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 Post subject: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:58 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:37 pm
Posts: 6
First, thank you for letting me join the forum. This is my first post here.

I inherited a Sonora Sonoradio from my mom. It belonged to her departed husband, and I think he restored it. He was a retired phone company installer and repair technician, and he loved fixing up old gramophones, telephones, and other fun old things. Unfortunately, despite seeing it in their house for years and even despite listening to records played on it, I never picked his brain about the technical details of the unit.

I'd like to learn more about it. I've been Googling as much as I can on it, but there just isn't a lot online. From what I've seen, the radio was removed from this unit decades ago, which is too bad because I'd have enjoyed playing with the radio too. It was removed in a very classy way, and that may have been Jack's handiwork.

I'll post some pictures after I figure out how to do that with this forum engine. I see an "Img" button, so that's probably the place to start, eh?

Anyway, I hope someone here knows something about Sonoradios. Here are my initial questions:

1. How can if tell if my Sonoradio was originally built as a model 241 or a 242?
2. Were there other models of Sonoradio? If so, where can I learn about them?
3. Is there a data plate or label hidden somewhere on or under or inside the cabinet that can help me identify the model?
4. Can someone point me to the proper needles to use with this thing so I don't damage records?

I appreciate any other helpful hints, if anyone wants to help me learn about this cool old machine.

Thanks in advance,
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 2:02 am 
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Victor III
User avatar
A Pathé record...with care will live to speak to your grandchildren when they are as old as you are
Joined: Tue May 27, 2014 12:24 pm
Posts: 629
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Hi, and welcome!

I can't help with your Sonoradio, but I can offer this about posting photos: when you write a post, you'll see a box below the "submit" button labeled "choose file." Click that, and the usual sort of Windows Explorer window will open; from there you can select a photo from your hard drive. For instance, I just selected (by double clicking) a picture of my Amberola 75. Then click the button below labeled "add the file." A little window will open with a progress bar and a notice your upload is in progress. When that's done, the name of your now attached photo file will appear in an "Attachments:" line immediately under the message text. Click "submit" to post your message, and the photo will appear with it. If you want to add more photos, just go back to that same "choose file" box, which is still down there, and repeat the process. I hope this helps, and good luck with the Sonoradio!


Attachments:
Amberola 75-1.JPG
Amberola 75-1.JPG [ 432.82 KiB | Viewed 573 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:46 pm 
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Victor Monarch
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Needle Tins are Addictive
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:32 pm
Posts: 4909
Location: Belmont, North Carolina
As stated above, it's easy to post pics. The pic below shows exactly how to do it...


Attachments:
Screen Shot 2020-10-02 at 5.39.29 PM.png
Screen Shot 2020-10-02 at 5.39.29 PM.png [ 245.77 KiB | Viewed 483 times ]
"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: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Fri Oct 02, 2020 9:41 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:17 pm
Posts: 366
The Radiomuseum site (radiomuseum.org) has a listing for the Sonoradio 242 but has an advert that shows the 241 as well, I believe. If you remove the phonograph turntable, you may find a metal data plate under there with the model and serial number. Those plates are mounted in different places in some models. Too bad the radio portion is gone.


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:05 pm 
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Victor O
User avatar
Say it With Music
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:12 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Portland, Oregon
Hello Scott,

You can get lots of good information about the Sonora phonographs and Sonoradio, there is a great book by RJ Wakeman (Sonora Phonographs)and you can access that through the Antique Phonograph Society website. antiquephono.org

If you are not yet a member of APS, please consider joining, there are so many benefits to the membership.

We have a Sonoradio that never had the radio components placed in it, the cabinet is made to accommodate them and we were at a loss as to what some of the compartments are for, but found the answers here on the forum. You can also try the "search" and read what information is already posted here from other members.

Look forward to those pictures!
Ed and Nancy


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:02 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:37 pm
Posts: 6
The data plate was right under the turntable platen. It turns out the model is a Sonoradio 241-A. Here are a few pictures for everyone to see.

First, the way it looked after we unloaded it from the moving truck:

Attachment:
File comment: First photo in a dark garage
First photo of front of cabinet.jpg
First photo of front of cabinet.jpg [ 1.8 MiB | Viewed 264 times ]


Next, the decals are just beautiful, including the one from Meier & Frank, a ritzy department store in Portland where this unit was originally sold, and the Sonoradio decal under the lid:

Attachment:
File comment: Sonoradio decal under the photograph-side lid
Sonoradio decal on right lid.jpg
Sonoradio decal on right lid.jpg [ 2.05 MiB | Viewed 264 times ]

Attachment:
File comment: Beautiful store decal
Meier & Frank decal 2.jpg
Meier & Frank decal 2.jpg [ 2.24 MiB | Viewed 264 times ]


The data plate was under the turntable, just as you said it would be. I didn't take a picture of it, but the record player parts appear to be made in Switzerland.

