Paul is absolutely right about the curves. Students will never get this
right. It takes a good amount of skill and experience to get the phono-EQ
curve right. There is no research tool that will tell you what is "right."
You have to use your ears, guided by experience. There is no other way
for instantaneous discs. Even commercial discs sometimes involve a lot of
trial and error.
I strongly recommend getting the KAB EQS MK12, which is an excellent
sounding preamp even apart from its curve settings, and I further recommend
getting the small mod you can buy with it, as I did (it's an extra card
inside), that allows you to input line level signals thru the EQ curve
section of the electronics. Otherwise you can only input the low levels
from a phono cartridge through it. That's impossible once you have
digitized something to a wav file. With this mod, you can do what Paul
says, which is do flat transfers of discs and then play the resulting wav
files thru the preamp to select the right curve, without further playing of
Also, if you digitize the records with the wrong curve, it is really,
really hard, maybe impossible, to reverse that to apply the right curve.
This is because you can't reverse the turnover point electronically--it is
not a matter of equalization (which the treble emphasis and de-emphasis
is). Getting the curve right often matters quite a lot in how something
sounds. It's not a small part of the process.
Frankly, I would never trust a student with any of this. You will destroy
your collection and end up with garbage for transfers.
On Sat, Mar 28, 2015 at 12:09 AM, Paul Stamler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> On 3/27/2015 7:38 PM, John Schroth wrote:
>> You have no doubt put some time, research and money into acquiring
>> turntables that you feel would properly play back the disk collection.
>> You are willing to invest in proper preamps for the turntables. It is
>> worth the money to either pay someone first to properly preserve the
>> media, prior to letting inexperienced hands start working with it, or
>> pay to get some instruction from someone who can help you and your
>> students properly use and care for the media - which is the most
>> important piece of this equation.
>> Just my two cents....
> I'll back up what John says, having seen how records are damaged when
> students handle them as though they were CDs.
> Let me put in a plug for transferring discs flat, then adding de-emphasis
> curves in post-production, of course preserving copies of the flat
> transfers intact. My reason: to determine the proper de-emphasis curve for
> a particular disc, you really have to play it, try different curves and
> listen, then go back and record the disc with the curve you've selected.
> Playing the disc twice damages it -- yes, even shellac 78s, Transferring it
> once, flat, then doing the experiments on the digital file is less damaging
> to the original material. Unless I know the actual curve of a record
> (which, practically speaking, means unless I know it to be RIAA) I always
> transfer flat, playing the disv just once.
> There may be imperfections in this technique, but IMHO the lessened wear
> and damage on the discs outweighs them.
> To the OP: I suggest that if you have a professional transfer these discs
> in your collection -- particularly the transcriptions -- you have them
> transferred flat, without de-emphasis curves.
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