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 Post subject: First brown wax cylinders
PostPosted: Jan Wed 15, 2020 2:52 am 
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Joined: May Sun 15, 2011 2:11 am
Posts: 233
Location: 10025
I recently picked up a lot of cylinders that included eight intact brown wax cylinders. I've never owned any before, and am not sure how to play them; I picked one and tried it on my Fireside A with an O reproducer, but couldn't hear much that I could pick out, and after a few seconds I stopped, not wanting to do any damage. I listened to the middle of the cylinder and could only hear some faint music; when I tried the beginning, I heard the spoken introduction, telling me it was a Columbia recording, and "New York City." Can I play these using a C reproducer? How about a K? If not, what can I use? Any other tips for getting the most out of them without damaging them? Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: First brown wax cylinders
PostPosted: Jan Wed 15, 2020 3:16 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2084
Location: Monroe, NC 28112 USA
I'm no expert but playing 110+ year old wax cylinders with stock Edison, Columbia, whatever heads is destructive. The current best practices are to optically scan. The second best is to use modern stylus with tracking forces many times lighter than the vintage heads applied to the hill & dale grooves. Also they are played at half speed. Simple to speed correct on your computer. Just have fun playing the almost indestructible celluloid cylinders. Save the wax for the experts.
Robert


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 Post subject: Re: First brown wax cylinders
PostPosted: Jan Wed 15, 2020 6:07 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 15023
Location: S. Dartmouth MA 02748-1225 USA
If they look moldy, they probably are. Mold bites into the wax and makes pits in the hill'n'dale grooves. They will sound like crap...

Check the lever, link and needle of your reproducer to be sure it is floating properly in the groove and that the cylinder is correct speed for the lead screw.

You might be able to find a list of known titles online. If its on the list there are more copies around and it probably has been laboratory recorded.

I have a machine that need motor repair and lubing. Some dozen or so wax. I would like to get a 2-4min and the correct reproducer for 4-minute, then collect a few familiar 4 minute tunes....

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: First brown wax cylinders
PostPosted: Jan Wed 15, 2020 6:16 am 
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Joined: Feb Fri 01, 2019 11:35 pm
Posts: 343
Location: Riverside Ca. 92504
The brown wax cylinders are the oldest ones and a little rarer that the black wax ones. They are very fragile and should only be played with a automatic or ( very rare ) standard reproducer.. If they are in good shape they could be worth some money . A slip of paper was sometimes in the cylinder designating what is on the cylinder on it could be etched on the side. Tom


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