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Mainspring

Automatic Reproducer screw adjustment

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Mainspring

With regard to the screw adjustment on the carriage that engages the arm on an automatic reproducer, I have little practical experience with them and can't clearly see what they are for in practice. On my Square Case Standard or my Suitcase Home, I fiddle the screw and hear no real difference in sound. Anyone have any practical advise concerning this adjustment? BTW, this forum beats Facebook every day of the week.

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Tinfoilphono

That adjustment screw / lever was originally designed for the earlier Standard Speaker, which has both reproducing and recording styli. The position of the arm moves one or the other in place. The design was also more rigid, so the reproducing stylus didn't 'self-correct' in tracking and often went out of alignment, running the stylus on the edge of the groove and distorting the sound. The Automatic reproducer is much more flexible and doesn't require the tweaking that the Standard Speaker did, making the adjustment screw essentially irrelevant.

 

And yes, this is a great forum! So easy to navigate.

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Mainspring

Thank you sir! Would be nice to find one of those early Standard reproducers.

 

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phonogfp

The Standard reproducer (usually called the "Standard Speaker" in Edison literature) is really of limited utility.  The Automatic plays better, and unless you display the Standard Speaker upside-down, it's difficult to tell it apart from the Automatic.  Other than the artifact value, you're better off with an Automatic!

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Analogous

There's a natural desire to orient the reproducer arm so it's in the 3:00 position, but that's wrong (and the screw isn't long enough either).  Best thing is to flip up the carriage arm, adjust the screw so the stylus is at 12:00 and leave it.  This reproducer's ability to "find" the groove without adjustment is why it was named the Automatic (though sometimes the occasional nudge with the arm helps).  

 

The above comment that the Standard Speaker is of limited utility is accurate, but too kind.  Not only do they suffer from tracking issues that can destroy the grooves.  The proximity of the cutting stylus and playing stylus makes it easier to damage the precious 120 year old cylinder.

 

They are the perfect "display item" about the beginning of the record industry, never to be used!

 

John

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