On an Overgrown Pathé

[On an Overgrown Pathe]

Getting It Together

[Italian version here]

Author: David Hoehl - TNT USA
Published: October, 2019

Not infrequently, I see a question like this on discussion forums: "How do I go about playing these old 78 RPM records I just inherited from my parents/was given by a college buddy's dad/picked up at a thrift shop/rescued from a neighbor's trash/found abandoned on my doorstep in a basket, wrapped in a blanket/mistakenly conjured when I was trying to summon spirits from the netherworld?"[1] Usually, the inquisitor goes on to ask, "Can I play 78s with my regular stereo? Do I need a special needle of some sort?" The hapless regular readers of my scribblings doubtless have some idea of the answers already, but I thought perhaps briefly addressing the topic head on might be helpful to those new to the subject, in particular those who, as in an example I saw earlier today, may not have record playing gear at all.

At its most basic level, the needed equipment for playing 78s is pretty straightforward. If we work backwards, from "noise in the room" to "signal source," it can be summed up as follows: