78’s & No Way To Play ‘Em

If you can get someone with a good turntable and cartridge with a 78 2.7mil stylus, see if they can put it on a thumb drive (mp3 @128 is good). Then you can play the mp3 and save the recordings (put them on display-you have a reason to). Some of those cheapo turntables out there are real record cutters. Despite the scorn for 78's, some of them cut in the late 40's and early 50's by London and others have a frequency range and dynamics that will/can surprise you. I have a few, and with and old Carver, and some vintage Altecs, I can be pump some amazing sound.
 
Get any old Dual that has the 78 speed, and grab an old Shure that accepts a 78 stylus. You can probably get up and running for $100-ish if you get lucky. Don't get your hopes up for sound quality.

I have lent my Dual to friends and family who wanted to hear some old records. It always comes back pretty fast....
 

1tumbleweed

Junior Member
MikeT: It would be sad to subject those modern 78s to that windup player. Annie Get Your Gun would be from the late '50s, just before LPs were introduced. Much better to play them on a Dual or similar, as jblnut suggested.

My parents actually dragged me to that show when I was a kid (they did that often), though it was a touring production without Merman. I can still sing "Poor Jud Is Dead"...
 

Audionut

Next Round Is On Me
Great thread and learned something new today! (the 78 needle bit; thought having the TT would be sufficient).
 

1tumbleweed

Junior Member
Great thread and learned something new today! (the 78 needle bit; thought having the TT would be sufficient).
Mono LPs and 45s: 1 mil stylus (or thereabouts)
"Modern" 78s (say, 1940s onward): 3 mil approximately.
Stereo LPs (and mono after 1958): .7 mil.

All conical of course; we won't go down the rabbit hole of later stylus shapes.
 

MikeT.

Senior Member
: It would be sad to subject those modern 78s to that windup player.
Out of curiosity @1tumbleweed , the 78’s in question have a copyright of 1946. From what I’ve read they are probably vinyl since many shellac records were collected during WWII (Another interesting factoid). Weren’t many shellac records played with steel needles on older players? Is there a way to tell if albums are shellac or vinyl?
 

1tumbleweed

Junior Member
From my personal experience, vinyl (or "vinylite", whatever that is) was still a relative curiosity in the '40s, so 78s made of that usually said so on the label. Sometimes they were marked "non-breakable".

A record that's vinyl or some other non-shellac product will have a bit of flex to it, even the thick ones in the early days. Try to flex a shellac record and you'll have two or more pieces! And then there's Bakelite, which was an in-between product, neither shellac nor vinyl.

Playing any record with a steel needle raises the background noise level almost immediately. I began my record collection with 78s and 45s that came off of jukeboxes (my dad was in the coin machine business) and they were all very noisy.
 
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