Classic Rotary Phones Forum

Telephone Talk => General Discussion => Topic started by: Stormcrash on June 10, 2022, 06:27:18 PM

Title: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: Stormcrash on June 10, 2022, 06:27:18 PM
I know most of us are more interested in older vintage telephones but I was shocked to see on the AT&T Telephones site that they've brought back additional colors of the Trimline 210

After discontinuing most color options nearly 2 decades ago (the Bell System Memorial has a 2003/2004 memo from Avaya about the discontinuation of the Ivory color) the Trimline 210 has only been sold in Black and White options. Given that and the decline of both analog telephones and corded sets vs cordless I had thought there was about a zero percent chance the Trimline would be sold in any other colors again, no matter how much I wanted it as a Trimline fan. So I was quite surprised and excited by this when I saw it

The new colors are:
Beige (looks more like WE Ivory to me but beige is probably what the public thinks anyways)
Pink (looks very close to Rose Pink)

https://telephones.att.com/pd/4733/210M-Beige-Trimline-Corded-Phone
https://telephones.att.com/pd/4732/210M-Pink-Trimline-Corded-Phone

As for why now and why these colors the best guess I have is to capitalize on an coordinate with the trends in retro decorating. Probably got sick of seeing those nasty Crosley Princess clones get all the retro attention
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: MMikeJBenN27 on June 11, 2022, 06:11:16 AM
Maybe people are getting tired of cell phones, and being listened to all the time!

Mike
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: Stormcrash on June 11, 2022, 09:41:08 PM
My guess is still on retro decorating for homes or businesses, which the awful pictures on the Amazon listings for the new colors do seem to be playing up, anyone else needing a landline phone would probably be looking at cordless sets

Saying it's people tired of being listened to on cell phones makes no sense. Cell phones are encrypted to the tower so you can't just listen to other people's calls, and once it gets to the tower it goes over the same network as any landline call does
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: MMikeJBenN27 on June 11, 2022, 10:26:15 PM
Quote from: Stormcrash on June 11, 2022, 09:41:08 PM...Saying it's people tired of being listened to on cell phones makes no sense. Cell phones are encrypted to the tower so you can't just listen to other people's calls, and once it gets to the tower it goes over the same network as any landline call does
Cordless phones are no more secure than cell phones.  I refuse to get rid of my home phones.

Mike
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: MaximRecoil on August 08, 2022, 06:30:05 AM
Quote from: Stormcrash on June 10, 2022, 06:27:18 PMAs for why now and why these colors the best guess I have is to capitalize on an coordinate with the trends in retro decorating. Probably got sick of seeing those nasty Crosley Princess clones get all the retro attention

Are modern AT&T Trimline phones any better than a Crosley? I've never used or even seen either one in person, but from what I've read (Amazon reviews and such), they are all very lightweight, made-in-China phones of dubious quality, with lots of reported problems such as static/noise, low-volume, buttons not working or working intermittently, etc.

Lightweight is a deal-killer for me when it comes to phones; it irritates me to no end. The only non Western Electric phone I have is a Sony IT-B3 that I bought new in 1995, which was about 5 years before I started obtaining WE phones like I used when I was a kid. It wasn't a heavy phone by any means, but it had a reasonable amount of weight to both the handset and base, and worked perfectly well for a long time. I have some nostalgia for it because it's the phone I always used to talk to my ex girlfriend from 1997 to 2000, and I even talked to the late Art Bell a few times on it. However, when I tested it recently, the transmitter was barely transmitting, and there seems to be no way to take the handset apart without breaking it.

I looked on eBay and found someone who had a bunch of Sony IT-B3s still new in the box, for not much money, so I ordered one. Amazingly (and infuriatingly), Sony managed to cheapen them even during their relatively short production run. The new one's base was about 4 ounces lighter and the handset was about 3 ounces lighter than my 1995 one (almost half a pound lighter in total), even though it looked the same from the outside. On top of that, there was a noticeable noise floor, which the 1995 one didn't have.

