anyone know what speeds/material these records are?

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scrapjack+
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anyone know what speeds/material these records are?

Post by scrapjack+ » 28 Jul 2017 21:13

Sorry, I have allot of questions about a handful of records but ultimately they all boil down to one thing, "How do I play these?"
Looking through my Grandfathers collection I found a few home recorded records, from his family when he was a kid mixed in with a 78 box set. The problem is they don't say what RPM to play them at to see if they still play, or what material they are to clean them, and I couldn't find the info online. the records are dated late 40's early 50's. Most are on Platt brand records that look like they could be shellac some are 6.5" in diameter others are 8" they all have the same paper label despite size, except the golden cardboard record, on which the pencil markings have faded away with time, also doesn't mention Speed. The cardboard Record is a Packard bell phonocord record. I'd like to play these to see if there is anything left to rip, and decide if they're worth sending out to someone with better equipment and more practice to be digitized.

I seen a different style packard bell phonocord records online was this a different model perhaps with a different size/shape needle or speed or just a cosmetic change? Mine is dated at 1947, that was as much as I could pull out of the photograph.

One had a label on the label that said it was to be played from the inside out, any turntable can do this right, the direction is based on the groves Right? Would I have to flip the cartridge alignment chart upside down, or will it play these automatically, or play the record upside down.

Also two of them have a white "powder coating" on the record portion that is absent from the label. I would think the paper would have molded if it was mold, and there wasn't any on the other 78's in that box or any of the paper so maybe it is just chemical decomposition, I mean if not mold then what else, maybe chemical dust? I don't think it's mold but I'm not sure, and all the pages I read said to use a 50/50 alcohol water mix Which I know is a bad idea if the records are shellac, so how does one kill mold on shellac records? I've seen plastic records and aluminium records from the same era, and one of these is actually a cardboard record. So, how do I know the others aren't made of table varnish and good intentions?

Does anyone know what RPM these should play at, and do they need a special stylus, like those cactus Styli or just standard 78 or 16 RPM Stylus? I'm thinking cactus might be good for cardboard records and sound sheets, but who grows organic cacti styli? :)

Ps how do I put indents, the preview shows the triple space gets dropped.
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chemical spill, chemical decomposition or mold, can't be good.
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packard bell phonocord
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Mysterious Platt recording
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scrapjack+
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Re: anyone know what speeds/material these records are?

Post by scrapjack+ » 05 Aug 2017 21:31

I have gotten in contact with someone who was in the process of restoring a PhonOcord, and found out they recorded in 78 RPM and play from center outward. The cardboard record is solved.
I Think the White powder is acid from chemical decomposition as I suspected. My reasoning is this excerpt from "The Audio Archive" website under the catagory of transcription disks. Although the article was about the 16 inch veriety I think the description of the problem matches.
"Palmitic and stearic acid deposits. These appear as a white waxy/greasy coating, and in the early stages look like a fine white dust. This is an early stage of deterioration where the plasticizer has started exuding from the laminate causing the laminate to shrink and become more brittle. This will eventually lead to delamination. Fortunately, the acid deposits can be removed when using the right chemistry and equipment and a good transfer can often be made."http://www.theaudioarchive.com/TAA_Reso ... iption.htm
external link provided as a means to site source for block quote.

I am Still trying to confirm if the Platt Records are all of the 78 RPM verity or if another proprietary speed is used, if a special stylus is needed, and what they are made of exactly. I am also now looking for suggestions for cleaning the acidic corrosion. Normally with battery acid I'd use peroxide and if it was really bad a baking soda slurry. I do not think that is an appropriate method to clean these records as they are not made of metal.

Any suggestions are welcome.

BMRR
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Re: anyone know what speeds/material these records are?

Post by BMRR » 14 Aug 2017 17:00

Very interesting!

Unfortunately I don't have any suggestions, but I wonder if you might get a wider audience if you posted this in the 78 RPM forum:

viewforum.php?f=96

Or you could also try the Record Cleaning forum:

viewforum.php?f=53

As far as styli are concerned, I'd probably start with a 3mil spherical, as these are compatible with a wide array of 78 RPM discs and were quite common in the '40s when your discs were apparently made.

Kurt45
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Re: anyone know what speeds/material these records are?

