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 Post subject: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:33 am 
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VTLA
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Location: Delaware
Make: The Gramophone Company,Ltd., Hayes, Middlesex
Model: Hornlesss Model No. 1a (L.B.D.M.)
Serial # 5425
Year(s) Made: 10/9/1920
Original Cost: £10
Case/Cabinet Size: Height: 8 ½" Width: 15 ½"
Turntable/Mandrel: 10"
Reproducer/Sound-Box: His Master's Voice Exhibition (Made in England)
Motor: 1" double spring double barrel worm-drive motor
Horn Dimensions: internal cast iron "floating" horn
Reproduction Parts: new turntable felt
Current Value: ?
Interesting Facts: The Model No. 1a in Mahogony was an upscale version of the Model No. 1, which was offered in oak and only had a one spring motor. Model No. 1 technically resembles the VV-IV, while the No. 1a adds the double spring motor, cast iron horn and mahogany finish.

When I received it the motor was not working and someone in the past had butchered the back bracket to fit an incorrect 12" tonearm. This positioned the (also incorrect) swiss made "The Salon" soundbox in an impossible angle, so playing records was pretty much impossible.
The only problem with the motor was a sheared off tapered pin for the winding gear, and of course solidified grease in the spring barrels, an easy fix. I was lucky enough to find a correct back bracket, tonearm and soundbox with different dealers in the UK, but the shipping costs probably pushed me over the actual value of the machine. :( Unfortunately, a previous owner had painted the tonearm in gold laquer, because the nickel below was in bad shape. When I removed the paint most of the remaining nickel came off as well and there was really nice brass below. I decided to take all the nickel off and have it re-plated at some point, but now I actually really like the brass look. ;)

Favorite Characteristics: This was my first table top phonograph - or better gramophone - so I am very attached to it. It is small, but puts out enough volume to fill a room. It has a nice vintage look and is my wife's favorite phonograph, so it's probably a keeper :lol:

I know, this is not as exciting as other featured phonographs. I still wanted to share it, because it seems to be quite rare. At least I couldn't find anything about it on the web - except for a picture on Howard Hope's website. If anyone happens to have any related ephemera, please let me know.
Thanks
Andreas

Before (with incorrect parts):
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Production/Model info:
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Motor (before cleaning):
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After:
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My HMV 1a-6.JPG
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My HMV 1a-7.JPG
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My HMV 1a-8.JPG
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My HMV 1a-9.JPG
My HMV 1a-9.JPG [ 4.3 MiB | Viewed 3612 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:02 pm 
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Victor II
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"Allow instrument to run whilst winding"
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:04 am
Posts: 301
I really love these machines - well done on the restoration!

Sorry about the quality of the scan from the 1921 catalogue...

Congratulations


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:20 pm 
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VTLA
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Location: Delaware
Recordo,
thanks for the scan. Do you happen to have the whole 1921 catalog, and if yes, would you be willing to share it? Do you have or do you know someone who has a manual (copy) for an HMV hornless machine?
Thanks again
Andreas


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:30 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2794
Location: Biggenden, Queensland, Australia
You're lucky to find any information on the net about most HMV models sadly.
Nice find. With a little more work it should look as good as new. The trademark decal is in great condition compared to many I've seen, including the one on my No.1.
It's a shame a past own/collector messed with the tonearm & mount, but at least it was reversible. These were a popular choice to make frankenphones in the 70's because it was easy to mount a bracket & horn on the back, and maybe replace the doors if they really wanted to deceive, so it could have been much worse.
I've never had a chance to listen to the 1a, but the enclosed cast iron horn must be a vast improvement over the No1 with it's motor in the horn.
I dont know how frequently these turn up over in England, but here in Australia they surface now & then- but not near as often as the oak No.1's of course.
Here they weren't know by either the model number or letter designation, but both the No.1 & 1a were part of an "Australasia" line of machines that were given names.
Out here, your machine was known as the "Austral", & it was available in both mahogany & oak, as was the no.1 (called an Excello here). This option wasn't offered in their native UK.
There was also a range of table and upright models HMV made, that were not offered for sale in England also. These machines all had a brass "name tag" attached to the machine to identify the model.
I've never seen a no.3 (with 12" turntable) out here, nor the early inlaid Style III hornless model that I think was introduced around 1911.

The only ephemera I have related to the No.1a, is what appears in a reprint of the 1921 UK machine catalogue. I guess you've probably seen it before, but I've posted it below anyway.
I've also posted a pic of the "Austral" in "oak", and an example of the tag that was attached.
This is actually the 3rd & last style (1a) from about 1925/26., and apart from the different cabinet timbers used, the most obvious differences are the door knobs & the position of the speed control which I guess indicates a change to a more modern motor.


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HMV 1a 1921 cat.jpg
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hmvaustral3a.jpg [ 126.56 KiB | Viewed 3566 times ]
hmvaustral3b.jpg
hmvaustral3b.jpg [ 229.72 KiB | Viewed 3566 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:33 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2794
Location: Biggenden, Queensland, Australia
Oops- Recordo beat me to it with the scan :)
Is yours from the Aussie catalogue Glenn?
They look quite different both being 1921.

Edit: No, yours must be UK too as the price in mine is also listed at 10 pound. The prices for all machines in my catalogue are on page 3.
I wonder why the difference??


