Thursday, December 17, 2015
The miracle of the rescued Christmas 78: "Hallelujah Chorus"--Arthur Pryor's Band, 1908.
When I placed the needle on Arthur Pryor's 12" 78 of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus, the tonearm did a bunny hop over the starting grooves. Examining the disc closely, I spotted a pronounced lip warp. Another side for the dead disc pile. (Muted trumpet, descending in "wah wah" half steps.)
Luckily, I thought to Google for a solution to the problem, and I found it at Youtube, where I witnessed a badly warped big band 78 being flattened with a blow dryer and some gentle pressure. A blow dryer! I was thinking glass plates and an oven (the conventional remedy). Something I've never tried, because someone told me the possible fumes/heat combination could be bad news.
So I plugged in Bev's blow dryer and held it over the warped area until it was nice and hot. Then I placed a small stack of 12' 78s and some books atop the area (light pressure wouldn't do for a thick 1908 12" Victor 78), and I left it overnight. (The Youtube video had noted that 78s retain heat for some time.)
Next morning, not expecting much in the way of results, I unearthed the disc, took it to the Media Room, and played it. The needle tracked flawlessly. No warp!!
I'll have to re-find that video and link to it (Youtube link). Meanwhile, here's Arthur Pryor's Band, from 1908. I think you'll agree it was worth the extra trouble:
Hallelujah Chorus--Arthur Pryor's Band, 1908.