The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

Orthophonic Reproducers
Page 1 of 1

Author:  Victor78 [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 1:37 am ]
Post subject:  Orthophonic Reproducers

I picked up my first orthophonic machine recently, a nice little VV 4-20. Ive seen pictures, and have looked at the reproducers before, but not in any detail since I hadn't had one yet. Now I do, and I know this one needs help. Can someone post pictures of the bearings and how things should be, and where the needle bar and thumb screw comes out. Im not real familiar with these, and have not found any information on the net regarding the repairs, and what to look for. From what I have heard, there aren't many people that repair these, but Im curious and would like to understand the mechanics of it. The shell itself is good, the diaphragm looks to be good, the outer ring on the backside is cracked, and someone had drilled out the set screws, and put in standard half in screws. I did have to re solder the needle bar back onto the diaphragm. I got enough on to make good connection, and it doesn't sound to bad. Is there some sort of guide that I'm not aware of, or haven't found? I'm interested in learning what I can about them.

One other thing - the auto brake. How does one set these up?

- Jim

inside.jpg [ 57.13 KiB | Viewed 1038 times ]
cabinet.jpg [ 48.8 KiB | Viewed 1038 times ]

Author:  saxymojo [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 5:58 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Orthophonic Reproducers

The machine to the left of your Victor, is it a cabinet that was made to slide an Amberola 30 into?
Regards Marcel

Author:  Victor78 [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Orthophonic Reproducers

saxymojo wrote:
The machine to the left of your Victor, is it a cabinet that was made to slide an Amberola 30 into?
Regards Marcel


Yes, it's the Babson(sp?) cabinet. Great little machine!

- Jim

Author:  gramophoneshane [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Orthophonic Reproducers

Someone posted some really good photo's of the Victor Ortho soundbox on the old OTVMMB. I think Carsten mentioned something about using soundbox gasket, either for inserting the ball bearings or leaving a small piece in with the bearings??
I didn't take a lot of notice at the time because it's pretty unlikely I'll ever be faced with reconditioning a Victor Ortho, and the HMV's are set-up differently I think.
Hopefully someone might have copied the pic's & could repost them, and clarify the use of rubber in the needle bar pivots.
I think something was said about re-magnitizing the ball bearings too???

Author:  OrthoFan [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 6:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Orthophonic Reproducers

It all depends on the overall condition of the sound box. If the case is not cracked or deformed, and the diaphragm is not torn or bashed in, it's possible to upgrade the sound quality considerably simply by re-seating the ball bearings.

This may or may not be of much help, since it was written about ten or 15 years ago, and a lot more knowledge since that time has been accumulated, especially the part concerning the rubber back flange, but here's a basic walk-through for adjusting the Orthophonic ball bearings that the average person can do:

If needed, replacement ball bearings can be ordered from a number of suppliers, including

BTW, when you swing the bearing end-caps to the side, you'll probably see a hard rubber ring covering the ball bearings. After that is carefully removed, the bearings should be seated around the center post, as in this crude illustration:

Orthophonic Bearings.JPG
Orthophonic Bearings.JPG [ 8.57 KiB | Viewed 1166 times ]

Hopefully, one of the expert sound box rebuilders will chime in shortly.

Author:  Victor78 [ Sun Mar 01, 2009 8:28 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Orthophonic Reproducers

Thanks Ortho_Fan!

Just what I was looking for. Im not sure how I missed the article on gracyk's site, but I have it now for future reference. I was confused about the ball bearings, since mine has none :o I will be calling APSCO to order them, and the rubber rings. The rings were the only thing holding the needle bar in place, and thats what was confusing me. I had nothing here to compare to or a diagram like you show. All good information, and I appreciate your reply! I'll be making a pdf version of the info, and putting it in my folder.

I do have an aftermarket ortho coming, to see what it sounds like in the mean time. I had mine apart, but couldnt figure out how to get the needle bar out of the shell, but I did manage to get the solder joint fixed up, so It sounds fair at the moment, but Im sure it can be better. Thanks again.

- Jim

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group