Author Topic: Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?  (Read 3744 times)

Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?
« on: November 14, 2011, 02:02:43 AM »
Hello, everyone.

I recently purchased a Western Electric D-1, 202, with an E1handset. It has a few things on it that need some adjustment (I hope adjustments are all that is needed), and I have a few questions about the phone in general that I hope you might help me with. But first things first.

During my registration for the forum, Dennis mentioned that I would need a subset to use the phone without damaging the handset. Iíve dug through a lot of the Western Electric posts (although, Iím sure there are many I havenít read yet) and noticed the subjects of sidetone and antisidetone. Since my phoneís mounting cord has four conductors, if I am not mistaken, that means it is a 202, and has antisidetone (if ďhasĒ is the correct term). I also found a post that mentioned that the 534 and the 584 subsets were sidetone, and the 634 and 684 subsets were antisidetone. Ergo, since my phone is a 202, I assume that I would want to buy a 634 or a 684 subset. Is that correct?

Before I buy one, however, are there any significant differences between the 634 and 684 subsets that I should take into consideration? Is one better than the other? Or are they both functionally the same? Does one have a different ring? Does one have a metal box and one a bakelite box?

Any suggestions?

Thank you for your input.

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2011, 12:24:25 PM »
The 684 is a later version of the same circuit in the 634, but using different and smaller parts.  the incuction coil, capacitor, and ringer in the 684 are the same as found in the 302 telephone.  The 684 has a smaller profile and has a bakelite cover.

For the 202 "D" handset mount, either subset would have been used in the field, with the 684 having come out about mid-span during the functional life of the 202.

Either one will perform well, although the 634 will be heavier, and may ring louder, due to the size of the ringer compared to the B1A found in the 684.
-Bill G

Re: Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2011, 11:20:15 PM »
Thanks, Bill.

I appreciate your help.

I did some digging on YouTube and found some examples of the 634 and the 684 subsets ringing. Of course, itís only subjective, but I like the sound of the 634 better. I hope itís OK to post a link to them here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0c8o362KPmI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R37JSiSFDVU&feature=related

For some reason, I like the idea of a metal box too. I donít want to worry about a Bakelite box breaking.

Thanks again!

Jay

Offline GG

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Re: Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2011, 04:52:52 AM »

Re. bakelite boxes breaking: what some of us have done is attach any kind of feet to the backside of ringer boxes and put them on top of our desks.  This started when Ray (Kleenax) started making new old-style hard plastic covers to turn the bases of otherwise too-damaged-to-rebuild 302s into subsets.  Since there's no inherent way to mount those on the wall, and they already had feet on them, people started keeping them on their desks.  That meme spread to encompass regular subsets that were originally designed for wall mounting, by adding feet to them (even self-stick feet will do).

Only thing is, if you do this, you might want to adjust the ringer to be a little quieter than if the unit was mounted on the wall.


Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2011, 11:58:23 AM »
Ray Kotke also makes a reproduction 684 molded plastic replica cover to replace the broken bakelite covers.
-Bill G

Re: Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2011, 09:53:15 PM »
Thanks, GG, and thanks, Bill.

I found a metal-boxed 634 and bought it. I hope it still works; thatís the main thing. Iíll have to do some significant restoration to it if I want it to be presentable though. But then thatís half the fun!

On the other hand, I also bought a W.E. 302 that will be a bigger challenge than my D1 202. Somehow I think my original interest in owning a D1, with an E1 handset, may become a bigger overall interest than I originally anticipated. No doubt I will eventually wind up buying a 684 as well, and then the reproduction cover may come in handy! If the 302 is beyond resurrection, then Iíll probably buy a 684 cover for it.

Iím already imagining a collection consisting of a W.E. 20 series, a B1 202 (I think I read that they made such a thing), my D1 202, and if I can make it functional and presentable, my 302. Have I stepped onto the slippery slope?

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2011, 12:27:22 AM »
The 684 cover won't fit on the 302 base.  The cover Ray makes for the 302 base looks silimilar, but it is different due to the 302 base being different than the 684 base.  Just to clarify.
-Bill G

Offline bingster

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Re: Differences Between a 634 and a 684 Subset?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2011, 07:52:32 PM »

Re. bakelite boxes breaking: what some of us have done is attach any kind of feet to the backside of ringer boxes and put them on top of our desks.  This started when Ray (Kleenax) started making new old-style hard plastic covers to turn the bases of otherwise too-damaged-to-rebuild 302s into subsets.  Since there's no inherent way to mount those on the wall, and they already had feet on them, people started keeping them on their desks.  That meme spread to encompass regular subsets that were originally designed for wall mounting, by adding feet to them (even self-stick feet will do).

Only thing is, if you do this, you might want to adjust the ringer to be a little quieter than if the unit was mounted on the wall.



Something just occurred to me after reading this.  What about drilling holes in the 302 base?  You could drill a pair of holes toward the top, with a pair of smaller holes just above the first two, making a key slot for slipping over a pair of screws mounted on the wall.  Granted, you can't tighten the screws down (the cover has to be off for that), but with a bit of fiddling around, you could get them tight enough to mount a 302/Kotke subset securely.  With the added benefit, of course, that the subset is mounted where it's supposed to be.
= DARRIN =