As a side note, since I mentioned Art Bell, he was a fan of Western Electric phones. On his June 6, 1997 Coast to Coast AM show he said to a caller:

QuoteI will see what I can do, and in the meantime, do us all a favor and go out and buy a phone. Because I would like to interview you more extensively but that phone you've got, it should be put in a trash compactor. You can go out to a swap meet and get just a good old-fashioned, regular old telephone. Remember? One of the old ones with the push-buttons that probably says 'property of the Bell System' or something? And get one of those and you plug it in and use it for when you're calling a radio show.

After the call ended he continued:

QuoteActually, I've got one of those here, and you know where I bought it? I bought it at a swap meet. You know what it says on the back of it? Let me see... actually, yup, it says 'Bell System property, not for sale.' And they are some of the best phones in the whole world. Just the old-fashioned, um -- and I'm not talking about the dial phones now, it's a touch-tone phone -- the good old heavy phones, you know, the kind of phone where, uh, if you're unhappy with somebody you can crack 'em over the head and they're gone. When they're hit with a Bell System phone, one of the old ones, they're gone.

I attached the audio clip in case anyone wants to hear it.
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: Stormcrash on August 10, 2022, 08:03:31 PM
I've never had a quality/static issue with the current production Trimline sets. A lot of the negative Amazon comments relate to people not knowing how to set the handset retainer tab for wall use because they didn't read the directions. In fact the number card has been redesigned to highlight how to do this now because people are so lazy. Same with the volume, there's a slider on the side that on the loud setting is painfully loud for me as someone with excellent hearing

They're certainly pretty light weight, all the phone is in the handset, the base is just a rest for the handset and the jacks for cords. That said the feet are very grippy and I've never had an issue with one sliding away on me

I think they're better than the Crosley as they're both not a reproduction and they use proper modular cords that can be replaced
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: MMikeJBenN27 on August 11, 2022, 12:38:00 AM
Quote from: Stormcrash on June 11, 2022, 09:41:08 PM...Saying it's people tired of being listened to on cell phones makes no sense. Cell phones are encrypted to the tower so you can't just listen to other people's calls, and once it gets to the tower it goes over the same network as any landline call does
I'm talking about how, when you are talking on one, everybody in the area can here you.  When you are at home, nobody, except those in the house, can hear you.

Mike
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: cnowalk on August 13, 2022, 10:34:02 AM
We had one of these in my childhood living room in the late '90s. I recall my dad calling it either a cheesy or chintzy phone.

Of course I had to buy a beige one, just like the one we used to have.
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: Stormcrash on August 31, 2022, 05:53:03 PM
Quote from: cnowalk on August 13, 2022, 10:34:02 AMWe had one of these in my childhood living room in the late '90s. I recall my dad calling it either a cheesy or chintzy phone.

Of course I had to buy a beige one, just like the one we used to have.

We had a blue-gray one hanging in our kitchen that later became one of our toys. Between that and the teal blue Western Electric trimline upstairs it's no wonder the Trimline is my favorite phone

I'd bet that compared to cheaper and lighter weight current production those 90s ones wouldn't look very chintzy at all, but I haven't personally experience any quality or performance issues with current production phones that sometimes get reported in reviews or comments
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: cnowalk on September 09, 2022, 08:16:10 PM
Quote from: Stormcrash on August 31, 2022, 05:53:03 PMI'd bet that compared to cheaper and lighter weight current production those 90s ones wouldn't look very chintzy at all, but I haven't personally experience any quality or performance issues with current production phones that sometimes get reported in reviews or comments

I don't remember much about that old phone, but I think the keys were smooth whereas they have a slight texture on this new one I bought. The only real complaint about this one I have is that the base feels pretty light. Part of me wants more than one, but perhaps I'm better off buying an older one rather than another current phone.
Title: Re: Trimline available in colors again!
Post by: Stormcrash on September 09, 2022, 10:01:17 PM
Quote from: cnowalk on September 09, 2022, 08:16:10 PMI don't remember much about that old phone, but I think the keys were smooth whereas they have a slight texture on this new one I bought. The only real complaint about this one I have is that the base feels pretty light. Part of me wants more than one, but perhaps I'm better off buying an older one rather than another current phone.

The 90s ones actually had a lead weight inside the base to make them feel more substantial since all the real guts are in the handset, the current ones don't have that lead weight anymore