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Ideal tonearm length ?
https://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=43950
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Author:  JerryVan [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

Sonora wood tone arm...

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Author:  BillH_NJ [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:48 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

Daithi wrote:
VanEpsFan1914 wrote:
Daihti, regarding wooden tonearms, there were some old Sonora phonographs that use them and they are quite interesting. You might also want to look at the Pathé Actuelle & the Vitaphone.


Thanks Van. I have googled and googled and I just can't find a single picture. All I get in wood is pictures of modern electric tonearms in wood.
Google ain't what it used to be or my search skills are lacking.


The Vitaphone won’t be of much help—the wooden tonearm is solid and is essentially just an extended needle bar with the diaphragm at the back.

Bill

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Author:  jamiegramo [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

JerryVan wrote:
Sonora wood tone arm...


Wow that's a grand machine! I like machines that aren't apologies.

Author:  jamiegramo [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

..... or why not build a tangential gramophone? Original wind-up tangential disk machines are few and far between but i'd love to own one even though I suspect I would notice little or no difference on a good tracking pivoting tonearm...

the Sonora of 1910, by trying to avoid Victor patents with a feedscrew, would have been well-suited to the electrically recorded era of much later especially with a good horn and the feedscrew may not be necessary. I think this must produce as little needle wear as you could hope for...

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=5uAnv4EiVTQ

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Author:  Inigo [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 2:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

Didn't the Crescent or Vesper gramophone also have a square cross section wooden tonearm? Search in the forum, for there are photos herein, i believe...
Ah... This bad memory... Maybe i saw it in the emg Colonel videos. Requiescat in pace...

Author:  Daithi [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 5:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

JerryVan wrote:
Sonora wood tone arm...


What a magnificnt machine?
If the wood carving is by hand it must have cost a fortune to produce on a commercial basis. Beautiful.

Author:  Daithi [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

BillH_NJ wrote:
The Vitaphone won’t be of much help—the wooden tonearm is solid and is essentially just an extended needle bar with the diaphragm at the back.

Bill


I saw that on Google Bill and spent a bit of time reading about it. Even aside from getting only 20 plays from a disk before it wore out rhe disk, it strikes me as a particularly inelegant solution. I have always felt that the best technology has a beauty that naturally flows from efficient solutions to technical problems. The HMV style swan neck tonearm is a case in point. It works so well and is ergonomicaly perfectly suited to raising and lowering and parking the soundbox using the human hand. And thats why its so elegant and beauiful to look at, for the very same reason that it works so well.

Author:  Daithi [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

jamiegramo wrote:
..... or why not build a tangential gramophone?


I nearly wet myself when I saw the first picture you put up of that 1910 Sonora. I wonder how the machine copes with the differences in pitch between records. A level of compliance must be built into the tonearm. Or are all these old records exactly the same pitch?

Author:  BillH_NJ [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

Daithi wrote:
BillH_NJ wrote:
The Vitaphone won’t be of much help—the wooden tonearm is solid and is essentially just an extended needle bar with the diaphragm at the back.

Bill


I saw that on Google Bill and spent a bit of time reading about it. Even aside from getting only 20 plays from a disk before it wore out rhe disk, it strikes me as a particularly inelegant solution. I have always felt that the best technology has a beauty that naturally flows from efficient solutions to technical problems. The HMV style swan neck tonearm is a case in point. It works so well and is ergonomicaly perfectly suited to raising and lowering and parking the soundbox using the human hand. And thats why its so elegant and beauiful to look at, for the very same reason that it works so well.


I agree, it is certainly an inefficient solution with high mass and tremendous loss of signal between the needle and diaphragm. The volume is very low and the very shallow angle between the needle and the record doesn’t result in reduced record wear despite whatever Vitaphone claimed. My primary interest in the Vitaphone stems from the fact that I have lived in Plainfield, NJ for the past 30 years in an 1895 house and the company was based here 100 years ago. It is part of our local history, but doesn’t have much else to recommend it.

Bill

Author:  BillH_NJ [ Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Ideal tonearm length ?

Daithi wrote:
jamiegramo wrote:
..... or why not build a tangential gramophone?


I nearly wet myself when I saw the first picture you put up of that 1910 Sonora. I wonder how the machine copes with the differences in pitch between records. A level of compliance must be built into the tonearm. Or are all these old records exactly the same pitch?


There was enough compliance built into the system that it was really the needle driving the tone arm instead of the feed, if I remember correctly. Then there was the version designed by Rabco 60 years later which used the movement of the stylus to propel a servo-driven arm—I have couple of the second generation turntables.

Bill

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