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Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s

CraigS 17 Aug 03 - 06:13 PM
Bill D 17 Aug 03 - 06:38 PM
masato sakurai 17 Aug 03 - 07:11 PM
Rapparee 17 Aug 03 - 07:15 PM
GUEST 17 Aug 03 - 10:42 PM
Bob Bolton 18 Aug 03 - 09:10 AM
Roger the Skiffler 18 Aug 03 - 09:45 AM
CraigS 18 Aug 03 - 06:28 PM
Bob Bolton 18 Aug 03 - 07:43 PM
Mark Clark 18 Aug 03 - 11:29 PM
GUEST,Me 19 Aug 03 - 01:00 AM
cobber 22 Aug 03 - 11:56 PM
Bob Bolton 23 Aug 03 - 03:06 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Jan 06 - 02:29 PM
Goose Gander 07 Jan 06 - 09:24 PM
Rapparee 07 Jan 06 - 09:43 PM
GUEST,.gargoyle 07 Jan 06 - 09:53 PM
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Subject: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: CraigS
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 06:13 PM

Just to satisfy my curiosity, and that of other mudcatters who have expressed interest, I have poked around for the source of those fabled laser record players. They are commercially available from ELP Japan (www.elpj.com) and they start from just over $10k - I said they were expensive!

http://www.elpj.com


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Bill D
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 06:38 PM

glorioski!...I'll add that to my wish list!....I suspect some radio stations might get VERY good use from one. But that amount of money would but me a decent used car.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 07:11 PM

When I first heard of a laser turntable a few years ago, I decided not to discard my LPs. See also these sites:

The Amazing ELP

StereoTimes -- ELP Laser Turntable


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Rapparee
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 07:15 PM

Bought me a turntable a few years ago when I bought my new stereo setup. I just can't bring myself to toss my LPs -- too much good music there that will never make it to CDs.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Aug 03 - 10:42 PM

Maybe 5 or 8 years ago there a lot of reviews of laser players in the journals. The concensus was "no". I never heard one myself.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 09:10 AM

G'day Guest,

I think your reviews of a decade back were of attempts to make such a device work as a home player ... not a very workable proposition. The ELP Laser Turntable isd a precision instrument to allow precise transfer of the ultimate take of the LP's full quality to a high level digital format - from which CDs ... or some better recording ... can be processed.

It's not for the amateur/enthusiast ... unless they are prepared to do a hell of a lot of trimming for a playing - but great for archiving and processing the vinyl LP data. (And beyond any but the richest budget!)

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Roger the Skiffler
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 09:45 AM

There's a non-laser 3-speed turntable with optional 78 stylus and integral AM/FM radio & stereo speakers, advertised in UK Radio Times last week for just under £100.
Details tel:0870 1226939
I may treat myself for my 60th...

RtS


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: CraigS
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 06:28 PM

The important feature of the laser players is the ability to recover data from damaged disks, which would be unplayable under normal circumstances. I first heard of them in connection with some Swiss wax masters. These were historically important but had heat damage which meant that any attempt to play them conventionally would have destroyed them. I have also seen a demonstration in which a 78, broken completely in half, was lightly glued together and played on a laser deck. While they are interesting to those of us that still have a stack of records, their real virtue is in the potential for recovering rare recordings. OTOH, if they were cheaper, I love the concept of a deck which plays those irreplacable scratched records that skip all over the place.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 07:43 PM

G'day CraigS,

That's the point I was making about this phenomenally expensive deck - it's a great precision instrument for recovery of recording data ... but proper use is like launching a space mission. There is even a dedicated vacuum cleaner (at ~ US$1500) just to clean the vinyl to spotless condition - and the laser can be adjusted to read only the sections of the groove just below the point where the stylus wear ends, so that you get pure, undiminished recording!

Great stuff ... but it is no mere whim that makes the cost of having a single LP transcribed, by the Americam firm that offers such a service, a US$68 job!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Mark Clark
Date: 18 Aug 03 - 11:29 PM

What American firm provides the service?

I've long kept an active link for LP2CD, a company that professionally restored all sorts records, but as you can see, that link seems no longer active. I can use Google to search the lp2cd.com domain for the word recording and come up with old pages including Technical Links and a page saying they discontinued their Laser turntable service.

