From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
Hello, Stewart Gooderman asked:
> Does this vindicate Edison in his "stubborn" adherence to his vertical
> recording methods as opposed to Berliner's (and others) lateral cutting?
----- I do not think that you can draw this inference. Edison's system was
better for three reasons: 1) his amplitude was so small that the non-linear
distortion was lower than in the lateral systems, although the vertical
recording process is inherently non-linear, 2) he used a tensioned diaphragm,
and the tensioning was obtained by the same gravity that created a huge
vertical stylus pressure, and 3) he used a systems approach and designed both
the recording machines, the records, and the machines to reproduced them and
so could optimize the system.
2) was the most important, because he could keep his levers stiff and under
tension, so that although the lever ratio was larger (to compensate for the
small amplitude), the tension ensured a very good impulse response. The high
pressure was carried by the bulk of the record and not by a thin groove wall
between grooves as in lateral recording. The disadvantage was that he was
dependent on a very hard and smooth surface; Blue Amberol had it and good
quality Condensite for the Diamond Discs had it, but when sufficient supplies
of good chemicals dwindled, the background noise rose.
The Westrex vertical cutter was the first and most efficient feedback
recorder at the time and ensured that a good cut could be obtained, although
the cutting resistance was very non-linear -- much more material had to be
cut when cutting into the master than when going from the mean value towards
the surface. So, you needed feedback to increase the cutterhead's mechanical
> On 3/9/11 11:33 AM, Michael Biel wrote:
> > On 3/9/2011 1:50 PM, Dan Nelson wrote:
> > I have a pair of test pressings of a 1935 program, one a vertical and
> > the other a lateral of the exact same "take" of the program. The lateral
> > is very good but the vertical is FANTASTIC. Especially as it reaches the
> > outer edge at the end of the program, the sound quality of the Graham
> > McNamee announcement is breathtaking -- and I am no fan of McNamee.
> > World and WE was claiming 13,000 and 14,000 cps. top ends as early as
> > 1932 and 33.
> > Mike Biel [log in to unmask]