Music boxes and disc players

Music boxes and disc players come in a wide variety of styles and sizes. Music boxes can range from little gadgets that hang on your Christmas tree to large cases that play eight (or more) full songs on one winding. Disc players can range from little boxes with 3” discs to 8’ tall floor models playing 20” discs.

Typically, problems in both the music box and the disc player performance will show up in the following areas:

  • The Governor assembly. This is where the power of the mainspring is controlled so that the song doesn’t play out in one second. Often, gears are worn, cracked, out of adjustment and dirty/sticky.
  • The Mainspring assembly. Generally, if there is a problem here it’s because the mainspring is broken, gummy (and sticking to itself), or it’s just worn out where it can no longer hold the strength it needs and has to be replaced.
  • The ‘Comb’ and barrel assemblies. The Comb is the piece where the musical tones are reproduced after being plucked by the pins on the barrel. The ends of the comb teeth can break after years of use and are really not repairable. On smaller units, the combs can be replaced but, on larger units, it is not so much the case. There are only a few people left in the world that can still repair comb teeth due to the fact that it requires EXACT replacement/tempering/annealing for each pin tip. This also goes for ‘dampers’ on large cabinet units. Dampers are the part of the pin which allows the pin to resonate and not give you a sounding ‘buzz’. These are also not serviced by me and left to someone who has performed it and has practiced this art for many years.

99% of music box repairs can be performed completely and affordably. Only about 1% of repairs would require comb and barrel restoration.




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