As the loving, devoted caretaker of two happily, healthily running Victrolas, I am constantly on the lookout for tips on how best to care for my babies (yes, that's how much I love them). For years it was a matter of word-of-mouth, hunting down collectors, antique dealers and little old men who worked on phonographs in their garages. And though these resources have been a boon throughout the years, I am so very happy to have found this wonderful book - now, I consider it's advice before looking outside of my handy capabilities. Reiss' book focuses solely on vintage phonograph maintenance and restoration - none of the later electric models are mentioned, only the earlier, strictly acoustic machines are featured. Makes and models of all sorts are covered, and instructions are provided (with visual aids - hooray) for mechanical work spanning from the most basic fix-up to complete overhaul. Broken mainspring? Grinding motor? Uneven speed? The repair methods are all at your fingertips with this book. Reiss tells of his experiences in starting out with "basket cases", and how he personally worked on them until full restoration had been achieved. As well, cosmetic issues are addressed, from refinishing cabinets, replacing lost trimwork, and selection of reproduction decals - it's all here. Most importantly, Reiss writes in an easily understandable style, and sprinkles humor throughout. As well, he is unafraid of pointing out when a repair is best handled by a professional. The book will be a true joy and fascinating read for any lover of phonographs - and truly indispensible for any owner of one.
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