Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controversy

Discussions on Records, Recording, & Artists
Lenoirstreetguy
Victor IV
Posts: 1183
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:43 pm
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by Lenoirstreetguy »

Stop the presses. I am in error in that last post. Coyote...and thanks for this... gently pointed out that the date I quoted in my post is quite wrong . It's wrong indeed. The date I quoted is the was the date that coupling orders were prepared by the Music Room Committee at Orange. These are listed in the old Edison Discography by Ray Wile rather than the recording date which I'd put my brain in gear I'd have known. If I hadn't been too lazy to pull up the spread sheet I would have known the correct date. So no wonder the recording sounds so good for a dubbing: it isn't one.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm to wash the egg off my face. :oops:

Jim

transformingArt
Victor I
Posts: 192
Joined: Sat Feb 20, 2010 9:26 am
Personal Text: Veritas Est Bonus Amicus Mea!
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Contact:

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by transformingArt »

Okay, here's a transfer of 1929 Diamond Disc version of Celeste Aida by Giovanni Martinelli - provided by a friend of mine from his decent copy. I don't have the Needle cut version in my hands nor my friend, so I hope someone can share his/her copy and its transfer.

https://www.box.com/s/dbv8vf3wr4aurzoh77im

As I have wrote earlier on this thread, this has multiple sonic issues; muffled high frequencies, hollow and distant overall sound, little bit stressed and too much "Boomy" voice, and last but not least, considerable amount of rumble and other sonic distortions.

Edisone
Victor IV
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:17 pm
Location: Can see Canada from Attic Window

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by Edisone »

gregbogantz wrote: I don't know for a fact what speed the latest Edison DDs and needle cuts were cut at, but I suspect that synchronous motors were used on the lathes simply because they produced consistent speeds that didn't need to be diddled with. The 78.260869 rpm speed is a direct result of using a 92-pole direct drive motor running on 60Hz mains power as done on some modern lathes such as the Neumann models of the 1970s.

78.26 is the speed at which a strobe disc will "stand still" under 60Hz light, that's why it was used. And I doubt that the Edison lathes used ANY electric motors - they still used the old weight-driven lathes, with new recording heads attached. Also, the amps would have been powered by storage batteries, not electric light current.

Many Edison Disc models had the speed control hidden from view & needed a special tool to adjust - changing back & forth between 78 and 80 would have been a difficult chore.

User avatar
Wolfe
Victor V
Posts: 2687
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:52 pm

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by Wolfe »

Edisone wrote:
78.26 is the speed at which a strobe disc will "stand still" under 60Hz light, that's why it was used. And I doubt that the Edison lathes used ANY electric motors - they still used the old weight-driven lathes, with new recording heads attached. Also, the amps would have been powered by storage batteries, not electric light current.
You jest, surely.

Mr. Electricity (by those days) used not only electric motors on his lathes, but everything else as well.

Edisone
Victor IV
Posts: 1140
Joined: Sat Aug 01, 2009 5:17 pm
Location: Can see Canada from Attic Window

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by Edisone »

No, they absolutely did not use electric motors on the recording lathes, and neither did Victor or Columbia, and all 3 companies powered their amps with storage batteries. The same applies to Columbia, HMV, and other companies in England and Europe. There was no reason to replace the beautifully engineered & STEADY weight-driven motors, and electrical supply HUM was guaranteed to be recorded if they used AC mains current in the amps. That AC was another problem: 60Hz was not yet established as a definite standard. One might find 60, 40, 30, or 25 Hz AC - or even DC at 100,110, 200, 220, or 500 (!) volts. Until the late 1940, my current town was divided between 25Hz & 60Hz AC, 100, 200, and 500 Volts DC (500 was suppled in downtown areas to run elevators). I still find 25 Cycle appliances at rummage sales!

As an aside: when Nikola Tesla (we might call him "Mister A.C.") died in 1943 at his home in the New Yorker Hotel, it was powered by Direct Current which was generated in its own basement.
Wolfe wrote:
Edisone wrote:
78.26 is the speed at which a strobe disc will "stand still" under 60Hz light, that's why it was used. And I doubt that the Edison lathes used ANY electric motors - they still used the old weight-driven lathes, with new recording heads attached. Also, the amps would have been powered by storage batteries, not electric light current.
You jest, surely.

Mr. Electricity (by those days) used not only electric motors on his lathes, but everything else as well.

User avatar
Wolfe
Victor V
Posts: 2687
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:52 pm

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by Wolfe »

Interesting. I thought I read that Edison had began using electric motors at some point.

The gravity weight drives (at various companies) were indeed in use for many years, even through the 1940's in some cases.

User avatar
Swing Band Heaven
Victor III
Posts: 554
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:16 pm

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by Swing Band Heaven »

Edisone wrote:No, they absolutely did not use electric motors on the recording lathes, and neither did Victor or Columbia, and all 3 companies powered their amps with storage batteries. The same applies to Columbia, HMV, and other companies in England and Europe. There was no reason to replace the beautifully engineered & STEADY weight-driven motors, and electrical supply HUM was guaranteed to be recorded if they used AC mains current in the amps.
Wolfe wrote:
Edisone wrote:
78.26 is the speed at which a strobe disc will "stand still" under 60Hz light, that's why it was used. And I doubt that the Edison lathes used ANY electric motors - they still used the old weight-driven lathes, with new recording heads attached. Also, the amps would have been powered by storage batteries, not electric light current.
You jest, surely.

Mr. Electricity (by those days) used not only electric motors on his lathes, but everything else as well.

I had wondered why any HMV / Decca / Columbia disk from the 20's and 30's has no hum in the recording. It never dawned on me that it might be because they used batteries for their amps. I assumed that they had found a way to filter it out so it wasn't recorded.

User avatar
VintageTechnologies
Victor IV
Posts: 1651
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 12:09 pm

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by VintageTechnologies »

At least one of Edison's early disc lathes used a spring motor instead of falling weights.

User avatar
Viva-Tonal
Victor II
Posts: 399
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 2:00 pm
Location: Mountain Home, Arkansas USA

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by Viva-Tonal »

Yet at least the two recordings Victor made in the Trinity studio on 28 October 1925 released on blue label 45519 have considerable 60 Hz hum on them!

martinola
Victor III
Posts: 911
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 1:30 pm

Re: Diamond Disc vs Edison Needle Cut sound quality controve

Post by martinola »

Viva-Tonal wrote:Yet at least the two recordings Victor made in the Trinity studio on 28 October 1925 released on blue label 45519 have considerable 60 Hz hum on them!
One can get that effect by running a mike cable next to a cable carrying AC power at 60hz. Goodness knows I've had to fight that battle a number of times in the past. It would be interesting to know what the Trinity sessions actually used.

regards,
Martin

Post Reply