The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Discussions on Talking Machines & Accessories
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Marco Gilardetti
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The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by Marco Gilardetti »

Good mornings gentle fellows.

Having read this interesting old thread I thought to open a topic and see wether there are other gentlemen interested in exchanging unusual needles for display pourposes or to complete their collection.

I have owned since my childhood a beautiful five-compartment needles assortment which was given to me by two very old cousins together with my first portable gramophone. The name of this german-made assortment is Die Tonleiter and contains a mix of Marschall and other brands needles, ranging from very soft tone to loud tone.

Only much later, with the rise of the internet, I could learn that a somewhat similar assortment was available with spanish lettering: the Escala Surtido de Puas. This is peculiar as it ranges from normal to ultra-loud tone only, although again in five steps. After having learned of its existence, I ran after one of these tins for almost ten years. They are very scarce and each time I could detect one it was for sale at an insane price. Recently I could finally find one in the United States, where needles' tin collection is not as much regarded as it is in Europe, and thanks also to a badly advertised auction I could finally acquire one. Here you can see this very nice (IMHO) and long desired pair finally put together:

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I have always wondered why the Escala assortment seems to have been available in spanish language only, as the writings on the tin say it was made in Germany just like the other. However, the Escala box unfortunately came to me empty. Aside from the two lower-toned needles compartments, which I could fill with some samples I had at home, I miss the three loudest tone types. Should anyone like to donate, trade or sell some units of those types (I will be glad to take used needles also), it would be greatly appreciated:

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The Die Tonleiter tin which I have preserved since my childhood is instead much richer in needles and I can eventually trade (or simply give) some samples to those who may be interested in one of the types for one reason or another:

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Marco Gilardetti
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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by Marco Gilardetti »

Another nice assortment tin I could lately acquire is the three-compartment Ondulettes tin by Marschall. I am a great fan of Ondulette-type needles, and I already owned some of them although in separate tins. By the way I believe their ultra-soft tone type (Silver) is the most silent and best damped needle ever made. It's ideal to play damaged or cracked records, or in every other case in which preserving the soundbox from impacts is a must. Unfortunately Ondulettes get rarer by the day. I hope that sooner or later one of the renowned, presently operating needles-makers will introduce a replica of this type of needle, although I figure that the machinery to do so may be too much unusual.

However, here is the three-compartment tin. It's way less rare than the two previous ones, but still a nice find:

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This tin also came empty, but I could partly fill it with other Ondulettes I had at home. As you see, I'm still missing the loud (Red) type though. Should anyone have some units of Red Ondulette to give, trade or sell, please reply or PM.

In return, I have plenty of Silver (ultra-soft) and Gold (half tone) types and would be glad to trade or give some to those really interested.

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Orchorsol
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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by Orchorsol »

This is a great fun idea, a weird needles exchange facility for us gramophone addicts!

PM sent to you Marco - I am posting you a package with samples of a few types I have.
BCN thorn needles made to the original 1920s specifications: http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe4DNb ... TPE-zTAJGg?

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Marco Gilardetti
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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by Marco Gilardetti »

Hooray! After 35 years I could finally complete the "Nadel Sortment" five compartment tin! At last, after a long search and wait, I could put my hands on a tin of needles of the "Salon" type that still contains some samples. As can be seen by the drawings, not only the name but also their shape is indeed the same depicted on the five-compartment tin.

What remains a mistery to me is how it is possible that an obvious soft tone needle might have been named "Salon" and marketed as "Lautes Spiel" (= forte). The same needle is classified as the softest ("Sehr Leise" = pianissimo) in the assortment.

In the close-up picture the "Leise" (= piano) and "Sehr Leise" (= pianissimo) needles are compared.
Attachments
The much awaited and long searched Salon tin.
The much awaited and long searched Salon tin.
Salon needles.
Salon needles.
The five box assortment tin finally complete!
The five box assortment tin finally complete!
Leise and Sehr Leise (Salon) needles.
Leise and Sehr Leise (Salon) needles.
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epigramophone
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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by epigramophone »

This is an unopened sample pack from the French outlet of J.Stead & Co, well known to UK collectors as the makers of Songster needles. It is not for sale as I have never seen another, but the pictures may be of interest :
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Marco Gilardetti
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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by Marco Gilardetti »

epigramophone wrote:It is not for sale as I have never seen another
Thanks for sharing, that's very interesting and I also have never seen another! By the way the purpose of this thread is not to sell things ;) but at the opposite to display them and, if feasible, to exchange few samples among interested collectors. We're a very small tribe it seems: four people in all, the writer included ;) , and one of which is apparently no longer active on this forum.

The most interesting needle in that ad is by far the "Lances Courbées" type, which I've never seen before even in drawings and catalogues. Perhaps Durium records collectors know this type very well, or have seen it advertised together with Durium records. I wonder what kind of advantage the curved shape of the lance may give at playing flexible records.

It's also interesting to see that the needle with added mass is confirmed to be of a very loud type. We had a discussion on this matter as well, about which I have in mind to perform some controlled experiments.

I understand that your packet is unopened, but just for the sake of curiosity, could you figure what's inside? A small batch of one single type of needle, or an assortment of each needle's type?

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Steve
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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by Steve »

The funny thing about "unopened" merchandise and collectors treatment of it in general is that you can get a situation arise where something you actually want is inside the sealed packet / box but instead of disturbing the historic packaging to remove the required content and thereby damaging the perceived integrity of the package to spoil its "collectible value", you have to seek out another unsealed packet to obtain the very same thing!

A friend of mine recently purchased a "mint condition" HMV 5A soundbox still sealed in its carton but was taken back by my question about the condition of the soundbox itself. Clearly he won't ever open the box to view it as it is a prized collectible but I'd be much more interested in the soundbox, especially as I can put it to good use and for the purpose it was intended for. I did suggest that the box might not contain a soundbox at all and without access to an X-ray machine no one would ever know! To my mind the carton was not worth preserving at the expense of the soundbox.

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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by snallast »

This needle tin is on sale at an auction - looks a lot like the first tin in this thread?
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Marco Gilardetti
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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by Marco Gilardetti »

snallast wrote:This needle tin is on sale at an auction - looks a lot like the first tin in this thread?
No... It looks much better! ;)

I especially like the separate lids for each needle type; and the special compartment for discarded needles to be emptied from below is indeed an attractive feature!

Have you perhaps kept the link to the auction? I've tried to search for it but with no success.

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Re: The Weird Needles Exchange Club.

Post by snallast »

PM sent!

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