to the massproduced standards. Even if it meant putting out a doomed machine, he'd do it anyway.

Have someone here ever tried to clean & regrease those monster springs?
When you're done with that, you could certainly stay home from the gym, without guilt.

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks Phonophan79 for sharing this. They are an incredibly rare machine. I guess it's understandable why they never caught on but on the other hand they were really ahead of their time. To my knowledge, there was no other commerical recording that would play 40 minutes without intervention until the advent of the 8 track tape, (also more or less a failure, casette tape and ultimately the CD.

True, the LP commonly only plays around 20-25 minutes per side.
The CD arrived to the masses in the late 80s. A staggering 60 years after this machine appeared :shock:
On second thought, Edison wasn't wrong at all, it was the rest of the world that was.
Searching for The Sound


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:24 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:22 am
Posts: 1001
Thanks for the nice comments guys!

B.B.B wrote:
I have never seen (or heard of) this model before. What an interesting machine!
They must be very rare?

IMO its also shows Edison famous stubborn head. No way he would conform to the massproduced standards. Even if it meant putting out a doomed machine, he'd do it anyway.

Have someone here ever tried to clean & regrease those monster springs?
When you're done with that, you could certainly stay home from the gym, without guilt.


Yup! Any of the Long Play machines are fairly rare, but I've definitely seen more of the smaller 1-C and 2-C than the very large 3-C, especially a 3-digit serial number laboratory model. I'm super thrilled to have this machine.

I'm fairly new to the hobby (2 years) and I have taught myself how to work on an Edison DD and am pretty familliar with them and their mechanics now... but i'm still scared to go opening up mainsprings.

B.B.B wrote:
Valecnik wrote:
Thanks Phonophan79 for sharing this. They are an incredibly rare machine. I guess it's understandable why they never caught on but on the other hand they were really ahead of their time. To my knowledge, there was no other commerical recording that would play 40 minutes without intervention until the advent of the 8 track tape, (also more or less a failure, casette tape and ultimately the CD.

True, the LP commonly only plays around 20-25 minutes per side.
The CD arrived to the masses in the late 80s. A staggering 60 years after this machine appeared :shock:
On second thought, Edison wasn't wrong at all, it was the rest of the world that was.


I totally agree with these sentiments. Edison invented a Long Play machine at least what... 25 years ahead of it's time when the 33 RPM LP would become the mainstream format? Granted, the LP is very sensitive... if you walk across the floor too hard you can cause it to skip. ...but still i'm surprised that there wasn't more of a demand for the concept of continuous music when everything was limited to one song / a few minutes per record.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 10:35 am 
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Victor II
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Joined: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:10 pm
Posts: 287
Location: Kristiansand, Norway
Phonophan79,

That's a beautiful phonograph! Thanks for sharing it with us. :)
I have heard many people complain about the weak sound level on the Edison LP's, but on the video it actually sounds very good.

Paal.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Tue Apr 21, 2009 5:13 pm 
I've been fasinated by these machines since I first learned of them last year...I always thought that Victor produced the first long playing records with its failed 33rpm format in 1931 / 32. That was until I stumbled across a couple of long playing edison disks on ebay.

It looks like a facinating machine and the sound is much better than I thought... the thought of an 80rpm record playing for that length of time is amazing! Great machine and thanks for posting it as I hadn't seen one before (or heard one either)

RJ 8-)


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:24 am 
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Victor VI
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Edison Records - Close your eyes and see if the artist does not actually seem to be before you.
Joined: Sat Jan 10, 2009 4:28 pm
Posts: 3760
Location: Česká Republika
richardh wrote:
I've been fasinated by these machines since I first learned of them last year...I always thought that Victor produced the first long playing records with its failed 33rpm format in 1931 / 32. That was until I stumbled across a couple of long playing edison disks on ebay.

It looks like a facinating machine and the sound is much better than I thought... the thought of an 80rpm record playing for that length of time is amazing! Great machine and thanks for posting it as I hadn't seen one before (or heard one either)

RJ 8-)


These machines played 40+ minutes per side with a 12 inch record at 80 rpm. I agree that it's fascinating. I think I recall reading that these had a standard motor/horn with a third spring added and a gear change mechanism. Perhaps Phonophan79 can confirm. I know they offered conversion kits so you could switch over any laboratory model disc machine to play the longplay records. I think with this kit you also needed to add an extra spring.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 6:37 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 8:22 am
Posts: 1001
Valecnik wrote:
These machines played 40+ minutes per side with a 12 inch record at 80 rpm. I agree that it's fascinating. I think I recall reading that these had a standard motor/horn with a third spring added and a gear change mechanism. Perhaps Phonophan79 can confirm. I know they offered conversion kits so you could switch over any laboratory model disc machine to play the longplay records. I think with this kit you also needed to add an extra spring.


I'm sorry, I don't know if this machine originally came with a 3-spring motor, mine only has two. Yes, there were a few conversion kits... that's why sometimes you see a C-250 with the "long/short" switch. Probably to play 40 minutes you need 3 springs, but mine only has 2.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 14
PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2009 12:21 pm 
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Victor III
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 2:30 pm
Posts: 887
Very nice machine. It's doubly nice in that the long play mechanism and reproducer haven't been pulled off. As to the playing time of 40 minutes: I always thought that it was 20 minutes per side of a 12" LP record. That would put it into the range that a 2-spring DD motor could handle. (I'll have to dig out the Frow book...) Anyway, neat machine. Thanks for sharing!

Martin


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