The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 9:53 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 1647
CarlosV wrote:
The video is interesting but it only demonstrates that the plastic needle can play one side of a record. A product like this to be convincing needs an endurance test, i.e., play the same record multiple times changing for a new needle after every play, and checking the wear afterwords. Our experience as collectors show that a record played with steel needles that are not reused, or played with thorn needles, is subject to minimal wear after hundreds of cumulative playing, and this is what makes most of us collectors confident in utilizing such needles to play our records.


In 1980 an old collector I knew told me that in 1930 he and a friend took two new 78s and played them , the first with a steel needle used over and over again , after 8 plays the sound was greatly degraded and then if played with a new needle very poor , the record grooves were visibly damaged , they then played the second record over a few days hundreds of times using a new needle each time the result was no visible record wear and the sound was still as good , I often thought about trying to repeat this but life is too short :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:01 am 
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Victor V
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2011 7:54 pm
Posts: 2642
soundgen wrote:
CarlosV wrote:
The video is interesting but it only demonstrates that the plastic needle can play one side of a record. A product like this to be convincing needs an endurance test, i.e., play the same record multiple times changing for a new needle after every play, and checking the wear afterwords. Our experience as collectors show that a record played with steel needles that are not reused, or played with thorn needles, is subject to minimal wear after hundreds of cumulative playing, and this is what makes most of us collectors confident in utilizing such needles to play our records.


In 1980 an old collector I knew told me that in 1930 he and a friend took two new 78s and played them , the first with a steel needle used over and over again , after 8 plays the sound was greatly degraded and then if played with a new needle very poor , the record grooves were visibly damaged , they then played the second record over a few days hundreds of times using a new needle each time the result was no visible record wear and the sound was still as good , I often thought about trying to repeat this but life is too short :lol:


There is someone on YouTube who did that, making videos of the same record after 1 play, 10 plays, 20 plays, etc., up to about 100. I though he had done more, but perhaps someone else did this too? Here's a link to the first play. You can find the others on the same channel.

(Double-click the video above or click this link to go to the video on YouTube.)



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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 11:26 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 1647
record wear test play 100


https://youtu.be/Y8zm64GGizY


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 1:37 pm 
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Victor V
His epigrams are all his own, the man's an epigramophone!
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2011 1:21 pm
Posts: 2671
Location: The Somerset Levels, UK.
Imagine making a wear test video of a Blue Amberol cylinder, which Edison claimed would play 3,000 times without wear.

At an average 4 minutes duration that's 12,000 minutes = 200 hours, not including rewinding time!


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 2:11 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 2:04 pm
Posts: 1647
epigramophone wrote:
Imagine making a wear test video of a Blue Amberol cylinder, which Edison claimed would play 3,000 times without wear.

At an average 4 minutes duration that's 12,000 minutes = 200 hours, not including rewinding time!


yes but no one would play a record 3,000 times would they? they would have dozens of records , all that says is they are usable during a lifetime and as we can all see most are still playable in in 2019 , so with 78s most are still playable now even the worn ones try WD40 :lol: and steel needles used once only !


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:03 pm 
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Victor Jr
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:50 am
Posts: 10
I recently investigated the original commercial standard Bryson in his 1935 book "The Gramophone Record" itemises all the technical details of and record production and testing.

"with a sound box 40 plays without unacceptable wear is expected and with an electrical pick up 100 plays would be expected".

Also I am sure you all realise that test were run with 3 or 4 sound boxes or pick up arms on the record at once.

with cylinders the obvious process is to play a portion of the record only.
3000 plays of 10 seconds is sill 8 hours of run time and very boring.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:55 am 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1521
This may be a stupid suggestion, but it seems to me, as an experiment, this might be worth a try:

Attachment:
Capture.JPG
Capture.JPG [ 31.7 KiB | Viewed 263 times ]


They would have to be cut to the appropriate length, and pointed with fine sandpaper, or a thorn or cactus needle sharpener.

OrthoFan


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:06 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 238
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
OrthoFan wrote:
This [plastic cocktail picks] may be a stupid suggestion, but it seems to me, as an experiment, this might be worth a try.

They would have to be cut to the appropriate length, and pointed with fine sandpaper, or a thorn or cactus needle sharpener.

OrthoFan


I have ordered a similar item and shall see what I can make of them.

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 11:26 am 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu Apr 27, 2017 5:52 am
Posts: 238
Location: Redruth, Cornwall, U.K.
The cocktail sticks were a complete failure; I found it quite impossible to put an adequate point on them, and I suspect that the material was not dense enough to allow this. Possibly the type illustrated by OrthoFan would have served better (mine were transparent and each tipped with a red plastic flamingo), but I was not encouraged to continue the project.

However, one good thing has indirectly resulted from this experiment: I have (belatedly) learned of the BCN cactus-thorn needles made by our colleague Orchorsol, using equipment and methods developed in the 1920s, and distributed through his website http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com/. These have been a revelation. Until now I have accepted a certain metallic edginess as inevitable in any acoustic gramophone which would fit my house and my pocket (these conditions exclude EMGs and re-entrant cabinet models); I now know that I have been mistaken in this. The BCNs give a warmth to the orchestra, and a kind of freedom to the sound of individual instruments within it, which enable me to forget altogether that I am listening to a home-made gramophone with an ungainly and unscientific tin horn; they are more tolerant of less-than-perfect copies than I had dared to expect; and I have already satisfied myself that they can be re-pointed many times. I see no need to search any further.

Oliver Mundy.


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 Post subject: Re: Plastic phonograph needles - Has anybody tried them?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 18, 2019 4:23 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Sat Jul 09, 2016 7:12 pm
Posts: 1521
Menophanes wrote:
The cocktail sticks were a complete failure; I found it quite impossible to put an adequate point on them, and I suspect that the material was not dense enough to allow this. Possibly the type illustrated by OrthoFan would have served better (mine were transparent and each tipped with a red plastic flamingo), but I was not encouraged to continue the project.

However, one good thing has indirectly resulted from this experiment: I have (belatedly) learned of the BCN cactus-thorn needles made by our colleague Orchorsol, using equipment and methods developed in the 1920s, and distributed through his website http://www.burmesecolourneedles.com/. These have been a revelation. Until now I have accepted a certain metallic edginess as inevitable in any acoustic gramophone which would fit my house and my pocket (these conditions exclude EMGs and re-entrant cabinet models); I now know that I have been mistaken in this. The BCNs give a warmth to the orchestra, and a kind of freedom to the sound of individual instruments within it, which enable me to forget altogether that I am listening to a home-made gramophone with an ungainly and unscientific tin horn; they are more tolerant of less-than-perfect copies than I had dared to expect; and I have already satisfied myself that they can be re-pointed many times. I see no need to search any further.

Oliver Mundy.


Many thanks for the follow-up and the information about the BCN cactus thorn needles!

OrthoFan


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