The technical guru at LP2CD was Cristian Coban, Ph.D. I discovered he is associated in some way with AVConvert.com, a company that seems to offer some of the same services with the addition of video to DVD. Perhaps this is the newest edition of LP2CD.

      - Mark


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: GUEST,Me
Date: 19 Aug 03 - 01:00 AM

The high price isn't too astounding. The 78 rpm vinyl disk was obsolete when the laser was invented, so these players would be essentially custom made. I saw the world's second laser (Bell Labs) in operation in 1960 when Bell Labs brougth their's to Princeton University, where I was at the time (The first was Maiman's in California, a week or so earlier, but I was in New Jersey at the time).


To the best of my knowledge the laser (continuous, not pulsed as the original ruby lasers were) was first used for recording and playback of music by my high school friend Jim [James Torrance] Russell on a new device he called a Compact Disc in 1965. He was at the Hanford atomic works, adminstered by Battelle Institute by that time). [He retired last ear, according to the Christmas card I got from him and his wife Barbara last December. I went to junior high school with Barbara). Jim told me (I think it was in 1958) that even the best elliptical diamond needles had a deleterious effect on the grooves of a conventional vinyl recording.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: cobber
Date: 22 Aug 03 - 11:56 PM

Hi Bob and all
I was running a music shop in the early seventies when we were sent advertising for a new Sony turntable that used a laser. The advertising pitch was that, unlike a needle, nothing touched the record so they wouldn't wear out. They were about $600 Australian at the time as I remember and we didn't stock them as we thought that a horrendous price at the time, although my boss considered getting one for the shop as he could write it off as advertising as there was always a conflict between people who wanted to hear records before they bought and people who wouldn't buy a record that had been played, even once. There must have been some of them brought to Australia but they hadn't caught on when vinyl suddenly became obsolete. I remember how amazed we were in the industry that it happened so fast. Can anyone else remember these or is old age playing tricks with my memory?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 23 Aug 03 - 03:06 AM

G'day cobber,

I do remember Sony's brief attempt to sell laser turntables into the consumer market ... but I never saw one - let alone heard of anyone shelling out $600 for one!

Even so, they would have been much simpler units than the ones that LP2CD were using to do the transcriptions I mentioned above. This unit involved all sorts of calibration and set-up options allowing the laser to be focused on the best-preserved portion of the original track, to get the nearest possible to the original sound.

The LP only Laser deck used for this work cost US$6,500 ... ex-factory in Japan (i.e. pay your own packing /freight /customs /handling charges!). Indeed the 'you beaut' model that also copies 78 rpm ... with specific setings for all the identified pressing variants of that nominal speed ... costs some $10,000, ex-factory.

Obviously there were too few Americans able to hear ... or prepared to pay for ... such niceties - especially when they were to be submerged in the limited gamut of the CD format (20 Hz - 20 kHz). I know that my boss, who has high quality CD gear ... but still has equally high quality analogue hi-fi LP gear ... can hear the higher frequencies and their associated tone colouring in his vinyl, despite being 60 years old.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 02:29 PM

My morning newspaper (Calgary Herald) published what they call 'cool ideas for your home' today. The lead item was the ELP Laser Turntable. I went to the website, www.elpj.com (posted above by CraigS) and found a starting price of $15,000 US. Also a 'declicker' for $2800 US.
It will have to wait until I get a new Nigerian scam worked out.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Goose Gander
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 09:24 PM

I have to confess that I don't understand why so many people have become convinced that there is something wrong with the vinyl format, to the point of discarding or giving away their record collections. I have records pressed 50 years ago that play perfectly and first-generation CDs only a decade and half old that are for all intents and purposes useless. It would cost me many thousands of dollars to replace my records, and I'm still not convinced that the compressed sound of CDs is objectively 'better' anyway. This laser turntable sounds interesting, but again the price is prohibitive, and how do I know I would like it better than my old Techics table?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: Rapparee
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 09:43 PM

Or the Sony I bought about seven years back?

We still have our vinyl LPs -- heck, I've still got a lot of reel-to-rell tapes (AND a recorder to play them on).


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Subject: RE: Tech: Laser Turntable for vinyl/78s
From: GUEST,.gargoyle
Date: 07 Jan 06 - 09:53 PM

For my usage and ear the crank Victrola continues to do an admiral job on 78's. A finger spin with a bit of fine steel wool - takes off the rust on the needles if they have sat too long before use.



Sincerely,

Gargoyle


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