Wednesday, December 22, 2010

78s in the House!

Last weekend Margaret brought me a couple of surprises from an estate sale. She thought she was just bringing me a few old albums in really good shape, but what she didn't know that these were actually 78 lacquers. While my Rega P3-24 doesn't play 78s, I still really appreciated owning these pieces of history.

It's really something special to hold lacquers, rather than vinyl, in your hands. You know that feeling you get when you open a 180 or 200 gram vinyl LP in your hands and are amazed at the heft? Well, triple that feeling for 78 lacquers!

In my next Vinyl Anachronist column for Perfect Sound Forever, which will appear in April, I will talk a little more about 78s. I'll be visiting Terry Combs who owns Sound Mind Audio up in Dallas, and he has a stae-of-the-art rig for playing old 78s.

As I told Margaret, it's not that 78s sound anywhere near as lifelike as vinyl LPs. But what 78s do to an amazing degree is open up a clear window into the original recording and let you really feel the history. It's an almost visceral feeling to experience that sort of connection to the past.

So I now own two 78 recordings. Whether or not I pursue this any further remains to be seen, but I do feel like a TRUE record collector now!

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