We can work with the following recordings. While vintage playback equipment is used for many formats, we have modified our machines with modern electronics for the highest possible fidelity.
| ||We know that these days, anybody with a turntable and a computer can put an album onto a CD... and that's exactly why everybody does. But we are audiophiles and engineers. Our LP remastering is used by record companies for CD release when the master tapes are lost. Nobody will ever know that CD came from a record. And we're certainly not going to tell.|
||RCA found that 45 RPM was the optimal speed for a record, given groove speed, stylus size, etc. In fact, some new audiophile albums are cut at 45 RPM. Unfortunately, all that is for nought as most 45's are mastered very poorly. Some 45's are made from styrene rather than vinyl. Such records, while restorable, have a compromised sound quality. A special stylus is required for playback.|
|There are many flavors of 78 RPM records. The earliest were recorded without electricity, with musicians playing into a large horn. When electric recording came along, equalization became a factor, with about a half-dozen different EQ curves to follow. Early acoustic 78's sound very limited, but by the 1950's, 78 recording was at its peak, and some can sound surprisingly good.|
Magnetic tape replaced wire recording in the 1940's. Not only was it easier to work with, tape could do one thing wire couldn't... record in stereo. Reels can be from 3" to 14", with 7" and 10.5" the most common size. We can accomodate any reel, any track arrangement, any size. We also do remastering for commercial CD releases.
Some tape stocks absorbed moisture into the binder, making the tape unplayable without baking. We bake tapes at a slight additional charge.
|In the 1960's cassettes were introduced as a dictation format. In the 1970's tape formulas and decks improved to the point of high fidelity, and became the standard for home recordings. If well-recorded, they can sound great. Many "cheap" cassettes arrive with separated leaders. We can repair such cassettes.|
|8-tracks were a portable format derived from the cartridge that was used in radio broadcasting. They were never developed into a high fidelity format, and (thankfully) died off as cassettes became available. Once remastered, they don't sound too bad at all. Every cartridge will need repair to become playable, as the splice falls apart and the pressure pad has turned to goo.|
|Norelco cartridges were introduced in the 1960's as a dictation format. They were never able to supplant the belts they were envisioned to replace, as they were a bit more cumbersome to use in an office. They were not incredibly popular, so you won't see many of them. But they are recoverable and restorable with good sound quality.|
|The mis-named "acetates" (actually they are nitrocellulose) were offered by many manufactureres for home recordings. They can range from little cardboard discs to 12" aluminum-based records. They might also be steel or glass. They are usually pretty hardy, but some might have wrinkling or separation due to shrinkage of the plasticizer. The downfall of many such records is the leaching of the camphor, which leaves a white coating of noise on the surface. Such discs are recoverable.|
|"Visible" Dictaphone belts (as opposed to magnetic belts, which you can't see through) were the dominant force in office dictation after replacing cylinders and were used in the 1950's and 1960's. Sometimes the belt information is written on the belt itself with a grease pencil. The biggest problem with belts is that they shrink, and therefore don't track properly on the playback mandrels, making playback problematic. However, we can always recover them. Audio quality is usually good.|
|Wire recording was developed in the early 1900's as an offshoot of the telegraph. Although functional, it did not attain good sound quality until the 1940's when vacuum tubes came into play. The two main players were Webster and Armour, with their systems incompatible with each other. We don't doubt that having a half-mile of silver hair turn into stainless steel cotton candy gave rise to a whole new generation of cuss words.|
|Voice-O-Graphs were popular in the 1940's and 1950's. They were made on machines that resembled a telephone booth, and for 25 cents you could make a recording as a keepsake. Since they are cardboard records, the recording medium shrinks and causes tiny ridges to appear on the surface. Sometimes they become dish-shaped. Discs of this type were used for novelty records, like from the top of the Empire state building. They are usually recoverable.|
|Aluminum discs were a very early home recording format, and were often used for radio station logs. They did not cut the groove, but embossed it onto the surface. A special needle was require for playback, and if you tried to play them on a Victrola, it literally erased the recording. Sadly, a great many of these discs were the victim of WWII scrap drives.|
|The very first home recording format was the Kodisk. This was a pre-grooved 78 with a soft cutting medium. What you did was put on the disc, put the needle into the groove, and scream as loudly as you could into the phonograph horn. Then, with any luck, you had a small chance of hearing yourself. Unfortunately, the needle was so heavy that the very act of playing it effectively erased it after two playings. Thus, we have never seen a playable Kodisk.|
|Soundscribers were a dictation format popular in the 1940's and 1950's. These discs were made from a very sturdy material and most remain in playable condition today. Sound quality is fair with an understandable voice, which is all one can ask from a dictation format. They came in a variety of sizes up to 7". They were popular for institutional recordings.|
|RCA made pre-grooved recording blanks in the 1930's. Because the groove was not cut, but modulated at the very top, sound quality is quite atrocious, and a special needle is require to play them. Frequency response is flat from 1,000 to 1,100 Hz.|
|Mohawk made a small portable cartridge format. Although quite compact, the slow tape speed allowed for over an hour of recording.|