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:43 pm 
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Victor II
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"Allow instrument to run whilst winding"
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:04 am
Posts: 301
Sorry, I don't have the complete catalogue. That page was from "HMV Gramophones 1921 to 1936" compiled and introduced by Barry Williamson. It was available from Ian Calderbank in the UK http://www.gramophones.info/gramhmvbook.html, but supply might be limited as Mr Williamson recently passed away.

The only HMV catalogue I have is here:

http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5244

Regards, Glenn.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:24 pm 
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VTLA
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Thank you Shane.
That's interesting that HMV used different names for the same machines in Australia. I also didn't know that the 1a was still made in 1926, I thought at least in the UK they stopped making it in 1923. Also, based on the same HMV book Glenn mentioned I thought that it was only sold with the Exhibition reproducer (in the UK). The Austral No.3 machine in your picture looks like it has a different reproducer. What is it, a Victrola #2 or a Victrola #4, or something different?
I don't think that somebody wanted to build a Frankenphone, they probably just wanted to fix a broken or missing tone arm and cobbled a similar looking piece together. They obviously did not understand the problem of having a 12" tone arm on a 10" machine. :roll:
You said with a little more work it should look like new? I'm always torn between how much restoration is ok or too much. What else would you do to it? Have the tone arm re-plated? Or anything else? Just looking for other opinions, otherwise I only have my wife for input. :D
Would you mind sharing that whole HMV 1921 catalog?
Thanks
Andreas


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:44 pm 
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Victor VI
Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 3716
Location: Western, WA State
That's a nice restoration you did, Andreas. I like the before and after pictures . After you did the restoration, you ended up with a nice tone arm for a Vic III, IV, M, MS, and D. That's a nice little bonus you have. I love those HMV machines. They have so much class to them.
Harvey Kravitz


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:07 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2794
Location: Biggenden, Queensland, Australia
alang wrote:
I thought at least in the UK they stopped making it in 1923. Also, based on the same HMV book Glenn mentioned I thought that it was only sold with the Exhibition reproducer (in the UK). The Austral No.3 machine in your picture looks like it has a different reproducer. What is it, a Victrola #2 or a Victrola #4, or something different?


They probably did stop selling them in England in 1923, but HMV (and Edison) used Australia as their dumping ground for obsolete stock. More than likely they had heaps of oak No.1 cabinets & mahogany 1a cabinets piled up, and they've made No.1s & 1a's in both timbers and shipped them over time to us.
The reproducer in the Austral picture appears to be a Paillards, but I cant see it close enough to tell for sure, but it is a replacement.
We did however get some weird variations here compared to what was "standard" in England.
One machine I have was called a "Library Grand" here, which is identical to Uk's No.11, except the No.11 had all nickel plated parts including hinges, eschuteon etc, but the "LG" has gold/gilt hinges, eschuteon, lid stay etc, while retaining the nickel tonearm, turntable, speed control etc.
Another machine I have is called "the new Bungalow", and nothing like it was offered in UK.
The first Bungalow had a gooseneck tonearm & Exhibition soundbox, and used a basic straight horn.
The "new improved" Bungalow used the new swanneck tonearm, No.4 soundbox (introduced in 1925) and a horn that was identical to what was being used in table models that snaked around the cabinet to add length.
At the same time the saxophone horn models were introduced, so again they may have improved the Bungalow to get rid of a build-up of stock, while offering a cheaper alternative to the saxaphone models.
My Excello 3 (UK no.1) came with a no.2 soundbox, and about 90% of the Excello 3's I've seen have also used the No.2, but I have seen a couple which did use an Exhibition. These type of machines were only ever sold in UK with an Exhibition, but again, the no.4 had been released so they may have put no.2's on these last cheap hornless models to get rid of them, while improving sound quaity slightly, and giving them a fighting chance against the new 101 portable.
I'm sure UK collectors would tell me a No.2 SB on a hornless model was completely wrong, but it seems a little odd that most Excello 3's would have been upgraded by owners, and that No.2's aren't often found on any other machine.

As for the restoration, dont get me wrong, because I think it looks fantastic. The only additional work I would personally make to the machine would be repairing the back bottom moulding with timber (not filler) and refinishing the repair to match the original finish, try & remove the (paint?) spots on the motor board, and have the tonearm & tonear mount/back bracket replated, or replace them with better originals sometime in the future. I think with those things done, the machine would look as good as it did when it left the factory.
That said, I know it's easier said than done for some people to make intricate repairs & finish to match if you haven't had a lot of experience, but I always think the only way to get experience is to give it ago.
We're not talking about a Class M or tinfoil machine, and in reality a "serious collector" probably wouldn't be that interested in a machine with a small chuck of wood missing from the back anyway, so my way of thinking is that a good or even average repair isn't going to effect the value or collectibility of such a machine anymore than a rough bit of moulding and a few spots on the motor board will.
The beauty of these too is that if you dont like the results, you can try again or leave it for the next guy to improve. Provided you're not completely stripping a good original finish, most things can be put right again, and with a little practice on machines like these, you'll soon have the experience & confidence to make the same repairs to your own Class M.


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 Post subject: Re: Featured Phonograph № 73 - HMV Hornlesss Model No. 1a
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:17 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:21 pm
Posts: 2794
Location: Biggenden, Queensland, Australia
PS: I'll try & get the scans done in the next day or so. It wont be anything fancy like Glenns though :D
It'll just be pictures running down the thread. I dont have clue where to even start to make a pdf file. I consider myself lucky to even open them :lol:


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