HMV 511 on ebay - £650 and thoughts on the Model

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HMV 511 on ebay - £650 and thoughts on the Model

Postby Gmemg » 05 May 2017, 21:52

I should say at the beginning that this machine didn't sell - some may be surprised that i don't find that funny , and it isn't I fell and have always felt that a GREAT condition HMV 511 SHOULD make £650 anyday - i stress the GREAT Condition because this model like t's small brother the HMV 261 often suffers !

This model looked in good condition - the top alas was re - finished and there was some slightly patchy looking finish to the doors - that may have been the photography and so a price nearer to maybe £200 - £250 would have seen it sold but at £650 it wasn't and even had it been in GREAT condition i doubt if it would have sold in the UK as most collectors here wouldn't pay that for any HMV cabinet machine (Yes even an HMV 203)

I really Value these machines - i think they are the BEST cabinet machine HMV ever made - i like the Model 12 (Squatting Frog) which is the Full on Queen Anne vaguely Ottoman style machine but it's a quirky design and the internal horn is inadequate for what it is - the HMV 511 is a very different matter - it is of course a compromise machine made out of the leftover cabinets of the HMV 510 BUT it's design is great - a more conventional & conservative Queen Anne design fitted with an excellent internal horn and with the long tonearm & No 4 soundbox (or most others for electrical recordings) it's very flexible and whatever it's playing it sounds great, and so popular they actually started making them for sale as HMV 511s - the only problem is finding one in better than average condition ...............

The trouble is with these is that often sat in 1930's houses either in in a bay window or facing one and they suffer from fading , damp issues and more often than not a Plant pot stuck on the top - one i owned had had a lace doily on it for many decades and in a window so that the top had a very odd almost photographic image of the doily on the lid - impossible to remove as it turned out ! the veneers of these mdoels seem to be stuck on with a glue very vulnerable to damp and curling - The "leading Dealer" had an oak one for YEARS where some twit had tried to glue back the veneers and to help with that had pushed in drawing pins - the holes of which were very evident - it also had an electric motor and where the fitter had drilled a hole for the plug fitting in the wrong place it had a turned "Butt Plug" to fill it beside the fitting which the "leading dealer" tried to make a selling point ! (I think he may still have it in the "storage Garage" )also the legs on this model are very vulnerable to knocks and event he really good ones often had very battered legs

SO finding one in nice condition isn't easy - "Suicidal" Steve told me that a LOT of CLPGS members have "Mint" ones but i never saw one and it took years to find a magnificent one which looked like it had just walked out of the HMV Showroom - i had to pay (gulp) £1200 for it - yes REALLY only for the next week to buy another MINT one (Minus The Horn) for £100 - it was a conversion and as i thought i could find a horn easily sold the first for a Profit ! - i didn't then realise that the conversions have a longer horn with a tonearm bolted to the top and finding one has proved impossible but i have a good one anyway so am not without one - it does prove the "sods Law" as usual oddly enough i don;t care if it's oak or Mahogany - i often wonder why they didn't make a walnut Version and would like to see a Teak one - although it might be a bit plain without the quartered Veneers

I've sold scruffy ones in recent weeks for under £150 so there's no need to pay too much for one which could be improved but a good one takes finding but is well worth it but not £650 a GREAT One will cost a Lot more !

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HMV-GRAMOPHON ... 7675.l2557
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