I have found that the Victors produced up to somewhere around June of 1928 
can have the 76.6 speed. Columbia Viva Tonals are 75 rpm up to about the 
same time. I have confirmed this with a Myra Hess recording. Although stated 
speed on Columbia records can state 80 rpm, the speed was set with the motor 
unloaded. You would leave the tonearm off the record, place a piece of paper 
poking out from under a record, then count 20 revolutions in 15 seconds. 
When the additional drag of the heavy tonearm is brought into play , then 
the actual speed would be 75 rpm.-mickey

Mickey Clark
710 Westminster Avenue West
Penticton BC
V2A 1K8

-----Original Message----- 
From: Steve Smolian
Sent: Tuesday, February 09, 2021 10:24 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Speeds

For  western music (Alois Haba, Emmanuel Moore, etc. notwithstanding), 
playback increments are in half-steps.  Once you have established your 
speed to show a sustained note from a preferred instrument (oboe, other 
winds, good string players, etc. only then, as a last resort, voices), going 
up or down by half tones quickly shakes out many wrong speeds.  I use a Korg 
guitar tuner with an internal microphone and may check with a pitch pipe 

If working with an unfamiliar voice, I try and find a selection they are 
unlikely to have transposed and see how that matches the vocalist's sound on 
your subject record.

For accurate results, it is necessary to be sure the record is well-centered 
before checking for pitch.

Some discographies include playing speeds and are therefore worth 
consulting. But beware- if the discographer is European, he is determining 
these results in a 50 cycle environment.  In the U.S., we have a 60 cycle 
standard.  That's a difference of over half an rpm.

This is true for European LPs played back in the U.S. as well.  And for some 
European tapes transferred by U.S. companies for domestic issue.  This is a 
matter different from CCIR vs NAB tape equalization.

Establishing pitch for tapes made on battery-operated machines running at 
1-7/8 ips with failing batteries on half mil tape calls for lots of 
patience.  There is a similar 78 rpm problem where the speed changes in the 
course  of the side.

In short, it ain't short.

Steve Smolian

inal Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List 
<[log in to unmask]> On Behalf Of Patrick Feaster
Sent: Tuesday, February 9, 2021 11:05 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Speeds

Recording speeds in that early period were irregular enough that setting 
them for playback today generally involves making educated guesses based on 
vocal timbre and musical pitch, like the ones you're describing.
Chris Zwarg's "Speeds and Keys" is a good example of targeted research along 
these lines.  There seems to have been a general upwards drift in average 
speeds from the lower 70s to the upper 70s over the first decade of the 
century or so, but with lots of individual deviations.  So "assuming"
any particular speed based on date alone would be perilous, and you don't 
just have two choices around 72 and 76.6 rpm -- more of a continuum.  For 
myself, I like to start with something that's definitely too slow and 
gradually adjust upward.


On Tue, Feb 9, 2021 at 1:30 AM Paul Stamler <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi folks:
> May I tap the collective wisdom once more?
> It's pretty well-known among the restoration community that Victor
> made their acoustical recordings at 76.6 rpm (or close). But I've also
> been told, by people who seem to know what they're talking about, that
> the earliest Victors were cut at a slower speed, approximately 72 rpm.
> I had the occasion to work on a 1901 recording, and I did it first st
> 76.6, then again at 72, and I must say that the slower ob\ne sounded
> more natural; the voice has less of a Donald Duck effect.
> So my questions are two:
> 1. Is this at all accurate? Were those early Victors truly cut at
> about
> 72 rpm?
> 2. If so, then can anyone suggest an approximate date for the
> changeover to 76.6 rpm? In other words, up to what recording date
> should I assume, for my first efforts, a speed of about 72 rpm?
> Peace,
> Paul
> ---
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