View Full Version : Unusual gong block

04-03-2007, 09:29 AM
I have a Smiths dual chime (Whittington / Westminster) mantle clock that has an unusual gong block.
It has what appears to be a floating block with an arm that is attached via a taught wire to a speaker like cone over a slatted grill.

So I wondered,
Are these common place, what was the thinking behind this design (Was it a sales gimmick) What is this type of block called ?

It has to be said that although this arrangement is very interesting and the sound is very sweet, it doesn't sound any louder than normal.

04-03-2007, 10:30 AM
Any of these that I have worked on were newer Junghans clocks and they sounded great!! I think its a great design. :thumb:

Jeff Major

04-03-2007, 04:18 PM
Some smith dual chimes later HAC/jhans whittington clocks had these gong blocks the gongs set in a strange order and a amplifiar attached to give the sound of the chimes a much louder sound they work well I thinkI have a clock with one its a HAC.

04-03-2007, 04:20 PM
I cannot vouch for amplified smiths ones but the HAC/jhans wood and bakelite dual chimers with amplifiar sound really good and are very loud.

04-03-2007, 04:41 PM
I cannot vouch for amplified smiths ones but the HAC/jhans wood and bakelite dual chimers with amplifiar sound really good and are very loud.

Well thats the strange thing. As said the sound of the chimes is great (Very sweet) but they just don't seem any louder than normal. Not that thats a problem.
Maybe if it didn't have this type of block it would be quieter than normal. Or maybe its just my old ears.
Am I take it that amplified is the correct term when referring to this type of block arrangement ?

04-03-2007, 05:41 PM
Yer they were just referred to as echo chimes or amplified generally.

I have a smiths dual chime but it just has normal copper/ brass gongs in it and that is incredibly loud I dont see why smith bothered with amplifiers they clearly didnt need them. It has proper long copper/brass rods two tiered like that and the block is just normal black and attached to the bottom of case like other smiths.

Instead of using the usual brass rods, the echo/amplified blocks all seemed to use those silver rods they are usually more mellow than brass/ copper ones and the idea is to sit the clock on a hard surface and the sound should really blast out as a loud ghostly mellow echo it works on the HAC/Jhans ones anyway but smiths really it in a way was kinda pointless since their own made gongs and use of hard rubber hammer tips (some had leather but alot used these) were louder than the average mantle clock anyway generally.

Tom McIntyre
04-03-2007, 06:03 PM
I suspect these are more properly called resonators regardless of what the makers call them. They should work to mellow the sound and give it more pleasant overtones. They might also make it louder.

Lots of older mantle clocks have double hollow bottoms for similar reasons.

Mike Phelan
04-04-2007, 03:27 AM
Probably more of a sales gimmick than anything else.
It will let the sound out a bit and change the tone because you are hearing more of the rods than the acoustic output of the case.

Wonder if anyone has seen a leaflet or catalogue?

Rods are never brass or copper, AFAIK, they are either steel or a bronze alloy.

04-04-2007, 03:34 AM
Ok Thanks gents,
I think I will settle for "amplified resonator" for want of a better name for it.

The important thing is it sounds great, and its nice to have something a little different from the norm :thumb:

04-04-2007, 05:24 AM
Mike theres brass bronze and steel rods trust me, But your right about bronze, I mean't to say bronze rods I just went blank for a minute thought of the colour :bang:and said copper hahahah I must have drunk too much caffine.