From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
I shall answer your questions as we go along.
> I know it will only play black records, but since you mention lacquers,
> I am wondering if you have tried to play dark, though not necessarily
> black, lacquers. Lacquers are, as many on this list know, actually a
> very dark red or blueish-green.
----- well, it is a problem that seems to be related to the cellulose nitrate
- it simply does not reflect. The soluble addition that to our eyes make it
look dark does not help. If the lacquer had been loaded with particles, it
would be paint, and that would be a much more likely candidate.
> Another question is also about playing lacquers. Have you had an
> opportunity to try an uncoated aluminum disc? Assuming the issue with
> playing black records is reflectance, would an uncoated disc not offer
> sufficient light to play? Or perhaps too much?
----- it offers too much. If that were not the case, playing mothers
(provided they are flat) would bring us even closer to the original cut in a
processed record. The light source and sensors sit behind a transparent
window, and perhaps one might put a filter in front of that, but I have not
wanted to experiment - the machine is complex enough as it is.
> Lastly, how do you play a broken record on an ELP? How do you hold the
> record togehter as it spins? In my memory I recall that the record is
> contained in a chamber as it plays, I assume to avoid a safety issue
> with the laser, same as CD and DVD players.
----- I think that the sensitive optics, being completely analog, needs the
darkness. You simply place the shards on a sheet with a hole in the center, a
sheet of post-it. The turntable platter comes out with the drawer, and only
attaches to a drive when in the play position
> I realize the ELP is limited to 12" recordings. Have you had success
> playing a smaller record, such as a Berliner?
----- there may have been a model that was limited; mine has 7", 10", and
12". I have not tried a Berliner; I have very few, and they are not in
pristine quality. I do not expect results because of surface roughness (both
the land and in the grooves). You choose the size and basic speed when you
put the record in the drawer
How does it work where a
> larger stylus is required?
----- well, you can adjust the depth while playing: there are in fact two
small spots being reflected from the sides of the groove, and you can move
them up or down to avoid a particularly worn height. The spots are somewhat
larger for coarse-groove records
And how do you handle the speed change
> issues, in the computer I assume.
----- no, it is completely stand-alone: once you have your standard setting,
you may go up or down in 0.2 rpm steps (at the 78 setting), and I think at
0.1 rpm for 45 and 33 1/3.
The output in my version is 47kOhm, moving magnet pick-up level, which means
it goes straight into any normal (or dedicated, such as the VadLyd) pre-
amplfier. There is now a different version available, which provides balanced
XLR output, and I expect at line level. This version also has a larger
selection of record diameters.
Obviously you will come across records that you cannot use this gramophone
for, and I have used pickups and turntables and tricks to obtain tracking
most of my life, and I have not discarded my other turntables. But for
convenience this is unsurpassed, and some signal processing is much
facilitated. And the fact that you can in most cases sample content without
cleaning (which will give you clicks, etc.), you still do not have stylus or
> Please share your experience with us.
----- I hope the above has given some!
> Joe Salerno
> On 1/4/2011 3:57 PM, George Brock-Nannestad wrote:
> > From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
> > Hi,
> > turntables vs. historic machines:
> > I do use a portable wind-up HMV gramophone for demo purposes and to prove
> > fabulous quality you can get from records made for them (excepting organ
> > records), due to the scientific approach by Maxfield and Harrison.
> > But I confess that for listening (and analytical listening) I am happy to
> > the ELP Laser Turntable. I have a fair number of vinyl pressings of 78s,
> > I rejoice every time that there is absolutely no wear. And most shellacs
> > play well. I do not have to change stylus, I do not have to replace worn
> > stylii, and the clicks are easily tamed, because they are much cleaner
> > what most, even moving coil pickups will provide. I can adjust the depth
> > tracing during replay, and I can adjust the rpm. I can repeat a groove
> > endlessly, with just a delimiting click once per cycle. Ah, bliss!!
> > I had a stupid dealer in antique records send me a rare record, and he
> > have been drunk while packing the record, because the pack was designed
> > put uneven stress on the record. He instantly paid me back everything,
> > including shipping, but like Kodak, there was no replacement for content.
> > can easily fit the shards on the ELP turntable, let it run and reproduce
> > content for me, albeit with clicks that need more work to clean up. But
> > old-time painstaking repair of records is now of the past.
> > However, we have not solved the problem with peeling lacquer records.
> > Best wishes,
> > George
> > ----------------------------------
> >> I've also owned antiques machines in the past and enjoyed hearing a 78
> >> as might have been heard in its day, but I must argue that one doesn't
> >> hear it with the same ears as someone who lived in that day. A machine
> >> such as an Edison player was probably regarded as what we now call
> >> "state of the art" or "high tech". A mind blowing experience. To us it
> >> is an antique and a curiosity, a charming and quaint item. hopefully
> >> appreciated for its role in the history of home music. To a
> >> listener, it may have been regarded as the ultimate home listening
> >> experience, second only to live music.
> >> Perhaps the way to understand a little about how they must have felt in
> >> that day by comparing it to the first time you saw a 60" HD screen
> >> playing a blu-ray disc movie. You can't help but be blown away.
> >> joe salerno
> >> On 1/4/2011 8:36 AM, David Breneman wrote:
> >>> --- On Tue, 1/4/11, Tom Fine<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>>> That said, I bet I'm not the only one who buys cheap and
> >>>> common but musically-enjoyable 78's specifically to play on
> >>>> the Victrola. They are never intended for transfer or
> >>>> preservation, they are intended to allow me to enjoy my
> >>>> antique Victrola. I'm sure others do similar things for
> >>>> their cylinder players and Diamond Disc players.
> >>> Guilty as charged. There's something to be said for the
> >>> "time machine" aspect of seeing and hearing a record played
> >>> as a person would have experienced it "back in the day."
> >>> An old machine puts on a good show; an mp3 doesn't.