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Turntable for mono and 78

 

Clogartist
Unregistered guest
I have already received some valuable input from Jan Vigne in another thread (in the amps section) about finding an amp suitable for playing from mono sources. I hope you will indulge me as I have some further (phono-related) queries arising from this.

I need to acquire a turntable, but my budget is limited (not much beyond $750). Ideally it would be capable of playing 78s. One such device I have come across is the Pro-ject Debut Mk 3 Phono Speedbox, the speedbox apparently enabling the playing of 78s (supplemented by a 78 cartridge).

One quandary appears to be this. To get true mono, I would need a preamp/int amp with a mono switch, and I have tracked down some old NAD models that have this. These have phono stages, rendering the built-in phono stage on the Pro-ject redundant (--> or are they compatible at all??). An alternative appears to be the Rega Planar 78, but this would mean needing 2 turntables. Any other suggestions desperately welcome.

I would like to get as decent as possible reproduction from older records without the kind of specialist equipment that costs 1000s of dollars -- and without damaging any records!

Background info:
current speakers: B&W DM601 S3
current amp: Marantz int PM-32 (mono switch no, phono yes)

Thanks in advance for bearing with me on this one.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3382
Registered: May-04


As I put in my post on the amp section, a dedicated 78 RPM cartridge is going to be needed. Unless you have the ability to change out cartridges and quickly adjust for the difference in cartridge weight and tracking force, you should consider having a dedicated 78 table.

I let others respond to the rest of your post.




 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 2968
Registered: Dec-03
If you put a mono signal through the two channels of a stereo amp, what you get out of the two speakers should be the same, and mono. So, I can't quite see why you feel you need a mono switch on the pre-amp, Clogartist.

The pre-amp mono switch on pre-amps was useful when mono gave you less noise than stereo from weak stereo signals such as on FM radio. Modern hifi equipment does not seem to cater for people who actually prefer mono.
 

New member
Username: Dvautier

Bellevue, Wa Usa

Post Number: 10
Registered: Feb-05
I was strictly an LP guy but then I got a bunch of really old 78s from my sister's estate (which she got from her mom's estate). At first I didn't quite know what to do with all this weird stuff. After all, my Sony turntable is for 33s and 45s, and I run the usual .7 mil magnetic elliptical cartridge. I could also in shear desperation mount a 3 mil ceramic cartridge for the 78 records but I had to get a pre-amp that could handle the extra voltage (.025 volts or so as opposed to the very small voltage typically put out by a magnetic cartridge). So what I eventually did was run the old 78s at 45 and simply converted the digital signal to 78. There is software that you can get that does all this. The results were quite good although the record Capppppptttttuuuuurrrrrreeee sssooouuunnnddddssss ssstttrrraaannngggeee.

Do a google on DAK. There are also other vendors that offer this conversion feature.

If really desperate you can look at my web page at

http://dvautier.home.comcast.net/records/records.htm

This was my feeble attempt to expose the world to true early record quality (horrible but historically valuable)

Also you may want to look at

http://dvautier.home.comcast.net/audio/audio.htm

Which was my comments on LP conversion to CD--a winsome journey for sure

And lastly if the pain is not enough my observations on the whole LP thing:

http://dvautier.home.comcast.net/lp/lp.htm

good luck to you in your quest for knowledge.
 

Gold Member
Username: Jan_b_vigne

Dallas, TX

Post Number: 3398
Registered: May-04


http://www.needledoctor.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.379/it.A/id.2587/.f

http://www.needledoctor.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.269/.f

http://www.needledoctor.com/s.nl/sc.2/category.237/.f

 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 2969
Registered: Dec-03
Dominic,

There are a lot of people who think 78s have better instrinsic sound quality. Probably you know this. I see articles and recommendations in the UK mag "HiFi News". I would guess that the a stylus would not track properly at the lower speed.

Then there are the people in the digital world who firmly state that even 44.1 kHz is not, and never was, a high enough sampling frequency. 96 kHz or even 192 kHz (as on two-channel DVD-Audio) would be preferred for archiving irreplacable material.

If you put these togther, LP was a retrograde step, and CD another one.

The other thing that occurs to me is that there are professionals doing this sort of restoration work. Some if the "re-mastered" classical "historic recordings" I have heard on the radio are amazing. One company uses an acoustic gramophone, with a bell, then puts a single microphone at precisely the right distance.
 

Clogartist
Unregistered guest
John A., I'm not sure I entirely follow what you said in your first post about mono. Are you saying that if playing records with a mono cartridge, having a mono switch on the preamp will make no difference at all, and the only function of a mono switch is then to turn stereo recordings into mono?

I believe the company you refer to in your other post is Nimbus Records here in England. There is an interesting page on their methods of "re-recording" 78s at http://www.wyastone.co.uk/nrl/pv_transfer.html
 

Gold Member
Username: John_a

LondonU.K.

Post Number: 2982
Registered: Dec-03
Clogartist,

1. Yes, that is what I meant. It is my understanding. Of course, I am willing to be corrected on that.

2. Yes, it was Nimbus I had in mind. I did not mention it by name. They are is a bit esoteric for this forum. I am a Nimbus fan and have been since their LP days. They have started releasing their old ambisonic recordings on DVD-A.

By the way, about the other thread; today I noticed a UK monthly magazine called "Record Collector". I did not buy, but browsed. It should have leads to "real" record stores etc.
 

Clogartist
Unregistered guest
Thanks, John A. Will look out for that magazine. Having looked in Gramophone, none of the record shops listed there turned out to sell 78s, but I think there are 1 or 2 in the UK.
 

Bronze Member
Username: Dvautier

Bellevue, Wa Usa

Post Number: 12
Registered: Feb-05
Concerning the question of capturing old 78s on 45 equipment and converting the waveform, I have mixed feelings about this issue. I'm sure there are many purists that strongly feel you have to go back to "ground zero" to get it right. I'm more of a pragmatist. When I played some of my real old records on an old machine, they did not sound so good. When I captured them at 45 RPM, cleaned them up and put them on the web, they sounded about the same. See:

http://dvautier.home.comcast.net/records/records.htm

Kind of like the eternal discussion between the "warmth" of tubes over solid state--sort of a value judgment.
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