The Talking Machine Forum — For All Antique Phonographs & Recordings

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 Post subject: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Mon Dec 02, 2019 11:38 pm 
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Victor Jr
young collector
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Hello everyone,

I got these awhile back and don’t known anything about them!

Can anyone tell me some info about them! I know that you were supposed to put the record on and then sing into the horn and it would record your voice on the record? Sadly I can’t hear anything on them now, it’s just scratch. Is there a trick to play them?

Thanks,
David

P.S. I have two records. This front and back


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 Post subject: Re: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:26 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: 1372
Location: South Carolina
Bamboo needles only, or fiber! Don't play soft aluminum with steel.

They're aluminum, I think.

You'll have better luck (if anything is left on them) playing them with the right sort of needle on an acoustic phonograph, than if you were to play them on an electric turntable. Frankly, with the way aluminum oxidizes, I'm surprised you have any grooves left. Perhaps someone has an idea about cleaning the surface but I'm not sure...that's why I don't collect aluminum or acetate home recordings as they are hard to play back.

Oh, if you find acetates like Audiodisc or Recordio you can't play them on a gramophone as the needle will peel the celluloid coating right off. Play them on an electric with a 78rpm stylus.


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 Post subject: Re: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:37 am 
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Victor Jr
young collector
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Alright! They were in a lot of Edison records I got.... still very cool!


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 Post subject: Re: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:41 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 2870
Location: Near NY's Capital
VanEpsFan1914 wrote:
Bamboo needles only, or fiber! Don't play soft aluminum with steel.

They're aluminum, I think.

You'll have better luck (if anything is left on them) playing them with the right sort of needle on an acoustic phonograph, than if you were to play them on an electric turntable. Frankly, with the way aluminum oxidizes, I'm surprised you have any grooves left. Perhaps someone has an idea about cleaning the surface but I'm not sure...that's why I don't collect aluminum or acetate home recordings as they are hard to play back.

Oh, if you find acetates like Audiodisc or Recordio you can't play them on a gramophone as the needle will peel the celluloid coating right off. Play them on an electric with a 78rpm stylus.


First of all, don't play them acoustically with anything, bamboo or otherwise if you want to preserve them.

These as well as lacquer discs (they're NOT acetates or celluloid) CAN be properly cleaned. Not only are some aluminum based, but during WW2, glass was also used as a base material. Several of us who do collect and preserve the sound on these types of discs have come up with a few different ways for proper cleaning. It often takes repeated cleans before the palmitic acid deposits on the surface of a lacquer or Victrolac disc will come off and even then, it will come back because this is the result of these breaking down, or self destructing in other words. Lacquers didn't hold up well after very many playings to begin with, so it's important to get the correct stylus size after getting the disc properly cleaned then making a decent raw transfer, at least that's what I do.

I've spent more than 20 years now working with these types of recordings and you can find some incredibly cool stuff on them. Unknown radio broadcasts, party records, one off "live" recordings, you name it. I love the stuff and I grab them whenever I can. Just last week, part of a small collection I bought contains several 16 inch lacquers of D-day newscasts and various announcements, speeches and many other possibly unique items that all appear to be line (direct) recording off NBC's network feed so they likely exist elsewhere, but they're still fun to have. I've not had time to even scratch the surface of them yet, but hope to find some time in the next few weeks.

The discs posted above are pre-grooved discs, so they'll require a very large stylus in order to hear if anything is even on them. The orange label RCA Victor pre grooved home recording discs similar to these require at least a 6 mil stylus and these two above are probably similar, although I've never had any of these to transfer.

That's probably more than you wanted to know, but those are very neat.

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Tue Dec 03, 2019 8:07 pm 
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Victor Jr
young collector
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
Wow that’s for all the info! I tried putting them on my electric record player. Still very scratchy haha. Maybe when I find time I’ll try using a correct stylus


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 Post subject: Re: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:51 am 
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Victor V
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Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 2:33 pm
Posts: 2870
Location: Near NY's Capital
dzavracky wrote:
Wow that’s for all the info! I tried putting them on my electric record player. Still very scratchy haha. Maybe when I find time I’ll try using a correct stylus


The "scratchy" noise you're hearing could be either the grime / gunk / stuff that needs cleaning off the surfaces or needle chatter from a stylus that's too small, or both. Hard to say without actually being able to examine the discs.

Sean


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 Post subject: Re: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 3:38 pm 
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Victor I
Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:49 pm
Posts: 190
Since they were found with Edison discs, I have to wonder if they are recorded vertically, and that is what's causing the absence of sound in your attempts to (laterally) play them.

On that same note, I also wonder if, had someone tried to record these discs vertically using a Diamond Disc phonograph, anything would have happened in the first place?


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 Post subject: Re: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2019 8:01 pm 
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Victor Monarch
I have good days...this might not be one of them
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:23 pm
Posts: 4144
Location: Albany NY
Have you looked at the grooves under magnification to see if they were recorded? They might be blanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Zinc Echo Disc Records
PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2019 11:07 am 
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Victor Jr
young collector
Joined: Fri Oct 25, 2019 11:37 pm
Posts: 19
Location: Knoxville Tennessee
I have not! I’ll do that later!


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