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 Post subject: Wire recorders
PostPosted: Apr Sat 01, 2006 8:48 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 7240
Location: Portland Oregon
Were they ever used for audio? Seems to me that at the speed they used to send the wire passed the head, you could pack a lot of audio information on that little wire.<BR>Ed<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Wire recorders
PostPosted: Apr Sat 01, 2006 9:47 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34326
Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
I have had a couple Webster wire recorders and one had several spools of wire on it and I got it to playing and someone in the past had recorded several TV game shows on it. Why would anybody want to record Beat the Clock and a couple other vintage game shows? But the commercials were also included. Advertizements for Ipana tooth paste, L&M cigarettes, Lux laundry detergent and such. Things that we can only remember from our youth. Wish I would have recorded them on cassettes or something more modern, but life is full of hindsight.<BR>Curt<P>------------------<BR>Curt, N7AH<BR>(Connoisseur of the cold 807)<BR>QCWA# 25085 AMI# 242<BR>CW forever


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 Post subject: Wire recorders
PostPosted: Apr Sat 01, 2006 10:02 pm 
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Location: Utica, NY 13502 (USA)
Yes, wire recorders were intended to record audio. They do best for voice recording but the microphones supplied were very poor for music. With a direct feed, they don't do too badly. The highs start rolling off rapidly above 4 khz, at least on the two W/C machines I have.<P>Dave<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Wire recorders
PostPosted: Apr Sun 02, 2006 4:05 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 5076
Location: Ortonville, Michigan
I never owned a wire recorder. From what I've observed, the Webster-Chicago jobs were about the best designed ones. <P>For music, I observed that they had a metallic sound. Editing wire was not possible, at least in the manner that tape can be done. Also, if the wire broke, or if you needed to splice the wire, it was so fine that you had to be an accomplished tailor to handle the wire while splicing it. <P>I think that handling the wire and shortcomings in editing and cueing it were some of the things that brought it to a stop. Certainly, the advent of tape recorders put the final stake in wire's heart. <P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Wire recorders
PostPosted: Apr Sun 02, 2006 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4127
Location: Berkley, Michigan
A relative had a very high end late '40s Silvertone console with a wire recorder. The wire transport rolled out like a drawer and had a clock timer on the front of it. You could pull out levers positioned around the face of the clock to automatically turn the unit on, record a program and then shut it off much like a modern VCR. It had all Loktal tubes. It sounded at least as good as the 78-rpm phonograph.<P>When the wire would break it would get into the mechanism and electronics, short stuff out and make one helluva tangled mess. <P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Wire recorders
PostPosted: Apr Sun 02, 2006 7:04 pm 
Silent Key

Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 34326
Location: Sandpoint, IDAHO 83864
I forgot to mention in my earlier posting that that wire can be downright nasty! Seems that every time I dug the wire recorder out to play with it, I ended up with many fine cuts in my hands.<BR>Curt<P>------------------<BR>Curt, N7AH<BR>(Connoisseur of the cold 807)<BR>QCWA# 25085 AMI# 242<BR>CW forever


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 Post subject: Wire recorders
PostPosted: Apr Wed 05, 2006 1:58 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 7240
Location: Portland Oregon
By the way, just how would you splice the wire, or was it curtins?<BR>Ed<P>------------------<BR>


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 Post subject: Wire recorders
PostPosted: Apr Thu 06, 2006 3:51 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 620
Location: Lyons, Kansas
You've got to be a fisherman to work a wire recorder. If you don't know what the word "backlash" means before you start, you will find out! A backlash with that fine wire is worse than anything a fisherman has to deal with - thus the hand cuts that Curt got from his wire. You splice the wire by making a square knot and cutting the ends as close as you can. And still it gets caught on the recording head! Has anyone ever put some kind of coating over the knot to help it slide through the head? If so, what did you use, or what could you use to cover the knot? However, you can find some good conversations from the '40's and '50's on those old spools, once you get them all lined out and spinning.<P>------------------<BR>steve


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Apr Thu 27, 2006 1:36 am 
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Posts: 1350
Location: Richmond, IN
It sounds like Curt should have "dulled" his wire before handling it. If he used the sharpened type, I'm sure he looked like he had been sortin' cats!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 6:13 am 
My grandfather had a WEBSTER or WEBCOR few wire recorders in his "radio room". After he passed away, I remember going down to the "radio room" (it was in his basement). I fired up one of those babies, and heard his voice. It was a great experience, and I wish I had kept one of those machines! They weighed about 40 to 50 lbs. (guess-ta-mit), and that was the main reason I didn't (can you say "hernia"?). I opted instead to save tons of his reel-to-reels, which included a couple of PAPER tape reel-to-reels. Very cool!

-from: johnS. (member), in case I forgot to log in!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 6:16 am 
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Joined: Apr Tue 25, 2006 5:51 am
Posts: 5124
Location: South Central, PA
Yup, forgot to log in!

_________________
-John S.
RIP:Curt Reed, Alan Douglas, "oldradiospook", & "Bigbandsman"


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Tue 02, 2006 9:12 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 13372
Location: Middle Tennessee,USA 37174
Hi,
I have had a Webster Chicago wire recorder since about 1966. It recorded fine but the audio response was not too good for music fidelity.

I had a couple of backlashes, and opted to just cut the wire and throw it away. When the trash collectors came around, the shiny wire caught one of their eyes. The guy wrapped some around his hand then pulled it tightly, trying to break off some. Well, it didn't break. You could hear him cussing as he threw that ball of tangled wire down.

Splicing is done with a square knot, and I have found it will pass through the head, but you still hear it pass. I have never heard of anyone putting a coating over the splices.

These recorders are quite unique and they are still relatively easy to find.

Here is one of the wire recorder sites I post, when this topic comes up. Sample recordings of actual radio and voice are on the page.
http://www.coolcatdaddy.com/rand/wires.html
Take care,
Gary.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May Thu 04, 2006 2:59 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 418
Location: Antioch, Illinois Near the Cheddar Curtain Go White Sox!
Gary:

Excellent page! I love the sound and video files.

That Lear machine is fantastic! The wire/turntable transport looks like one that's in a lot of machines, but Lear really made it into a nice piece of equipment.

I own several wire recorders myself, along with a few hundred reel to reel and other odd-format vintage recorders.


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 Post subject: webster wire recorder
PostPosted: May Sat 20, 2006 5:06 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 240
Location: Marion, NC USA
I too have a couple of the wire recorders, the last one I bought was about 12 years ago at a yard sale of a local musician/singer and I have
all the original spools that he recorded on!
You never know if one day the spools may be worth some bucks!

_________________
www.noveltyradio.com/collect.html


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