Post by Kurt45 » 14 Aug 2017 17:41

I inherited my grandparents' collection of Recordio discs, most of which were home recordings they made of themselves and their friends playing music. Most of them had a metal base (as opposed to cardboard), and they all were recorded at 78RPM on a Recordio machine. I sent them off to be professionally transferred. The technician who did the work had a variety of styluses and, as part of his service, he inspected each record and choose the best stylus for each one based on the original design, the amount of wear on the grooves, and other factors. I was impressed.

I transferred a few of the less interesting ones myself. I used an Ortofon OM body with their 78 stylus, which the internet reveals it has radius of 65µm, which google converts to 2.56 mil. A few had the white residue like yours, but I played right through it. I thought the surface noise on them was louder than any noise caused by the powder. But I only needed to play them once to transfer them.

I would assume the surface material on these is softer than a manufactured "shellac" 78, as it has to be soft enough to cut the groove into.

jenjenmm
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Re: anyone know what speeds/material these records are?

Post by jenjenmm » 06 Jul 2019 02:30

I am in the Los Angeles area. I inherited Packard Bell phonocord records in various sizes of family members long gone. I want to hear them and share with family. Any suggestions on a professional in this area who can transfer them to mp3?

scrapjack+
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Re: anyone know what speeds/material these records are?

Post by scrapjack+ » 15 Jul 2019 23:21

jenjenmm wrote:
06 Jul 2019 02:30
I am in the Los Angeles area. I inherited Packard Bell phonocord records in various sizes of family members long gone. I want to hear them and share with family. Any suggestions on a professional in this area who can transfer them to mp3?
I was given records of old family members and was suprised that no one cared to hear the dead voices, not even those who remembered the faces, sons and siblings of the dead. I don't know how important it is to you to have these records of yours digitized, or how much it is worth to you. Someone who specializes in data recovery will charge you the specialist fee, and there might not be one nearby. Furthermore, I'd be hesitant to place those records in the mail having received crushed and torn boxes labeled "fragile" on all sides. I am going to respond with what I expect is the easiest and most cost effective solution. Additionally, I would recommend requesting a "lossless" format of the audio, such as wav, as well as the mp3 as it will be higher quality, which is helpful if you ever want the files retouched. May I recommend placing a copy of the files on an sd card inside one of the family photo albums containing photos of those people whose voices are recorded?


I work at a rental hall, DJ's leave their business cards here all the time after just about every party rental. If there is a Knights of Columbus hall or Elks Lodge or similar establishment in your area, they may have allot of business cards as well. As entertaining people with a turntable is sort of part of the job description, DJ's tend to have turntables that are at least decent. I would expect many home recordings from the 40/50's would not meet modern "hifi" standards, so playing them on hifi equipment is like playing win95 games on a win7 pc, the limitations of your disk is the main bottleneck, not the limits of the machine. I'd say If you don't have any friends into record collecting then call a local DJ and ask if they can play 78rpm disks as well 33's.( I think I recall hearing somewhere about some home recordings at 33rpm with 78 grooves due to old machines only having 78 cutting needles) If they can, then it is just selecting the correct stylus, connecting the player to the pc and hitting record once the levels are adjusted to avoid clipping. Basically they play it once to find the loudest sound then play again to record. Ask for a lossless format of the audio along with the mp3 so that if you want to have have click removal or some other edit done you will have a high quality source for whoever to work with. I would think for a strait recording no edits/improvements they might charge less than for their usual DJ service. The home recordings I've played were nowhere near the audio quality of professionally cut records with their studio mics, so I really don't think you need an exceptionally high quality turntable, just a good one, so a local DJ can probably help you with that quite easily.

Bob Dillon
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Re: anyone know what speeds/material these records are?

Post by Bob Dillon » 17 Jul 2019 01:50

scrapjack+ wrote:
15 Jul 2019 23:21
The home recordings I've played were nowhere near the audio quality of professionally cut records with their studio mics, so I really don't think you need an exceptionally high quality turntable, just a good one, so a local DJ can probably help you with that quite easily.
Those home disc recorders usually used piezo electric cutterheads. They would never be able to come near the frequency range of a record cut on a professional lathe, even if the mic was good quality, which it probably wasn't.

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