Thank you for your encouragement!   We are always amazed that our 70+ year-old Prestos work as well as they do.  We have three, although we've had to combine parts from two of them into one very good machine.  Which means we have two well-matched machines, and the third which we are fixing up to get as good as the others.  Each recording is still a bit of a fraught process, and a huge sigh of relief is felt in the room when we finish cutting a record.  On the other hand, that is a vital part of the experience, and we're always impressed with the intensity of focus that the artists put into the performance.  They become very aware that there is no opportunity for punching in or any kind of mix fixes.  It makes for a truthful performance, something that the artists themselves seem to find very moving when they hear their records played back for them.  And our Prestos, portable as they are, certainly make for a good workout when we lug them around!

The 78 Project |
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Breakthrough musicians on a journey to connect with the haunting recordings of the past...

On Feb 10, 2012, at 7:40 PM, George Brock-Nannestad wrote:

> From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
> Hello,
> it pleases me no end to read about somebody doing something new for a change!
> The 78 rpm format is just right for the field, because with the coarse
> grooves there is no need to be hysterical about working in a dust-free
> environment and in most cases not even about overloading the system. And now,
> of course, we have mains electricity everywhere.
> The increase in demand for lacquer records (we now know that they were
> nitrocellulose lacquers, not cellulose acetate lacquers) might even lower the
> price of masters from the suppliers to record mastering studios, to the
> benefit of us all.
> In 50-100 years time we shall have a real pickle, however, because we shall
> then have to apply various forensic techniques to determine that your records
> are what they are and not 70+ years older. However, that is what happens when
> you start using technology that has been overtaken by technical development.
> It is very interesting, philosophically, to consider that no-one will be able
> to re-create MiniDisc recording 70 years after its heyday (if it ever had
> one) 1) because probably no equipment can be made to function, and 2) nobody
> will manufacture unrecorded magneto-optical MiniDiscs in 70 years. It all
> speaks for going primitive.
> My own experiences with re-creating early recording has concentrated on
> acoustic disc recording, using Berliner etch-technology and Johnson cut wax
> technology. However, I regularly use my better-than-a-portable-Presto lathe
> for 78 rpm lacquers. My lathe is portable if you are two strong men - it has
> handles!
> Best wishes; I shall follow your website!
> George
> --------------------------------------------
>> We're recent new members, and just wanted to say hello to everyone on the
>> list.  We thought that there may be some folks interested in what we're up
>> to.
>> THE 78 PROJECT is a journey across America to record today´s musical artists
>> as they perform the early American songs that inspired a century of popular
>> music -- exactly as they were originally recorded, instantaneously, on
>> one-of-a-kind 78rpm lacquer discs.  Inspired by Alan Lomax and his quest to
>> capture music where it lived throughout the early 20th Century, the series
>> celebrates the artistry and craft that spontaneously captured America´s most
>> authentic musical forms.  With just one microphone, one authentic 1930's
>> Presto direct-to-acetate disk recorder, and one blank lacquer disc,
>> musicians are given an opportunity to make a recording anywhere they choose.
>> What we have found is that the film, music and feelings that result defy
>> space and time.  You can see more of the project, hear acetates and more at
>> our website (, and you can also see all of our videos
>> on our Vimeo page at:
>> We welcome any thoughts, insights, feedback...
>> Alex Steyermark & Lavinia Jones Wright
>> The 78 Project
>> The 78 Project |
>> [e] [log in to unmask]
>> Breakthrough musicians on a journey to connect with the haunting recordings
>> of the past...