SH Spotlight Ever see an old 1929 electric phonograph with a steel needle in action? Take a look.

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. 389 Tripower

    389 Tripower Forum Resident

    Moline, IL USA
    Why did the steel needles have to be changed after every play?
    Was the metal that soft?
  2. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forum Resident

    Astoria, NY USA
    AWESOME reference! :biglaugh:
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  3. ArpMoog

    ArpMoog Forum Resident

    This thread made me go fire up our Silvertone Victrola and play some Sinatra.
    Looks like this.

  4. daveidmarx

    daveidmarx Forum Resident

    Astoria, NY USA
    Funny, all this time I thought he looked like THIS:

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  5. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    I think the grooves in a record essentially act like sandpaper, causing the tip to lose it's point. Most people certainly didn't change the needle with every play, especially in the Depression, but it was recommended.
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  6. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Most people in the old days just turned the steel needle a bit and played another record. These old 78s you see with white worn out grooves.
  7. seed_drill

    seed_drill Forum Resident

    Tryon, NC, USA
    A little off topic, but the dang chuck on my Victrola won't tighten down enough to hold a needle. I don't know if there is something wrong with it, or if the needles I got from Jerry Raskin are of a smaller guage than what I need.
  8. 389 Tripower

    389 Tripower Forum Resident

    Moline, IL USA
    ... so the needles are re-popped?
  9. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    some 78's I have looked like they used a chain saw as a needle.
    some must have thought, 'oh it'll be alright', and kept using blunt needles.
    without much knowledge, it's hard for me to believe a steel needle would be degraded
    after one shellac record play. (I probably would have done the same back in the day....)
  10. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    I thought Adolfe was more of a Sax-man, myself. ;)

    I too am curious about the session specifics. Admittedly I'm not at my desk system, just the Kindle, but saxes not nearly as present as trumpets? And I didn't even notice the strings until the last verse. Perhaps the trumpets should have sat down, and scooted a few feet further back? I'm assuming only one mic?
  11. schnulli

    schnulli Forum Resident

  12. Jon_UK

    Jon_UK Member

    Norfolk, England
    I remember we had a little box of single play needles, some gold coloured ones that apparently were good for five plays, and some toughened needles that were good for 50 plays. There was also a needle sharpener with a disc of sandpaper, so I guess people sharpened them several times - I may be wrong.
  13. JamieC

    JamieC Forum Resident

    Detroit Mi USA
    As I noted My first record player used those steel needles. I used them until they were rounded and dull. But then I was 3-4.
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  14. Marc Bessette

    Marc Bessette Forum Resident

    “Don’t mention the War” (Basil Faulty)
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  15. We had a suitcase Victrola like this one that my brother would play Beethoven symphonies on. The speaker was between the turntable and the hinge of the lid. The volume control was a towel stuck into the speaker. Our mother collected cacti so if steel needles were in short supply, we'd use stickers off her cactus plants. They'd be good for a play or two.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
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  16. Besides the Beethoven symphonies, this one got a lot of spins on our Victrola. Released 1941. A two disc album.
    andrewskyDE likes this.
  17. Jason W

    Jason W Forum Resident

    Mill Valley, CA
    I know a guy in NH who might know about the appropriate needles for your Collaro.

    I've collected many victrolas and early 78 players over the years. In terms of wind-up machines, the most dynamic sound reproducer I ever had was a late 1920s Orthophonic, which used an alloy diaphragm. The difference in detail and dynamics between that and my Victor No 2 reproducer was amazing. That said, I never explored electronic phono pickups like the one in the video (and referenced in the above link). Beautiful! I'm using a funky electric player now, but I'd like to someday set up a model with one of these pickups.

    I love old players (and 78 record-era music). I think I'd feel at home at Joe Broussard's (Desperate Man Blues). And if I lived in house, I surely would put antique record players (and cylinder players) in every room :)
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  18. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Yeah, and ya gotta dispose of them properly, or they end up washing up on the Jersey shore. :D

    BTW, Driftwood - nice, lusterous shots of beautiful old wood made musical! :thumbsup:
  19. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Perfect record! Very surprising. Sounds like it wasn't played that often over the decades.

  20. andrewskyDE

    andrewskyDE Island Owner

    Oh my god! Haha, that really worked!?
  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Yes. Cactus needles were sold and used. Also wood needles for a mellow tone.
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  22. Lord Hawthorne

    Lord Hawthorne Currently Untitled

    Portland, Oregon
    Are you willing to give mastering a disc for this a try?
  23. Pelvis Ressley

    Pelvis Ressley Forum Resident

    Capac, Michigan
    Thanks for sharing, Steve.

    Reminds me of this full-range 1932 gem you shared with the forum several years back.

    PDK likes this.
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host Thread Starter

    Yes, amazing sound for being almost 90 years old.
  25. formu_la

    formu_la Pigs whisperer

    Toronto, Canada
    My parent were born during the nazi era. I glorify them.
    beccabear67, PDK and The Beave like this.

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