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Bettini Reproducers & Recorders: "On This Day on Phonographic History..."


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"On This Day in Phonographic History..."


April 11, 1889: Gianni Bettini filed for a U.S. patent for “Method of Recording and Reproducing Sounds.”  The large diaphragm with multiple legs holding a stylus would result in the finest sound reproduction available to the public in the 1890s.


August 13, 1889: Gianni Bettini was granted U.S. Patent No.409,003.


#antiquephonographsociety #phonograph #gramophone #antique







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I've owned three Bettini reproducers over the years --  on an Edison Spring Motor, Eagle Graphophone, and the one I have now, a Graphophone AD. I always felt that Bettini was basically all hype. Sure, the larger diaphragm helped, but there was nothing special about the sound.


Until Wyatt Markus got his hands on my Bettini type Nf and worked his magic. The sound is truly unbelievable -- incredible volume, great richness and clarity. Wow. 


Now I realize that, like any other reproducer, proper rebuilding and adjusting is the key to experiencing what they were originally capable of. My respect for Bettini has grown enormously since then. No Edison or Columbia reproducer of the era, however perfectly rebuilt and tuned, comes close to rivaling the Bettini. Especially with a Grand cylinder.




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Well... my sense is that Bettini's contributions to phonograph technology and repertoire are substantial.   Plus, his marketing reflects that he was great at hyping his achievements.  That said, I've always felt his system sounded best with brown wax vs black.  Could you slip a blackie on your AD and tell me how it sounds?



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The AD is a marvelous (and heavy) contraption that allows easy change from Grand to standard cylinders -- with the Columbia reproducer. The Bettini attachment is more complicated and has to be completely readjusted any time you change sizes.  So, after tweaking the Grand system into perfect adjustment, I'm  reluctant to start over with a Gold Moulded standard cylinder. 


For what it's worth, however, I normally play it with modern Vulcan Grand cylinders. So the surface is very different from brown (or black) wax. It still sounds amazing.

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