Welcome to VE.....
Great stuff, thanks for the insights.......Just out of curiosity.....
How do you play the 16RPM records, i.e. on what equipment?
Years ago, before I got a brain in my head and realized I was ruining all these perfectly good records the same as trying to play an LP with a 78 stylus, my first player like many of yours was just your basic Garrard, BSR, Zenith, Magnavox or Rek-O-Kut gorilla-beast.
And, yes, I did the `play `em at 33, record `em at 7-1/2 on reel-to-reel and play them back at 3-3/4 around the house' type deal, or (later) it's Marantz cassette equivalent i.e 2-speed (Normal and High) chrome-and-Dolby cassette recorder so that the resulting tapes played back at normal speed with ``normal'' fidelity.
Yes the transfers were crappy, even on the chrome tape recorded with Dolby and played back without.
Fortunately, I only had raggedy, beat-up Highway Hi-Fi and Seeburg/Rowe-AMI discs at the time, which would have never played on their respective players anyway in their condition.
Later I re-tooled a standard Seeburg Select-O-Matic 78 jukebox left over from my granddad's restaurant in the late 50's since it could already play 10-inch discs and the original 3-mil 78 stylus included therewith could be re-fitted with the Seeburg half-mil background music stylus.
Then I copied the turntable design from a Seeburg 45-jukebox and had a 2-inch hole version custom-machined before installing it into the 78 jukebox (plays discs on edge from an internal rack) and re-setting the tone arm counter-weight, and moving the offset from 10 inch to 9 inch and replacing the 78 RPM motor with one for 16. Yes, all those racks of Seeburg BMS records looked REALLY strange in a 78 RPM jukebox.
But that got damaged in a storm when I was living back East, and all the records and jukebox got trashed. So, oh well.
Now I use a Technics SP-15 re-tooled for 16 RPM and a linear Denon tonearm with a Grado, Stanton or Ortofon CD-4 quadraphonic cartridge featuring a Shibata type stylus.
But I REALLY want the predecessor of the http://irene.lbl.gov/
Nprmal linear tracking tonearms ``follow'' the groove, and the act of forcing a conventional linear tracking tonearm out of alignment with the section of groove being played is what activates the drive thereon.
Unfortunately, this results in a constant game of `catch-up' so that the stylus is never perfectly square to the groove section, causing minute wandering of the stereo image and other discernible playback artifacts.
This Denon prototype of a linear tracking turntable from the 80's on the other hand features hundreds of ``eyes'' which look at the groove pack.
For variable-pitch recordings it will ``see'' where the groove pitch changes from narrow to wide and back again and send that information to the special Denon prototype linear tracking tonearm which will then be able to position itself at the exactly precise moment in order to play that particular section of groove 100% tangenitally just as it was recorded.
For fixed-pitch recordings, it will discern other anomalies in the groove pack and using the aforementioned disc mapping technology correct therefor by sending the inverse of these anomalies hundreds of times per second to the linear tonearm drive. This will therefore correct for eccentric and warped pressings up to over an inch across.
We had an error pressing featuring a 7-inch cut on a 10-inch disc of Twas the Night Before Christmas
on a Cricket Records childrens' label 78 which had been pressed extremely eccentrically.
The disc was so eccentric, that an ordinary tone arm could not follow the wild undulations to the center and back to the edge of the recording without falling off at 78 RPM. The Denon prototype however with it's auto disc mapping had absolutely no problems with it at all, although it did look really crazy trying to play it.
And, of course, being so eccentric, the pitch and speed of the record ran wildly between too slow as it neared the edge and too fast as it neared the center, so it wasn't any good for listening anyway, just watching.
But back to 16 RPM discs and their players.
I also have an Elac that I use for spoken word and other standard-groove monaural recordings and sent away to Europe for the 1.0 mil Shibata type styli therefor, and then I have a Dual three-speed limited edition from the 70's which features 16-33 and 45 but no 78 that I use for the Prestige Jazz and other 12-inch mono and stereo music titles.
fscl wrote:And what is your experience with fidelity?
As stated earlier, it depends on whether or not the disc was mastered real-time i.e cut at the actual 16 RPM speed, or as was more common, have the tape played at double speed and recorded at a standard 33 1/3 RPM as most of the talking books were of the period.
The real-time mastered series such as the Prestige Jazz titles and World-Pacific lounge titles (mono) or the Will Kennedy Orchestra titles on the Dancetime label (STEREO!!) sound A-M-A-Z-I-N-G for a normal 33 LP nevermind 16.
But that's not surprising, being those series' were DESIGNED to show off the high fidelity or stereo capabilities of the medium. Conversely, most of the background-music titles with just a disc number on them and no song titles were utilized to maximize the time on the disc, not the fidelity.
As such, these titles were recorded double-speed at 33, and hence have a sort of very clean AM-radio or SCA (FM-subcarrier channel) type sound to them.
But, as the 60's passed into the 70's and Nautilus, Mobile Fidelity and Columbia Half-Speed Mastered audiophile discs began to come on the music scene, mastering engineers cut many background music discs real-time at 16 RPM and tweaked the process so that it would improve the sound of a record normally mastered at 33, so a lot of the late 60's and early 70's BMS discs have GREAT fidelity.
After the late 70's, nobody cared anymore about Half-Speed-Mastering or CD-4 quadraphonic which was also mastered at 16 for playback at 33, so from there on out to the last production year in 1986, background music records were once again cut double-speed with the accompanying lack of fidelity.
Played with the proper size stylus (VERY IMPORTANT) and the recommended tracking weight can give the best reproduction.
Unfortunately, everybody on YouTube playing Seeburg records is destroying them, except for the guy playing a red-label 1975 disc on a big grey talking-book player as the stylus sizes are the same as for talking books.
Overloaded on information yet? I ain't even got started.