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Repair Services Frequently Asked Questions


Q: 'I have a music box that does not work. I think it is over wound. Should I have my clock repair shop fix it or can I take it apart myself?'

A: Never attempt to dismantle a non-working music box unless you are familiar with such type of work. Doing so could result in irreparable damage to your music box and could endanger your own safety due to the powerful mainspring. When a music box does not work, the cause is usually not from being 'over wound.' Although a broken mainspring could be the source of the damage, most non-working music boxes are usually fully wound, thus extreme caution should be used in handling the box. The first thing a qualified music box technician will do is to remove the comb prior to attempting at any repair work, as the comb is the most important (and usually not replaceable!) part of the musical movement.

Q: 'I have a music box that makes grating and/or squeaking noises when it plays. Should I oil it or try putting WD-40 on the mechanism?'

A: The squeak does not indicate a need for oiling. Instead, you should have a qualified music box technician replace the missing and/or malfunctioning dampeners on the comb of your music box.

Q: 'I have an antique music box that has several comb teeth and tips broken. Can I just get a new comb?'

A: A comb can not be replaced, it was made to play specific notes. Thus, no comb is interchangeable. However, the Musical Wonder House offers expert damper, tip and tooth replacement, the cost based on how many tips, or, in the case of the teeth, how many of them needing replacment are side by side versus spaced throughout the comb, etc. We always regulate and replace missing dampers with every restoration. Email us your specifics or questions using the Contact Us link above.

Q: 'If more than 20 percent of the comb teeth are broken, do you advise repairing the comb?'

A: If more than 20% of the comb teeth are broken or missing, we recommend having our technician machine an entirely new comb for you. Our technician can make it from a new solid piece of pure steel, temper it with heat so that it will resonate, file each tooth to A440 pitch as well as to the notes used specifically for the selections with your music box cylinder, (no two are alike), and finally, file the tips to match the width of the pins of your cylinder (all pins are not equal in diameter).

Q: 'On the cylinder of my antique music box, many pins appear to be bent or missing altogether. Can I just get another cylinder?'

A: No, replacement cylinders are not generally available. However, Musical Wonder House can re-pin your cylinder. This cost depends on the length and diameter of the cylinder.

Q: 'Can a broken mainspring be replaced?'

A: Yes, a broken mainspring can be replaced, but we need the original spring, as there are many sizes and strengths to choose from.

Q: 'I have an early, key-wound music box, but the winding key has been lost. Can I get a replacement?'

A: Your key can be replaced, but we need the entire movement to determine the size needed.

Q: 'I inherited an antique music box that plays eight tunes on a brass cylinder. To hear more tunes, can I just buy another cylinder for it?'

A: If your music box has a fixed cylinder bolted down, it is not interchangeable. If your box has a locking mechanism that allows the cylinder to be unlocked and lifted out, then additional cylinders may be found that will fit your box. However, the Musical Wonder House cannot assure you that we will be able to locate the type and size you require, due to the antique nature of these cylinders.

Q: 'My antique music box has a stripped gear. Can this be replaced?

A: Yes, the Musical Wonder House can cut and replace damaged or missing gears, governors, escape wheels and pinions.

Q: 'My music box has a rusty comb and sounds out of tune. Can the rust be removed and will this restore the proper sound?

A: We can remove surface rust, but most often the steel remains pitted. Removal of the rust alone will not restore the tonal quality, but the Musical Wonder House has a world class comb-tuner technician, who can re-tune your comb to its original concert pitch.

Q: 'Do you repair contemporary or vintage type music boxes?'

A: Yes, the Musical Wonder House is the oldest established full-service music box company north of New York City. We were established in 1950 in Austria, and have been in business in the United States, since 1956.

Q: 'I have a music box that plays discs. Should I play my discs that are rusty or will it damage the mechanism?'

A: It is not advisable to play rusted discs. We may be able to get you clean discs for use in your box.

Q: 'I have an old music box that uses stamped metal discs. Where can I get more discs?'

A: We may be able to supply you with more discs. Please contact us with the name of make of your box and the diameter of the discs that you are looking for.

Q: 'I have an antique coin-operated disc-playing music box, but the coin mechanism is missing. Can it be replaced?

A: Our repair shop may be able to make a replacement coin mechanism for you.

Q: 'I have an old music box that plays from paper rolls, similar to player piano rolls. Where can I get more rolls?'

A: We may be able to help you. Please contact us with the maker's name and the size (width) of the paper rolls.

Q: 'I have a music box called 'Stella'. Is this the same as a 'Regina'? Also, the comb has at least six broken teeth, is this something you can repair or replace?'

A: 'Stella' is Swiss-made. 'Regina' is American-made. Yes, we can restore your comb. Unfortunately, replacement combs are not available.

Q: 'My antique music box has some damage to the inlay on the case. The bottom of the case also has a crack. Can the inlay be restored and should the split bottom be repaired or does it matter?'

A: Yes, the Musical Wonder House can restore cases, inlay and moldings. We also repair split sounding boards which affects the tonal quality and volume of your music box. Please contact us for more information.

Q: 'We have an old 'Regina' music box which had lost two of its four feet, so we took off the remaining two. Does it need feet?

A: Yes, your music box needs four feet to allow the sounding board to freely vibrate, constituting the rich sound of the instrument. We can replace all four feet for you.

Q: 'I have an old German music box that plays discs made of pewter, I think the size of a 78 RPM record. Do you know what they are and do you have any?

A: Your discs are made of a zinc alloy metal. Please contact us with the make and the diameter you need, and we may be able to provide you with additional discs.

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