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Vintage turntable


JBCODD
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Comrades:

    I'm looking to expand the soundstage of my vintage RCA turntable and need some help. It currently runs through a single attached folded horn speaker, with low fi results. Should I go with solid state or tube amps? I've got some early stock Heresy I's, but would a set of Fortes be better? 

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32 minutes ago, avguytx said:

Seriously?  Well, that's about all 78 rpm records will be with that needle setup; lo fi at best.

Not terribly serious, but it's the only folded horn I own, and I gotta brag someway. It was state of the art at one time, solid oak construction, and it does have an upgraded main spring. 

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17 minutes ago, JBCODD said:

Not terribly serious, but it's the only folded horn I own, and I gotta brag someway. It was state of the art at one time, solid oak construction, and it does have an upgraded main spring. 

Yeah baby!! It's the upgraded main spring that makes it magical!!! :emotion-29:

 

Mark

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7 hours ago, avguytx said:

Seriously?  Well, that's about all 78 rpm records will be with that needle setup; lo fi at best.

Talk about negativity here. Great way to scare away a newbie!  And some expert you are, calling it a "needle". 

 

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Very cool!   May I suggest you open those doors fully, this will widen the soundstage... you know, give you that sought after "openness"   

The varnish looks rather...yellowed, You may want to have it refinished, that will make the highs much more transparent, and add clarity to the mids. 

I also hear that polishing the elbow may help in reducing the tinniness of the bass.

 

Other than that you got a great set up there!   Congrats!   

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2 hours ago, efzauner said:

Talk about negativity here. Great way to scare away a newbie!  And some expert you are, calling it a "needle". 

 

 

Funny.  Someone else called it that too.  If you have the perfect name for it in your extravagant mind, knock yourself out and school us all. 

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6 hours ago, efzauner said:

Talk about negativity here. Great way to scare away a newbie!  And some expert you are, calling it a "needle". 

 

 

No worries: I stumbled across this forum while surfing the web looking on info to rehab my circa 1980 Heresy pair. The name Bob Crites was brought up and his site led me here. I read extensively before joining and was struck by the egletarian tenor of the group. Expert advice, freely given, tolerance of all levels of fidelity, and tastes in music. Tips on wood working, construction, finishing, electronic mods, engineering, physics, and speaker philosophy. What's not to like?

    I made this tongue in cheek post to 'get my feet wet' as I rebuild my sound system now that business of feeding and raising a family has stabilized. Once I have gathered and deployed  the equipment, in accordance with my wife's decorating wishes, I will no doubt have more serious, pertinent queries on how to maximize my listening experience. Then I will take full advantage of the expertise and knowledge present here. And also the humor. 

    Thank you for your support.

        JBCODD

Edited by JBCODD
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Welcome.

 

Do you have many 78s?  How does one play a 78 to rip it to a digital file?  Assuming a modern turntable plays at 78 rpm, what is used as a "needle?" Perhaps the questions would be better directed to Dave Mallette @Mallette who, I believe, has many 78s as part of his retirement project in Texarkana.

 

I enjoyed the tongue in cheek nature of your post.  Don't be discouraged by the fact that such posts are often misunderstood.  Please keep them coming.

 

Your RCA player is very cool.  My paternal grandfather had several similar units, as well as some Edison wax cylinder players.  Unfortunately, they all went to his second wife when he passed.  

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11 hours ago, avguytx said:

 

Funny.  Someone else called it that too.  If you have the perfect name for it in your extravagant mind, knock yourself out and school us all. 

sorry if you did not realize I was talking tongue in cheek.   

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My Pleasure, Neil. 

 

After reviewing and getting over the shock of how real freaks do this at http://www.78-rpm.com/ , calm down.  If you INSIST on playing with a vintage turntable but want to avoid further damage use cactus needles or at least new steel ones rotated out after a couple of plays.  There is a reason those TTs had the new and disposal holders. 

 

But to be truly shocked at how good they can sound you need a dedicated TT of good quality...in my case, I use an Empire 598 Mark II I got for around 300.00 a decade or more ago.  But any good quality vintage Dual, Garrard, or what have you with 78 will work.  Last time I checked 2.5-3.0 mil styli for Shure M44 and related carts were still available.  I use a Stanton with at 3.0 mil at 5 grams on my Empire.  You'll get VERY nice sound using an inexpensive phono preamp like the http://www.phonopreamps.com/tc778eb.html at 70.00 or so.  The "78" position is a compromise of most of the main curves used during the 78 period.  Bear in mind that acoustic discs use none at all...which explains why they sound so tinny when a curve is applied.  Before I learned this I had read that there was resistance from audiophiles way back when electrical recording was introduced and they said it wasn't as good.  I was clueless and thought them nuts until I heard an acoustic played correctly,  Incredible!  The 1922 acoustic recording of George Gershwin performing his Rhapsody in Blue with the Paul Whiteman orchestra has a bari sax on it that is almost transparent straight to the horn.  One of my favorites! 

