The correct reproducer is essential for playing cylinder recordings on a “Phonograph”. There are two main types of cylinder that most collectors will have come across: the original wax cylinders playing for two minutes (Occasionally one finds the rarer experimental “Indestructible” two minute cylinders) and later wax four minute cylinders (Amberols) and then the far superior four minute Blue Amberols. Again there are a few four minute indestructible cyinders out there!
All these cylinders were recorded “Hill-and-Dale” or “Phonocut” which means that the stylus of the reproducer vibrates up and down while playing rather than laterally as with conventional 78s. The stylus used is normally a sapphire (sometimes a diamond) which does not have to be constantly replaced, unlike the needles used on gramophones.
Earlier phonographs like the Edison “Gem” used a Model B two minute reproducer
and later a Model C. When four minute recording became popular the required reproducer was the Model H. Since many collectors at the time would have had both types of cylinder Edison produced the Model K reproducer which carried two stylii that could be rotated to play either type of recording. The phonograph would, in that case, require a combination gear-box so that the carriage, with the reproducer, could travel at the right speed.
Below are a small selection of reproducers hard to find but essential if you have the right machine. All the reproducers have been serviced.