Needle-drop Handbook




The Needle-drop Handbook is about reformatting the signals from analogue records as digital files (needle-drops).

To do this, you need first-class hardware.

Where the rock meets the record, analogue discs are ultimately a precision mechanical medium and demand precision mechanisms to replay them.

The first five chapters of the Needle-drop Handbook are devoted to the mechanical issues of playing records: the mechanics of constant-speed; of tracking and tracing distortion and how to minimise their effects; and of cartridge tracking and groove geometry.

From acetate to dead-wax

The procedure and the equipment to cut the master acetates is covered in chapter six of the Needle-drop Handbook as well are the subsequent electroforming and compression-moulding processes required to produce commercial records. Only an understanding of how records are made, alerts us to the problems which arise in maufacture and to the extra information which is encoded in the dead-wax.

The care of records – when playing them and storing them - is covered in chapter seven along with information of the care and maintenance of the replay stylus.

The signal sent to the cutter-chisel when cutting a record is equalised, whereby the bass is cut and the treble boosted. The equalisation of modern records is described in chapter eight of the Needle-drop Handbook and the equalisation of pre-stereo records has a chapter all to itself in chapter ten.

.....although the Needle-drop Handbook is concerned with digital reformatting to preserve the essence of audio recordings divorced from their physical carrier, it is a text as relevant to the audiophile vinylista as it is to the archivist.

In the last chapter (fifteen), we look at contemporary work on extracting information from records using optical techniques, work especially valuable when records have become so damaged they will no longer play with a mechanical stylus.

Before we get there, we will also stop-off to look at more unusual forms of records which may interest the collector: shellac discs; quadraphonic discs; cylinder records; soundtrack discs for early “talking-pictures”; radio transcription discs; and novelty records. We also devote a chapter (thirteen) to looking at popular upgrades and tweaks to turntables and ancillary equipment to see if they work or not.

So, although the Needle-drop Handbook is concerned with digital reformatting to preserve the essence of audio recordings divorced from their physical carrier, it is a text as relevant to the audiophile vinylista as it is to the archivist.


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❝A complete guide to the history, theory and technology of recording phonograph records for archivists, collectors and vinylistas❞

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Contents

Preface

Chapter 1 - The long and winding road

Chapter 2- The turntable

Chapter 3 - The tonearm

Chapter 4 - The phono-cartridge

Chapter 5 - The stylus and the groove

Chapter 6 – Making records

Chapter 7 – Care of records and equipment

Chapter 8 – Electronics for needle-drops

Chapter 9 – Digital preservation reformatting

Chapter 10 – Historical records

Chapter 11 – Other record formats

Chapter 12 – Quadraphonic records

Chapter 13 – Tweaks and upgrades

Chapter 14 – Cylinder phonograph records

Chapter 15 – New avenues


Digital indexing

The Needle-drop Handbook features extensive digital indexing (pdf bookmarking). This book will become your "go-to" reference for all things vinyl.


New research

The Needle-drop Handbook contains brand-new research on the effects of: record weights and clamps; the effects of turntable mats of different materials; and super low-noise techniques.





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