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Turntable for OLD records

Discussion in 'Source Components' started by TKoP, May 29, 2018.

  1. TKoP

    TKoP Well-Known Member

    I've inherited an extensive collection of old records -- everything from the phonograph cylinders to the record "books" built to be played on a 78rpm turntable to dozens of random albums. I will be getting the old players as well; however, I'd like to preserve the records as much as I can and I have to imagine those old players aren't as "good" to the records as a new turntable. Also, I'd like to play it through my listening rig...

    Soooooooo.... I did a quick search here, but didn't see what would be a good inexpensive buy for this kind of situation. I don't plan on listening to them all that often, but occasionally. I also don't expect to buy any new albums on vinyl.

    Any suggestions?

    Also, I'd like to record those phonograph cylinders for some of the family. My only way to "record" them would be to set up a mic and record the sound directly from the player's horn. Any suggestions for that would also be appreciated.
  2. JeffMackwood

    JeffMackwood Maxi-Me

    This may now, therefore, be of interest to you.

  3. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    78 rpm records require a completely different needle and preamp than LP or 45 rpm records. I actually recommend a different unit for each application if you want to hear what was intended and get the most from the discs. As for cylinders, I don't have any good answers. I know there are archivists who can preserve the content with some very expensive players, but I don't know if you can buy them affordably.

    Good luck.
  4. Randy

    Randy Well-Known Member Famous

    I did not know that.
  5. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    78 rpm records are mono and use a conical stylus at a different angle. They also use either no compensation EQ or a different EQ than the RIAA used on 45s and LPs. Not sure how to deal with the EQ, but you can buy cartridges made just for 78s.

    Remember your old portable record player with the stylus that flipped over? One side was just for 78s.
  6. TKoP

    TKoP Well-Known Member

    @Flint I also did not know that... glad I asked. There are a few players I saw with a general google search that played 33/45/78, but i didn't see any mention about a different cartridge... but then again, i wasn't really looking either. And i know the cylinders are going to be a pain. I finally did find a couple of alternatives for recording them -- Phonolink and Archivette seem like they'd do the job. I still have to do a little research and figure out the pros and cons for both options, but at least neither is prohibitively expensive.

    @JeffMackwood That's actually kind of cool. I do want to record some of them -- now i have an excuse to do so and a place to donate.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
  7. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Audio Technica and others make 78 rpm cartridges, if you want the best results of capturing the audio on the lacquers for archiving digitally, using one of the dedicated 78 cartridges and record into a PC and find a good plug-in for your audio software designed to correct the EQ.

    Here's clear instructions from the fine folks at Audacity -

    Of course, a regular stereo cartridge with a common LP stylus can play a 78 rpm disk. It just won't sound as perfect. So, this is a matter of how far one wants to go to get the best possible results.
  8. rammisframmis

    rammisframmis Well-Known Member

    A stylus for LP records, even if it is conical rather than elliptical, is quite a bit smaller in radius than the stylus for 78s. The result of using an LP stylus will be that the stylus will ride in the bottom of the 78 groove rather than riding on the sides of the groove where it should be. All of the accumulated dirt, dust and crud resides on the bottom of the groove so the playback will be noisier than it should be. That being said, devoted 78 RPM fans will experiment with different tip radius to find one which rides on the least-worn portion of the sides of the groove for lowest noise.

    Playing cylinders has been accomplished by using a linear tracking tonearm that can ride across the length of the cylinder, but this is probably much more trouble than its worth, except for an archivist.
  9. Randy

    Randy Well-Known Member Famous

    I do remember that now that you mentioned it. Thank you sir for that walk down memory lane.
  10. TKoP

    TKoP Well-Known Member

    Since I know nothing of such things, i turned to our Google Overlord and did a search for "best 78 Turntables" and found this site. The options were
    I don't know that I'd want to fork out the $278 for the AT when I don't have many recent vinyl -- and don't expect to use it often, but had no idea if any of the others are really "good enough".

    And i just don't know where to even begin with the cartridge issue... if the propaganda on this website is to be believed, the Grado 78C would be good "cheaper" alternative for playing the old 79s -- mono cartridge with a 3.0mil stylus and then maybe a Shure M92E if I want to flip to newer vinyl recordings? I'm at work, and coming up with anything better than these options will take much more time.
  11. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Check out Craigslist for the turntable if you think you are gonna buy cartridges.
  12. JeffMackwood

    JeffMackwood Maxi-Me

    Care to post a short list of representative titles (artist/year) from the collection?

