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Post subject: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victor?  PostPosted: Aug 31, 2014 - 10:32 PM
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I purchased a bunch of 78 rca victor records. they are heavy and definitely not what I think of when I think of a vinyl record. what kind of material is this? It is thick and heavy. Also, I was going to sell them so I want to be sure they play well. Is there a special player they have to play on? Other than one that can accommodate 78 rpm? thanks!
 
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GraemeOffline
Post subject: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victor?  PostPosted: Sep 01, 2014 - 05:13 AM
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These records are made from shellac and most 78's were made with this material.

Obviously, you will need a turntable at the correct speed, preferably one with variable speed adjustment, since not all records were recorded at exactly 78 rpm. You will need a suitably sized stylus, the groove is much larger than a modern LP and using a standard LP stylus will give a terrible sound.

More importantly, there's a chance that at least some of these records are vertically cut, in which case you really shouldn't play them at all, unless you have access to a player designed to play such records..

Broadly speaking, 78 records have little value anyway. In your place, I would check out the titles you have for value, before even thinking about how to play them. You will probably find the game is not worth the candle and you should try selling them on as-is and hope to break even.

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Post subject: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victor?  PostPosted: Sep 03, 2014 - 12:14 PM
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if they are thick and heavy they may be 80 RPM records, they require a special mechanical {wind up} player.

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GraemeOffline
Post subject: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victor?  PostPosted: Sep 03, 2014 - 04:27 PM
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Not necessarily - it's quite possible to play higher speed records on a modern player, provided it has a varispeed function.

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Post subject: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victor?  PostPosted: Sep 03, 2014 - 07:11 PM
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sorry, it's impossible to play these 80 rpm records with a modern stylus without damaging them, the 80 rpm records require a different size needle. perhaps dave [cactus cowboy] can enlighten us on a method of playing these records thru a modern amp.

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GraemeOffline
Post subject: Re: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victor?  PostPosted: Sep 04, 2014 - 12:48 AM
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wurlitzer1450 wrote:
sorry, it's impossible to play these 80 rpm records with a modern stylus without damaging them, the 80 rpm records require a different size needle. perhaps dave [cactus cowboy] can enlighten us on a method of playing these records thru a modern amp.


I made the point about having a suitable stylus in the second paragraph of my first post. I use a modern system to play every record that passes through my hands, using suitable styli. The photograph shows just that sort of system.

Actually, you're not so much likely to damage the record while using a modern light-tracking cartridge - but it will certainly sound crap!



78rpm.jpg
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Old record on modern player
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78rpm.jpg



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Post subject: RE: Re: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victo  PostPosted: Sep 04, 2014 - 11:15 AM
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80 RPM Edison Diamond Discs have vertical-cut grooves. Lacking a vintage Edison player, one can use modern equipment.

I use either my Technics SP-15 or modified SL-1200 (both 78 RPM capable with variable pitch control) to play all 78s including Edison DD. For Edisons, I use a Stanton 500 (stereo) cartridge with a 3.5 mil stylus and one channel wired out-of-phase. Wiring one channel out of phase cancels the lateral signal while capturing the vertical signal.

The original poster has "78 rca victor records." RCA being on the label dates them as lateral-cut and electrically recorded 78 RPM discs. I agree with Graeme, most 78s have minimal value at best. Best to do a little research on completed auction results listed on Ebay, Popsike, and collectorsfrenzy websites.

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wurlitzer1450Offline
Post subject: RE: Re: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victo  PostPosted: Sep 04, 2014 - 11:49 AM
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thanks dave, i knew you would have the answer. even fewer of these 80 rpm records are saleable for more than a buck than the more common 78s. i buy very few 78s but if time permits i always look thru them just glancing at the labels.

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GraemeOffline
Post subject: RE: Re: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victo  PostPosted: Sep 04, 2014 - 06:49 PM
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As someone who, for many years, ran a business restoring ancient recordings and transferring them to modern media, I think I do have some minimal grasp of the subject.

As far as I am aware any RCA Victor (which is what the OP asked about) will be a lateral recording, earlier Victor's were vertically cut and I mentioned just in case one turned up in the collection.

All 78rpm recordings are suspect when it comes to the actual speed and anyone doing this work seriously must use a player with varispeed. I have seen records where the real speed was anywhere between 65 and 90 rpm. I've had records where the speed actually varied during the playing time! You really can not trust what it says on the label. The tricky bit is determining what the correct speed is. Classical recordings are usually easy, because the performances are usually in a known key. Other recordings can be a little more difficult, but restoration engineers have a number of tricks to determine this correctly.

Going back to the original question, it's almost 100% certain that the cost of investing in, even a budget, system to play these things is going to be more than they are worth! Unless the OP is going to develop a special interest in such records, I suggest he sells them for whatever he can get and gets on with life. It will save a lot of frustration Smile .

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wurlitzer1450Offline
Post subject: RE: Re: RE: what kind of player can I play this 78 rca victo  PostPosted: Sep 05, 2014 - 09:01 PM
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ok, i must have the needle not fitting the grooves reversed. it has to be you can't play a regular 78 on a 80 rpm machine. it's not the speed, it's the width of the needle.

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