The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Needles
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 6:58 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:31 am
Posts: 12
Hello,

I just got a machine, I read a needle must be changed after every record played. Is this correct? Also, I found a place where I can get 100 needles for $6.75. Is that a good price? is there anything in particular I need to look out for with the needles? There is a volume difference between the needles I also read.

As you can see, I have alot of questions. Just learning!


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 Post subject: Re: Needles
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 7:15 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
Posts: 1514
I usually get them from:

http://www.wyattsmusical.com

I believe they offer them in three volumes, soft, medium and loud. But perhaps only soft and loud, Check the site for needles. I usually buy 1,000 at a time for the best price, then they last a longer while as well.

Larry


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 Post subject: Re: Needles
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 7:51 am 
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Victor IV
I've got both kinds of music--classical & rag-time.
Joined: Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:39 am
Posts: 1205
Location: South Carolina
You will have to change the needle each time you play a record. Some people use one needle to play 2 sides of a record. That doesn't work well for me. I play one side & toss 'em.

The old Victrola owner's manual recommended that, when you did put in a new needle, to let it "play" the silent grooves at the very end of the disc. That works great. Let me tell you--when you touch a needle to the disc it will fuzz and grind for a second, tearing the tip off the needle and grinding it into a new, polished point. It's like having a custom stylus for each record.

I don't like Wyatt's Musical's needles. Everything else is great but the needles never sounded good to me. They always have black fluff on the tips--means they're eating 78s. Not cool.

So far my best results have been with Walt Sommer's needles on eBay (Gettysburg Antique Phonograph) and with Chamberlain soft-tone steel needles. Walt's medium tone needles are incredible--they're the elusive "Goldilocks" level I've been looking for, not too loud, not too shushy, just right. Also, they don't eat the grooves out of hard-to-find records.

Alexander K. (kirtley2012 on the Forum here) is making a bamboo needle. Check the bottom of your soundbox where the needle goes in (called the chuck, like on a power drill.) There should be either a round or triangular hole. If it's round, then you have a very early reproducer. If triangular, congratulations, you can use bamboo needles. These last longer and can be sharpened with a vintage needle cutter, a nail file, or a pair of trimmers.

Also--rebuild your reproducer (pickup head) so it will have better sound & reduce wear to your 78s. Most Victrolas need this maintenance--they go from "pleasantly nostalgic" to "why don't they still make these??" and will blow the mind of whoever hears it.

Happy listening
Charles F.


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 Post subject: Re: Needles
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 7:56 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:31 am
Posts: 12
Thank You, I need to find instructions on rebuilding the reproducer and what I need to buy. I will check Youtube videos.


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 Post subject: Re: Needles
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 8:03 am 
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Victor VI
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I'm Feeling Cranky
Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:22 pm
Posts: 3123
Location: Livonia, NY
amd250 wrote:
Hello,
I read a needle must be changed after every record played. Is this correct?

Yes, that's correct. Generally speaking, the records contain abrasives which wear down the needle, causing it to "fit" that record's particular groove cut. This increased the lifespan of the records.

amd250 wrote:
Also, I found a place where I can get 100 needles for $6.75. Is that a good price? is there anything in particular I need to look out for with the needles?

That sounds reasonable to me, but it really depends on the manufacturer. Some are better regarded by members here, than others. I have to defer to Larry (above) for his recommendation. Wyatt's Musical Americana is a well established and widely respected outfit. Others likely have their own preferences.


amd250 wrote:
There is a volume difference between the needles I also read.

Yes. Loud tone can be quite loud and "brash" sounding, and drive you from a room with the louder talking machines. Depends on other factors like the particular soundbox, tonearm, and horn configuration. There's an enormous amount of variation between machine manufacturers and their different models. I prefer soft tone with my Victrola XVI.


amd250 wrote:
As you can see, I have alot of questions. Just learning!

Ask away, you've come to the right place!

Welcome to the community, and I suggest you conduct copious searches here through the search feature in the upper right-hand corner of the page.

Best regards,
Fran
Francis; "i" for him, "e" for her
"Even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while" - the unappreciative supervisor.


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 Post subject: Re: Needles
PostPosted: Thu May 02, 2019 8:11 am 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Fri Apr 26, 2019 10:31 am
Posts: 12
Thank You!


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