    Way back when, Jeff Healey used to host a CBC radio show called "My Kind of Jazz" and it was a real treat when he dug deep into his massive personal collection of discs and spun some very old jazz recordings.

  13. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Hey, you might want to look online for free to download archived copies of the cylinders and 78s. I was looking for info on archival players and saw a some huge collections with free downloading - since the content is mostly (or completely) public domain at this point. That could save you from having to find a way to record the cylinders or 78s, or maybe reduce the number which are you need to deal with. Unless, of course, you have an attachment to these specific copies of the recordings which is driving you to archive them for yourself.
  14. TKoP

    TKoP Well-Known Member

    That's actually a great idea -- i've seen some of those and didn't even think to try and match them up to what i is in my uncle's library. I may still get the either the archivette or the phonolink -- they're not terrible expensive ($100 and $150) and should be "good enough". I'll be looking to see which one seems to do a better job of making these recordings.
  15. TKoP

    TKoP Well-Known Member

    Sorry, i missed this.. i just grabbed the first handful books i could. Some are a collective set in a "Book" and some were just a few records in the non-set book. Anyway, here are a few:
    1. Brahms Symphony No. 1, in C Minor, OP. 68 (Red Seal Deluxe - Book)/Leopold Stokowski and the Hollywood Bowl Symphony (1950s)
    2. Franck Sonata in A (Red Seal Deluxe - Book)/Jascha Heifetz (Violin) Artur Rubinstein (Piano) (1940s? 1950s?)
    3. Forward March Parade March No. 1/The Goldman Band (1942)
    4. Five Minutes More and How Cute Can You Be/Frank Sinatra (1946)
    5. Cachita and Dureme/Xavier Cugat and His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra ‎(1941)
    6. Brazil and Chiu Chiu/Xavier Cugat and His Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra (1942)
    7. Muzio - Song Recital (book)/Claudia Muzio (1950?)
    8. I Can Hear It Now, 1933-1945/Edward Murrow and Fred Friendly (1948)
    9. My Ain Folk/Evan Williams (1914?) (single sided and has a list price on the record of $1.50)
    10. Minuet in G/Ignace Jan Paderiewski (1917)
    11. A Treasury of Harpsichord Music (Red Seal - Book)/Wanda Landowska (1948)
    12. Wieniawski Concerto No. 2 in D Mnorfor Violin and Orchestra (book)/Issac Stern (1946)
    13. Moussorgsky: Boris Godounoff (Book)/Alexander Kipnis (1945)

    This is only a small taste... there are many many boxes that I haven't even cracked open.
    Pic 1.jpg Pic 2.jpg Pic 2.jpg
  16. TKoP

    TKoP Well-Known Member

    Backed off that idea... i think i can go with the Teac ($125) and buy a 78 stylus (which is $48). Seemed like the best option. Preamp included, in the one review i saw it was supposed to sound decent, was relatively simple to use, liked the looks and was not super expensive (to me). It wasn't perfect though -- e.g., tone arm wasn't adjustable, permanent cartridge. The main alternative was the Audio Technica and then buy different cartridges and/or styli. That option was WAY more expensive and just not worth it. It was definitely the "best" of the bunch though and if I were going to get more into vinyl as a thing, it was probably what I'd have gone with.

    I did try looking on craigslist, and I'm sure I could find something eventually, but unless I really knew what I was doing, I wouldn't know what was good or not and in the end. If i did find an Audio Technica, it was still likely to cost too much still.
  17. Flint

    Flint "Do you know who I am?" Superstar

    Sounds like you have a plan. I hope it works out well.
  18. TKoP

    TKoP Well-Known Member

    Well, i finally got the last of the "stuff". It's a lot.. one of the things i've notices is i'm going to need a lot of sleeves for the records themselves. Probably a dumm (sic) question, but does it matter what kind of sleeve to use? i.e., is plastic just as good as paper? I'm still working out the system for how i'm going to store all of these records and players.
    3.jpg 2.jpg 1.jpg 4.jpg
    PaulyT likes this.
  19. bmwuk

    bmwuk Well-Known Member

    Neat looking equipment.
  20. TKoP

    TKoP Well-Known Member

    I came across one of these while going through the old records...

    a 78 of Carl Perkins on Sun Records. Isn't worth more than ~$8, but still, kinda cool.

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