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 Post subject: Re: Caruso cylinders
PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 10:08 pm 
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Victor V
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WDC wrote:
This is the original cylinder that I sourced Tosca from. It came from a collection of operatic cylinders that was stored in a basement. Fortunately that basement was perfectly dry and none of the cylinders in there had even the slightest signs of mold. It was just the way you wished any cylinder to be found. I have never seen another one in the wild in such perfect condition.

This particular record came with a neat background story. Now, there is an excellent explanation why (apparently dealer himself) meticulously scraped off the printed paper from the box lid, replacing it with a handwritten one and even carefully scratched out the words "Pathé" on the cylinder's title end itself. This was the only non-Edison cylinder in all of that collection. All records came from the very same Edison wholesaler. And this Pathé cylinder was no exception. The box even has the same name tag on the side.

By that he definitely wanted to avoid his name being associated with anything else but Edison. Nevertheless, it must have been important enough to risk his Edison wholesale contract. To me, it shows how significant Caruso must have been even on cylinder these days.

To my opionion, what makes a Caruso cylinder rare in general are two factors that come together. First, especially Pathé cylinders are prone to catch mold very quickly. A good assumption that I once was given is that the ingredients, especially the stearic acid, was probably not as pure as it should have been, thus making it easier for spores to catch on. Second, due to Pathé's discontinuation of all of their cylinders as early as 1906, these records were only available for about 3 three years. Only the dubs on their sapphire records remained on the market, thus making those much more affordable today.

Another problem that I often encounter with Pathé cylinders in general is their poor technical quality. At a time when all other major manufacturers had stopped this method, Pathé would still make pantographic copies to be used as sub-masters. I don't know how far away the final recording is from the master, but I assume it is at least two dubs. Fortunately, this Tosca turned out to be one of the very Pathé's I have heard. To preserve it properly, I have never listened to the wax cylinder acoustically.

Sorry for the watermarks in the pictures but I have seen too many eBay scammers in the past who would use such photos to rip off someone.


Curious: what is the meaning of the raised shoulders on either end of the cylinder?

Bill


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 Post subject: Re: Caruso cylinders
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 4:50 am 
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Victor III
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billybob62 wrote:
Norman, is there an 84005 floating around ?
There is a gap there. Perhaps you are reserving that number for something unannounced.
Thanks for all that you do for us
John

Honestly, I think there is or at least was one. To my knowledge, it was at never issued by Pathé, which took possession of the AICC shortly after the Caruso recordings were made. However, I heard through a befriended collector from another collector who claims to have found a previously unknown Caruso recording on cylinder. It's a remarkable claim but I do know that this collector is well-established, so it's certainly nothing to be brushed off so easily.



Lucius1958 wrote:
Curious: what is the meaning of the raised shoulders on either end of the cylinder?

Bill

As I know it, the last generation of Pathé cylinders had these raised shoulders to make the handling with their phonographs easier. Not all but several of their cylinder machines have a pivoting horn that is moved sideways by a feed-screw. The shoulders should prevent the reproducer from falling off the record and thus perhaps damaging the sapphire stylus. At Edison some Edison-Bell cylinders do also have this.


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