This delightfully plump instrument, with its robust oak cabinet and scalloped flower horn -- the color of which is as deep and inviting as an emerald sea.  Dive right in!  We have developed a special multi-step process to produce this alluring translucent finish which precisely replicates the original factory appearance.  

By the way -- who or what the heck was "Aretino"? Aretino (actually Guido d'Arezzo) was an 11th century monk who invented the first three notes of our musical scale.

But why should YOU invest in the Aretino? Because it is a stunning example of ancient technology. Because you want a piece of tunefully functioning old school audio to make your entertainment room come alive. Because you are interested in an out-of-the-ordinary antique with a riveting back story.

Arthur J. O’Neill, Midwest marketing specialist, was a man with a plan. Why else would anyone have designed the "Aretino" machine? Read on. In 1904, O'Neill had founded a Chicago marketing firm called the O’Neill-James Company, which soon began distributing cylinder and disc talking machines.

At that time in Chicago there as a kind of "war of the spindle holes" going on. There were a number of firms offering talking machines that had enlarged spindles so that ONLY one particular brand of record would fit them. 

In fact, it was getting rather crazy, with holes in the records measuring 1/2", 3/4" and even 1 1/2". And all this effort was being expended to keep clients from using "rival brand" records on the talking machines they purchased.

O'Neill decided the only answer was to make a record with a hole SO BIG that it would fit any of the competing instruments. Patent No. 874,985 was issued to Arthur J. O’Neill on December 31, 1907 for his concept of a record with the greatest-of-all-possible holes, with precious little room for any label at all! A virtual doughnut of a record, with a 3” aperture. This was how the “Aretino” record was born. Through the use of adapters, this disc could be used on any other machine being sold in Chicago at that time. It's brilliant, in an inspiredly goofy way.

Here we see the "doughnut" record in place on the turntable.

But wait -- there's more!  Yes, the Aretino will play the specially produced "Aretino" records -- three of which will accompany the machine -- but it disguises another important feature.

The 3" diameter spindle cap removes to reveal a conventional 78 rpm record spindle, whereby "regular" 78s may also be played.

The components are in excellent condition.  Mr. O'Neill commissioned a custom, large diameter soundbox (needlehead) to insure his clients received the finest quality sound. Note the fancy "damaskeening" under the mica diaphragm, an elite metal finish seen in high quality scientific ionstruments and watches.  As always, we have meticulously rebuilt the soundbox to produce outstanding sound quality.

The painstakingly calibrated motor.  What do you find from other dealers?  Filthy, badly jury-rigged wrecks that the sellers have no understanding of.  At phonophan over 50 years of skill goes into each instrument.  In fact, all the history that you are reading on this page today originates in the research of Tim Fabrizio.

Aretino horns were always green. In this instance, gleaming like molten jade. We've spent decades perfecting the exact way to replicate the translucent finish on horns such as this. The bewitching beauty of this deep, iridescent finish precisely matches the appearance when it left the factory.  You can play regular 78s, but should you csatch the "Aretino bug" and want to get more "doughnut" records, we have plenty more for sale separately.

Price: $1450.00 US, with 3 Aretino records, plus shipping and handling. (NY State residents must pay sales tax, if applicable.)


Telephone: 585-244-5546

Click here for Terms & Conditions of sale

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