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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: May Mon 28, 2018 8:09 pm 
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Joined: Apr Mon 04, 2011 4:23 am
Posts: 694
Location: SW PA
Wanna start a real debate? Mention the topic of record cleaning methods. :shock: That will bring out a lot of extreme opinions and emotions, for sure.

Just a couple days ago, I was basically called stupid and a liar when I said that I was satisfied with my record cleaning procedure that doesn't involve a fancy vacuum based machine. No doubt that a machine may be the ultimate way to do it, but it's not the only way to get good results. They acted like I was throwing my records in a mud hole before I played them. :roll:

I value people's opinions, but I always take them with a grain of salt. No matter what you do or say on the internet, somebody will always come in and tell you that you are doing it wrong. :?


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: May Mon 28, 2018 8:56 pm 
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beat_truck wrote:
No matter what you do or say on the internet, somebody will always come in and tell you that you are doing it wrong. :?

Happens on this board all the time... :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: May Mon 28, 2018 11:41 pm 
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Location: Champaign IL 61822
My opinion is that the vacuum machine people are right! I've never tried them,
but I've tried everything else and nothings works.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: May Wed 30, 2018 5:56 pm 
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Location: Northeast Florida
Let's also not forget that the average record owner (the non-hifi crowd) never cleaned records at all back in the day, they just played them

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Jun Wed 13, 2018 10:38 pm 
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Audio purists may say otherwise, but I play all my 45's, mint or otherwise, on a 1959 Philco record changer, and they all sound pretty much the same as when I got them to my untrained ears.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Jun Mon 25, 2018 6:47 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 16, 2010 5:56 pm
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Location: Parkville, MD
I agree with radiotvnut. I have original records from the 50's and the 60's in good shape that were made for record players that were installed in the Hi Fi Portables and the console Hi Fi and stereos from the 50's and the 60's. I play them on V-M turntables from 1956, 1959 and 1962 respectively plus an RCA Victor 45 player from 1951 and one from 1955 that were properly cleaned and balanced and they still sound great, not to mention I really enjoy watching those changers operate almost as much as I like to hear the music on the records. I have played my 180-200 gram vinyl reissue of The Beach Boys or The Beatles on all 3 of those V-M turntables mentioned above and they played and sounded great. If you properly handle your records and use properly cleaned and balanced equipment even from the 50's and 60's, you will not hurt your records, and I tell you I enjoy them as much as Radiotvnut enjoys his. I love the records AND the classic equipment that I play them on. What's the sense of having anything if you can't enjoy using it too?


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Jun Tue 26, 2018 4:35 am 
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Location: Northeast Florida
When I have a record that wears out, I simply throw it in the trash and buy another. There's millions of them still out there, they are hardly a rare commodity. Having said that, I would not play something rare or super-collectable on vintage equipment unless it was something like a Zenith Microtouch that tracks at 2 grams.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Mon 10, 2018 6:22 am 
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vmguy is right on the money! I've got a VM216-AV and it plays all my records with no problems at all. Also I have a 1970's Panasonic with a small BSR changer that works great!..Take care of your records and record players and they'll take care of you..[musically speaking].:mrgreen:


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Mon 10, 2018 5:36 pm 
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Location: Northeast Florida
Any record player will play any record, it's the potential for damage that you don't see/hear until it's too late.

I use VM 1200 series changers from the 50's/60's, BUT they also have modern stereo cartridges, and they're also adjusted to track no heavier than 5 grams.

I also have an early 60's BSR changer that has it's original Varco 3 volt crystal cartridge (which still works). Tracks at about 10 grams. I once played a worn-out modern 45 on it just to see what would happen---when I was done, the entire playing surface had turned gray, and I could wipe the polysterene dust off with my finger. This is with a new .007 diamond tip, btw. Ruined in one play.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Wed 12, 2018 5:34 am 
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Early 78's up to the late '40's did not have standard groove dimensions. The earlier grooves were U shaped and when played with steel needles, the abrasive in the shellac record ground the needle to the shape of the groove. Playing earlier 78's with diamond or sapphire stylii is frustrating because the general purpose 3 mil 78 stylus was intended for 78's from the late forties and fifties when the 78 adopted a more universal V shaped 3 mil groove. To play early 78's successfully with a modern pickup, you need a variety of needles to properly fit the groove.

