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 The Outer Limits of Analog Audio

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Sonic Voyager

Posts : 35
Join date : 2018-05-25

PostSubject: The Outer Limits of Analog Audio   Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:57 am

An Unusual 78rpm Sound Box Needle

Sonic found this in Thomas Mayer’s Vinyl Savor blog – within his report on the 2014 European Triode Festival:

Look at the close-up and notice the needle.  I have never seen anything like this!

Sonic did a bit of research. There is a thing called a “trailer needle” – see here:

But if this video is correct from the way the trailer needle is mounted, then the needle in pix from Mayer’s blog cannot be a trailer needle. What might it be?  Perhaps something handcrafted – then again given that you use one needle per side of a 78 rpm record, you will have to make an awful lot of them.

Anyway the best way to play 78 rpm records is to use a suitable phono (MM or MC) cartridge.  Sonic uses a Stanton with a 2.7 mil stylus and has heard how these old records can sound more real than even their LP counterparts and definitely better than digital – as I have learnt to great happiness and to the amazement of many of my audio-friends!

I wonder if the engineers who recorded those 78s all those decades ago in the last century knew what realistic and dimensional sound they were capturing in those grooves? What would the look on their faces be like if we could time travel a group of them and the artistes to 2018 into Michael Green’s listening room and hear their 78s played in that tuned room/system with a Garrard 301, SME 3012 with an Ortofon mono MC cartridge made to play 78s, through the right phonostage EQ?

For Thomas Mayer’s blog, go here:


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Sonic Voyager

Posts : 35
Join date : 2018-05-25

PostSubject: Re: The Outer Limits of Analog Audio   Yesterday at 10:41 am

For Zonees who might be unfamiliar with 78 rpm sound boxes and the needles, here is a picture of the conventional steel needle design and playing angle for 78 rpm records:

This would show in what way the needle in the picture from Thomas Mayer's blog is unusual.


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