Agreed, the LP stylus will not do any consequential damage to
the disc, and if you just want to hear what's on the disc, it
is not a bad place to start if you don't have an appropriate
stylus (see earlier emails from myself and Steve Smolian).

You may find the quality of the sound from the LP stylus
adequate if:

  (a) the original recording levels are good and there is not
      a lot of background noise or other signal noise
  (b) you are not trying to do preservation work
  (c) you just want an access copy or need to get a sense of
      the disc content


An LP stylus on average measures 0.7 mil and is not truncated
sufficiently to avoid the bottom of the groove on these discs.
You will not get good wall contact, and you will get distortion
from the groove bottom.

The suspensions of most LP styli will generally track around
0.5 to 1.5 gram, which is also insufficient.

However, not to be overly repetitive, the LP stylus is adequate
to evaluate the condition of the recording and get a sense of
the content and possibly generate a "use" copy.  But I would
never use an LP stylus for preservation work for this media.

Eric Jacobs

The Audio Archive
tel: 408.221.2128
fax: 408.549.9867
mailto:[log in to unmask]

-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]]On Behalf Of Richard Warren
Sent: Wednesday, July 18, 2007 6:30 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] [LA]Re: [ARSCLIST] Playing a "flexi disc"


There are few guarantees in audio work, as in life, but trying a
diamond "LP" stylus should do no more damage than it would in one
playing of an LP (I've had to do multiple plays of some such discs
and have heard no more damage than would happen with playing an LP --
of course these discs will wear, as will any in contact-playback).
Some types of LP stylus will work better than others (all brands and
even different manufacturing runs of the same brand have microscopic
differences; so if you have more than one LP stylus, try more than
one for sampling and use the best-sounding). If you're uncomfortable
about trying and/ or have ample time, you might ask someone with
experience at another archive to try the transfer for you. The
feasibility of that would depend on where you are (I don't know where you

How many of these discs do you have ?


At 04:34 PM 7/17/2007, you wrote:
>Richard Warren wrote:
>>Dear Barbara Need,
>>If the disc is translucent green vinyl, it may be a Soundscriber disc.
>I think you are right. (First I have heard of them.)
>>These were 33.3 rpm microgroove, so you should try to play it as if
>>it were an LP.
>So use my diamond stylus? It won't damage it
>>Pray that it hasn't warped; if it has, you may need to send it to
>>someone with excellent equipment and much experience.
>I will present that as an option.