----- Original Message -----
From: "Don Tait" <[log in to unmask]>
> It would indeed be interesting to research whether any equipment
> manufacturer introduced lighter-weight pickups to play the vinyl records.
> done so, I'd suspect that few if any did because the number of commercial
> vinyl 78s was small. RCA Victor may have issued no more than a total of
> "Red Seal Deluxe" album sets and only a few vinyl Red Seal singles aside
> the highly specialized "Heritage" series of acoustical vocal reissues.
> would apply to home-use equipment because, as Richard pointed out, a lot
> material supplied only to radio stations was pressed in vinyl.
> equipment was apparently made to handle lighter tracking pressures. Does
> anyone know for sure?
> I do know that standard home phonographs of the late '40s weren't kind
> the "Red Seal Deluxe" records. They're quiet when they're in mint
> but most that I've ever encountered that were played to any degree exhibit
> plus surface noise, all probably the result of the heavy pickups designed
> shellac records.
Interestingly enough, the lightweight pickups of the postwar era (usually
crystal cartridges) weren't introduced for vinyl records, which were
essentially uncommon at the time...they were promoted as reducing wear
on shellac 78's, which they also did! Most of the electric cartridges
of the thirties used heavy iron magnets (Alnico not yet being common,
which also applied to speaker magnets!) and the crystal cartridges
weighed in at less ounces (around one, in fact).
Of course, crystal cartridges also were replaced by even lighter ones
once the "hi-fi" boom took place and the introduction of LP's and 45's
rendered shellac records obsolete; tracking pressure dropped to a
few grams, not ounces!