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Vintage Audio (record players, hi-fi etc) Amplifiers, speakers, gramophones and other audio equipment.

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Old 20th Aug 2019, 10:42 am   #1
G4XWDJim
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Default Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

I believe this gram to be an HMV 101 of about 1929 because the winding handle is in the front and needs to be held over the edge of a table to wind it. Later models I believe had the handle angled on the RHS.

Can anyone confirm or advise please.

Also can anyone sell me a good chrome clip to replace the broken one in my second pic.

If necessary I'll request in the wanted section.

Jim
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 10:44 am   #2
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Terry Clip clamped under the flat part?
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 10:45 am   #3
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Can you get them that small?

Jim
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 2:43 pm   #4
Audio1950
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

It's a bit earlier than that, Jim. It was introduced in 1925, and replaced by the side-winding model mid 1927. The very first versions had the needle storage bins in the lid, yours is the second version with the needle tray set into the front corner.

Those clips are like hens' teeth to get, and on the rare occasions they do appear on the auction site, they are very expensive. You can get new clips that small, but they are higher than the originals, and look very odd.

Barry
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 4:36 pm   #5
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Nice HMV wind up Jim - seems to be in very good condition, has it been refurbished/restored in any way?

Would it be possible for you to take detailed picture or scan of the HMV logo?

Sorry, can't help with the chrome clip.
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Old 20th Aug 2019, 4:38 pm   #6
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Thanks Barry, that's very helpful and makes it close on 95 years old. It's in unbelievable condition as if it's always lived in a warm and dry padded box. I've had it for probably 30 or more years and not played it much. I suppose I must have refurbed the motor 20 odd years ago and it still works beautifully and unbelievably loud. I remember putting new springs in a few of them.

Is that the exhibition sound box? I can't remember where I bought it from. I had about 15 of various types and colours some time ago. This is my last one. Must check whether it will play two 78 sides, there's plenty of life left after one side.

Maybe I'll be able to find a piece of stainless steel and make a new clip, not too difficult apart from stainless steel being difficult to file and use hand tools with.

It's time I moved it on, I have other hobbies and have lost interest in amateur radio and other radio activities. We only listen to broadcast radio on Sunday mornings, sad isn't it.

Thanks again for your help Barry.

Jim

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Old 20th Aug 2019, 4:43 pm   #7
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Donald,

I'll happily take a pic or two of the HMV logo in the hope that it will be of help in copying it. My scanning facilities are pretty duff I regret.

Stand by for later.

Jim
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 10:03 am   #8
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Quote:
Originally Posted by G4XWDJim View Post
Is that the exhibition sound box?
No, it's a no.4, and correct for this machine. It was developed specially for the "new" electrical recordings. The "Exhibition" was an earlier model. A 101 this early should have the early version of the No.4 soundbox, which has a plain, unmarked back, and the wording "His Masters' Voice" visible through the front, behind the mica diaphragm. Later ones have the information stamped into the backplate.

Barry
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 10:59 am   #9
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Thanks Barry, the info is on the backplate so that makes it slightly later. The sound quality is excellent and very loud. Should I find a serial No somewhere?

Donald, here's a pic of the HMV logo. It shows quite a few undesirable marks I'm sorry.

Jim
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Old 21st Aug 2019, 2:24 pm   #10
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Thanks Jim - nice early example of the HMV Logo ("PATENTS APPLIED FOR").

Notwithstanding the excellent advice, insight and support on this Forum from the likes of Barry, these two websites developed by the late Graham Barber are a treasure trove: -

http://www.restore-a-gram.co.uk/home/4589356292

http://www.graham-ophones.co.uk/home/4578994560
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 11:29 am   #11
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

More progress but in a negative direction. Further to my rash comment earlier about how many sides it would play I realised that the side I was using was only 2mins 20secs long and yes there was it appeared to be plenty of time left to run at the end.

A much longer side of 3 mins 40 secs stopped well before the end. I took out the spring and found that I had already cleaned and greased it many years before but had forgotten. Repeating the procedure with fresh grease made no real difference to its running time. It's a fairly small motor spring drum held together with 4 small screws. The model before the circlip ring started.

I tried to search for figures on running time but all I could find were comments that said it should play a 12" side but how long is that in minutes.

It looks like I need to fit a new spring as the old one has probably lost its strength during its 93 years.

