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It is my humble opinion based on over 40 years of collection acoustic 78s , 
 that playing them with bamboo needles is the way to go . 
Bamboo needles  cause almost no wear and have a moderate volume 
and good musical tone . In  my collection are many Zonophone , Victor , 
Columbia ,Emerson and others that 
I have played many dozens of times over the years on a Victor Model ll (  
which has a laminated Oak
Horn ) with fibre ( bamboo ) needles . They still  play clear , loud and 
relatively noise free. The grooves appear rather  smooth and clean viewed at 
100x under a microscope .


John  Eberle
AMERICANA CD MASTERING 
313 EAST COLLEGE STREET SUITE 3A
DICKSON  , TENNESSEE 37055
615-441-4660