Attachment:
File comment: Data plate
Data plate 1.jpg
Data plate 1.jpg [ 2.57 MiB | Viewed 264 times ]


I appear to have maxed out the the attachments for this message, so I'll figure out how to show more photos somehow.

Thanks,
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:09 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:37 pm
Posts: 6
Continuing with the photos, here's the radio side of the unit. As I mentioned, the radio was removed, which is too bad:

Attachment:
File comment: Radio side blanking plate... too bad they felt the need to remove the radio
Radio side blanking plate.jpg
Radio side blanking plate.jpg [ 1.99 MiB | Viewed 264 times ]


The speaker is beautiful, with a tasteful grille:

Attachment:
File comment: The horn speaker is beautifully made, with a tasteful speaker grille
Speaker horn grille with door retracted.jpg
Speaker horn grille with door retracted.jpg [ 2.38 MiB | Viewed 264 times ]


...and absolutely beautiful woodwork for the curving sides of the speaker horn:

Attachment:
File comment: Speaker horn with the grille removed
Speaker horn with grille removed 2.jpg
Speaker horn with grille removed 2.jpg [ 2.18 MiB | Viewed 264 times ]


Here's a view with better illumination into the depths of the curving speaker horn:

Attachment:
File comment: Looking deeper into the speaker horn
Speaker horn with grille removed 3.jpg
Speaker horn with grille removed 3.jpg [ 1.86 MiB | Viewed 264 times ]


Yeah, I should probably go through this with a dust cloth and some Liquid Gold.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:38 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:37 pm
Posts: 6
The left side includes three sections behind the cabinet door. First, there's an upper drawer that I think was for storing spare parts, like needles, radio tubes, etc.:

Attachment:
File comment: Storage drawer
Storage drawer.jpg
Storage drawer.jpg [ 2.19 MiB | Viewed 255 times ]


The battery compartment is empty, of course, since the radio was removed:

Attachment:
File comment: Battery compartment
Battery compartment with front removed.jpg
Battery compartment with front removed.jpg [ 2.06 MiB | Viewed 255 times ]


The crank handle can be removed for transport, so here's what it looks like once the crank handle has been refitted:

Attachment:
File comment: Right end of cabinet with phonograph crank handle re-installed
Right end with crank fitted.jpg
Right end with crank fitted.jpg [ 2.35 MiB | Viewed 255 times ]


The back of the cabinet is a beautifully finished as the front and sides. I think they fully intended that this unit would be the center of attention with curious people crowding around from all sides to see a combined radio and phonograph.

Attachment:
File comment: Rear of cabinet is just beautiful
Rear of cabinet.jpg
Rear of cabinet.jpg [ 2.31 MiB | Viewed 255 times ]


Well, that's enough photos for now. If anyone wants to see some other details, please let me know.

Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:42 pm 
Offline
Victor Jr
Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:37 pm
Posts: 6
phonolamplighter wrote:
Hello Scott,

You can get lots of good information about the Sonora phonographs and Sonoradio, there is a great book by RJ Wakeman (Sonora Phonographs)and you can access that through the Antique Phonograph Society website. antiquephono.org

If you are not yet a member of APS, please consider joining, there are so many benefits to the membership.

We have a Sonoradio that never had the radio components placed in it, the cabinet is made to accommodate them and we were at a loss as to what some of the compartments are for, but found the answers here on the forum. You can also try the "search" and read what information is already posted here from other members.

Look forward to those pictures!



Ed, I've already been searching the forum posts here and on APS. So, an original Sonoradio was actually built without the radio set? I wonder if that's why my unit is a "model 241-A"? The data plate also has "30R" on it, so I wonder if that referred to the radio model? I've got to do more research.

Thanks,
Scott


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 Post subject: Re: Questions about a Sonoradio I inherited
PostPosted: Sun Oct 11, 2020 2:17 pm 
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Victor O
User avatar
Say it With Music
Joined: Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:12 pm
Posts: 73
Location: Portland, Oregon
Hey Scott,

This is becoming a "small world" story. We have the exact same model Sonoradio as you have. Our serial number is G-12140, the G referring to the gold plated hardware. Our machine also has the Meier & Frank decal. A local dealer here in Portland, they are out of business now.

Do you know the history of where your machine came from? Are you anywhere near the Northwest? It can be fascinating to follow the movement or migration of a phonograph.

Hope you enjoy that Sonora!
Ed and Nancy


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