Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterling

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Django
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Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterling

Post by Django »

Make: Columbia
Model: BII Improved Sterling
Serial #: None
Year(s) Made: 1909-1915
Original Cost: $50.00
Case/Cabinet Size: 16" x 16" x 8" tall
Turntable: 10"
Reproducer/Sound-Box: Columbia Grand ????
Motor: Triple spring
Horn Dimensions: 20.5" dia. x 32" long
Reproduction Parts: felt and main springs
Current Value: ???
Interesting Facts: This machine came from an auction house in Cornish NH. The machine has some non-standard features: The horn is an over-sized Brass horn, the elbow is polished brass and matches the horn, the back bracket is black and the dust ring and reproducer are both gold plated. The machine is large for an external horn machine, so the large horn doesn't look out of place. The size is impressive in person. My guess is that this was a special order machine.

The best thing for me is that it didn't cost me anything. I bought the machine for $500.00 and it came with a box of mostly pre-dog Eldridge Johnson records. I sold most of the records to a friend for $500.00. That doesn't happen every day.

There is a small piece of veneer missing from the corner of the motor board. Otherwise, it is in nice shape and plays and displays well.
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jboger
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by jboger »

A very interesting machine to me for two reasons: (1) I naively thought all Columbia external horn machines used the kind of reproducer that needs three screws to attach it to the tone arm; (2) I did not know that Columbia made a screw-in horn of that type. Most horns I've seen--for disk players--have been morning glory horns. Thanks for posting.

Jerry B.
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by Jerry B. »

That's a very nice looking outfit. I would love to know the provenance. It's such a late horn machine yet it has a horn style that was popular a dozen or more years earlier.

Jerry B.

martinola
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by martinola »

I suspect that horn pre-dates the machine. A long-departed friend of mine had one of these with the more commonly-seen morning glory type horn. It ended up going to a niece of his. I've always loved the B-II and wish I could afford one. This one is quite nice!

- Martin

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audiophile102
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by audiophile102 »

Thanks for adding the BII to the Featured Phonograph page. Quite an impressive showpiece.
"You can't take the phonographs nor the money with you, but the contentment the phonographs bring may well make your life better, and happier lives make the world a better place."

edisonplayer
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by edisonplayer »

On The Jimmy Dean Show this past Saturday on RFD-TV I saw an Improved Sterling that had a wooden horn.It was in a comedy sketch that took place in a music store.edisonplayer

Phonofreak
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by Phonofreak »

Did Columbia manufacture a threaded witches hat horn like the one shown? In all my years of collecting, I never saw one. Mostly I see are morning glory and wood horns for Columbia machines.
Harvey Kravitz

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Django
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by Django »

Phonofreak wrote:Did Columbia manufacture a threaded witches hat horn like the one shown? In all my years of collecting, I never saw one. Mostly I see are morning glory and wood horns for Columbia machines.
Harvey Kravitz
The machine has a non-standard dust ring and speed control, (both are gold plated, along with the reproducer). I believe that the horn began life as a cylinder machine horn, (there is a fitting that would allow it to be hung). The threaded portion matches the rest of the horn, so I think that it left the factory as a screw in horn. I think that the machine may have been a special order.

JerryVan
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by JerryVan »

Django wrote:
Phonofreak wrote:Did Columbia manufacture a threaded witches hat horn like the one shown? In all my years of collecting, I never saw one. Mostly I see are morning glory and wood horns for Columbia machines.
Harvey Kravitz
The machine has a non-standard dust ring and speed control, (both are gold plated, along with the reproducer). I believe that the horn began life as a cylinder machine horn, (there is a fitting that would allow it to be hung). The threaded portion matches the rest of the horn, so I think that it left the factory as a screw in horn. I think that the machine may have been a special order.

Very nice. I love Improved Sterlings, (a.k.a. BII). I think you'll find that your dust ring is just tarnished brass showing through the worn away nickle. Gold would be bright, as it never tarnishes. Just my thing, but I would strip off that black paint on the back bracket and opt for the nickle plating beneath, even it were in poor condition. Again, just my opinion there.

Phonofreak
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Re: Featured Phonograph № 144 - Columbia BII Improved Sterli

Post by Phonofreak »

If possible, I would like to see the threads at the end of the horn. That would answer a lot of questions about it's fitting to the elbow.
Harvey Kravitz

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