Spotting Fakes
What to Look For
Crap-O-Phones are cobbled together from a collection of original wind-up portable and new parts. The embossed brass horn, common to both Indian and Chinese models, is the most obvious tip-off. Look for poor castings and ill fitting parts in the horn elbow, tone arm, and bracket. Indian crap-o-phones also feature “His Master’s Voice Sound Box” engraved on the front of the reproducer.
Winding Up
Another giveaway is a crank angled into the motorboard, as shown above. This is a sure sign that the motor came from a suitcase portable. Inside, you will likely find a “plate & pillar” motor, often manufactured by Thorens.