The Edison opera was introduced in November 1911. This superior Edison phonograph was said to have given the best sound of any cylinder or disc machine. This phonograph had a horn-reproducer assembly which made it immobile. The cylinder would move under the stylus. This would produce very little mechanical noise. The reproducer was suspended over the cylinder record by its own output tube. This tube was held in the neck of the horn support by a knurled screw. To play a cylinder record you would just press one lever that would make the motor start and the needle drop down.
The phonograph had a auto stop th at would stop at the end of the cylinder. The opera plays only 4 minute cylinders. The most common reproducer used was the Diamond â€œAâ€. This reproduce was intended for the Edison Amberol (celluloid) cylinder records. The Edison Opera was also issued with the model â€œLâ€ reproducer. When the Edison Opera phonograph was original introduced in 1911, it played only 4-minute wax cylinders with a sapphire needle. By 1912 a new enhanced diamond stylus allowed it to play the Blue Amberol celluloid cylinders.
The Edison Opera had a beautiful Cygnet wooden horn. This horn was a self-supporting wooden horn. Edison made the horn stem angled this makes it so it can not be used with other Edison fitted for Cygnet type horns.
The Edison Opera was offered in both oak and mahogany. The case styles differed some between the two types of wood. This case as pillars in each corner this was a unique Edison design. The domed cover rested on the case, but could not be fastened for carrying by the top handle. The lid had a hold so that the horn could be mounted with the cover on.
The Operaâ€™s last year of production was 1913.
Dimensions: Height 14 3/4 inches, base 18 inches x 12 3/4 inches. Weight: 42 pounds. Finish: Top-plate and fittings finished in brown enamel with gilt lining. The crank, reproducer, auto-stop setting and end carrying handles were oxidized bronze. Earlier machines have been noted with a gun-medal finish. 1911 Price: $90.00, which included oil can brush with the Edison Opera.
The Edison Opera has become very collectable over the past years. This phonograph is beautiful and has an amazing sound.
I have an opera model, with numerous cylinders. I think it needs a new needle, are they readily acvailable, and if so, where
Yes you can find these needles. They do sell some on ebay. You can also buy them at phonograph trade shows, auctions, and direct dealers. Here are a few sites that might be able to help you.
If you do not see what you need I would suggest emailing them.
The Opera was the top of the line Edison. It has a unique mechanism using a diamond stylus. Don’t confuse
it with the steel needles used by disc gramophones. They might be out there, but prepare to spend if you find one.