Processing 78 rpm records to digital

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Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Aug 17, 2016 10:40 pm

I have been doing this for a couple of years, with varying degrees of success. I let the "experts" on another forum convince me that converting a Technics turntable I have to play 78's was a good idea. It was a HORRIBLE idea. I was running an AudioTechnica AT96E magnetic cartridge that tracked way too lightly to work right. All I accomplished was ruining a perfectly good turntable. And chewed up an expensive needle in the process, all to do less than fifty records in total.

The main problem I have and why I converted the Technics was that my receiver only works with magnetic cartridges. Rigging up an amplifier just for a ceramic cartridge is not practical. I looked all over creation for a turntable that would track accurately enough to play 78's but with a magnetic cartridge. This is easier said than done.

I was digging thru my beloved storage shed the other day and ran across an old GE turntable that my stepdad bought new. I consider the thing a plow, so it obviously ended up in the storage shed. It has a "GE Magnetic Cartridge" sticker on the motor board, so this piqued my interest. It appears to be late 1960's-ish. And it is four speed, and will play 78's. It has an Astatic model 133 magnetic cartridge, Gary Stork has a needle for it, so now I'm back in the 78 processing business. This cartridge tracks from 4 to 6 grams, I have it set on about 4 1/2 and, so far, all is well. It is rim drive, which might not be so good for processing LP's, but it should be just fine for 78's.

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Re: Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by Conelrad on Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:36 pm

The best 78 cart is the GE VRII magnetic with a spherical stylus.

Dennis

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Re: Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:32 am

My first idea was to convert a Collaro to a GE VR cartridge. If I can find a cartridge, I might still consider doing it. I have a spare Collaro S-600 and can kluge a motor board for it. It does not have to be fancy. This old GE will get me by until I can come up with something different.

I will shout it to the rooftops to anyone who will listen how bad an idea it is to try to take a 1970's turntable that tracks at 1.5 grams or so and attempt to convert it to play 78's. Like taking a golf cart and making it think it's a bulldozer. I had a recommended stereo shop convert it for me. I have the parts to put it back like it was and am going to try to do that. They charged me $80 to essentially ruin my rig. They told me that the AT cartridge would be "happy" tracking at 6 grams. The cartridge dragged on the record at that amount of weight. The needle was supposed to be heavy enough to hold the extra pressure, but it wasn't. The whole thing was just a mess. I should have known better.

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Re: Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by Conelrad on Thu Aug 18, 2016 2:37 am

Yep, 78s tracked between 4 & 14 grams in the day.  I run mine @ 10.

That Nebraska surplus outfit has NOS styli for the VRII.

DG

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Re: Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by willy3486 on Thu Aug 18, 2016 8:08 am

I picked up a 70s era stereo, I think it is a channel master. Its the type with a 8 track,record player,am,fm, the type that sits on a table with two speakers. It looks like a piece of junk but plays really well. It is like a timex watch , it keeps on going strong. I have done at least 100 records and it still sounds great. I have a small enclosed rack mount case thats probably 5 ft tall. I have it in my house workshop and I made shelves for it. I have most of my test stuff like scope,generator,etc in it and the stereo on top. I have a older dell in it and the output of the stereo goes into the dell. When I am out there tinkering I have a stack of records I turn to MP3s. So far they sound great but I will probably get a needle for it soon. Not bad for a 7 dollar goodwill find.

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Re: Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:40 am

I like to harvest the changer from those all-in-one stereos to replace the 78-only clunkers found in console radios.

I have a computer program for converting analog music to digital. 78's are the toughest, due to surface noise. I typically record the 78 to cassette tape, feed that thru my graphic equalizer, then process the tape to digital. Some 78's are really quite good from a fidelity and noise standpoint. When I get the ones I want to save processed, the whole lot is going to the landfill. Nobody wants them and they are so hard on equipment, it is too expensive to mess with them.

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Re: Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by Conelrad on Thu Aug 18, 2016 12:49 pm

My landfill here at home won't charge you a nickle to take all of them...

Just let me know when!

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Re: Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by Wildcat445 on Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:00 pm

I have a box of stuff with your name on it already in the trailer. I won't promise anything, but I might have room for one more box.

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Re: Processing 78 rpm records to digital

Post by CaptainClock on Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:07 pm

I have tons of 78 records 12" and 10" and I like listening to them, even though nobody wants them anymore I like them because there's just something about listening to old 78s that just sounds Nostalgic, plus they're a part of American History and you need to preserve as much  of our history as possible as most of our history is being lost more and more everyday because of the forced "digitialization" of everything audio and video here in America and also because of the fact that more and more we are losing the MADE IN USA labels on things in favor of MADE IN CHINA or MADE IN KOREA or MADE IN SINGAPORE etc. items. Back in our country's hayday we made EVERYTHING here, we made fans, TVs, Radios, Record players, records, games, textiles, light fixtures, lamps, light switches, light sockets, etc. but then ever since the 1970s when the free trade act was enacted it basically killed ALL of our domestic manufacturing in favor of importing "cheaper" goods from other countries all because supposedly it was getting too expensive to make and sell stuff domestically. To be honest I think you're being quite wasteful by throwing all of your 78 Records in the land fill because first of all just because supposedly nobody wants them anymore doesn't mean you can't keep them as a conversation pieces or donate them to a museum that would be more than happy to have those records for an Americana display and secondly those records are made of shellac which is a type of heavy plastic and as you know plastic does NOT deteriorate overtime in a landfill and if it gets disintigrated the fires they use to burn trash into methane you'll be releasing nasty toxins into the air that will make the surrounding air quality really bad to breathe.

I suggest you either keep your 78s or just donate them to a museum.

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