Post by wrgingerich on May 6, 2017 20:03:01 GMT -5
I recently obtained a WMC33 that was going to go in the dumpster in my townhouse complex. It appears to be complete except for the grill cloth. I've cranked it up, and it runs. Dragging my finger across the reproducer needle makes a noise through the speaker. I don't have any DD records, so I can't play it. It also has what I believe is the adapter so you can play "normal" 78s. The case is fairly decent, with no peeling veneer. The case does have some "road rash" on the top edge on the side above the crank.
So here are the questions:
Is there reproduction grill cloth available that is reasonably close to the original? What other tests can I try to determine any possible problems with the mechanism? When was this model manufactured? What might this machine be worth?
I hated to see it get trashed, which is why I brought it home. I have no place to display it. I'd like to find someone who is interested in giving it a good home. If anyone in interested, let me know. I'm in the Minneapolis MN area.
First off, some basic info (citing Frow, "The Edison Disc Phonograph"):
The WMC-33 was introduced in April, 1922. It remained in the catalogue until August 1927, with 218 cabinets left in stock.
As for the mechanism: the DD motors were pretty stoutly built ("like a tank", some would say), so all it would need is a thorough cleaning and re-lubricating to get it in top shape. If there are no thumping noises from the mainsprings, that's good: you can always inject a little automotive grease through the ports on the side of the barrels.
As for the reproducer, you should check that all parts move freely and smoothly. It is probably advisable to replace the gaskets; but the most important part is to check the stylus. A chip or worn spot there will damage any DDs you might play on it. Use a high powered jeweler's loupe to inspect it: if all is well, you should see a smooth, funded tip. If not, you should replace the stylus: fortunately, there is an excellent new diamond stylus being produced (you can find the details on this board: enter "Bruce stylus"). (BTW, better go over the adapter as well).
The case will clean up remarkably well with Goop, GoJo, or similar hand cleaner (NON-PUMICE version): any blemishes can be dealt with afterwards.
Grille cloth: are there any traces on the back of the grille that you could examine? There are some vendors on EBay who sell reproduction grille cloth for early radios: some of the late Edisons used a similar weave. Others used a plain, silk finish cloth: you might be able to determine the color from what traces you find.
Finally: considering value. The truism is that any machine is "worth what someone is willing to pay for it": if you want to put it on EBay, start with a low price, and let the bidding determine the final price. A clean, good condition machine will get a better price than a dirty, shabby-looking one.
I hope this has been of some use to you. Some photos of the machine might help to better determine its condition.