Restore-A-Gram ARTY GB (1) copy


Gramophone Needles

Gram. Needles

1931/32 - The 102

As with the HMV 101 the model went through various versions from 1931 until production ceased rather unbelievably around 1958, with sales of existing stocks of the 102 continuing until as late as 1960.


The 102 tends to be the model preferred currently by purchasers.  It performs well and it's looks are generally considered amongst the best, if not the best, of any portable acoustic gramophone.  However it's use of pot metal for the soundbox is a draw back due to it's lack of durability.  The alloy has a tendency to swell over the years and become unstable resulting in not only damage to itself but also to the chromed outer ring to which it is fixed.  Cracking of this ring is fairly common.


This particular 102 I will always remember as my baptism into the, how shall I put it, "values" of the really serious collector.  It was the first gramophone I re-covered and being pleased with the result mentioned it to a local gramophone officianado.  There was a deathly much so that you would have thought I had told him his grannie had just died.  Re-covering I have found is a practice frowned upon by the "serious" collector.  Actually thinking about it I'm a serious collector in the sense that I love having these machines albeit that I'm not overly precious about originality.  Originality is important to me...just not at the cost of appearance.

Click on thumbnails for larger image

The HMV 102 was introduced in late July 1931 as a follow up to the HMV 101.  The model I  have dates from this time but before March 1932.  It's possible to date the machine so accurately as it is fitted with a No. 5 Universal Automatic Brake that proved to be troublesome.  HMV commenced supplying models with a No. 6 brake from the latter date.   (The photo of the blue model below shows a 102 with the new No. 6 brake used in 1932/33.  This model became identified as the HMV 102A).  My 102 has a 5a soundbox which although probably being used on 102 prototypes was not the soundbox originally sold with this particular early model.  Problems with the 5a being used on a machine that played with an open lid led to the development of the No 16 soundbox which would have been supplied on the first 102's offered for sale.  Subsequent developments to the 5a led to it becoming sold with 102's from around the mid 1930's, later itself to be replaced by the 5b.  The 5a that came on my gramophone was probably an upgrade purchased when the improved version arrived

HMV102 022


Production Dates all 102 Models : 1931 - 1958

This version: 1931 - 1932

Soundbox:    HMV  No. 5A (Originally No 16)

Motor:           Type 271C

Turntable:    10"

Autobrake:   No. 5

Price:            £5. 12s 6d      

HMV Logo copy Chaplin

"My 102.......I never leave home without it"

(apologies to American Express!)