Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

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Mrs Ritchie Valens
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Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Mrs Ritchie Valens » 10 Jul 2019 00:51

:?
I own an audiotechnica AT LP 120, and I only have the needle that came with it. Is that okay to play the small stack of 78 RPM records? I know you need a certain type of needle to get the best sound from the 78's, but if they are not played too much, do you think I could get away with doing this?

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Bob Dillon » 10 Jul 2019 02:48

You can play your wide groove 78's with a needle made for microgroove 33's and 45's. You won't damage the 78's. But the 78's will sound pretty terrible.

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by cary114 » 10 Jul 2019 03:45

Hi, I have the AT LP 120 USB which I have used to digitize about 50 78's. I purchased the AT-VM670SP to do my work. I have been very pleased with the performance of my VM670SP. If you really want to enjoy your 78's I recommend that you purchase an SP cartridge. Also since the AT has introduced the 95 line they introduced the VM95SP which is quite a bit more affordable. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

Cary

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Coffee Phil » 10 Jul 2019 07:49

Hi Mrs. Richie Valens,

Let me welcome you to the fast spinning club!

I agree with Bob Dillon, you can do it but the results will be less than optimum. Upstairs in my stereo room (under construction) my only disc spinner is an Audiotechnica Mister Disc. I have gotten it to spin at 78.26 RPM but so far I have no suitable 78 stylus for it. Out of desperation I have played 78s on it with better results than I would have expected.

Gary at Voice of Music https://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/ should be able to supply you with a suitable 78 stylus for your player at a modest price.

The next thing I will suggest is to sum the channels to mono when playing 78s. Most 78s I have encountered are much quieter summed to mono. If you are using an external phono stage a couple of back to back Y cables will do a fine job. If you are using the internal stage the Y cables will do an acceptable job. If you are using USB you can use some software solution.

A lot is made of pre RIAA equalization and it will be better for 78s, but I think that is second order. Summing to mono is in my view a bigger deal than getting the precise EQ. If you really fall into this fast spinning rabbit hole we can start talking EQ.

Have fun with it.

Phil
Mrs Ritchie Valens wrote:
10 Jul 2019 00:51
:?
I own an audiotechnica AT LP 120, and I only have the needle that came with it. Is that okay to play the small stack of 78 RPM records? I know you need a certain type of needle to get the best sound from the 78's, but if they are not played too much, do you think I could get away with doing this?

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by cary114 » 10 Jul 2019 14:58

I am sorry I should have been more clear on my previous post. Both of the AT cartridges I mentioned are designed for 78 play only.

Cary

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Bob Dillon » 10 Jul 2019 18:17

Mrs Ritchie Valens wrote:
10 Jul 2019 00:51
:?
I own an audiotechnica AT LP 120, and I only have the needle that came with it. Is that okay to play the small stack of 78 RPM records? I know you need a certain type of needle to get the best sound from the 78's, but if they are not played too much, do you think I could get away with doing this?
Doesn't that record player come with the Audio-Technica AT95E cartridge ? If so, I believe this is a 78 stylus for it.
They have a complete cartridge for just ten dollars more, but then you'd need to buy another headshell too.

https://www.lpgear.com/product/LPGATN9578.html

Despite the blurb at the bottom that says you will damage your 78's with a microgroove stylus, you won't damage a shellac 78 at all. If anything the more delicate cantilever / suspension of a microgroove stylus assembly may be damaged instead. It's worth it to get a proper 78 stylus.

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Mrs Ritchie Valens » 11 Jul 2019 15:31

Thanks for all the replies guys. All of my 78's are shellac. They are quite heavy. I have my audiotechnica on phono and not mono. Should I swich it to mono if I'm going to play my 78's?
Bob, the needle you mentioned is that needle.

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Coffee Phil » 11 Jul 2019 20:35

Hi Mrs Ritchie Valens,

Most definitely switch to mono. I have yet to hear a mono record which sounds better played back in stereo. Shellac records tend to be noisier than vinyl. Playing back in mono substantially reduces the noise in the vertical direction. In most shellac 78s this is very noticeable.

Phil
Mrs Ritchie Valens wrote:
11 Jul 2019 15:31
Thanks for all the replies guys. All of my 78's are shellac. They are quite heavy. I have my audiotechnica on phono and not mono. Should I swich it to mono if I'm going to play my 78's?
Bob, the needle you mentioned is that needle.

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Mrs Ritchie Valens » 12 Jul 2019 00:22

Coffee Phil wrote:
11 Jul 2019 20:35
Hi Mrs Ritchie Valens,

Most definitely switch to mono. I have yet to hear a mono record which sounds better played back in stereo. Shellac records tend to be noisier than vinyl. Playing back in mono substantially reduces the noise in the vertical direction. In most shellac 78s this is very noticeable.

Phil
Mrs Ritchie Valens wrote:
11 Jul 2019 15:31
Thanks for all the replies guys. All of my 78's are shellac. They are quite heavy. I have my audiotechnica on phono and not mono. Should I swich it to mono if I'm going to play my 78's?
Bob, the needle you mentioned is that needle.
Thanks. All of my 78's were gotten from off of ebay as a lott and all of them had sleaves, but most of their cardboard jackets were completely apart.

