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> Correct speeds for 78 rpm records
heer_bommel
post Nov 15 2005, 05:00 PM
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Hi there,

Most people probably now that 78 rpm records do not spin at exactly 78 rpm. Most (electric) recordings play at 78.26 rpm, as I was told.

I've been experimenting with my turntable last weekend, and compared several of my 78 rpm records with cd reissue versions by well-known companies. I played the cd version and my record simultaneously until they were in sync. Then I checked the speed at which the record was playing.
To my surprise the speeds were even more "scattered" than I expected. "All by myself", an acoustic recording by Bennie Krueger and His Orchestra played at exactly 78.26 rpm. Another record, an acoustic Paul Whiteman song played at 74.1 rpm. Another acoustic Whiteman, from the same year, played at 76.59 rpm.

Also did I notice that even though most American electric 78 rpm records played at 78.26 rpm, several electric European 78 rpm records from HMV played at 76.59 rpm!

So I wondered: Are there any lists or websites with data about at what speed certain records from certain labels from certain time periods are supposed to be played? That would make it a lot easier for me to play a record at a correct speed.

Thanks in advance for your help!
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dismuke
post Nov 16 2005, 07:58 AM
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QUOTE(heer_bommel @ Nov 15 2005, 11:00 AM)
So I wondered: Are there any lists or websites with data about at what speed certain records from certain labels from certain time periods are supposed to be played? That would make it a lot easier for me to play a record at a correct speed.

I am not aware of any such books or websites. I did see a book about opera star Enrico Caruso some years ago which gave a listing of the speed his Victor Red Seal recordings were recorded at. I seem to recall seeing that most of his recordings were made with speeds in the low 70s and I believe some were even in the high 60s. This was done with full knowledge that the record buying public was given instructions to play all Victors at 78 rpm. The result was to give the final product a slightly higher pitch. That may have been the intention with the acoustic Paul Whiteman recordings you mention. I know that Paul Whiteman was very much actively involved in the technical aspects of his recording sessions.

Some months ago, I ran across an old acoustical ragtime recording on Victor that I was convinced absolutely HAD to have been recorded at a slower speed because the song was played VERY fast - almost too fast to be natural. Unfortunately, I am having trouble right now remembering which record it was. I will put up another posting when I either remember it or the next time I come across the record.

As you probably already know, acoustical Columbias, Brunswicks and Diamond Discs were advertised to be played at 80 rpm.
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heer_bommel
post Nov 16 2005, 08:30 AM
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Hi Dismuke,

Thanks for your response. I know there are some general rules of thumb, but the list I haver is very short.

Two of my acoustic Victors sounded right at 76.59 rpm, but several played still too fast, and a couple of others sounded too slow. And one electrical PW record had to be played at 79.5 rpm!

I found another website where the correct speed of the record was determined by the use of a keyboard. Apparently there are certain rules about the key or keys the music is in. Some keys are impossible because they are unplayable for certain instruments or were just never used in those days. The trick is to "play along" with the record untill it sounds right. Unfortunately this method is very time consuming, you need to have some basic knowledge about playing music, you need to master a musical instrument to a certain degree, and you need (for instance) a keyboard. And of course, you first have to tune the keyboard.

So how do you do it when you tranfer records? Just play them at 78.26 and only correct it when it sounds way too fast or way too slow? And how do other people in this newsgroup do it?

Some general rules of thumb that I found.
-Most electrical 78 rpm records: 78.26 rpm
-Edisons (vertical): 80 rpm
-Edisons (lateral): 78.8 rpm.
-Many acoustic Victors: 76.59 rpm

Does anybody have any more additions or corrections to this list?

Thanks in advance,

Bart
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Fredrik
post Nov 16 2005, 02:58 PM
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In addition to the labels mentioned by Dismuke above I also think that acoustic Pathés/Perfects should be played at 80.

I also have som early 1930s original sleeves from the Conqueror label on which the customer is instructed to play on 80 rpm, but this must be an incorrect advice since I've never heard of any of the other labels produced by the same company (Plaza/ARC) using that speed at that time.

Fredrik
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coonsanders
post Jan 4 2006, 06:53 PM
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hi gang

u should get a speed strobe.it gives you an almost perfact speed 4 your
record speeds.check out k-a-b electro accustics.they sell em.hope this helps.



coonsanders
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