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 Post subject: Re: Cactus, fibre and wooden needles are unsatisfactory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:21 am 
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Victor I
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At night you can find me in the garage using toothpicks so I don't wake anybody up!

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 Post subject: Re: Cactus, fibre and wooden needles are unsatisfactory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 3:08 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
Posts: 836
Roaring20s wrote:
I have used Cactus and Bamboo for years and love them.
They will hold up to digs and scratches just fine, but failure of a point has happened and is an rare occurrence.


I have also utilized the Burmese thorns for years, and I am happy that Orchorsol took over the production and commercialization of these needles! I believe I am one his first (and satisfied) customers, and certainly will come back for more of them.

A caution note however: some shellac compounds are not compatible with thorns and will immediately wear out at the first play - some US dime labels from the 20s like Grey Gull will gray out (pun intended), most US small labels from the 40s like Continental, Dial, some, but not all, Victors from the 40s etc. The wear is immediately noticeable visually, the record groove turns gray as the needle travels, and subsequent play will show audible increase in background hiss. Personal experience, unfortunately. On the good side, these are exceptions, and most records can be safely played with thorns, IF as Graham mentioned the player is well set up and has enough compliance.


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 Post subject: Re: Cactus, fibre and wooden needles are unsatisfactory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:07 am 
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Victor IV
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Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2012 1:55 am
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CarlosV wrote:
A caution note however: some shellac compounds are not compatible with thorns and will immediately wear out at the first play...

I have not had issue with older shellac discs and a Cactus needle. My experience, like Carlos, begins with post-WWII discs.
A simple way to check if a post-1940ish record is hard enough for use, is to take the needle in hand and with its point, see if you can leave a mark in the dead wax. If you can mark the surface it will grind to a halt if played. That has worked for me and my Victor III. Yes, I know that I should not use such a machine on post-WWII discs, but I can't help myself from experimenting and pushing the limit. Most discs by the start of the 1950s are softer and that's the limit for a heavy tonearm. I assume that established companies such as Columbia and RCA Victor transitioned to Vinyl slower than newer labels using newer pressing facilities. Experiment at your own peril on common thrift shop finds and discover your own limits. ;)

James.


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 Post subject: Re: Cactus, fibre and wooden needles are unsatisfactory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:39 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 1830
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
CarlosV wrote:
Roaring20s wrote:
I have used Cactus and Bamboo for years and love them.
They will hold up to digs and scratches just fine, but failure of a point has happened and is an rare occurrence.


I have also utilized the Burmese thorns for years, and I am happy that Orchorsol took over the production and commercialization of these needles! I believe I am one his first (and satisfied) customers, and certainly will come back for more of them.

A caution note however: some shellac compounds are not compatible with thorns and will immediately wear out at the first play - some US dime labels from the 20s like Grey Gull will gray out (pun intended), most US small labels from the 40s like Continental, Dial, some, but not all, Victors from the 40s etc. The wear is immediately noticeable visually, the record groove turns gray as the needle travels, and subsequent play will show audible increase in background hiss. Personal experience, unfortunately. On the good side, these are exceptions, and most records can be safely played with thorns, IF as Graham mentioned the player is well set up and has enough compliance.


Yes, and most these specify to use steel needles, changing them every play, right on the label.


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 Post subject: Re: Cactus, fibre and wooden needles are unsatisfactory
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:03 am 
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Victor III
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Joined: Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:03 am
Posts: 679
Location: near Utopia, UK
CarlosV wrote:
I have also utilized the Burmese thorns for years, and I am happy that Orchorsol took over the production and commercialization of these needles! I believe I am one his first (and satisfied) customers, and certainly will come back for more of them.

A caution note however: some shellac compounds are not compatible with thorns and will immediately wear out at the first play - some US dime labels from the 20s like Grey Gull will gray out (pun intended), most US small labels from the 40s like Continental, Dial, some, but not all, Victors from the 40s etc. The wear is immediately noticeable visually, the record groove turns gray as the needle travels, and subsequent play will show audible increase in background hiss. Personal experience, unfortunately. On the good side, these are exceptions, and most records can be safely played with thorns, IF as Graham mentioned the player is well set up and has enough compliance.

Many thanks Carlos!

Yes, I do mention the problem with Grey Gull etc. on the website - it seems to be some kind of friction effect rather than normal abrasive wear.

I should also point out that unlike the US, here in the UK almost all 78s were fully shellac-based right up until the end of production around 1960.


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