With LPs, I remember the introduction in the early 70's the softervthinner vinyl records. The earlier LPs from the fifties were thicker and heavier and stood up to the higher tracking forces required for earlier pickups.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Fri 14, 2018 2:13 am 
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Joined: Jun Sun 15, 2014 11:04 pm
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Location: Coos Bay, Oregon
It would seem there is some conflicting information on that subject. About 1925, Western Electric had developed a "perfected" electrical recording method for phonograph records. Allegedly, that methodology was available though license to record manufacturers under condition that any pressings those companies made under that license would conform to the dimensionality and other details specified within the license. That included rotational speed, groove depth, groove angle and other mechanical criteria. Even details about the needle radius were a part of the license, which was set at .003 of an inch. According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonograp ... velopments),"Western Electric's innovations resulted in a broader and smoother frequency response, which produced a dramatically fuller, clearer and more natural-sounding recording. Soft or distant sounds that were previously impossible to record could now be captured. Volume was now limited only by the groove spacing on the record and the amplification of the playback device. Victor and Columbia licensed the new electrical system from Western Electric and began issuing discs during the Spring of 1925". This uniform production criteria made it possible for any brand record to play on any brand phonograph using any brand of needle. It also made it possible to make discs without abrasives since the needle no longer had to wear into the "rough" groove in order to get all the data that was there and optimize background noise. Hence, long playing and semi-permanent needles were possible, which in turn led to the development of lighter and lighter tracking force.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Fri 14, 2018 3:01 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Ithaca, NY USA
startgroove wrote:
It would seem there is some conflicting information on that subject. About 1925, Western Electric had developed a "perfected" electrical recording method for phonograph records. Allegedly, that methodology was available though license to record manufacturers under condition that any pressings those companies made under that license would conform to the dimensionality and other details specified within the license. That included rotational speed, groove depth, groove angle and other mechanical criteria. Even details about the needle radius were a part of the license, which was set at .003 of an inch. According to Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phonograp ... velopments),"Western Electric's innovations resulted in a broader and smoother frequency response, which produced a dramatically fuller, clearer and more natural-sounding recording. Soft or distant sounds that were previously impossible to record could now be captured. Volume was now limited only by the groove spacing on the record and the amplification of the playback device. Victor and Columbia licensed the new electrical system from Western Electric and began issuing discs during the Spring of 1925". This uniform production criteria made it possible for any brand record to play on any brand phonograph using any brand of needle. It also made it possible to make discs without abrasives since the needle no longer had to wear into the "rough" groove in order to get all the data that was there and optimize background noise. Hence, long playing and semi-permanent needles were possible, which in turn led to the development of lighter and lighter tracking force.


I've just been reading two respected reference books on the subject (Manual of Analogue Sound Restoration, Peter Copeland & Recording the Twenties, Allan Sutton). Maxfield and Harrison carried out their experiments on electrical recording under conditions that were different from what was employed commercially by Victor and Columbia: relatively quiet record surfaces without abrasive, vertical groove modulation, oversize discs, etc. However, when leasing the process to the two companies, they had to adapt the system to the limitations of replaceable steel needles, lateral recording, etc. and as a consequence the full potential of the equipment wasn't realized at first. It was still a vast improvement over acoustical recording methods. If groove size & depth were part of the license, it's clear that Victor & Columbia were violating their licenses regularly. There's lots of variation between the two companies & over the years in their record production. Standardization around a 3-mil V-shaped groove was gradual and brought on by the development of record changers. It was hard to adhere to rigid standards in that time, because there were a lot of old-style acoustical phonographs out there, as well as an increasing number of Orthophonic & Viva-Tonal phonographs that were designed to play the new discs, and a few electrical phonographs (the number of these increased greatly through 1929-30 when the Depression hit). Each of these had different requirements & the companies had to triangulate and try to ensure that their records would play reasonably well on all of them. Not a good time for standards...that had to wait until electrical record players were the norm.

As far as I know, some abrasive was used in practically all shellac surfaces, all the way up to the 50's. As the years went by, the surfaces were increasingly quiet (and delicate) and intended to be played with crystal cartridges tracking from 10 to 30 grams instead of 120 to 200 grams in the bad old days. The development of lightweight, compliant cartridges and jeweled styli was frustratingly slow in comparison to the advances made with the recording equipment. By the early 30's, Western Electric had equipment that reliably recorded with nearly flat response from 30Hz to well over 10kHz, but commercial recordings didn't generally go beyond 8kHz at best, and this was often curbed in order to reduce wear. In any case, you were lucky to get response out to 5kHz from a horseshoe magnet pickup or even one of the first crystal pickups.

Doug E.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Fri 14, 2018 4:17 am 
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oldtvnut wrote:
vmguy is right on the money! I've got a VM216-AV and it plays all my records with no problems at all. Also I have a 1970's Panasonic with a small BSR changer that works great!..Take care of your records and record players and they'll take care of you..[musically speaking].:mrgreen:


As an FYI, do not play records that you care about on that BSR. It will eventually destroy them.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Fri 14, 2018 7:23 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2010 8:56 pm
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Location: Northeast Florida
Artcurus wrote:
oldtvnut wrote:
vmguy is right on the money! I've got a VM216-AV and it plays all my records with no problems at all. Also I have a 1970's Panasonic with a small BSR changer that works great!..Take care of your records and record players and they'll take care of you..[musically speaking].:mrgreen:


As an FYI, do not play records that you care about on that BSR. It will eventually destroy them.