Ken at Holmfirth Antiques seems to have closed his business down and the only other place selling springs seems to be in the Netherlands. Has anyone used one of those springs and can recommend the maker?

Jim
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 12:34 pm   #12
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

New springs are available in the UK from Mike Child trading under the name "Soundgen". I've bought from him in the past and found him to be a reliable trader.

One thing I would say as regards to actually newly manufactured springs as opposed to old stock made many years ago, is that I'm not completely convinced as regards to the quality of the newly made springs. I've heard of a few cases of springs failing over the last year or so, and in all cases they were failures of replacement springs and not originally fitted springs. This is not any fault of the people supplying the springs, but whoever is making them. My guess is that the actual sprung steel is bought in in bulk and there's probably a small cottage industry of a little man in a shed somewhere who cuts the spring material to length for a particular spring, removes the 'temper' from each end so as to make the required ends, then re-tempers the ends. I would think that if this person doesn't get this part of the process right, then the spring is going to have a relatively short life.

I actually know one of the people personally who had a new spring fail prematurely - it lasted just over a year. He told me that it was a cheap £35 Indian spring bought off an on-line auction site, but couldn't remember the exact details. It's possible that he did something wrong when he fitted it, but there's really only one way of fitting a spring and it wouldn't have worked at all if he'd got it wrong. He did tell me that he'd used copper grease when fitting it, which I told him he shouldn't have used, but I had to admit that I couldn't really give any good reason why this would be a bad idea. There's a few other reported spring breakages that are not original springs that broke decades ago, and in every case that I've read about, these have involved replacement springs.

I've never had a spring break myself, although I've obviously come across gramophones that have had springs already broken, but I never 'over-wind' a gramophone. Some people will argue the toss that you can't over-wind a gramophone, but I say you can. Over-winding is when you wind it hard to the 'stop' and it won't wind any further - if you keep on doing that, then the spring won't last very long...perhaps it's down to people who don't understand the correct way to wind a gramophone which involves a 'feel' for when it's nearly at the fully wound state that's causing all these spring breakages that I hear about, and nothing at all to do with bad springs.
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 7:42 pm   #13
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

There's something else that's worth mentioning regarding gramophones that won't play through a complete record side, and that's that very worn records or a worn out needle will cause this same problem to gram with a small single spring motor. I've actually got a little portable wind up that I sometimes take with me in the old caravan for a laugh to amuse people, and it struggles on some records. I have to only take certain records that I know it's capable of playing. One day I'll get round to taking the spring out for a clean and re-grease, but it doesn't exhibit any of the usual symptoms of a gunged up spring, so probably it's like yours and just gone a bit weak. It's also worth making sure that the rest of the motor is running freely and that the governor is properly lubricated. Also, use a needle once only and possibly two or even three sides at the very outside, but once is the maximum recommended for not spoiling your records - you probably know all this already.
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 8:11 pm   #14
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Iíve been trying to find details for the length of time a spring will run when loaded by a decent record but nowhere can I find such info. Using clean unworn records and single use needles with everything clean and well lubed. Iíll probably have to buy a new spring if I can decide from whom to buy.

Jim
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 9:10 pm   #15
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

I doubt whether there is any such information as there's too many variables. I suppose that when the gramophone was brand new there would have been an owners instruction book issued with it which would be the sort of thing that may have contained this information for its owner. I think the bottom line is that these little motors were only just up to the job when they were brand new, hence the liking by enthusiasts for the larger motor types - bigger really is better!

The little gramophone that I mentioned in my previous post I found in the fully wound state, and various other paperwork etc., that was with it at the time indicated that it may well have been in storage somewhere unused since the early fifties, and that's a very long time to have a spring fully wound, so no wonder it has gone a little weak. It's not worth the expense of a new spring, so one day it'll have a clean and re-grease to see if we can improve things, otherwise it'll stay as it is, or I may just fit another motor, although the rest of the player doesn't really warrant such effort.
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Old 25th Aug 2019, 5:30 pm   #16
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Default Re: Please help to date HMV wind up gram.

Gramophone springs can be bought in the UK from Meadows & Passmore the clock parts supply people.

Trevor.

http://www.m-p.co.uk/muk/acrobat/cat...41e-s-c15.pdf]

http://www.m-p.co.uk/viewcat.htm
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