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Bought A New One Today
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Author:  Whittington [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:39 am ]
Post subject:  Bought A New One Today

I picked this XIV up today and think I did pretty well. I paid under $100 and to my surprise, it came with the original key and albums, each full of records. I don't know much about the records because I haven't been around this hobby enough to know what to look for.

I need to replace one of the springs in the motor and replace the gaskets in the reproducer. Other than that, it just needs cleaned up a bit as there are no big scratches or cabinet issues. I haven't owned an XIV yet and am excited to get this one, especially for under $100. :)

Here is is, along with some records I found in it. Does anyone know anything about the records? Thanks!







Author:  JohnM [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today

The black-label Columbia Viva-Tonal is electrically recorded. While it will physically play on your XIV, it was designed to be played upon Viva-Tonal Columbia, Victor Orthophonic, and similar machines of the electrical era. The greater energy encoded into the groove of electrical records will overdrive the mica diaphragm and make the record sound strident. Likewise, the reproducer's inability to utilize all that energy will cause the needle to wear the record groove. I would advise playing only acoustical-era records (such as the Vocalion and the music appreciation records you show) on your Victrola. The labels of electrically-recorded records on just about any label will usually be decorated with lightning bolts, microphones, etc., if not stating or implying "Electrically Recorded". Electrical recording was a big deal and the record companies bragged about it.

The Pathé record is not recorded laterally like an 'ordinary' 78rpm record. The Pathé is recorded 'hill & dale' which is a form of vertical recording where the sound information is modulated up and down in the bottom of a U-shaped groove that is tracked with a sapphire ball-shaped stylus. This is why so many post-1916 non-Victor/Columbia machines (I.e. Sonora, Brunswick, etc.) have dual-position reproducers. Do not play this record on your Victrola! Lightly rub the grooves of the record between thumb and forefinger and you will feel that h&d records have a distinct feel to them compared to a standard 78. I always say I could pick h&d records out of a pile in a dark room. Hill & dale was a European recording process that gained brief popularity in this country in the years immediately following WWI.

Author:  schweg [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 7:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today

Very good advice John. I also like the XIV you got. The first phono I bought way back was a brown mahogany XIV that I enjoyed for a number of years. I do need to try that picking records in the dark trick though.


Author:  estott [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 8:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today

That music appreciation record should be electrically recorded- I have several with blue and brown labels ant they are electric, and very well recorded too. It's unfortunate that most of the selections are brief snips.

It's very nice that your machine has a full set of it's albums- that isn't all that common.

Author:  Henry [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today

That's a *very* nice looking XIV; congratulations! As for playing the records, my advice is to rebuild (or have rebuilt) the sound box (is it the Exhibition or the no.2?) before you play anything, quite apart from the matter of whether it's appropriate or harmful to play the electrically-recorded ones on this machine. While everything that John M says is correct, what you do as a personal preference is another matter, and in any case the previous owner evidently played them. The only records I don't play on my XI are hill-and-dale and vinyl (as with very late 78s), otherwise I plow straight ahead with acoustical and electrical. Granted, the electrical orchestrals do not have the clarity of the acousticals or the small group recordings of either era, but the latter sound wonderful. I'd love to demonstrate the Benny Goodman small groups, any of the Big Bands, the Bix and Louie, etc., etc. Of course the acousticals sound best on machines like the XI and your XIV, and one could maintain that they shouldn't be played on the orthophonic-type machines, which do tend to track even heavier than the non-ortho, as well as being made by a different recording technology. (BTW, IIRC, there were some laterally recorded Pathé disks, and this may be one of them for all I know, which isn't very much.)

Author:  Operafan [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today

Henry wrote:
(BTW, IIRC, there were some laterally recorded Pathé disks, and this may be one of them for all I know, which isn't very much.)

Definitely not! It says "sapphire disc" on the label, and the label style is not the lateral cut Pathé at all.


Author:  Whittington [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today

Wow! Thanks for all the valuable information. I knew not to play the Pathé as that is something you learn fairly early when getting into phonographs.

Thanks for the advice, John. I will take it to heart and won't be playing the Columbia record on anything but an Ortho-phonic or Viva-Tonal phonograph. I have one of each so that will work just fine. I also tried the feeling of the grooves technique that you mentioned and you were right. There is a difference. It was interesting and I thank you for the help.

The reproducer is an Exhibition and looks to be in very good shape. I am definitely replacing the gaskets. But aside from that, what else should be replaced/tuned? I could replace the diaphragm, but is that recommended regardless of the current diaphragms condition? It looks to be solid with no cracks and the needle bar is attached with no play. I wouldn't mind replacing it and any other parts recommended, but don't know what to replace.

I just finished rebuilding an Edison Model C and it came out great, and am currently working on a Diamond Disc reproducer. I went ahead and talked to my Dad about it and he told me to get him the exact dimensions of the outside and inside diameter of the gasket I need and he will have gasket punches fabricated to those dimensions. He is also going to bring me several sheets of different gasket material to try and needed the thickness. So I went off the top off my head as I remember reading somewhere the thickness should be .032". (Just a shade under 1/32".) Does that sound right? If so, he is going to bring me several materials to try out including a sheet of ultra high molecular weight plastic compound that is malleable, yet durable enough to last for as long as a reproducer would ever be around.

Anyway, if anyone has suggestions to how much I should replace on the Exhibition reproducer please let me know. I will be taking it apart completely for a thorough cleaning and replacing the gaskets, but any input on what else I should do/look for would be appreciated. Then the cabinet will get a good cleaning along with the hardware and I will post a couple pics when I finish.

One more thing, (sorry so long) what letters should I have on the albums for the XIV? I have A,B,C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,and M. There is a blank album that I am assuming was the L. Was it originally A through M? Thanks again for all the help!

Author:  Henry [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today

As to the Exhibition rebuild, see .
If I had had this resource earlier, I would have attempted my own rebuild. But to answer your question as to what/how much to replace: definitely the front gaskets and the back flange (see Others can recommend sources for the diaphragm gasket material; as I said, mine was rebuilt by Victrola Repair Service (, and the stuff they used then was absolutely tops! Maybe they will sell you enough to do the job; it's *very* pliable, which is the most important quality IMO, and it's made all the difference in mine. As far as I can tell, they did not replace the diaphragm, which to my eye looked OK when I sent it out: no visible cracks, etc., so yours may by OK. If so, don't fix it. Finally, you will need beeswax to reseal the needle bar where it contacts the diaphragm; this has been discussed on the former board, IIRC, and the concensus is that the best kind to use is brown, as opposed to yellow, in color. I obtained a small bar of this at a local craft outlet. Finally finally, if you need needle bar springs or needle screw, try here: . They have other sound box parts in their catalog, too. Good luck, and let us know if you need help; in particular, the needle bar adjustment, while not all that difficult, can be tricky. Post here when you get to that part.

Author:  Whittington [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today

Thanks for the advice Henry! I just ordered gasket tubing, a new diaphragm, the rubber back flange and two needle bar springs. (Got a deal for buying it all at once.) So that should take care of it except for the bees wax, which I will pick up today at the craft store. Good to know that brown is preferred.

I will post some before and after pictures of both the reproducer as well as the entire XIV when finished, and may need help along the way. Thanks again for the input everyone, it is greatly appreciated. :D

Author:  Neophone [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Bought A New One Today


Congratulations on a wonderful find! I'm looking forward to the "after" photos!


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