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Re: [ARSCLIST] Early Polydor electrics, the depression, etc

The high-fi market was insignificant. The mass market is where the record companies were focussed and accounts for their activities.

Steven Smolian

----- Original Message ----- From: "Roger and Allison Kulp" <thorenstd124@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <ARSCLIST@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Sunday, October 22, 2006 5:26 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Early Polydor electrics, the depression, etc

I have seen those old Harmony 78s,but I was never sure
about thier connection with Columbia.Also,while I have
heard incredibly good sounding pre-1930 tubes,used in
later equipment,I have not heard any early electrical
phonos,I particularly liked.Now,once you get into the
40s,that's a different story...

However,I can tell you there are certain pieces of
equipment,from the late 20s/early 30s,that will make
audiophiles(audiophools?) swoon.The most obvious
example,is the Loftin-White Amplifier,which I have not
had the pleasure of hearing.
                                   Roger Kulp

--- "Steven C. Barr(x)" <stevenc@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>

----- Original Message ----- From: "Steven Smolian" <smolians@xxxxxxxxx>
> I have no documentation to prove it but feel
certain that the reason
> Columbia made paralell recordings acoustically to
their electrics, the
> former issued on Harmony, was to cater to the old
wind-up market.
I had always thought...and I believe research has
confirmed this...
that Columbia had spent a fair amount improving
their acoustic
recording in 1924, after UK Columbia took over US
Columbia and
financial problems eased. Figuring that many record
buyers still
had acoustic players, they tried to squeeze a few
more dollars
out of their acoustic hardware by using it to record
cheap records!

> I can't say I've been impressed with the sound of
early electrical players-
> the acoustic orthophonics sound better to me.  It
took into the carly
> mid-1930s before the nominally affordable
electrical players apeared, by
> which time the depression had bitten deeply,
delaying futher the broader
> casting of the newer technology.  Radio and movies
gave more satisfactory
> "new" sound for less outlay.  This factor has
never been given the weight it
> deserves in sifting through the factors that make
so many depression-period
> records so scarce, particularly in good condition.
 The multi-ounce pressure
> from normal electrical playback heads was bad
enough.  Not replacing the
> needles regularly (people spent money on food)
accounts for the wretched
> condition of so many records issued at that time,
particularly those for the
> black and country markets.
It was probably c.1935 before it occured to RCA
Victor that one could
build players with piezo-electric cartridges (which
were also much
lighter than the horseshoe-magnet electric
reproducers first used)
and plug them into RCA radios (or have your "radio
man" install a
jack feeding the audio circuit of your existing
radio set)...

Steven C. Barr

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