Now, if you have the bug after doing the relatively inexpensive steps above, add the RekOKut Re-Equalizer, which is something around 300.00 if I recall correctly.  You'll go yet another level.  It goes between your external phono preamp and line in, and provides almost perfect settings to match all the curves of the entire pre-RIAA period.  While they provide a guide to settings for almost every major level and period I rapidly went to just a "set by ear" method that can achieve fidelity beyond my ability to describe.  I have a mint recording of Gene Krupa with the Benny Goodman orchestra doing "Swing, Swing, Swing" from about 1944 that is electrifying on my K'horns and leaves many who've never heard a properly played 78 speechless.

So, there's the basics.  The engineers in the old days had the technological ability to record, but the playback equipment of the time wasn't nearly as good as the source material.  We can fix that now and it is very rewarding to the music lover.  It allows one to "time travel" and hear great musicians better than they've ever been heard except by those who heard them live. 

 

Dave

 

P.S.  SHOULD have mentioned that NO mechanical TT can play electrically recorded 78s with any degree of quality.  They are strictly for acoustic recordings...which, if you think about it, makes sense.  They have no EQ of any kind.  The record in the OPs first image is an electrical recording.
P.P.S.  On looking at this, it is not entirely true.  But you'd have to build a cylinder machine or, for discs, use a machine with FLAT phono preamp and several styli/weights specific to the disc involved.  Whole Edison cylinder and diamond disc system was proprietary. 

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27 minutes ago, DizRotus said:

Welcome.

 

Do you have many 78s?  How does one play a 78 to rip it to a digital file?  Assuming a modern turntable plays at 78 rpm, what is used as a "needle?" Perhaps the questions would be better directed to Dave Mallette @Mallette who, I believe, has many 78s as part of his retirement project in Texarkana.

 

I enjoyed the tongue in cheek nature of your post.  Don't be discouraged by the fact that such posts are often misunderstood.  Please keep them coming.

 

Your RCA player is very cool.  My paternal grandfather had several similar units, as well as some Edison wax cylinder players.  Unfortunately, they all went to his second wife when he passed.  

There are several 78 Cartridge options available still.  This site seems to have the best  selection. http://www.esotericsound.com/CartStyli.htm

The Sure SS78 stylus will fit in a number of Sure cartridges including the M95ED.  But considering the low cost of the entire cartridge I would be weary of always swapping out the stylus.  just install the cartridge in a separate headshell.  As for speed, many of the older Dual idler drive TT support 78.  There is also an external power drive that will increase the 120V line freequency by the right amount to turn a 33 or 45 rpm tt into a 78. .but I suspect its more costly than a used TT.   I am about to buy a cheap cartridge for a dual TT. 

The main thing is that 78s had wider grooves and you need a 2-3micron stylus, much bigger than for LP.s  The site explains it alot

Also remember that vinyl has equalization. RIAA standardized this for 33 and 45LPs but it was never a standard for 78s.  I have some old Heathkit tube preamps with several settings but it may be impossible to actually find out what was used in mastering 

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Wish I had easy access to a better example at the moment, but this one isn't bad.  Bit overdriven, but I think you can still get the idea of how good a late acoustic recording, about 1922, can sound.  This is Kid Ory "Muskrat Ramble."  This is at 24/88.2.  Can upload a 16/44.1 if that is an issue for anyone.  I use VLC which plays high res just fine. 

As I recall (my records remain in storage at the moment) this disc looks like hell...but even trashed looking 78s can sound pretty good!

 

Dave

Muskrat_RambleOry.wav

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35 minutes ago, Mallette said:

disc looks like hell...but even trashed looking 78s can sound pretty good!

Dave

Have you tried the goop on 78s?  I bet those ugly 78s will play much better than they look after a Reg Wiliamson facial.

 

JBCODD-

Sorry to hi-Jack your thread, but it's what we do to newbies, since the donuts demand proved unworkable.

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41 minutes ago, Mallette said:

This is Kid Ory "Muskrat Ramble."  This is at 24/88.2.

That sounds amazing from my Klipsch ProMedia 2.1; the separation and instrument placement are amazing (more TIC).  How was that converted to a WAV file?  Was the disc played directly into a computer, or was it played acoustically and recorded with a microphone, or some other preocedure?

 

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