I was under the impression that starting in the electrical era, pre-emphasis was
added as either noise reduction or to compensate for acoustic horn reproduction
at the time. In any case, what was going in was definitely not flat and needed
to be compensated for in playback.
There are a number of lists online, with varying information. Was real
information about studio EQ published at the time?
From: Jan Myren <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Mon, March 7, 2011 4:08:01 PM
Subject: [ARSCLIST] SV: [ARSCLIST] Turnover and rolloff curves for correct
playback of 78 rpm records!
Does this mean that most of you about never use the FLAT position on the
May it be that you use -5 instead just to "soften" the noise a little bit;
then do the rest by reducing the very top a little bit using a parametric or
All the best
Fra: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] På vegne av Robert Cham
Sendt: 6. mars 2011 19:29
Til: [log in to unmask]
Emne: Re: [ARSCLIST] Turnover and rolloff curves for correct playback of 78
I used to use a parametric equalizer for that. Any of them would do
fine, but this one happened to be in a McCurdy console. The
technique was the same as yours.
The advantage of a good parametric equalizer is that you can vary the
"Q" which is in effect the width of the notch. Too narrow of a
notch, which graphic equalizers frequently are can causes ringing.
you can sort of accomplish the same thing with a graphic by making
the curve more gradual using the adjacent controls.
The Mc Curdys were great equalizers fo 78s, especially combined with
the preamp controls on the old EMT turntables that we used to use.
>It's not just the top and bottom, it also is the middle. All
>acoustical recordings have horn resonances, and if you use a
>parametric equalizer you boost the midband and sweep it up and down
>till you really hear a BIG boost -- and then you cut it a at that
>frequency a few dBs below the rest to even out that resonance. With
>a graphic eq you can smooth out several resonances. Tom Owen was
>the first to really address that issue when he introduced the Owl I.
>The Urei Multifilter is also useful. You will also find resonant
>peaks in electrical recordings. I am surprised that this has not
>been discussed much here.
>Mike Biel [log in to unmask]
>On 3/6/2011 7:04 AM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>One man's opinions/experiences ...
>>You need to use your ears. These are guidelines, not rules. I've
>>never liked the sound of anything with flat rolloff, it's always
>>too noisy. The early stuff has very limited high-frequency content
>>so you can rolloff quite a bit without effecting any recorded sound
>>that made it into the shellac pressing you are playing. It gets
>>more interesting in the electronic era because there comes a point
>>-- different times for different record companies, when there
>>actually is important audible content in the "treble" range and
>>it's loudness is effected by both turnover and rolloff since you
>>are both moving and bending the curve. Start with the "common
>>wisdom" and then season to taste. There are many, many listings
>>online of different curves recommended for different record
>>companies in different eras. I have found the "common wisdom" on
>>RCA, USA Decca, Capitol and Mercury to be my preferred settings in
>>most cases. The "common wisdom" on pre-electric anything, Columbia,
>>Okeh, Vocalion and British HMV does not suit my ears, I usually
>>tweak those to sound best to the content (most content, least
>>noise, to over-simplify it). Almost uniformly, my experience is
>>that the later-era the 78, the easier it is to pull the content out
>>of the grooves. Early stuff is a challenge and there's only so much
>>Also note that not all recordings were made to allegedly "standard"
>>curves, not all recordings sound good to begin with and not all
>>pressings are uniformly good. So, use the options of variable EQ to
>>bring out maximum audibility and clarity. Basically, you'll find a
>>pair of settings that sounds "best" for every record. Sometimes it
>>sounds clearly "best" compared to all other settings (instruments
>>sound natural, balance of the ensemble sounds right, background
>>noise does not distract), sometimes it sounds "least bad" because
>>the recording was bad or the pressing is bad, etc. If your preamp
>>has high-pass and low-pass filters, also experiment with them. You
>>can further bring out the program content and reduce the background
>>I also try to go for the best sound quality at each stage of analog
>>playback so you can then use a minimal number of stages. If I can
>>get a "best" sound right at the phono preamp, then I don't need to
>>insert EQ into the signal chain. In the case of 78's, if I can play
>>it back crisp, clear and relatively quiet, then I don't need to
>>mess with DSP noise reduction or EQ in the computer. Also, using
>>the combination of turnover and rolloff to both bend and move the
>>curve sometimes produces much better-sounding results than blind
>>adherence to "common wisdom" with after-the-fact reliance on
>>heavy-handed EQ to "quiet things down." This method is widely used
>>on low-cost reissues of 78's, they are usually chopped off
>>somewhere around 10k and "NR'd" to death so all the low-level
>>content is removed and it's like listening to a low-grade AM
>>Always rely on your own ears and taste rather than machines.
>>Documentation and "common wisdom" is the place to start, not the
>>place to end.
>>-- Tom Fine
>>----- Original Message ----- From: "Jan Myren" <[log in to unmask]>
>>To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>Sent: Sunday, March 06, 2011 5:33 AM
>>Subject: [ARSCLIST] Turnover and rolloff curves for correct
>>playback of 78 rpm records!
>>>I am about to learn to find the general correct turnover and rolloff
>>>for US and European 78 rpm records.
>>>So far I have learned:
>>>US 78 rpm records:
>>>Pre. 1938: turnover 500 (RIIA), rolloff FLAT
>>>After 1938: turnover 500 (RIIA), rolloff -5
>>>European 78 rpm records:
>>>Pre 1938: turnover 300, rolloff FLAT
>>>After 1938, turnover 300, rolloff -5
>>>Can anybody share their experiences within this matter, please?
>>>All the best