Restore-A-Gram ARTY GB (1) copy

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Decca Soundboxes

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This soundbox was used on a variety of gramohones in the 1930's and by Decca upto the late 1950's.  It was created by Meltrope but I believe became the property of Decca when they purchased Meltrope after World War 2.  The Meltrope box was on an early HMV Model 8 I purchased ( not yet on the website - obviously not original to that particular machine which would have been supplied with an HMV Exhibition soundbox).  The Decca 3 example was purchased for my Decca 50 gramophone.  There is some adjustment of the tone by tightening the screw on ring that secures, via a rubber insulator, the tonearm and the soundbox. The insulator shown is on the Decca 3 and has been replaced, just how can be seen by visiting the Restore-A-Gram site which also gives a clearer understanding of the soundbox's construction.  Simple in design it is a most effective box

circa 1930 - 58 The Meltrope 3/Decca 3 Soundbox

1914 - 1926 - Paillard

circa 1930's Paillard

This soundbox is of Swiss origin and manufactured by the Paillard company but I've no idea what model reference it carries.  It is very similar in appearance to the HMV Exhibition, and is similarly attractive.  October 1926 saw it replaced by the the Telesmatic soundbox.

circa 1929 - Paillard No. 8

Another probably Paillard box that came on a Decca 90, now sold on.  Assuming it to be original to the machine would put the soundbox at around 1933.  Nothing outstanding about it.  It lacks the looks of earlier soundboxes and the performance of others...notably the Paillard No 8 and the Decca (Meltrope) 3.

It would appear that the Paillard No. 8 were exclusively used on the 1929 Decca models, the 100, 110, 120 and 130.  I have two of these boxes.  I have one on my Decca 120 and the other on the 130.  The sound is superb, and as good if not better than my HMV 5a's and 5b's.  As with many soundboxes it is necessary to replace the insulator as this component is usually found to be perished.  Although cosmetically the one shown is anything but attractive it is functional.  The insulator on my other No. 8 however required replacement and is shown on the Restore-A-Gram page here.

From their early years up until World War 2 Decca used soundboxes imported generally from Switzerland and made by the Paillard company.  Based in the Saint Croix area Paillard had been in existence since 1814.  Initially they made clocks, watches and music boxes and moved into phonographs in 1898 and then into disc gramophones in 1905.  Subsequent to this has been involvement in typewriters and the famous "Bolex" range of cine cameras. In 1963 they took over the Thorens company however this was shortlived and Thorens reformed in 1966.  Gradually Paillard lines moved to other ownership e.g. cine cameras to Eumig and typewriters to Olivetti.