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Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonograph
http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=33203
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Author:  Buck [ Wed Dec 06, 2017 9:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

Thanks, Orthofan. I printed that off.

Author:  Buck [ Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:04 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

Received my Bing Crosby "White Christmas" record today. It sounds great! It's by far, the cleanest sounding record I own. Got a feeling the original owner of this phonograph (my wife's Great Grandfather) probably didn't subscribe to the one needle per play method. Thanks for all the help!

Author:  donniej [ Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

Sorry, wrong thread...

Author:  Phototone [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

Technically all 78rpm records will "play" on all 78 rpm speed record players, however that is not advisable. Starting in about 1938 lightweight crystal pickups were introduced and with that, there was no need to design the records for the very heavy acoustic and horseshoe magnet pickups previously used. Records started becoming softer in composition, along with the engineers started recording at higher modulation levels to increase the signal to noise floor, thus causing more rapid wear when played on the older style players. This trend continued into the 1950's with very high modulation levels and even vinyl, instead of shellac being used for pressing discs. The laminated pressings of Columbia in the 1940's are pretty durable, though. Decca (Bing Crosby's records are on Decca) are not so durable.

Author:  gramophone-georg [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

Phototone wrote:
Technically all 78rpm records will "play" on all 78 rpm speed record players, however that is not advisable. Starting in about 1938 lightweight crystal pickups were introduced and with that, there was no need to design the records for the very heavy acoustic and horseshoe magnet pickups previously used. Records started becoming softer in composition, along with the engineers started recording at higher modulation levels to increase the signal to noise floor, thus causing more rapid wear when played on the older style players. This trend continued into the 1950's with very high modulation levels and even vinyl, instead of shellac being used for pressing discs. The laminated pressings of Columbia in the 1940's are pretty durable, though. Decca (Bing Crosby's records are on Decca) are not so durable.


Deccas used a cheaper shellac mix from the beginning, and some of those "lightweight" tone arms were pretty heavy!

I've never had any issues playing any shellac discs on a windup. I will heartily agree that vinyl is a no- go.

Author:  Wolfe [ Wed Dec 13, 2017 9:53 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

Phototone wrote:
This trend continued into the 1950's with very high modulation levels and even vinyl, instead of shellac being used for pressing discs. The laminated pressings of Columbia in the 1940's are pretty durable, though. Decca (Bing Crosby's records are on Decca) are not so durable.


Vinyl 78's start appearing in the mid-40's, probably the red RCA Victor 'Heritage Series' discs were the first for home use consumers. I have a sleeve for one of the Heritage discs that recommends tonearm tracking force not exceeding 'X' number of ounces, I don't remember exactly how much, offhand. Of course, one would never want to play one on a wind-up machine.

Author:  gramophone-georg [ Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

Wolfe wrote:
Phototone wrote:
This trend continued into the 1950's with very high modulation levels and even vinyl, instead of shellac being used for pressing discs. The laminated pressings of Columbia in the 1940's are pretty durable, though. Decca (Bing Crosby's records are on Decca) are not so durable.


Vinyl 78's start appearing in the mid-40's, probably the red RCA Victor 'Heritage Series' discs were the first for home use consumers. I have a sleeve for one of the Heritage discs that recommends tonearm tracking force not exceeding 'X' number of ounces, I don't remember exactly how much, offhand. Of course, one would never want to play one on a wind-up machine.


Actually the first "vinyl" discs were the "Victrolac" versions of the early 1930s "Program Transcriptions". Since windups didn't play 33s that probably wasn't an issue on these but they were most certainly played on horsehoe magnet machines with Chromium or Tungs Tone needles which are quite heavy as that was all that was available at the time. All the Victrolac ones I have seem to have little, if any, play wear.

Then you have the flexi and cardboard discs of the late Twenties and early Thirties. It's astounding how many Hit of the Week records exist in very fine condition. Those that are unplayable seem to suffer more from lam breaks and gouges rather than actual needle wear. Of course, they are ALL warped severely, so you really need an early boat- anchor pickup to even track these most times.

Flexi discs to me sound muffled, almost as if the material is too soft for proper reproduction. Maybe it's play wear and these just did not stand up.

Author:  Wolfe [ Thu Dec 14, 2017 2:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

You could add the Marconi (Columbia) 'Velvet Tone' 78's to that list. Those were celluloid composition. Reportedly they did not take well to heavy tracking acoustic reproducers.

Author:  CarlosV [ Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Will any 78 rpm record play on an old crank style phonog

There are also the Nicole records, manufactured in England in the beginning of the 1900s. They are brown and made of a material that looks like the Hit of the Week - Durium records, but on a more solid cardboard substrate. They play well on acoustic gramophones (there was no other player when they were commercialized).

Filmophone was another type of record also made in England in the 30s, and made of plastic. Its advertisment showed them being rolled to demonstrate their flexibility. It also plays well in crank gramophones, if you put a weight on top of its label to flatten it (they are normally warped).

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