At 12:02 PM 8/17/2004 -0400, Connie Jones wrote:
>Hello. A woman called to ask me a question that I hope you can answer. She
>has a recording that her father recorded in the 1920's on what appears to
>be an aluminum record, about the size of a 33&1/3 record. The record says
>it is a "speak-a-phone" record and that it should not be played with a
>metal needle and should be played with a speak-a-phone needle or a fiber
>needle. She is interested in finding out what is on the recording. She is
>located in northeast Ohio. Any ideas where she could go to hear the record
>or get a copy of it?
>You can either email me and I will forward them to her or email her
>directly at [log in to unmask]
I have not seen fibre needles for quite some time, but suitable plastic
ones are available and recommended. A steel needle would destroy the
recording - probably in a single play. Those directions applied to the
players of the recording's day, not to modern systems with low tracking force.
Of course, the way to reproduce it today is with a modern cartridge using
the appropriate stylus and low tracking force. Others will advise on that.
If someone in her area has appropriate equipment, a rough copy can be made
without damage. For a quality transfer, expertise is needed.
If you should try to play it for her on a vintage machine, do *not* use a
cactus needle or, if of a similar material, a fibre needle. They leave
residue which over time becames a permanent part of the recording. I used
to have a yucca by my front porch and would demonstrate the pleasing (if
quiet) sonics and the residue of its needles for friends, but my Grafonola
K-2 deserves better. <G>
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