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


You neglected to mention that one of the reasons for the success of
the Columbia LP system was the Microgroove,  which required a
much smaller playback stylus.


Richard Knoppow wrote:

> 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
> records!
>   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
> records.
>   33-1/3 rpm was anything but new. The speed was introduced for the 16 inch
> 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 1940's
> 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
> records.
>   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
> 1931.
>   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 could,
> 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
> dickburk