This is a great machine for someone who wants the best acoustic fidelity of the horn machine era, and who wants the ability to play both 2 and 4 minute records.
The first, Model A version of the Edison Fireside was introduced in 1909. It was a compact and reliable mechanism, using many tried and true components from the Edison Standard. A Model B Fireside was introduced in 1912. The two versions were essentially the same, the major difference being that the gearing on the Model B Fireside was modified to play only the new 4 minute records. The Model B was most typically equipped with the acoustically faithful Cygnet horn.
This example in some ways gives you the best of both worlds, in that it is a Model B Fireside modified back to Model A gearing; for modern collectors this means that this example can play 4 minute Blue Amberols, 4 minute black wax Amberols, and 2 minute cylinders.
It can do this because the Model K reproducer on this example has a swivel arrangement to switch between 2 and 4 minute sapphire styli.
Mechanically, we have taken apart everything in the upperworks and motor, cleaned, inspected, adjusted, lubricated and all that other good stuff. The mainspring has been pulled and re-greased, a big job but important after over 100 years for smooth running. The governor has been cleaned and polished. The mandrel shaft has been cleaned of dirt and grime. The tensioner has been freed up. And the machine has been re-belted with our special pigskin belting.
Cosmetically the cabinet has been nicely refinished and a quality reproduction decal applied. One tiny prong on the lid clip is broken, not unusual (in fact, for some reason, it's not unusual to find this model with the entire lid missing).
The Cygnet horn is a very desirable accessory. Not only did it save space, but it yielded the best, most accurate reproduction of any cylinder horn of the acoustic era. It looks as if someone at one time sprayed clear lacquer over the original paint and then re-striped the horn; this doesn't look bad and brings back a little of the original gloss. You can still see the original decals on the horn. The Cygnet back bracket is original. My best guess is that the two piece Cygnet craning is an old reproduction; it shows pitting, which I worked on a bit with a deburring wheel.
The K reproducer has good both 2 and 4 minute styli and is playing well with each. Most of these reproducers had a pot metal shell which suffered some deterioration, and this one is no exception. It looks as if someone at one time tried to repair the neck of the reproducer. possibly with steel-reinforced epoxy. We've been playing the machine, the repair is holding securely, and doesn't in any way affect the sound.
This Fireside is now playing as nice and smooth as can be, as you can hear by clicking on the mp3 file, or by viewing the youtube video below.
The Fireside doesn't fall into the rare machine category, but it's not the most common model either. It's an excellent choice if you want a compact, reliable mechanism a little out of the ordinary that can play any type of cylinder you are likely to encounter. As a bonus, we are going to include 10 original Edison Blue Amberol records.
We buy, sell, and repair antique phonographs and music boxes.
Pick-up and delivery possible in many parts of the midwest,south, and northeast.