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by alexmacphee » 12 Jul 2019 23:28

I had exactly the same concern. For sentimental reasons, I bought a 78 rpm record (an aria from Rigoletto), for £2.99, and discovered I'd no way of playing it. My turntable only ran at 33/45. So I looked around for a 78-capable turntable, and the obvious choice was the AT-120 (I chose the XUSB model). Then I had a look on this forum for ideas about a 78-capable stylus, and it became obvious that I should look for a dedicated mono cartridge, not a stereo one with a 78 stylus swap. I didn't expect to be convinced of this until I was directed to a YouTube clip showing the difference on the same record between a 'stereo' 78 and a dedicated mono 78. It was real. Wiring as mono prevents inadvertant vertical motions of the stylus from being interpreted as music signal, which it never is in 78s.

I ended up with an AT-MONO3/SP, and got a separate AT-6HS headshell for it, to avoid fiddling around with remounting cartridges. The MONO3/SP wasn't cheap, but at my stage in life I can't be bothered with half measures any more, I'll give up drink and loose women for a higher cause.

At that point, I realised I'd spent approximately £450 to play my £2.99 78 rpm record.

For reasons that are too long a story for here, it was worth it. I was, as they say, 'blown away' by the unexpectedly high quality of 78 rpm shellacs.

You mentioned sleeves. They rarely survive as well as the discs. I use 10" inner sleeves from SpinCare, widely available on the likes of Amazon, and I got 10" white card sleeves from a seller in Germany (can't recall who off-hand), and all the 78s I've bought since then, I've re-packaged in proper inners and outers. I've kept the original outer sleeves when they have a historic context value, and take a digital picture of it with the original record so that I can match them up.

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Bob Dillon » 12 Jul 2019 23:43

alexmacphee wrote:
12 Jul 2019 23:28
Wiring as mono prevents inadvertant vertical motions of the stylus from being interpreted as music signal, which it never is in 78s.
There are some shellac 78's intended to be played vertically, like early Okeh label, Gennett, Paramount, etc. By far the majority of shellac 78 are have lateral information ony, as you state.

Pathe and Edison records are vertical too, but they stand out more to most people as being so.

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by alexmacphee » 13 Jul 2019 00:03

Bob Dillon wrote:
12 Jul 2019 23:43

There are some shellac 78's intended to be played vertically, like early Okeh label, Gennett, Paramount, etc. By far the majority of shellac 78 are have lateral information ony, as you state.
Of course, you're right, I'd forgotten about those. Ironic, as the first version I saw on YouTube of one of the 78s I'd bought was just such a vertical recording, played on a period gramophone!

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Mrs Ritchie Valens » 18 Jul 2019 16:18

alexmacphee wrote:
12 Jul 2019 23:28
I had exactly the same concern. For sentimental reasons, I bought a 78 rpm record (an aria from Rigoletto), for £2.99, and discovered I'd no way of playing it. My turntable only ran at 33/45. So I looked around for a 78-capable turntable, and the obvious choice was the AT-120 (I chose the XUSB model). Then I had a look on this forum for ideas about a 78-capable stylus, and it became obvious that I should look for a dedicated mono cartridge, not a stereo one with a 78 stylus swap. I didn't expect to be convinced of this until I was directed to a YouTube clip showing the difference on the same record between a 'stereo' 78 and a dedicated mono 78. It was real. Wiring as mono prevents inadvertant vertical motions of the stylus from being interpreted as music signal, which it never is in 78s.

I ended up with an AT-MONO3/SP, and got a separate AT-6HS headshell for it, to avoid fiddling around with remounting cartridges. The MONO3/SP wasn't cheap, but at my stage in life I can't be bothered with half measures any more, I'll give up drink and loose women for a higher cause.

At that point, I realised I'd spent approximately £450 to play my £2.99 78 rpm record.

For reasons that are too long a story for here, it was worth it. I was, as they say, 'blown away' by the unexpectedly high quality of 78 rpm shellacs.

You mentioned sleeves. They rarely survive as well as the discs. I use 10" inner sleeves from SpinCare, widely available on the likes of Amazon, and I got 10" white card sleeves from a seller in Germany (can't recall who off-hand), and all the 78s I've bought since then, I've re-packaged in proper inners and outers. I've kept the original outer sleeves when they have a historic context value, and take a digital picture of it with the original record so that I can match them up.
What aria was it?

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by alexmacphee » 26 Jul 2019 23:08

Mrs Ritchie Valens wrote:
18 Jul 2019 16:18

What aria was it?
Brain hiccup! It wasn't Rigoletto, it was from Il Trovatore, the Miserere, duet between Leonora and the Count. It was sung on this record by Thea Philips and Francesco Vada, though it turns out that 'Francesco Vada' was one of the aliases used on recordings by an English tenor called Frank Titterton.

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Re: Playing A 78 RPM With Audiotechnica AT LP 120?

Post by Bob Dillon » 27 Jul 2019 01:15

An English (primarily) concert and oratorio singer adopting an "Italian" pseudonym to sing an popular Italian aria. He didn't fool any Italians that's for sure.

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