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lot's to consider here.  thank you all for your support and insight.   
i will keep you posted on my progress.

one more somewhat related question: where can i study good techniques  
for recording onto an Edison way cylinder?  i have seen people do i  
well on outlets like youtube, but when I do it, it comes out very  
poorly, very distorted and/or soft.  I have been working on this with  
a professional engineer, and we have had no luck.  Is there a source  
that discusses techniques for getting the best recording possible on  
these machines?

I appreciate the consideration,
Richard
On Sep 3, 2014, at 8:34 PM, Aaron Levinson wrote:

> I agree. Could be very memorable in performance and I think the  
> vinyl cactus rubber mat idea is a very good premise.
>
> AA
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
>> On Sep 3, 2014, at 7:53 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>  
>> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Richard:
>>
>> Tim's the man! He sold me a beautifully restored Edison player,  
>> which has a prominent place in my living room. Next time I get  
>> some pennies from heaven, he'll sell me a wood-horn Victor player.
>>
>> See what Tim says about this issue. Maybe he's got some way to  
>> play VINYL 78's. You could get a 78 cut, for instance by Charles  
>> Bork, from your tape or digital file. Then get one of the small- 
>> run presses to make you 100 or so copies. Then, you'll long have  
>> extras for when they wear out. Tim might have a solution (maybe a  
>> cactus needle?) to play vinyl. I think 200-gram vinyl would be  
>> thick enough not to slip, but you could also craft a rubber  
>> platter mat to deal with that issue.
>>
>> Thinking about how this could come across in performance, I don't  
>> consider it even semi-ridiculous anymore. I think it's kewl. More  
>> power to you and your band.
>>
>> -- Tom Fine
>>
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Grimes"  
>> <[log in to unmask]>
>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>> Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2014 5:04 PM
>> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] shellac 78 problem
>>
>>
>>> Thanks Tom; This is all very helpful.  There's a fellow out of   
>>> Minneapolis, Kim Gutzke of Custom Records, who talked of trying  
>>> to do  the shellac, but years have gone by and nothing has come  
>>> to pass, so  i've lost hope in that possibility.  When we first  
>>> began this effort  to work with the Victor, it was under the  
>>> assumption that this  possibility would eventually work out.  now  
>>> we are stuck with the  very likely prospect of faking it, which I  
>>> always hate.  It's hard to  believe that nobody out there does  
>>> this.  I guess there's just no a  void to be filled anymore?
>>>
>>> Thanks again for your input.
>>> Richard
>>>
>>> p.s. Tim sold us our Victor IV, as well as an Edison wax  
>>> cylinder  player/recorder.  He has been very helpful with so many  
>>> things.
>>>> On Sep 3, 2014, at 4:21 PM, Tom Fine wrote:
>>>>
>>>> Hi Richard:
>>>>
>>>> This query comes across as semi-ridiculous, but you can fudge   
>>>> things. No, you can't get shellac disks pressed today and no,  
>>>> you  can't play laquer disks, either wide-groove or not, on a  
>>>> Victor IV.  But, you could easily rig up a system onstage where  
>>>> an iPod plays  into a little speaker hidden in the throat of the  
>>>> horn. Buy some  terrible junk 78 record (because it will be  
>>>> destroyed). Get someone  like Tim Fabrizio to send you a junker  
>>>> Victor diaphram,  disconnected from the needle. This will then  
>>>> put no sound into the  horn to interfere with the speaker sound.  
>>>> Drop the needle on the  record and at the same time hit play on  
>>>> the iPod and the audience  will be none the wiser.
>>>>
>>>> In case, for your recording, you want a real 78RPM wide-groove   
>>>> record, there's a guy named Charles Bork out in Seattle who can  
>>>> cut  it for you. This can then be plated and pressed as a 10"  
>>>> vinyl  record, playable with a 78 stylus but not playable on an  
>>>> old Victor  turntable (it will be chewn to bits on its first play).
>>>>
>>>> -- Tom Fine
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Richard Grimes"   
>>>> <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> To: <[log in to unmask]>
>>>> Sent: Wednesday, September 03, 2014 3:57 PM
>>>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] shellac 78 problem
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> Greetings ARSC!
>>>>>
>>>>> I am new to the list, so I hope I am corresponding with you  
>>>>> all  in  the proper manner with this email.  If not, just let  
>>>>> me know  and I  will redress accordingly.
>>>>>
>>>>> I am the Artistic Director of an eclectic contemporary group   
>>>>> called  cordis - and I am in a pickle - hoping you or one of  
>>>>> your  members  might be able to assist, or at least point me in  
>>>>> a direction.  I very  recently aquired a Victor IV talking  
>>>>> machine,  with the foolish  assumed there would some boutique  
>>>>> sources out  there that would be  able to press shellac discs.   
>>>>> My research has  indicated otherwise,  and I am now in a bit of  
>>>>> a panic as the  ensemble is knee deep in the recording of a new  
>>>>> album that is  dependent upon the use of our trusty
>>>>> Victor.  We can always fake it in the studio, but live, we cannot.
>>>>> Do you know of any sources who might be able to assist us here?  
>>>>> i  am  a neophyte when it comes to understanding this early   
>>>>> technology, so  please forgive me if my query comes across as  
>>>>> ridiculous. any  direction you might be able to offer is  
>>>>> greatly  appreciated.
>>>