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 Post subject: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 12:28 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:04 pm
Posts: 65
Hey everyone - I feel silly asking this but I know I will get a good answer here. I’ve got an Opera, and it has had some playback issues. It’s one of my favorite machines and I’ve got some amberols I love playing on it. I’ve noticed that some amberols play fine on my Opera, and some skip like crazy and basically can’t be played. I know it’s not the cylinder because when I play the skipping ones on my Amberola (traditional mechanism, not the Opera one) they sound fine. Dumb question - what am I missing here? I’ve also noticed regarding the ones that skip (on the Opera but are fine in the Amberola) - they will often playing normally in the Opera in some cylinder regions and soil like crazy on others. Thanks so much for the education! Learning more every day.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 1:14 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:50 am
Posts: 45
I suggest you don't play anything more on the opera until this is seen to.
You use the term soiling which suggests you are seeing damage to the celluloid and this normally only happens if the stylus is damaged or the reproducer is not free to move up and down on a cylinder that is a bit off centre or out of round which explains the variability of the problem I would call this topping out and this can be due the limit loop or pin being set wrongly or the diaphragm linkage being the wrong length also not allowing for freedom of movement up and down, this will cause damage a skipping.
There will be others who know more about Opera specifics but any cylinder that plays on your Amberola should play on the Opera once it is fixed.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:13 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 3060
What you can play also depends on what reproducer you're using. A Diamond A must only be used for 4M celluloid cylinders like Blue Amberols and 3000 series Indestructibles. A Model L (or theoretically Model M) can play celluloid or wax 4M cylinders. If you use the Diamond A to play wax Amberols, you will destroy them immediately.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 3:56 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
Posts: 4631
Location: Belmont, North Carolina
Per the previous post, you mention "Amberols" but don't say which Amberols you are trying to play - wax black 4M Amberols or celluloid blue Amberols... there is a major difference.
"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: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 4:06 pm 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Tue Jul 07, 2009 7:22 pm
Posts: 1387
Let's begin to resolve the issue with which reproducer you're using on your Opera. If it is the Diamond A which is the standard issue reproducer for the Opera then you should only be playing 4 minute celluloid cylinders. Never any 4 minute wax Amberols or any 2 minute cylinders of any type. If you're using a model L reproducer then you can play any 4 minute cylinder. And if you're using a model M reproducer (doubtful but worth knowing) then you can play most any 4 minute cylinder presuming you are playing with the reproducer dial set to "4".

Presuming you're playing only 4 minute celluloid cylinders and you're using a Diamond A reproducer then there should be absolutely no reason that one cylinder plays fine on an Amberola 30, 50, 75, V, VI, VIII for example and not on the Opera unless something is not quite right on the Opera.

Please consider posting a few pictures. Thanks.

Doug


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 6:42 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:04 pm
Posts: 65
Thanks everyone! Here is a photo of my opera. Here is a cylinder I love to play that doesn’t skip (old swimming hole). The last photo (the cylinder with New Orleans in the title) was sold to me as a purple amberol. Turns out it has a purple hue just because it is faded. It’s more blue than anything. It won’t play on the opera, but does play in my amberola. Thanks everyone! Still a novice and learning but by but here!


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:11 pm 
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Victor II
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:41 am
Posts: 398
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
I'm with the others in betting that your Diamond A reproducer needs some attention, or a professional overhaul. Please also explain what you meant by "soil," or was that word auto-corrected from "skip" in your original post?

In any case, your stylus should be definitely be checked out, for defects in the diamond itself as well as the "slack" in the linkage to the stylus bar. As others have said, a bad diamond or bad linkage (which would let the end of the stylus bar hit the record) would both put you on a path to destroying your cylinders.

The freedom of lateral movement of the weight should also be checked. That screw on top can be difficult to remove in order to polish the pin that often gets gummed up, restricting the side-to-side movement.

I'd rule out the feedscrew based on the fact that some cylinders play OK, but that's another possible area to check, especially if the problem cylinders tend to always skip in the same section.

I don't know if any of us could tell too much from photos of the underside of your reproducer, but closer photos of just the reproducer from the side, showing the needle bar and the limit loop in the photo (still attached to the machine, both with the playing lever up and down) might be helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 8:36 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed May 20, 2009 8:20 pm
Posts: 1265
Location: Mid - Michigan
Something that can cause improper tracking on diamond reproducers is the pivot shaft at the front of the re0toducer. If this shaft is gummed up from old lubricant, it won't allow the weight to swivel freely which will very likely cause mistracking. It won't neccesarily do it on all cylinders or even the same cylinder all of the time. To cure the problem, the reproducer should be disassembled and the pivot shaft and bore thoroughly cleaned and lightly oiled. You can also try backing out the screw that holds the pivot shaft in place about a half to ¾ of a turn. If that loosens the swivel, the reprducer body itself needs some work. Another thing to consider is the condition of the diamond itself. Wear patterns of used diamonds are never the same which means one will track records that another might not. The best cure for that is to send it to Wyatt Markus for restoration. Unless you have experience with diamond reproducers, I do not recommend that you start with a diamond A! Hope this helps.

Jim


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Thu Jun 18, 2020 11:08 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:04 pm
Posts: 65
Soil was definitely an auto-correct. I meant to say skip.


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 Post subject: Re: Edison Opera Cylinders - which ones can be played?
PostPosted: Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:21 pm 
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Victor O
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2018 7:04 pm
Posts: 65
From reading old posts it’s seems like Steve Medved is the go to guy to have a reproducer evaluated and repaired. How do I reach him? Thanks everyone!


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