Do you still listen to 78rpm shellacs?

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Hi all

I still keep a sizeable collection of 78rpm shellac records and besides the usual Carusos, Giglis et al, I have ol' Al Jolson, Dinah Shore, Elvis Pressly and many other interesting recordings.

I've played them off and on for years and even diy'ed a Micro Seiki MB-18 for this speed.

I recently bought a 50's Garrard TPA12 arm and must say, I bought it only for the Garrard cream colour...

It was dirty and corroded and of course wired for mono and came fitted with a custom cream Shure Headshell.

Getting into the swing of things after refurbishing the arm, I thought, well go the whole hog, ya know the SPU look.

I had a 3-pin brown bakelite 'shell bought new with a new ceramic cart fitted.

Over the weekend, I turned an extra cart pin for it and made up a new 78rpm stylus in sapphire which I fitted to another nos Shure SC35C broadcast cart.

The hard part was making another mini armboard for the Garrard as I decided to run it with two arms.

Anyway, the job got done and here's the result



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Joined 2003
Gosh, I remember an arm like that school! You really need some mass for that 301, though. I made my plinth from a sandwich of MDF and lead flashing, used a planer to get the edges flat, then covered it with black Formica.

I like your wooden "Dustbug."


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Wow, nice work, you guys are making me very 78 envious. I've got my own project in the works to piece together 2 Duals, but I don't have even near the nice collection of 78's you are describing. BTW, what to do with one of those flip over style headshells (33/45 on one side, 78 on the other)?
Do you still listen to...

Hello EC

@ Leadbelly

The plinthless one is often transported hence no plinth but I will get round to doing a plinth for it. Nice arm you have there. Is it a Schroeder diy?

The copy 'bug has been made by a friend of mine.

@ Leadbelly, here's a pic of my Dual 1215 which plays 78's too.

I have a number of brandnew ceramic carts and perhaps someone here will explain how to rig them for playing in a modern setup.




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Yep, I spin shellac all the time. I was playing some swing era, and dixieland jazz 78s last night as a metter of fact.

I use a garrard 4HF table, and it has a built in arm that is very very similar to yours. I am still using the original Garrard headshell. Other than being a bit difficult to fit modern cartridges, I really like the look of them.

I am using various carts (I have multiple headshells) but I am getting the best sound from magnetic carts on modern 78s. What ceramic carts do you use?
Joined 2003
Re: Do you still listen to...

bulgin said:
The plinthless one is often transported hence no plinth but I will get round to doing a plinth for it. Nice arm you have there. Is it a Schroeder diy?

Ah, yes, a 301 on a proper plinth is a transport nightmare. The arm is a unipivot to my own design.

I'm very impressed by Frank Schroeder's arm design.

Edit: I have some data regarding 78 equalisation time constants if people are interested, but I'd need to convert it from Word Perfect and find the articles that gave the clues.
Well as it is Sunday I had quite a bit of time to work on my Dual 1214 project and it's coming along quite well! When all is said and done it actually might be a better TT for LP's than the cheapo JVC I use now :)

EC8010 said:
Hello Bulgin, you might want to consider something a little more customised. When I was looking at standards for LP before RIAA was standardised, there were an awful lot of different equalisations, so I imagine 78s are the same.

EC, what do you recommend as a minimum for 78 eq's? For background, I have a modest collection of 78's from my dad. All would be from the 50's, and all would be either North American or European in origin.
Joined 2003
I didn't do as much looking around for 78 time constants, but Quad suggested:

Standard 636
Decca ffrr 636 25
AES 400 63.6
Pre-54 DG 450 50
BBC 450 25
International 450 50

All of which is a long way away from 318, 75 as used for LP. If you were to use split equalisation, you could use a three position (centre off) toggle switch to add in small capacitors to the 400 setting to give 450 or 636. The same technique could be used to modify 25 to 50 or 63.6. Of course, I'm assuming you're using a dedicated stage, rather than modifying your RIAA. After all, you need a different stylus and a different speed, so it's certainly a different arm/cartridge, and probably a different turntable... Oh, and it's mono.
Thanks. Do you know of a comprehensive source for 78 eq cap & resistor values for opamp preamps? I found Rod Elliot's site, and what I didn't like about his Project 91 was that it was too generic. I also found Roger Wilmut's site which does have a comprehensive list of eq cap and resistor values, but it is for his discrete preamp and I am unsure about applying it to an opamp.

The Dual 1214 will be my 78 TT. It has a Dual DS630 cartridge with flipover style LP/78 stylus. I am thinking I will make a dedicated 2 channel 78 preamp just so it will integrate much easier with everything else. I believe the Dual cartridge just outputs the identical signal on both L & R.
EC8010 said:
A cartridge with a turnover stylus is almost certainly ceramic. Why not fit a Shure M78 (magnetic specifically designed for 78s)?

Hmm, that's goes beyond what I was hoping for in my project budget, but I'll think about it. The 1214 TT is actually higher quality than my JVC LP TT, but it has no strobe, so I think I'll dedicate it to 78 service.
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