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Re: [Rollei] GX/FX selftimer??now record speeds!

An older grammophone I have, has a setting for 16 rpm. Do you know what 
types of records that's for?


>From: Richard Knoppow
>At 04:24 PM 06/03/2002 -0700, you wrote:
> >Hi Richard!
> >
> >     I was under ten, but had two older brothers and can remember their
> >Elvis and Fats Domiono records on 78, as the family didn't have a lp
> >player yet.  Also, somewhere in the mid-fifties, the 45s appeared.  Rich
> >
> >
>    45 RPM records came out about a year after 33's. RCA was caught with
>their pants down and rushed to get something on the market.
>    Curiously enough the 45 was was really a better design: Columbia's lp
>record was really a sort of glorified makeshift. Columbia had been making
>its master records on 33-1/3 RPM broadcast type transcription records from
>about the late 1930's. I think this was the inspiration for the long
>playing record. RCA had experimented with long playing records in the very
>early 1930's but the system was never successful. Those records are now
>very valuable collector's items. BTW, there were also long playing cylinder
>   There is an optimum speed for a record which is calculated from the
>maximum inner and outer diameter of the grooves and the required minimum
>groove velocity. For a 10 or 12 inch record its not 33-1/3. 45 is exactly
>right for the 7 inch records RCA was making. In fact, its closer to optimum
>for 12" than 33-1/3. RCA's design also included the one inch center hole to
>allow much more accurate centering and less wear. It also made possible the
>clever record changer mechanism RCA introduced with it. 45 records also
>have thickened lable areas and a thick annulus at the edge of the record.
>When stacked the records are supported by the center and edge protecting
>the groove area from abrasion.
>   The place RCA missed the boat was in total playing time. They were stuck
>thinking of the new records as replacements for 78's which have a maximum
>playing time of just shy of five minutes for a 10" and about 6-1/2 minutes
>for a 12". These are absolute maximum times if the inner grooves are
>allowed to be cut further than normal practice. When longer pieces were
>recorded they had to be split up on multiple sides. RCA evidently did not
>understand that the simple interruption of the music with then then used
>system was very undesirable. So, 45's got confined to single records and
>33-1/3 lp's became standard for classical and much more popular for album
>   33-1/3 rpm was anything but new. The speed was introduced for the 16 
>sound track records used with the Warner Brothers-Western Electric
>Vitaphone system for motion picture sound. Eventually, similar 16 inch
>records became standard for reference recording of radio programs. Most
>broadcast turntables would play at two speeds, 78 and 33-1/3.
>   While transcriptions were not used on the air much before the late 
>they were very widely used for reference recording of programs. A reference
>recording is one made as a legal record or for sponsors or cast members to
>hear. Most of the old radio programs heard now were preserved on this type
>of record.
>   The quality varied. The best of them were of very high quality although
>what you hear now are often many generations removed from the original
>   When the Vitaphone system was introduced low cost and simplicity of
>reproducing equipment was considered formost in order than theaters would
>be encouraged to convert to sound. Some unfortunate compromises were made
>to that end which lived along in the 78 rpm record. One compromise was to
>drop the use of diamond or saphire tipped needles, long standard for
>acoustic phonographs. The reproducer used a steel needle, not very
>accurately ground. One needle per play. The pressing material of which the
>record was made contained a small amount of abrasive to shape the needle as
>the record played. The records were started from the inner grooves, unlike
>most records, since the requirements for the fit of the needle are most
>critical there. The groove velocity, of course, is slowest there and the
>wiggles tighter for a given frequency. As the record played the needle was
>worn but the groove velocity was faster so the loss of high frequencys and
>increased distortion was not as obvious.
>  The records wore out very quickly and had to be replaced often. Needless
>to say the sound on disk system for motion pictures did not survive. Sound
>on film became popular almost as soon as it was introduced. The last sound
>disks were distributed about 1933 but sound on disk was essentially dead by
>   A brief note about RCA. Willim Paley of CBS and David Sarnoff of RCA had
>a personal vendetta of some sort, perhaps only jealousy. CBS was the
>primary competitor to NBC but was originally only in the broadcasting
>business. CBS bought the Columbia Ponograph Company mostly to compete with
>RCA's Victor Record division and to obtain some manufacturing facilities.
>   The development of the long playing record at CBS and their attempts at
>developing a color television system were the direct results of this
>personal rivalry.
>   CBS, BTW, avoided the use of RCA equipment to the degree that they 
>considering that RCA was one of the two foremost manufactureres of such
>equipment. CBS went to the extreme of removing RCA name plates and trade
>marks from microphones and TV cameras which might be photographed. CBS
>network radio plants were equipped with either Western Electric or
>independantly made equipment, including transmitters. RCA microphones were
>unavoidable but were disguised as mentioned above.
>   This is all so OT I am hesitant to post it.
>Richard Knoppow
>Los Angeles, CA, USA

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