Typewriters I did not buy, one I’m only borrowing, and vintage audio deals!

A beautiful frowny-face Voss in great condition at MTE

Yep, I didn’t buy it. This Voss was in at Bill Wahl’s Mesa Typewriter Exchange for a cleaning. *sigh*, I’d be really tempted if it were for sale. Also, this filthy dirty Underwood 4-bank portable with an interesting paint job. Pretty, but also not for sale.

Bill did send me home with Ellery, by Hermes 2000, having made some adjustments to the escapement-trigger thingie that looked like it fixed the skipping issue… until I got it home. *le bigger sigh*

Also brought home the Hermes Ambassador I’ve been coveting for months now. And now that I’ve played around with it, I’ve decided I don’t want it anymore. I want to get rid of my non-portables, plus the rubber on this thing is horrible, and I don’t want to spend the cash to get it replaced, so next week I’ll be bringing Bill the brace of SCM’s I promised him in exchange, but I’ll be leaving the Ambassador there too. Maybe I’ll even bring him my Selectric. *sigh*

I did stop by the Deseret Thrift Store on my way back from the Office today – no typewriters, thank the gods, but I found a Marantz PMD201 tape recorder for $7 in great condition. I’ve been hoping to find another Marantz field recorder ever since my old CD320 bit the dust. The PMD is pretty much the little brother of the 320, Mono instead of Stereo and designed more for interview recording. It even has a telephone line in for recording interviews over the phone. It’s much smaller than the 320, so it fits in my KIWI recorder bag with plenty of room to spare for a set of headphones and some microphones and blank tapes. I love recording with analog tape decks and Marantz decks have always been my favorite, so finding one in great condition for $7 was a crazy stroke of luck! :D

Marantz PMD201 for $7.00!

Compared to CD320, much nicer to carry around (:

Big Brother, Little Brother

I'll miss Stereo, but I can live with Mono.

Updated: September 9, 2011 — 8:29 pm


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  1. I was just thinking to myself yesterday that it would be awesome to try out a typewriter by borrowing it for a little while, instead of committing to it in an outright purchase. I don’t mind that the prices for typewriters here are generally modest; it is just the space they take and the guilt I feel when I don’t want to keep them but don’t know who else would give them a good home. So in that sense, it would be a relief to play with a machine for a while and know that even if I ultimately didn’t keep it, it would be perfectly fine and well taken care of.

    No typospherians live close enough to me to make it a reality, and no typewriter shops either, but who knows, maybe one day. Lucky you!

    1. Bill Wahl is my town’s equivalent to Tom Furrier up at Cambridge Typewriter. He’s been really active with the Type-Ins here in Phoenix, and is featured in the upcoming Typewriter Movie. He’s a swell guy and I’m exceedingly lucky to live mere blocks from his shop. I go in there and bug him every couple of weeks, drop off typosphere cards (which he keeps in front of his cash register and gives away to anyone he thinks would be into such a thing), check out the new machines he has in and sometimes dig up interesting paperwork from his filing cabinet full of dealer ephemera. He loves to tell stories, and sometimes talks for a couple of hours, if nobody else happens to come in. Sadly, although he hangs out on Facebook (the typewriter forums there) and says he drops by the Typosphere every once in awhile, I can’t get him to start a blog or a webstore. He seems to be wary of getting sucked into the Internet. :D

  2. Overly jealous of your PMD201. No longer than two weeks ago I was scouring eBay, Craigslist and abroad for a…you guessed it PMD201. I found several, but not at a price I was willing to pay just to play around (under $20).

    Just goes to show the thrift stores around here are full of junk!

    1. Heh, the real PITA is finding cassettes. Ebay sellers seem to want upwards of $10 a pop for NOS tapes. Fortunately Amazon still carries a few brands. Less than $30 for 34 blank tapes of 2 different kinds, shipped free! (:

  3. Very nice typers. That Voss is handsome, I can imagine you not being able to resist it if it were on sale.

    Great audio find, a Marantz for $7.00… whoa!
    My next post that’s in the works is about my vintage radio collection. I guess I got the memo for an “audio” theme too.

  4. If that Ambassador is homeless, I’ll take it. Poor quality platens are a theme with Hermes. It’s more than welcome in the Adney Home for Wayward Typewriters.

    1. are you sure? The platen will *have* to be recovered (it has actual holes and is covered with fine cracks) and at least 2 or 3 of the 4 front feed rollers are actually broken open and coming apart. The machine has a lot of potential, but it could be a pretty expensive project.

      1. The benefit is that I have the space for such a large machine and nothing but time. “Something-from-nothing” is my middle name. Also, I happen to have several spools of carbon ribbon for Hermes.

        1. If you wanted, I have some old Apple hardware that I have been hesitant to sell on eBay. If you would be interested in some of it we could make a quid-pro-quo happen.

  5. This post reminds me how much I’ve been wanting an Underwood 4-Bank. I found a really nice one on eBay about six months ago, but completely forgot about the auction. I think it ended up selling for ten bucks. I’m still kicking myself.

    Admittedly, I don’t know much (if anything) about Marantz recorders, but you seem pretty excited about the find, so congrats! Like most people, cassettes remind me of making mix tapes on my bedroom stereo when I was little. Ah, good times.

  6. Laura Ann Thompson

    I need a typewriter just to place a name on a contractors license. Generally use a computer for most things, but cannot put in a name on my computer. As much as I like computers, I always loved my typewriter for things I cannot do on a computer.

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