I agree about centering the disk. I've come to put more weight on this fact in recent times, and
have been surprised how many 78s were pressed off-center.
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Haley" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 11:15 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Busy Bee records
> The advantage of modern styluses is that you can get them with truncated
> tips, which you definitely want, especially for restoration purposes. They
> generally play a 78 much cleaner than an original issue pointy tip that is
> hitting all the wear in the very bottom of the groove, which it seems can
> often be the most worn part of the groove. You can also get elliptical
> ones, which sometimes play better than conical. It's definitely a trial
> and error thing, as the history of the individual record matters a lot.
> Nauck sells all of these (see prior link that I posted), which is where I
> bought my array of styluses for restoration work. While I have not
> compared to styluses available elsewhere, these have worked really well for
> me. You can generally tell which of several styluses is "right" by which
> gives the strongest and least noisy result. Sometimes I play little
> samples using different styluses and record them all to .wav files, then
> take my time comparing by playing back the .wav files and comparing this
> against that. It is much easier to compare four or five samples this way,
> where the results are not obvious upon first playing. For regular
> commercial 78's, especially after the acoustic era, the starting point is
> usually a 2.75 TE (truncated elliptical). This is often the best one. For
> transcription discs, there is no standard.
> Thanks for the tip about the different kinds of Stanton 500 cartridges. I
> didn't know about the plastic-case ones. I just looked at mine, which I
> have had forever, and it has a gold metal case.
> Finding the best stylus is just the first step. Actually getting the 78
> record centered perfectly comes first. Next it is imperative, really
> imperative, to work with phono-equalization curves at the preamp level to
> find the "right" match. It makes a huge difference. That's a whole
> 'nuther topic.
> On Sun, Mar 1, 2015 at 9:08 AM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
>> Hi John:
>> I agree with you that the Stanton 500 makes a good chasis for 78RPM
>> playback, but we should clarify that there are Stanton 500's with
>> metal-colored (I think actual stainless or aluminum) bodies and then there
>> are white-colored plastic versions sold in the late years of China-based
>> "Stanton." I have both kinds, and the metal-colored one sounds much better,
>> to my ears. I think the plastic one resonates or makes some other frequency
>> anomoly due to its body design.
>> Since "Stanton" no longer makes a model 500, the choice today is the Shure
>> M78, which is based on the M44 and fitted with a conical wide-groove
>> stylus. I don't know this for fact but I'm pretty sure that the guys at
>> Expert Stylus in the UK would fit generic M44 stylus assemblies with
>> whatever tips a 78 collector desired. It's non-ideal, not as good as when
>> Shure itself made a high-quality 78 playback system with many needle
>> options (and real-deal Stanton did at the same time). But for 90+% of
>> wide-groove playing, it'll do the trick.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Haley" <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2015 3:56 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Busy Bee records
>> You can also buy styluses in various sizes from Nauck, here:
>>> and see the good advice toward the bottom of that page. Most people I
>>> use a Stanton 500 cartridge to play 78's (as I do).
>>> John H. Haley
>>> On Sat, Feb 28, 2015 at 11:00 PM, Mark Hendrix <[log in to unmask]
>>> Ben Roth wrote, "Does anyone know what type of stylus or cartridge should
>>>> used for Busy Bee records?"
>>>> Hello, Ben,
>>>> Here is some information that I hope will help.
>>>> Cartridges: Shure M-44 (still manufactured) with the N44-C stylus (I
>>>> know if this is still manufactured; the N 44/7 stylus is the LP version)
>>>> the Stanton 500 series (no longer manufactured) with the Stanton stylus
>>>> made for playing 78s (D5127 stylus, blue plastic stylus holder, also no
>>>> longer manufactured; the D5110, white plastic stylus holder, is the LP
>>>> Busy Bee disc records were lateral cut records designed to be played
>>>> with a
>>>> steel needle. These needles had a tip radius of approximately 3 mil,
>>>> 'mil' means 'one thousandth of an inch.' You will get the best sound by
>>>> choosing a stylus that plays the portion of the groove that was NOT
>>>> by the original playback equipment, so depending on how worn your records
>>>> are, you need a variety of styli to ride above or below where the steel
>>>> needle traveled to get the best reproduction.
>>>> So, for styli: short answer: 2.3 mil, 2.7 mil, and 3.5 mil -sized styli
>>>> handle the majority of "78's" you will encounter.
>>>> For general playback info from a collector's (and professional
>>>> engineer's) point of view, try the late Roger Beardsley's article at:
>>>> He recommends - a set of 2.0, 2.5, 3.0 and 3.5 mil (or alternatively 2.0,
>>>> 2.8 and 3.2 mil) truncated elliptical styli should do for a start; you
>>>> rarely come across a record that does not sound acceptable with one of
>>>> these, although in some cases an 1.5 mil or a 4.0 mil improves the
>>>> reproduction noticeably.
>>>> Here is where you can find Expert Stylus' recommendations:
>>>> I hope this is helpful. Best wishes, Mark Hendrix