Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

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Coffee Phil
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Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Coffee Phil » 14 Jun 2019 18:48

OK not strictly 78 RPM but sort of close.

I understand that near the end of Edison being in the record business his kids and associates finally persuaded him to switch to electrical recording. I have yet to hear an electrically recorded Diamond disc or even see one. Is there any place where I can get one without paying a ridiculous fortune?

Phil

Bob Dillon
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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Bob Dillon » 14 Jun 2019 19:01

Wait for the next Nauck's auction ? http://www.78rpm.com
There are always electrical Diamond Discs listed as well as plenty of the acoustical.

You wouldn't have to pay anything like a fortune for commoner musical fare. But things like hot (jazz, dance band) records that are electrical DD's can cost quite a bit more. The last Nauck's auction had a 10 dollar minimum bid for the electricals. Try to bid at least twice that if you want to win.

Edison electrical DD's used recording equipment licensed from General (not Western) Electric. Around May 1927 was when the first ones went on sale.

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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Bob Dillon » 14 Jun 2019 19:23

There's a few listed on e-bay right now, like this one : https://www.ebay.com/itm/EDISON-DIAMOND ... SwmNtc4F2m

Anything numbered 52089 and above should be electrical.

Coffee Phil
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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Coffee Phil » 14 Jun 2019 21:24

Hi Bob,

Thanks! First, I will check the numbers on all my Diamond discs with paper labels. Who knows, I may have one. I noticed that on the disc which you linked on eBay there was no mention of electrical recording on the label. I guess that the old curmudgeon was not totally sold on the idea of electrical recording so he wasn't going to feature it.

Phil
Bob Dillon wrote:
14 Jun 2019 19:23
There's a few listed on e-bay right now, like this one : https://www.ebay.com/itm/EDISON-DIAMOND ... SwmNtc4F2m

Anything numbered 52089 and above should be electrical.

Bob Dillon
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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Bob Dillon » 14 Jun 2019 21:57

No, I don't think electrical recording was touted on the label. My small collection of electrical DD's are indistiguishable from the (paper label) acoustical ones by looks, though they are obviously different, sonically.

Maybe the sleeves did say, though I haven't seen any example of one for an electrical DD. The short-lived Edison 'Needle Cut' records of 1929 do indicate electrical.

I doubt the (80 year) old (and almost totally deaf) curmudgeon had very much to do with any of it. His son Charles was fully in charge of the company by that time. Charles Edison reached out to General Electric to help get an electrical disc on the market.

I should correct myself above. The Edison Co. had started recording electrical sessions by May 1927, but they didn't go on sale until late summer of that year. Final acoustical sessions were held in August of '27. Edison was the last major label to make the conversion.

# 52089 (where electrical begins with issued DD's) was recorded July 25, 1927 -https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/index.php/ ... ison_52089 - so there may still be some overlap with acoustical and electrical in that short time frame if acoustical sessions continued to be held into August of '27.

The same link above has electrical DD's to stream as well as a look at the accompanying labels. https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/index.php/ ... _grown_old

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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Coffee Phil » 15 Jun 2019 18:36

Hi Bob,

This electrical vs acoustic DD thing is getting a but fuzzy. On this Steve Hoffman form: https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/ ... rs.125417/

Someone posted that there were several series of Diamond discs. He said that there was a popular series and that made the switch at the number which you give (and which seems to be a popular number for this). He also listed other series such as light classical, classical, and opera. For each of these series he give a different number.

Last night I dragged out some paper label DD records and played them and I would have trouble believing that they were acoustically recorded.

Phil


Bob Dillon wrote:
14 Jun 2019 19:23
There's a few listed on e-bay right now, like this one : https://www.ebay.com/itm/EDISON-DIAMOND ... SwmNtc4F2m

Anything numbered 52089 and above should be electrical.

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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Bob Dillon » 15 Jun 2019 18:53

So that person has got :

popular--52089
light classical--80885
classical/opera--82351
German ethnic--57025

Works for me ! Unless someone proves to the contrary.

If Edison suspended all acoustical recording in August 1927, one can check the recording dates against the catalog number of the record in the Discography of American Historical Recordings.

I was only referring to the popular series.

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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Bob Dillon » 15 Jun 2019 19:25

popular--52089 - recorded July 25, 1927
light classical--80885 - recorded Summer, 1928
classical/opera--82351 - recorded February 13, 1929
German ethnic--57025 - recorded October 18, 1927

Glancing over what was being recorded by the Edison Co. in the late 1920's, classical / opera doesn't seem to figure too much into their activities, which may explain the late date for the first operatic electrical Diamond Disc. I think the failing record division of the company had acquired a stodgy reputation, so it could be they were concentrating their efforts more on popular material to market.

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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Bob Dillon » 15 Jun 2019 20:41

Coffee Phil wrote:
15 Jun 2019 18:36
This electrical vs acoustic DD thing is getting a but fuzzy. On this Steve Hoffman form: https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/ ... rs.125417/

Someone in that forum makes a mention of the Edison Long Play records. Those were only produced for a short time and the Long Play series ultimately had all of 14 titles released.

They were grooved 450 lines to the inch, which is finer than today's LP's. They played about 20 minutes a 12" side at 80 rpm. Otherwise they looked much like a Diamond Disk, same record material, 1/4 " thick.

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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Big B5515 » 16 Jun 2019 18:32

I do have a few electrically recorded Diamond Discs in my collection, even a couple I found in boxes in antique shops and only bought for their high number out of curiosity like #52393, Ursula D. Hollinstead on piano. It is sometimes possible to grab one for $5 or less this way. They do usually have a noticeable improvement in low frequency response and sound quality, but often some added noise from being played as well, barring a pristine copy. I could probably part with this one if you would like me to see if it is still in it's place, and give it another listen. I'll second Nauck's auction as a good source of Diamond Discs, as I won quite a few I wanted there as well in the past.

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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Bob Dillon » 16 Jun 2019 19:22

I've never found an electrical Diamond Disc in any flea market, antique store or the like. I mainly see the embossed label acoustical DD's by a factor of maybe 5 to 1, the 1 being acoustical paper label DD's.

I've only bought electrical DD's from record dealers.

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Re: Electrically Recorded Edison Diamond discs

Post by Bob Dillon » 17 Jun 2019 20:18

1929 'NOS' electrical Diamond Disc + sleeve. No visible mention of electric process advertised. https://youtu.be/IHp8zo9-HgM

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