Although my problem with the transfer of 78s are nearly over, it would seem
I am not quite out of the woods yet and I would really appreciate any
explanations or suggestions on why it is that all tracks on CDs, other than
those produced from the Technics SP-15 are playing OK on a laptop. I am now
in a situation where the Technics tracks are playing perfectly everywhere,
including the desktop computer. However, a CD made of assorted tracks
produced by other sources, including vinyl on a Thorens, played on the
laptop plays fine other than when it comes to the Technics tracks.
Evidently, it is the only piece of equipment left which is not happy with
these recordings and distorts when playing them. 

Like Malcolm, I record these tracks in stereo, something that has not given
any problems in the past on any machine. Volumes are set O.K., no clipping.
Before recording, checks are made with all equipment involved and there are
no hints, either visibly on meters or audibly through headphones, that there
are any extraneous noises such as hums or crackles. No distortion can now be
detected at any stage during previews before transferring. 

For me, the most puzzling thing is that recording singles from the 50s on
the Thorens proves to be fine when played back on the laptop, substituting
the Thorens with the SP-15 to record 78s from the 50s (not that date really
matters) produces distortion on the laptop. The laptop, by the way, is a

I appreciate a comment made earlier from the group that I shouldn't worry
too much about one piece of equipment being happy with this but this part of
a mastering process for commercial production and all common possibilities
of machines (and a lot of people listen to CDs in their laptops) that would
be used to play this on must pass the test.

Any explanations or suggestions greatly received. 


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: 14 May 2009 23:02
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Technics SP-15 to computer nightmare

Hi Mal:

You are bringing up another good point here, rumble added at the time of
recording. This was common, 
as it was in the LP era (less common later in the LP era). Hum generated at
the time of 
master-cutting was also common both in the 78 era and the earlier LP era. If
you look at the best LP 
mastering places today, they are using super-massive lathes and they are
doing mechanical-isolation 
things that were never a consideration back in the olden days. And, we know
a lot more about 
electrical grounding and signal-isolation these days vs back then. Back in
the wax-cutting days, who 
knew or cared about subsonic anything, or for that matter most content under
a couple hundred Hertz. 
What reproducing equipment, including in the studio, could blast out those
frequencies in the first 
place? And, reproducers tracked heavier and were more rigid, so any subsonic
stuff that got 
impressed on the disk was immaterial to reproduction.

Transcription recordings I've dealt with are frequently not akin to a high
quality studio recording 
of the same time, I would assume because they were done under the gun and on
less than perfect 
disk-recording equipment. I've noted plenty of hum and plenty of rumble, as
well as high noise 
levels and overload distortions indicating clipping in some electronic stage
before the cutterhead.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Malcolm Rockwell" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 12:38 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Technics SP-15 to computer nightmare

> Odd that this phasing observation should arise now.
> I have been transferring some mono 1930s ARC test pressings in stereo 
> and noticed that the two
> signals were seemingly out of phase. I initially thought it might be an
incorrectly wired cart, 
> but that turned out not to be the case. Next I looked at the record groove
- normal. Then I looked 
> at the signals on the computer again. The run-in to the musical content IS
out of phase (that's 
> where all the rumble shows up), but the musical signal itself is in phase!
> Shelving at around 80 Hz and notching at both 60 and 120 Hz should do the
trick without adversely 
> affecting the program content. I'm going to try that.
> Mal
> *******
> Tom Fine wrote:
>> One possibility is that the 78 transfer captured enough rumble to set 
>> the computer speakers
>> flapping. That would make them sound distorted because most of the
mechanical energy is drained 
>> off making the speaker "plut". Headphones and car speakers might have no
energy transfer at the 
>> rumble frequencies and thus be immune to the problem. My experience is
that a rumble filter is 
>> always a good idea with 78's, and it's better to use it at the same time
you're finding the 
>> optimum turnover and rolloff settings because killing off the rumble
effects other frequencies, 
>> and overall loudness of the musical content. Apparently, some of the
rumble elements are out of 
>> phase to certain musically-relevant elements, so when those elements are
not partially or wholly 
>> cancelled, they are louder.
>> -- Tom Fine
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Ted Kendall" 
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 5:48 AM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Technics SP-15 to computer nightmare
>>> Your computer speakers or amp are evidently at fault here - maybe 
>>> they can't handle the surface
>>> noise from the 78 - I'd not be inclined to worry about it...
>>> Ted Kendall
>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "gary atkinson" 
>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>> Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2009 10:23 AM
>>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Technics SP-15 to computer nightmare
>>> Sometime ago I acquired a Technics SP-15 deck. I took it, at the 
>>> time as a "stand by" and it has been "standing by" waiting for it's 
>>> big moment to arrive. A few days ago that moment arrived and I 
>>> transferred a 78rpm record from it. As it hit the amp it sounded 
>>> wonderful, both through speakers and headphones. As it went through 
>>> the Tascam CC-222SL and onto CD it sounded splendid. Play the CD 
>>> back on the Tascam, Marantz, Pioneer and even the car CD player and 
>>> everything is beautiful. Play it back through the computer (desk top 
>>> and lap top) and the sounds terrible; very distorted and tinny. All 
>>> the more odd is that when I play back from the computer (either the 
>>> CD or going in directly through and Edirol interface), through an 
>>> external amp, it sounds fine, yet when I turn up the computer 
>>> speakers at the same time what comes out of them directly from the 
>>> computer is very distorted.
>>> Anything else played in the same way through the computers; vinyl 
>>> from a Thorens, tape from a Teac, any other CD from the Tascam, 
>>> radio, DATs, Minisidiscs etc are all fine. After having tried just 
>>> about every permutation of phone leads and sockets that I can think 
>>> of I am homing in on the SP-15 deck. The computer seem to doesn't 
>>> like it directly and though other CD players and amps are happy 
>>> playing the test CDs that hold recordings transferred from the deck, 
>>> again, the computer is not happy when it comes to tracks taken from 
>>> the SP-15. (I created a CD with tracks from various sources and all 
>>> played fine in the computer other than those taken from the SP-15).
>>> I am about to set off and get the deck tested and it might be worth 
>>> noting that the power lead goes to an AC Converter as this piece of 
>>> equipment was from the U.S.A but now resides in the U.K.
>>> Any advice on what could be the cause or how to resolve this 
>>> conundrum would be greatly appreciated.
>>> Gary.