Question from a non audiophile regarding vinyl
Sep 30, 2009 at 3:54 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

JohntheChristian

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I collect vinyl for non audiophile purposes, Most of the music i listen to is digital AAC and with my average ear I'm happy with that. But sometimes i just like to get out some records and listen to them simply because its fun.

However, I am somewhat uneducated. I have a jazz album (a real album, as in multiple singles in a little book) that is played at 78 RPM and the disks are hard (obviously not vinyl, but i don't know what the material is). When I play the singles, there is a nasty hissing sound that I don't get on my 33 LPs.

First of all is this normal? Secondly are these old records ruining my relatively cheap needle?
 
Sep 30, 2009 at 5:35 PM Post #3 of 8

Meliboeus

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For 78rpm you need not only a turntable with correct speed ( which you have i suppose ), but also a suitable cartridge or needle, i don't know if you are ruining your stylus by playing 78, but i would stop, just in case...
 
Sep 30, 2009 at 10:41 PM Post #5 of 8

memepool

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Quote:

Originally Posted by JohntheChristian /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Aha, i see.

Makes you wonder why they bother to place a 78 RPM option on a player not intended to play them.



Decks which play both shellac records and microgroove (vinyl) records generally have either

(a) stylus which flips over with '78 compatible on one side and 33/45 on the other on the cheapest / most old fashioned ones

(b)an arm with several headshells which fit the different cartridges ( needles ) for the different records on better quality ones

or even multiple tonearms on the very best ones.

The reson for these different formats is historical. The 78 dates from the end of the 19th century, the microgroove record from just after WWII. See here Gramophone record - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Jazz album you are describing is probably a pressing of that particular music from the time it was made. It's a piece of history. You should be careful and look after it as it might be worth money to a collector. These things are very fragile and can shatter if dropped.

'78s can sound very good on the right equipment.
 
Oct 1, 2009 at 8:17 AM Post #7 of 8

Uncle Erik

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I'd worry more about a cheap needle ruining a 78. I don't know what your setupnis, but there are needles made specially for 78 records.

The hissing can be due to a number of reasons, but there are different equalization curves used for 78s. I'm not an expert, but I believe that several different curves were used.

I haven't seen him around much lately, but Bigshot is a lover of very old black discs and has a comprehensive knowledge of them. It might be worth sending him a PM for more information. Night Owl also knows a lot about everything vinyl and is an excellent resource.

And props to you for keeping the 78s spinning! They're another "some day" format for me - I was fingering a few of them over the weekend at a junk store. Sooner or later, I'll set up a turntable and an adjustable phono stage just for them.
 
Oct 1, 2009 at 5:11 PM Post #8 of 8

memepool

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Uncle Erik /img/forum/go_quote.gif

And props to you for keeping the 78s spinning! They're another "some day" format for me - I was fingering a few of them over the weekend at a junk store. Sooner or later, I'll set up a turntable and an adjustable phono stage just for them.



oops you're right about damaging them with the wrong needle. I forgot to emphasise that.

The best decks for playing old '78s electrically are the Lenco's. See LENCO HEAVEN

As you can set the speed anywhere upto 86rpm. These can be upgraded a lot too. Old Duals are also good although they lack the same speed flexibility which is useful as speeds, like eq curves as you mention, weren't completely standardised for many years in the early years of the last century. Lack of standardisation is actually the main issue with getting good results from '78s which means you need to have a range of kit to optimise them.

Esotericsound
These guys have some good gadgets for eq but if I recall from previous discussions I've had with Bigshot on this subject, you can just as easily Eq them yourself by ear after some google research with a hardware graphic equaliser, which you can find 2nd hand for less money.

Drawmer, Klark Teknik and DBX are all good ones to look out for, as these are propper pro level studio ones rather than those from major Japanese brands which were fashionable in domestic Hi-Fi in the '70s.

Another really important point is that a range of stylus tips in different sizes is very helpful for playing around damage from steel needles and the like. Truncated tips are particularly useful for this and the Stanton 500 is the most widely supported here I think.

Cleaning with vacumm machines is also a little fraught as you can't use the same solutions as with vinyl and need to be careful with the amount of pressure you put on the shellac. So not all designs of RCM are suited to '78s.

I have a lot of this kit but what I really want next is a good acoustic grammophone with a large horn as sometimes recording these with a microphone just sounds more appropriate to the feel of these old recordings and you can get really surprisingly good bass from some of these. And of course they look lovely to boot.
 

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