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My First Diamond Disc transfer
http://forum.talkingmachine.info/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=33685
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Author:  CarlosV [ Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My First Diamond Disc transfer

melvind wrote:
I found a really clean electric Diamond Disc to transfer. I made a few modifications in the software, but I think most of the improvement comes from the cleaner record and the electric recording. Nice sound I think. A nice recording. I also recorded the other side which is Moonlit Waters with Vaughn De Leath. You can find that on my YouTube channel.

(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


Sounds nice, thanks for posting. I do not hear any significant difference in sound quality with respect to the first record (other than lower background noise), which I suppose is acoustically recorded. Actually, when I play an electrically recorded Edison on the Schubert I do not notice any striking improvement with respect to the later acoustic records. This is quite different from a Victor or a Columbia, where there is a vast improvement in the quality when you compare acoustic and electrical recordings.

Author:  Wolfe [ Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My First Diamond Disc transfer

That 1927 electrical DD is pretty close to the earliest of them in the popular series. The General Electric recording equipment that Edison was using then doesn't sound quite as good as Western Electric, but it's alright. Allan Sutton's Recording the Twenties says that Edison started using RCA Photophone equipment sometime in 1928. I had heard before that the Edison Co. started using RCA gear at some point - didn't know it was Photophone.

Author:  melvind [ Sun Jan 14, 2018 11:51 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First Diamond Disc transfer

CarlosV wrote:
Sounds nice, thanks for posting. I do not hear any significant difference in sound quality with respect to the first record (other than lower background noise), which I suppose is acoustically recorded. Actually, when I play an electrically recorded Edison on the Schubert I do not notice any striking improvement with respect to the later acoustic records. This is quite different from a Victor or a Columbia, where there is a vast improvement in the quality when you compare acoustic and electrical recordings.


I noticed the same thing when comparing "Clap Hand! Here Comes Charley" which is acoustic and "Manhattan Mary" which is electrical. The late acoustical recordings are pretty great on Diamond Disc records and there is a pretty slight difference to the early electrical recordings. In fact, I think in these same two recordings the earlier one is better engineered. The "Manhattan Mary" has some overly soft sections when there are solos and such which makes the song lose some of its energy. It must have been a pretty hard thing to do live while the recordings were being captured. It had to be engineered as it was made. Crazy hard thing to imagine.

Author:  Marco Gilardetti [ Mon Jan 15, 2018 7:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First Diamond Disc transfer

CarlosV wrote:
I do not hear any significant difference in sound quality with respect to the first record (other than lower background noise), which I suppose is acoustically recorded. Actually, when I play an electrically recorded Edison on the Schubert I do not notice any striking improvement with respect to the later acoustic records. This is quite different from a Victor or a Columbia, where there is a vast improvement in the quality when you compare acoustic and electrical recordings.

This was an interesting listening for me as well. Mr. Edison insisted very much on the superiority of the DD record (just as all others did with their own system, however!). I've never owned a DD gramophone so I can't judge the overall sound provided by the system. However, this transfer tells pretty clearly that, if there is any improvement/difference at all, it's not in the record itself. When played electronically with today gear, it plays just like a good shellac record belonging to the early electric recording era.

Author:  WDC [ Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: My First Diamond Disc transfer

Very nice accomplishments! One of the main advantages with electriccally recorded Edison's was the ability to record at adjusted volume and without the extensive hassle of having the musicians play in a certain way.
There are some acoustic 1927 Edison recordings with arrangements that were clearly intended for electric recordings and simply sound too thin as an acoustic recording. But the biggest difference are probably any vocals.

Btw. the cheap ceramic CZ800 cartridge was quite a discovery for me, especially for digitizing diamond discs. It is very rumble-proof which makes it ideal for diamond disc transfers. It can be equipped with stock LP and 3 mil styli as well. This is the same type that is widely used in those awful plastic turntables. But with a decent turntable this is a pickup that I can recommend for try for DD's and some electric 78's as well.
The cartridge itself can be beought for much less but that is usually without the plastic clip on top which is necessary to be mounted to a standard headshell.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/222599894911

I do not use a pre-amp with this one but feed it right into the line input. By using a 1940's frequency test record I was able to create an EQ preset to get a flat response. From there, it's only one of the usual EQ brand presets away to get it as wanted, with the usual filtering afterwards, of course. Also, this is a late recording with the more refined system:

(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)



I lowered the high frequencies with an FFT slope and applied a hiss filter, but left some of it on purpose according to my listening preferences. Anyone who is interested in the ceramic EQ preset for audacity can send me a mail, preferably through one of my websites as the PM alert does not always work.

Author:  melvind [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:21 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First Diamond Disc transfer

I owe a great deal of thanks to Norman (WDC) for the information he sent me in a private email. He sent me some information that made a bunch of things make sense. I played with what I learned and had a great result. The following is a 1926 late acoustic Diamond Disc. It was in "OK" shape, but not clean as some records. I used some new techniques to make this and here is how it turned out. I am interested in reactions to it. I hope it is as clean as I think it is.

(Double-click the video above or click this link to watch the video on YouTube in HD.)


I will either find a nice electrical recording on Diamond Disc next to put this technique to or recapture the electrical recording I did earlier. The only bad thing about all this is now I want to do a whole bunch of my old recordings over again. But, will likely just move forward and fix only a few that I really love.

Thanks a million Norman! And thanks for your generosity.

Author:  gramophone-georg [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:55 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First Diamond Disc transfer

I think it sounds great!

Author:  Marco Gilardetti [ Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: My First Diamond Disc transfer

I agree, it sounds very well. Very nice transcription. There are some digital artifacts here and there but very tolerable; I think you've found the nice spot between the de-hisser and de-crackler and the resulting digital artifacts. (I'm possibly the only one who prefers a bit of hiss and crackle instead of digital artifacts, for some reason I'm over-sensitive to that).

Again, the sound is thin with almost no bass. I know it's unfair to judge the quality of the DD system by a transcription only, however the more I listen to it, the more I'm persuaded that it was more or less equivalent to other systems. Arguably Edison wanted to get rid of all issues with patents that did not belong to him, and engineered a machine of which he held all patents.

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