Version: July 17, 2004

Rob Lomas



Rob Lomas has a site called The Edison Shop. There, among pictures of old phonographs and music transcriptions, he sells a device he calls the ACT (Advanced Cylinder Technology).

It is a plug-in cartridge mount that fits standard Edison phonographs. Just take out the original reproducer, put in the ACT and play. With this cartridge you can play any cylinders the phonograph was originally designed for (2- and 4-minute, concert cylinders etc.).

The cartridge sits on a very short arm that is spring loaded to a fairly high 4 to 5 grams (in a previous edition of his page, Lomas gave the pressure as 8 grams), giving rapid reactions with cylinders that are in less than perfect shape. The output is a normal 5.5 mV, and it comes with three interchangeable styli.

This is a compact and easy-to-use player, but you will have to depend on that your old Edison phonograph is in good shape, that it keeps a correct and steady speed all through the cylinder played, and that it advances the reproducer/cartridge at the proper speed.

According to what I hear from users, it is just as easy to use as it seems.

In a later development, the ACT/2, there are two RCA output connectors, one for each channel of the stereo pickup inside. It is sold with a preamplifier and cables by both Rob Lomas and Peter Liebert.

Chister Hamp, 2004


The ACT mounted on Swedish collector Håkan Widar's Edison phonograph.
Photo © Håkan Widar, 2000
The ACT with the cartridge mounted on its short, springloaded arm.
Photo © Rob Lomas, 2000



The ACT for the Edison model O phonograph, which has a large carrier eye, bottom view.
Photo © Rob Lomas, 2000
The ACT for the Edison model O phonograph, top view.
Photo © Norman Bruderhofer, 2000



The ACT/2 maintains the stereo output from the pickup for subsequent signal treatment. Here as presented by Peter Liebert. The ACT/2 as sold by Rob Lomas under the name of Edisonia.

For the Record review: Visit Rob Lomas at: Visit Peter Liebert at:
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