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 Post subject: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Sun 04, 2018 4:31 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 16, 2012 3:48 am
Posts: 36
Location: southwest Colorado
I recently acquired a Lindstrom electric phonograph model no. 276, a tin toy phonograph. I’ve searched the forum and around google, but there isn’t a whole lot of information on these units. Late forties, I think, with an electric motor that turns the turntable, but otherwise acoustic sound, with the tin box acting as a speaker.

I assume these are meant for 78rpm records, and I have a stack of old 78s. I cleaned off a Red Foley record to try it out, and was able to compare to the same recording online. My phonograph is definitely playing at a higher pitch. What causes this? I assume the motor and turntable are going faster than 78rpm? Does anyone know of a way to correct this? Would a fresh needle affect this issue? Any recommendations on the best needles?

And yes, I know this is a toy “kiddie” phonograph player. But it sure is fun, and it would be nice to get it a little more dialed in for the occasional novelty.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Sun 04, 2018 10:53 pm 
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Joined: Feb Mon 06, 2012 7:24 pm
Posts: 2487
Location: Gold Country, (Stanislaus National Forest) California 95235
According to Michael Oldfield - if you are in possession of such a machine, you're to turn it in immediately to the nearest constabulary before ruining one of his records on it.

If it's noticeably fast - being Swedish - it could have a 50Hz motor or pulley on it in which case you would have to swap it out. If not, it could be gunk on the drive, the rubber tire could be worn out and hard or it could be built for heavier records than you are playing.

Obviously the ``Lite'' records (Metrolite Deccalite Victorlite) would get torn up on that nevermind the styrene or plastic childrens 78s that were all over the place by then (usually brightly colored) unless you got one of the lambda shaped (upside down 7) sapphire styli on the nylon shank or the offset sapphire tipped steel shank versions which work in a pinch.

_________________
2 kinds of men/tape. Low Noise/Wide Range.
LN=kind. WR=abrasive. Engineers=same thing.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Mon 05, 2018 1:10 am 
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Joined: Nov Sat 26, 2011 4:09 am
Posts: 9151
Location: Texas. USA
ndiamone wrote:
...If it's noticeably fast - being Swedish - it could have a 50Hz motor or pulley on it in which case you would have to swap it out. ...
Well, it explicitly says "for use on 115 VOLT -- 60 CYCLE" so unless someone has swapped out the motor I think we can eliminate that as the source of the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Mon 05, 2018 2:01 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 16, 2012 3:48 am
Posts: 36
Location: southwest Colorado
One of my most basic questions was how the heck to open this thing up to work on it? After watching a video posted by radiotvnut I was reminded of a simple fact: these things probably were not designed to be worked upon. The toy phonograph in his video was similar to mine, and completely riveted together. Mine is held together by four long bolts running from the top to the bottom. Removing those bolts I was able to twist the base to get a look inside. Someone has been in there in the recent past to replace the power cord. The motor appears to be riveted to the base, and runs up through the top attached to the turntable. I don’t see any way to remove the turntable (does it screw off....?). So, unless I bend some old tin tabs to separate the back sidewall, I won’t be able to get in there any more.

But based on those observations, the motor appears original, and at least looks to be in good condition. The whole mechanism is very simple- power cord, on/off switch, and motor directly attached to the turntable. I don’t see any belts or anything else.

So, this brings me back to my original question- why was my record playing at a higher pitch than it should? I assume that this is a motor issue, and not a needle issue- but I won’t be trying any more records until I get some new needles. Was the motor originally set for 78rpm? Can a motor be adjusted? Would different power supply affect the speed of the motor? Could I install something on the power supply (cord or switch) to vary the power to the motor, thus affecting speed?

Again, I recognize that this unit is likely beneath many of the folks in this forum. For me it is an interesting learning exercise in both turntable speed and acoustic amplification. And being that simple- an electric motor and acoustic sound- the whole thing really intrigues me. It is just the right kind of weird.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Tue 06, 2018 1:22 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3929
Location: Cortez, Colorado
I do believe I have some steel needles.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Tue 06, 2018 3:45 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 16, 2012 3:48 am
Posts: 36
Location: southwest Colorado
I just ordered a lifetime supply of steel needles. Or, at least enough to play both sides of every 78 I own, or to play one record about a dozen dozen times...

But speaking to the whole argument of “oh, you really shouldn’t play your records on that machine...”, would this unit do any more or less damage to a record than a similarly set up acoustically amplified phonograph player from an earlier era? I don’t plan to drop this heavy head and steel needle down on anything rare or valuable, but I also wouldn’t play one of those records on an old Victrola...


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 Post subject: Re: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Tue 06, 2018 4:33 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 3929
Location: Cortez, Colorado
I also have a stroboscope somewhere, but don't have any fluorescent lamps that run on 60 Hz anymore.
Here's a stroboscope you can print: http://www.soundsclassic.com/ttgateway.html


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 Post subject: Re: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Fri 09, 2018 1:17 am 
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Joined: May Fri 15, 2015 4:33 am
Posts: 357
Location: Oakland, CA
Quote:
But speaking to the whole argument of “oh, you really shouldn’t play your records on that machine...”, would this unit do any more or less damage to a record than a similarly set up acoustically amplified phonograph player from an earlier era? I don’t plan to drop this heavy head and steel needle down on anything rare or valuable, but I also wouldn’t play one of those records on an old Victrola...


I bought a bunch of 78s at a swap meet a couple of weeks ago. Some in great shape and a few that were really battered, but historically interesting. One of the latter was 'Box Car Blues' by Maggie Jones on Columbia 14047D. Fletcher Henderson on piano and Charlie (Chollie) Green on trombone, recorded in NYC in November 1924. Visually it looks absolutely awful. I wouldn't dream of playing it on the Dual 1229 I use for 78s, nor any of the 1930's thru 50's phonos I have around the house. On all of them there would be far too much surface noise. The disc is whipped. For all its comparative rarity and historical value, it is a dollar record.

But playing it on my 1924 Brunswick Seville phono, with its ten pound tone arm (ten pounds might be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much), it sounded GREAT. You need a good weight to get down, WAY DOWN into the groove, which is where those HEAVY HEAVY sounds are.

Of course, I did give the record a good scrubbing first with a toothbrush and warm soapy water, rinsed and repeated.

78's were made by the millions back in the day, and they are to be found everywhere and for cheap. I would have no compunction playing beat up old copies on the Lindstrom, none whatsoever.

Have fun with it.

Bob

PS When I say it sounded GREAT, I am using the description advisedly. Still a fair amount of surface noise, but the music came through loud and clear. And due to the huge weight, no skips.


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 Post subject: Re: Tin toy electric phonograph
PostPosted: Nov Fri 09, 2018 2:16 am 
Member

Joined: Feb Thu 16, 2012 3:48 am
Posts: 36
Location: southwest Colorado
Bob Bell wrote:
Quote:
78's were made by the millions back in the day, and they are to be found everywhere and for cheap. I would have no compunction playing beat up old copies on the Lindstrom, none whatsoever.

Have fun with it.

Bob

PS When I say it sounded GREAT, I am using the description advisedly. Still a fair amount of surface noise, but the music came through loud and clear. And due to the huge weight, no skips.


Thanks for the perspective, Bob. Yes, fun.

Does anyone have answers to a couple lingering questions on this little machine:
Any tips on removing the turntable/platter from the motor? If I remove the green felt will I perhaps find a clip or screw holding it in place? If I could separate that, then I could better access the motor without damaging the tin case.
And, what would cause my motor to spin too fast? Is there a way to adjust it? Or add a speed controller to the unit?


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