[78-L] Bell Hood needle for 78 record players (Ron Fial)

Iñigo Cubillo ice261263 at gmail.com.invalid
Mon Aug 31 04:41:39 PDT 2015


Years ago I bought a magnific Aeolian Vocalion gramophone (with Graduola
device) in a low curled-legs pretty carved console, which seems a period
model, some "old spanish style". It is  a very special machine. The guy
from whom I bought it, told me the gramophone was formerly located in a big
luxury hotel (what we call in spanish a "Parador") which is in a main road
near Madrid. That hotel closed its doors, probably due to our civil war.
The guy told me that the original owners were selling the building to a new
owner, and they told their granddaughter to take what she wanted from what
was left at the hotel. The gramophone was in there. Miraculously, the
building did not suffer any bombing nor salvaging during the war, and was
closed for fifty years with its contents almost completely intact. The girl
took the gramophone for his boyfriend; the guy who sold it to me. The
gramophone has a sick zinc alloy tonearm, but that was the only failure to
repair. It seemed to have been well used, but admirably preserved. Indeed,
I only had to repair the tonearm, cause the motor etc was all in good
condition. Nevertheless, I did some woodwork on it: complete disassembling,
thorough cleaning, reassembling with new glue and polishing with walnut
wax, which restored the beauty of the wood. Formerly, the gramophone was
very dark, and now it looks very nice at home.
The guy was fine, and it sold the machine for a mere $450, which is a real
bargain in Spain, for such a special machine.

Well, and here it is. When i disassembled it, many needles came out from
between the wood junctions, among them two (yes, two...!) sapphire needles
in brass shafts. And one of them has the bell hood shape you said. The
gramophone has a revolver tonearm which allows playing vertical or lateral
records. But I didn't notice any difference in the sound when using that

PS. Is there any known reliable source for a tonearm replacement? Normal
steel or brass woudl be desirable, for the zinc-alloy is very fragile. I
repaired it using super-glue and thin wire, and it works, but a replacement
would be fine. All interior metals are gold-painted... !

Inigo, from Madrid, SPAIN

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