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The Magnificent Goldberg

78 autochange players;

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I saw this little exchange on the "What are you listening to?" thread.

I always did 1/2, 3/4. I expected my customers to eschew changers.

I wonder if that was a jazz lp thing, all the rock double lps I had were 1/4, 2/3. Boy, I guess that dates me, with my turn-table with a spindle changer -- three lps were okay, but four really slowed the tt down. Hey, they were great for parties though.:excited:

I think the changer mode was a "major label" thing. I know the Braxton set for 4 orchestras (on Arista) was issued in changer order while the master tapes were prepared for manual changes.

I was thinking about this yeasterday, in connection with Rev C L Franklin's early sermons, issued by JVB, then Chess, on albums of 78s. They were pressed in "changer mode" 1/6, 2/5, 3/4 - or an 8 disc version of the same nature.

I've known about this for years and years, but last night it seemed somewhat peculiar to me for the first time. These recordings were made in the late forties/early fifties; after the introduction of LPs and 45s. But they were issued on 78. OK, I know that the black community kept buying 78s long after the white community had gone on to 45s. But were there autochange players that only played 78s? I've never heard of them. If there weren't, these 78s were programmed for autochangers, which could have played 45s, so the discs could have been issued on 45 or 33.

This all strikes me as being slightly odd.

Anyone know if there were 78 autochange machines?

MG

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MG, I cannot recall the exact sources right now and do not have them on hand but there DEFINITELY were autochangers in the 78 rpm era, i.e. turntables that were geared for 78 rpm ONLY. Maybe not everywhere but definitely over here in ("Continental" :D :D) Europe. I remember seeing ads for them in French mags dating to approx. 1948. So I have little doubt they existed in the USA too but while I have lots of documentation on c.1945-60 audio equipment from Germany (plus some from France) I have hardly anything from the USA so I cannot check. ;)

As for the record changer double LPs, I remember buying a few of them in the 70s when I started collecting (as ell as a few 70s pressings later on), and I always found this distinctly odd as record changers were largely a thing of the past here by those mid-70s. You could still buy turntables with an exchangeable centerpiece to be replaced by that spindle that would take several LPs but it was a fad dying fast. Maybe the fad lasted longer in the States as IIRC all those 1-4/2-3 double LPs I bought then were US pressings. Cannot recall any European double LPs (jazz or rock) of the mid-70s that were pressed that way.

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MG, I cannot recall the exact sources right now and do not have them on hand but there DEFINITELY were autochangers in the 78 rpm era, i.e. turntables that were geared for 78 rpm ONLY. Maybe not everywhere but definitely over here in ("Continental" :D :D) Europe. I remember seeing ads for them in French mags dating to approx. 1948. So I have little doubt they existed in the USA too but while I have lots of documentation on c.1945-60 audio equipment from Germany (plus some from France) I have hardly anything from the USA so I cannot check. ;)

Thanks Steve. It's illogical for JVB to have made sermon albums in the way they did, if there weren't such things, but I never heard of any.

As for the record changer double LPs, I remember buying a few of them in the 70s when I started collecting (as ell as a few 70s pressings later on), and I always found this distinctly odd as record changers were largely a thing of the past here by those mid-70s. You could still buy turntables with an exchangeable centerpiece to be replaced by that spindle that would take several LPs but it was a fad dying fast. Maybe the fad lasted longer in the States as IIRC all those 1-4/2-3 double LPs I bought then were US pressings. Cannot recall any European double LPs (jazz or rock) of the mid-70s that were pressed that way.

I agree - though in the sixties I had few double LPs, mostly classical, one jazz ("Chappaqua suite" on Columbia) + one Peter Weiss play, which was a 3-disc set on Caedmon. I think all of them were 1/2, 3/4. And they were all European pressings. I can't remember how the Beatles' white album, "Uncle meat", "Trout mask replica" and "Tommy" (the only ones that I can recall were around when I worked in a record shop in '69) but, if they were 1/4, 2/3, I'd have found it remarkable and would probably have remembered. So I agree with you that the 1/4, 2/3 thing was American, not European. And if it was just a major label thing in the US, the British or European ends of those firms didn't follow the American ends.

MG

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According to Wikipedia the autochanger was an Australian invention in 1925.

The first commercially successful machine was marketed by Victor in 1927

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According to Wikipedia the autochanger was an Australian invention in 1925.

The first commercially successful machine was marketed by Victor in 1927

Wow! That long ago!

MG

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Just to illustrate it, here is one such contraption :D (of 1948 vintage):

img-2054260ieyx.jpg

And here are two more (from Germany, 1949):

img-211802rmu57.jpg

img-211734hnrho.jpg

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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I recall 78 rpm changers as being rather commonplace when I was a teenager (1940s). When RCA came out with that awful, cheap 45rpm changer, we were already used to the concept of stacking the discs. Then, of course, there were the jukeboxes. :)

I also recall that some reviewers regarded as odd the way I programmed the 10-LP Bessie Smith series. There are two reasons why I programmed them so that Side 1 of Disc 1 contained (in chronological order, of course) Bessie's first recordings while Side 2 of Disc 1 had her last recordings. That way, one could stack all 10 LPs on a changer and listen to them in chronological order, simply turning the entire stack over at the end of Disc 10.

Another very practical reason why I chose this arrangement was that Bessie's chronological output reflect the recording techniques employed from 1923 to 1933—i.e. from acoustic to electric. Some people have difficulty adjusting to acoustic recordings, so this avoided issuing strictly acoustical LPs.

It seemed logical.

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In the '30s and into the '40s, U.S. Victor was selling many album sets in both "manual" and "automatic" configurations. The catalog numbers were the same, but the prefix letters were different.

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My grandparents had (and I now have it) a 1939 Motorola console radio/record player that had a changer (as well as a cool push-button radio selector for all those clear-channel AM stations!). It didn't work all that well, though. Would wear the hole in the 78, making it bigger and making the record unplayable.

gregmo

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so manual would be side 1 side 2///side 3 side 4///etc

and auto it would be like side 1 ond record 1, side 2 on record 2, et. al?

i always perfer #1. every masterworks set i have and all this stuff i have is like that, side 1 on one record, side 2 on the next, then when u get to the end up flip back down and play them reverse, it its more record shifting then necessary

hey greg m, dont talk smack about big-holed 78s! My amos milburn 78s are like that: they were on an awesome old LA jukebox back in the old days

ouch! i would never put my 78s on that thing, it must sound like glass breaking........

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so manual would be side 1 side 2///side 3 side 4///etc

and auto it would be like side 1 ond record 1, side 2 on record 2, et. al?

i always perfer #1. every masterworks set i have and all this stuff i have is like that, side 1 on one record, side 2 on the next, then when u get to the end up flip back down and play them reverse, it its more record shifting then necessary

hey greg m, dont talk smack about big-holed 78s! My amos milburn 78s are like that: they were on an awesome old LA jukebox back in the old days

ouch! i would never put my 78s on that thing, it must sound like glass breaking........

Actually Chewy, playing those things made me seasick. Kept 'em all though. I'd never throw any of 'em away!

gregmo

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