old record

Playing old records

Playing old records needs some thoughts before, independent whether the records are played "only" to enjoy oneself or for digitizing a record collection. Two themes have to be thought: The pick-up and the equalization. In special cases a third theme may be the speed.

Looking at the parameters of old records you will find a list without claiming to be complete, which shows manufacturers, date of manufacture, speed, equalization and recommended stylus diameter.

The most easy topic is surely the playing speed. This is either one of the fix speed 33, 45 and 78 or differs from those. In case the speed differs you need a possibillity to adjust the speed of your turntable. The models EMT 938 and EMT 948 are already prepared for the connection of a potentiometer and some models EMT 950 are already equipped with a speed adjustment. If you are not handy enough to modify something by yourself you may use my option varispeed.

Scanning a record shall be done in a way that the record is not damaged in any way. Therefore the stylus should have a correct fitting diameter. In case of a too large diameter the stylus is guided at the upper range of the groove and it may jump. In case of a too small diamater it may come to the ground of the groove and is not guided correctly by the flanks of the groove. If larger stylusses are needed than the standard available 65µ on request there are also available diameters with 80µ, 100µ abd 120µ.

As old records had been cutted monaural the stylus is moved only in the horizontal direction. O-series cartridges are constructed in a way that only a horizontal movement is possible. They deliver an output level about 10 times higher than T-series cartridges. Due to the construction the T-series cartridges scan also vertical and diagonal movements which may be caused by dust or waved records. T-series mono cartridges use only one coil which is turned in a way that theoretically only horizontal movements are transduced. But side effects can't be completely excluded. You will find more information to the connetions and differences between T-series and O-series cartridges at usage of EMT pick-up's.

The last topic in this context is the equalization. It is not enough to choose the right stylus diameter but also the equalization must be correct. As you can see in the parameters of the old records there are so many settings. Different settings for depth and treble, depth adjusted like RIAA and any treble setting as well as treble and depth set for RIAA. Only the equalizers EMT 139 and EMT 155 (for EMT 927 and EMT 930) offer the possibillity to select different eq curves (but it regards only the trebles). All other equalization amplifiers of the EMT turntables are fixed set to the RIAA curve. To play records with different eq curves you can either use the standard RIAA curve and adjust the desired sound at the preamplifier or the audio signal is taken directly from the tone arm output and is lead to an external eq amp like described at connection of an external equalizer amplifier.

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