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 Post subject: RPM speed for Pathé Actuelle needle-cut records? 80?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:28 pm 
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Victor III
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Hi All --

I'm assuming that when the needle-cut Pathé Actuelle discs originated in 1920 they were at 80 RPM, same as the vertical sapphire records. Is that true? If so, how long did they remain 80 RPM? I'm assuming that they probably fell in line with the prevailing 78 RPM at some point.

Ralph
"You must serve music, because music is so enormous and can envelop you into such a state of perpetual anxiety and torture--but it is our first and main duty"
-- Maria Callas, 1968 interview.


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 Post subject: Re: RPM speed for Pathé Actuelle needle-cut records? 80?
PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:34 pm 
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Victor V
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I dunno. All the lateral acoustical Actuelle discs are still dubbed from master cylinders, right ? They rigged up a system whereby a vertically cut cylinder could still dub to a lateral master disc. The 'New Process' Actuelles are just low speed dubbings from the masters, so if there's a hard and fast on this, I know not. I just dial in the speed where it sounds right, if it's 76, 80, or whatever.


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 Post subject: Re: RPM speed for Pathé Actuelle needle-cut records? 80?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:53 am 
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Victor III
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Thanks, Wolfe. Just this morning I just picked up some NOS Actuelle records from ca. 1921 from a collector friend and have been enjoying them via my Rek-O-Cut turntable. Great to be able to hear so much detail with a fresh surface and no scratches. The Casino Dance Orchestra was quite a great band, BTW.

With clear surfaces, one can definitely hear the whirring/thuds of the Pathé master cylinder machine (especially near the ends of the records)--just as with the Pathé vertical records. For sure, you're right: Pathé figured out how to transfer to lateral from vertical cylinder.

The records came in original sleeves--in the days ahead I will scan portions of those and post here. Sorry to say that the sleeves do not indicate RPM. From listening to them on my Rek-O-Cut turntable, they do sound better at 80 RPM than 78 RPM, but I'm not going to stake a position based on that alone.

After being so Edison-focused for so long, it's nice to sojourn in Pathe-land and learn its quirks and oddities. Only trouble is, there's big gaps in the available information on its machines and records.

Thank you again.
"You must serve music, because music is so enormous and can envelop you into such a state of perpetual anxiety and torture--but it is our first and main duty"
-- Maria Callas, 1968 interview.


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 Post subject: Re: RPM speed for Pathé Actuelle needle-cut records? 80?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:49 pm 
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Victor V
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I've also been seeking a good source of info that rounds up all the quirks of the Pathé company, all the various disc and cylinder formats, recording processes, etc.

Pathé started issuing some electrically recorded discs in 1926, interspersed with continuing acoustical recording, but at first their electrical sides used masters recorded in the New York studio of the Compo Co.


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 Post subject: Re: RPM speed for Pathé Actuelle needle-cut records? 80?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:05 am 
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Victor III
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 6:18 am
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Wolfe wrote:
I've also been seeking a good source of info that rounds up all the quirks of the Pathé company, all the various disc and cylinder formats, recording processes, etc.


Unfortunately I don't think such source exists. While a number of books have been written about the US (and some of the UK) manufacturers, there is nothing published on individual French or German companies other than more generic books with photos of the machines and very little information about them. You can find Pathé record catalogues, but these do not give away any info on how or when the records were done.

About the Actuelle's issuing cylinder dubs, I have a number of French and US issues that are not dubbings, being later songs, so the production may have started with dubbings, but certainly included dedicated recordings.


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 Post subject: Re: RPM speed for Pathé Actuelle needle-cut records? 80?
PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:20 pm 
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Victor III
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Location: Homewood, Illinois, USA
As promised, here's a scan of a sleeve from one of the very early Pathé Actuelle needle cut records. It could be the earliest version of the sleeve, though I'm not sure.

Interesting how the statement on the bottom of the sleeve shows that Pathé was more interested in selling records than in forcing people to buy their Actuelle and other vertical-cut playing machines. In that regard, the Pathé records received a new lease on life via their needle cuts. Whereas Edison kept his records in the service of his machines right up to the end in 1929--when he went needle cut way too late.

That's one of the things I like about the Pathé company. Like Edison, they marched to a different drummer. But whereas Edison marched in a straight line, Pathé happily zig-zagged all over the place!


Attachments:
Actuelle001.jpg
Actuelle001.jpg [ 705.15 KiB | Viewed 351 times ]
"You must serve music, because music is so enormous and can envelop you into such a state of perpetual anxiety and torture--but it is our first and main duty"
-- Maria Callas, 1968 interview.
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