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  #1  
Old 04-03-2011, 11:50 PM
6GH8cowboy 6GH8cowboy is offline
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DIY Record ...sort of

The year is 1949 and a young girl who would later marry and become my mother records a record sponsored by a local radio station. This 78 record is aluminum disk with what seems to be a lacqer coating. I played it on a USB turntable made for 33 1/3 or 45s. and adjusted the speed via the software to playback the file at the right speed. So far so good.
On a second attempt I noticed a light blue build-up of material at the stylus? Is the stylus too narrow? I cleaned the surface with a mild detergent and a cloth, is the coating disolving? I suspect this was cut on some kind of portable system that needed the "special" media blanks and perhaps were not intended to last a long time.
I would love to here any recolections of this kind of recording process, the machines used, marketing , etc. I suspect in 1949 this had to be a big deal to the general public.

Thanks
Dave C
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Old 04-04-2011, 01:57 AM
bob91343 bob91343 is offline
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The stylus would have to be at least .003 inches radius, as opposed to the typical .001 or less for long play records. What stylus and cartridge are you using?

I have a recording machine from that era. Long play, or microgroove, records had not yet been invented.
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Old 04-04-2011, 10:39 PM
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Agree! .003 stylus - 78 rpm. Around '48, '49 was an interesting period for home recording....
disk and wire recorders were fairly common and tape was starting to emerge, sorta like the Beta / VHS battle that we experienced later.
jr
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:49 PM
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The coating on the record is acetate. Many people recorded these in the 40's, and the most common machines of the time were the Wilcox-Gay Recordio and the Packard-Bell Phonocord. If the disc in question were recorded at the studio of a radio station, it would've been cut on a transcription machine such as the RCA 70-C. Home machines could record on discs ranging in size from 7" to 12", while a transcription cutter could record on 16" discs.
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Old 04-19-2011, 01:15 AM
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They did have 33 rpm records, and, players then, but, they were played with the same .003 needle.
They were not long play.
Bill Cahill
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Old 04-19-2011, 02:42 PM
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Bill if you're talking about commercial releases by Columbia, they certainly were long play. What do you think "LP" means? LP Microgroove, as in played with a .001 needle.

If you're talking about home recording equipment and/or transcription records from pre-1948, then you are correct--BUT--the year referred to was 1949, and they definitely had LP records and players by then.
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Old 04-19-2011, 03:49 PM
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Actually, I'm not. 33 rpm records came out in the late 30's, were being used at that speed commercially.
Columbia invented the lp in '48, in time for the main introduction in the Christmas season, and, '49 sales.
The 33 records I'm referring to are not the Columbia lp records.
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Old 04-21-2011, 12:25 AM
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33 1/3 RPM records were actually introduced by RCA in 1931. They were called "Program Transcriptions" and were available in 10" and 12" sized discs. The records were still listed in catalogs in the late 30's, but RCA only manufactured the phonographs which played them for about a year. They were a failure due to the fact that the machines were very expensive, not a good thing during the depression.
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Old 04-21-2011, 10:28 AM
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Those are the records I'm talking about. But, the label states 33 rpm.
Further, they are not microgroove.
Somewhere around here I have one cracked copy of one. They are shelac, and, have the same groove as 78 rpm records, use the same needle.
It's interesting that Newcomb was offering that speed on their transcription players in 1947, as well as several other compannies.
Also, some of the recording machines, including Recordio, were also offering 33 rpm as a recording speed as well as 78. Those also were not microgroove.
Same cutting stylus, and, playback stylus size. Remember, also, that manny transcription discs were 33 rpm, and, later became microgroove.
I also have some later 7" microgroove 16 rpm records, some in stereo. Yes, they are a different story from a different era.
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Old 05-01-2011, 06:00 PM
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What Bill Cahill is referring to is Broadcast transcriptions. Which nominally use a 2.5 mil stylus. Which were used into the 1960's. And mostly 16" and some 12". Microgroove LP discs are indeed 1 mil until Stereo was launched in late 1957, and then .7 mil became used.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:56 PM
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I have a 42 Philco BOL cutter/player with the 33 RPM speed.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:47 PM
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I have this player/cutter that I planned on posting on the classifieds for anyone who wants to pay shipping. I think it was made by Russell Industries and would be good for parts or a rebuild if someone was missing it.

If anyone could use it PM me.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:25 PM
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Concerning the record in question, it is an acetate coated disc. Over the decades, this aacetate coating can flake off and it really isn't a good idea to try to clean one with anything wet. Also, these disc usually were not good for very many playings before the audio quality went south. My advice would be to copy the disc to another format, using a 3 mil stylus, with as few plays as possible.

There is an older lady in town, who's husband was a minister back in the '40's/'50's. She had tons of his old sermons that were recorded at a local radio station on 16" 33 1/3 rpm records. These records were an aluminum base with an acetate coating and I think most of them played from the inside out, unlike the majority of records that played from the outside in. She had not heard these records in ages and her old el cheapo califone transcription player had seen better days. I eventually found her a Garrard 301 turntable that had been set up to play these disc. I combined that TT with a BPC Pioneer receiver, cassette deck for transfer, and two speakers. Needless to say, she was very happy.

Concerning the 33 rpm record, there was one other use for them prior to the LP introduction in '48. Starting in 1934, the Library of Congress started issuing talking books for the blind on 12" 33 rpm records. They also loaned out special phonographs to play these records. I have an early spring driven talking book player that will handle 24 and 33 rpm (never have seen a 24 rpm record). And, I have an electric model that will play 33 rpm talking books and 78 rpm music records. The Library of Congress kept the 33 rpm talking book in service until the late '50's-early '60's. Then, they started using 16 rpm records for books. By the mid-to-late '60's, they started using 8 rpm records for their books and it was this speed that was used until the end of books and magazines on record in 2001.

I think I used to have one of the later Wilcox-Gay "Recordio" home record cutters. It was a suitcase model from around '50-'51, had a built in AM radio, had speeds of 33/45/78 rpm, and used the same tonearm for palyback as well as cutting. It had an oddball dual point stylus and for recording, the rear of the tonearm had to be lifted in order to place the stylus in the recording position.

I also have one of the older dual arm Recordio's; but, that one got busted to heck and back during shipping, due to a very poor packing job.
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Old 05-03-2011, 10:49 PM
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:42 PM
6GH8cowboy 6GH8cowboy is offline
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Thanks fellas. I have gotten an education about the technology of the day and I believe good council about the care and feeding of the disk. The disk label has the call letters of the Lockport NY station WUSJ which is now reassigned to another station in the south. I suspect this was a promotion of some type for the station or a record store. Thanks so much for sharing!

Dave
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