On a 70's BSR? I doubt it. Most of them in that era used decent cartridges, and tracking was generally 5 grams or less

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 11:16 pm 
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artcurus wrote:
As an FYI, do not play records that you care about on that BSR. It will eventually destroy them.
tubes4life wrote:
Most of them in that era used decent cartridges, and tracking was generally 5 grams or less
Gotta side w Art on this one. Seen too many once-decent records thrashed on those. If you're calling a plastic 70's BSR (or Garrard or etc) with an e.g. Tetrad crystal cartridge ``decent'' - BBZZZZTTT thanks for NOT playing (any record but the beater copies you have) on there since a
tubes4life wrote:
Zenith Microtouch tracks at 2 grams.
which is why I restored her late great-grandmother's green suitcase model w the optional legs and gave it to my nine year old grand-niece for her birthday this year.

Her grandmother (my sister) is teaching her how to use it and she's already enthralled with
vmguy wrote:
watching the changer operate almost as much as the music
. I was amazed at how fast she outgrew the Fisher Price floating cartridge player her grandmother had when she was little that I restored last year

She still loves her Fisher price Talk-To Me Player and book set though (with the records impressed on each page that read aloud)..

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Sun 16, 2018 11:43 pm 
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Location: Northeast Florida
Most 70's BSR used a Tetrad ceramic cartridge, not crystal. Compliance on the Tetrad was as good as any Microtouch cartridge Zenith used. In my 30+years of experience, 5 grams or less tracking weight will not ruin records.

But you know what does ruin records, regardless of cartridge type? People not changing their needles. An old, worn-out needle will wreck a record even faster than 12 grams of tracking force can. That's why every player I restore gets a brand new diamond needle as part of the restoration.

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Mon 17, 2018 1:53 pm 
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Joined: Feb Wed 04, 2015 12:26 am
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tubes4life wrote:
Most 70's BSR used a Tetrad ceramic cartridge, not crystal. Compliance on the Tetrad was as good as any Microtouch cartridge Zenith used. In my 30+years of experience, 5 grams or less tracking weight will not ruin records.

But you know what does ruin records, regardless of cartridge type? People not changing their needles. An old, worn-out needle will wreck a record even faster than 12 grams of tracking force can. That's why every player I restore gets a brand new diamond needle as part of the restoration.


As a teen in the 80's, I had access to these record players,

BSR (late 70's model)
My grandmother's 1966 Ward's Airline top of the line console with a Voice of Music (I still have the same model changer in another stereo setup)
My other grandmother's 1971 Magnavox.
Garrard AT6 and 1025T
A higher end BSR with a magnetic Pickering cartridge.

I adjusted the BSR the lightest I could get it, but it constantly destroyed/turned records gray, especially styrene 45's. The changer with the magnetic cartridge, the damage wasn't evident until you played the record on a much better turntable. The AT6 had a magnetic cart, and you could hear it instantly.

The VoM, Garrard and the Maggie? I could play that same record 50 times and it would still be perfect. The AT6 also showed the truth on that one, as the VoM I have now (66 Airline). New records played on that one, play perfect on the Technics SL1200, which is my main tt on the good system.


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Mon 17, 2018 3:21 pm 
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Location: Northeast Florida
But that defies logic. I'm not familiar with the Micromatic, but VM and Garrard changers usually had tracking forces that were comparable (if not heavier) than 70's/80's era BSR changers. One of my favorite things to do is service VM changers, and with ceramic cartridges (usually Powerpoints), they left the factory tracking at around 6-7 grams. Maybe you're referring to the Zenith 2G, but most people don't have those, they have a standard 1200 series.

The ceramic carts they used were also not any better than the Tetrads BSR used. In fact, I would trust the Tetrad before I used an Astatic Powerpoint.

I use Pfanstiehl P228's in my VM rebuilds, adjusted for 5 grams tracking--no record wear

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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Mon 17, 2018 4:35 pm 
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The answer as always is the mighty BSR Minichanger. All other choices are further confirmation of the encroaching conspiracy to destroy our great American way of life.... :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Playing records on older equipment
PostPosted: Sep Mon 17, 2018 4:41 pm 
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cap45epguy wrote:
The answer as always is the mighty BSR Minichanger. All other choices are further confirmation of the encroaching conspiracy to destroy our great American way of life.... :roll:


Actually, I don't like BSR (or Garrard) products at all, I prefer American-built VM changers. The BSR mini-changer was cost-cutting garbage. But my point wasn't to promote one or the other, I was simply speaking in terms of record wear.

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