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RE: engineers-- I need advice!!!

Dan Strassberg wrote
At 11:29 PM 7/6/97 +0000, you wrote:
>>Amidst all the wonderful stuff I got from Eunice Randall's home was
>>something I had never seen before.  It looks like a record (a BIG   
>>like the old 78s only larger, like an lp from the 1970s) except it is   
>>of... steel, or perhaps aluminum.  It says on it "do not use steel   
>>use only fibre or bamboo needles".  I know we have some collectors on   
>>list-- what do I have, and what do I play it on?  I'm assuming it is   
>>kind of transcription, but again, I never saw one that is so obviously   
>>vinyl or wax..
>Dollars to donuts (err, records) it's a master of an electrical
>transcription (ET, for short). ETs were 16 in. in diameter and played at
>33-1/3 RPM. ETs normally played for 15 minutes per side and usually were   
recorded on one
>side only. The reason that the playing time was so short despite the   
>speed and the large diameter was that the grooves were fat and far   
>like those on 78-RPM records, not thin and close together like those on
>33-1/3 and 45-RPM commercial records. So-called transcription   
>with 16-in.-D platters and long tone arms, were very common at radio
>stations in the 40s and 50s. Before the advent of 45-RPM records, the
>turntables had 33-1/3 an 78 RPM speeds. You need to find one. If you   
>find a collector who has one in working order, you might contact the
>Smithsonian; I'm sure they have at least one.

I have two 16" Presto 33 / 78 transcription turntables just waiting for
"A BIG 16" record of my favorite blues."  They've been in storage for a   
years, but should be OK.  Gotta settle the "needle" issue, tho.

>As for the nonmetallic needle, I bet that someplace that sells old 78   
>records might have those. Although it sounds scary, you might be OK   
using a
>relatively modern phono cartridge with a diamond-tipped stylus.

I'd use a Sapphire stylus - they wear quicker, but are less likely to   
the metal groove.

>If you can find a relatively modern cartridge with a broad-tipped stylus   

>intended for playing 78-RPM records, you might be able to play the
>transcription without damaging it.

How about the venerable GE Monaural cartridge (VR??) with LP/78   
stylus holder?  Got a couple of them.  Probably have a few old unused 78   
too.  Lord, it's been years.

Donna, let me know if you strike out elsewhere.  Fremont NH is a lot   
than Washington DC.

Roger Kirk a.k.a. The Wizard Of Music.