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ARSCLIST  March 2006

ARSCLIST March 2006

Subject:

Have Blank 78 Acetates and need care info

From:

"RL C PayPal`" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 26 Mar 2006 04:44:44 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (61 lines)

I found a small stash of 10" UNUSED acetates that were so common in the
1940's-50's.  I've had them for about 5 years, during which they have
been stored in very thin paper sleeves that are sort of the mid point of
paper bag and newsprint type paper.  When I got them several were loosely
wrapped in old plastic LP sleeves that were rounded, while most were in
the above mentioned separate paper sleeves.  I was wondering about the
proper care of them, until such time as I find a use for them.  I had 1
by the "Howard Home Recording Disc Type 10C"   and several in a basically
blank yellow label with a "National Hollywood" logo.  Both have 1 off
center hole. The Howard is very black, while the Natl HWs have a more red
tone which appears to be thinner, especially around the outer edge of the
platter.   

They all seem to be in basically good shape.  The ones that were loose in
the plastic sleeve have some spotting and a sort of smearing-like effect
with some more obvious scuffs.   They seem to be mostly smooth without
any major "cuts" into the acetate and would probably play a bit noisier
than the others, so they'd be the test copies to try out before using the
clean ones.  The Clean ones have very small light surface scratches from
rubbing the sleeve and some very light spotting that seems to correlate
with the paper seam and the top open notched edge   None of the marks can
be felt with a fingernail and the platters are basically smooth and I
expect would cut nicely.  I've got playable thrift store find acetates
that look much worse but sound OK.  I have wiped them all off, to remove
the dust, with a soft record cloth and have put them into the heavy duty
gold kraft paper sleeves.  Is there anything else I should do to keep
them from being further damaged.  Some copies have some very small flecks
of a white spot, which looks sort of like paint, but appears to be tiny
flecks of paper. and usually wipe off with no residue, though a few of
the bigger ones have had to be very gently loosened by a fingernail.  

Are most of these unused acetates formatted to fit any machine or were
there a wide variety of machines that required their own brand?  Is there
a market for this sort of thing, since I'm guess they cannot be bought
easily.  I had heard somewhere of someone who had devised a recipe that
they would then brush onto the aluminum discs that had had their original
acetate scraped off of, but I don't seem to have that info anymore, and
given the stash of blanks probably don't need them.   I've always had it
in mind that I should keep them for use in some as yet undefined project,
but since I don't have or know anyone with a cutting lathe it may be a
pipe dream.  Is there a market of aficionados who wish to find blanks to
use with their own lathes?  I did get an acetate a few years ago as a
test pressing from a record plant, so presumably there is somewhere to
obtain them, no?  Was there ever a consensus on cleaning of acetates on
Nitty Gritty?  I usually make my own cleaner with alcohol, but would
water and PhotoFlo only work to clean but not damage an acetate with
fingerprints on it?  Can the vacuum suck to hard and loosen or remove the
lacquer if it is still solid and not cracked or flaky?  

On another quick note, how advisable is it to use a Nitty Gritty Style
Machine, in this case the manual EV1 model that hooks to a home vacuum
hose, to clean 78's?  Obviously I can't use an alcohol based cleaner, but
is it safe to put a shellac platter on a NG to suck dirt out?  I don't
have anything particularly rare, mostly common hillbilly, novelty, and a
few obscure "world" titles from Egypt and the Balkan, none of which are
particularly cursed with more than typical surface noise.  I've got a few
I might use to test which can get broken with little worry, but if anyone
has already figured out how best to do it and with what solvent I'm
interested in knowing.   Hmm...not very quick once I get it all down on
paper, now is it.   Randy

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