Hi Folks,

There's not much doubt that for playing acoustical discs on acoustical-era machines bamboo or fiber needles seem to provide smoother and quieter results; but those results come with curses from those who later receive records so played. A chemist explained that the some of the relatively soft fiber material is burned into the groove walls by the friction &  pressure of the heavy arm and playback head and is either impossible or nearly impossible to remove. This residue would be difficult to see because it would have been burned black in playback and bonded to the groove walls. This cooked organic material can alter the sound of the disc, causing curses from any subsequent owner who hears the results when playing the discs by other methods (especially the most accurate ones). That's fine if one can't hear the alteration or one likes the altered sound and keeps one's discs only for use on vintage machines; but the assertion "played only with cactus or fiber or bamboo needles" is likely to cause horror and rejection in serious collectors and audio archivists, especially those who have had to try to deal with ruined records.

Of course, also from the viewpoint of audio archivists and record dealers, "fibered" records form a category both easy to eliminate from serious consideration and sad to see if rarities are included.


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 6:15 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Victrola Needles

Hi John:

Where does one get bamboo needles these days?

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "John Eberle" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Thursday, October 22, 2009 1:08 AM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Victrola Needles

> 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
> 615-441-4660