Introduction and Thorens Music Box Project
By Vince Negro
|In my eagerness last month to inquire about a suitable box for a Thorens 11-inch disc player, I neglected to introduce myself, so I apologize for this late introduction (the recent marriage of our daughter and the Christmas season also share in this).|
My name is Vince Negro and I've had an interest in music boxes for many years. I've built two from kits that just required gluing, mounting, and finishing; one has a 50 note Reuge movement with a translating drum that plays 3 melodies from the Nutcracker which our daughter treasures. Living in the New York City region has allowed us to see "The Nutcracker" at Lincoln Center over 20 times since she was a little girl, but I digress.
I first became interested in disc music boxes about 20 years ago when the whole family, wife and kids too, were building a grandfather clock kit which was given to my wife's parents as a Christmas gift. The clock right next to me (another, bigger kit) just 'chimed-in' on its long brass tubes which gives it a rich sound to my ears; others prefer the sound from the metal rods.
(Hey, Robbie, are Grandfather clocks considered mechanical music?)
[ They sure are, Vince, especially with a pretty chime! ]
One last clock item: I read an article in the New York Times about two brothers who had emigrated from Europe and were expert clock craftsmen. They were asked, "What about electric clocks?" Their poignant answer was, "Electric clocks have no soul!"
Anyway, the company that I bought the first clock kit from offered a Thorens disc music box also in kit form, but by the time I contacted them they were long out of business. Macy's at Herald Square in NYC also had a huge disc player that played a disc well over 2 feet in diameter. It had very large chime bars and the sound was breathtaking. This unit was as tall as a Grandfather clock but considerably wider. Unfortunately, I don't recollect any markings that would identify it further. Can anyone out there help?
A few years ago I became aware that Thorens had become part of Reuge and the 11-inch disc player would be in limited supply. This past fall I was told that the disc player was no longer being made, but a few movements might still be had. I located and contacted a local music box shop here in Long Island and they were able to obtain a Thorens 11-inch disc movement from Reuge along with 3 discs. It was at this time in early December that I became aware of and contacted the mechanical music group.
At this point I would like to thank the several members of our group that responded to my request for help. Their information and suggestions were invaluable. It also made me realize that I have a lot to learn about music boxes.
So where am I in getting a suitable box for the disc movement? For Christmas, so the family could hear it play, I mounted it on two blocks and a base. I was truly amazed at the rich sound produced from this crude wood mounting. I also just joined the Music Box Society and have ordered some books. My intent is to become a little more knowledgeable before making a final decision. Once again, thanks for the encouragement and help.
(Message sent Mon 6 Jan 1997, 01:48:53 GMT, from time zone GMT-0800.)