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MMD > Archives > April 1999 > 1999.04.05 > 10Prev  Next

78 RPM Records
By Matthew Caulfield

Joyce Brite's request for a turntable capable of playing 78's reminds
me of my experiences listening to 78's at Library of Congress in pur-
suit of tune identification.  I listed to hundreds in the space of two
years or so.

You weren't allowed to touch the records or to tape them.  You sub-
mitted your requests and a studio technician on the floor below piped
the sound up to you in a listening room in the Music Division on the
floor above.

Most technicians simply cleaned the record and put it on a turntable
and spun it.  But the exception was George Kipper, who knew his record
companies and the characteristics of each company's output over the
decades.  George was able to tweak the turntable speed and to pick the
best stylus or needle from the array in the studio to deliver maximum
sound quality with minimum record damage.  George taught me that
there's more to playing an old record than turning on the motor and
dropping the needle onto the disc.

Matthew Caulfield

 [ From what height should the needle be dropped?  ;)  -- Robbie

(Message sent Mon 5 Apr 1999, 17:31:14 GMT, from time zone GMT-0700.)

Key Words in Subject:  78, Records, RPM

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