Aftab

“Nonbreakable”

11 posts in this topic

Hi folks,

I just picked up a copy of BRAFF!! By Ruby Braff (admittedly mainly for the classic cover). The LP says it is “nonbreakable”. Am I able to play this with my regular stylus or is this more like an old 78? Please school me. Thanks!

https://www.discogs.com/Ruby-Braff-Braff/release/3353720

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Am now playing my copy of this very record (LN 3377, yellow Epic label, deep groove). No problem on my turntable. It's just vinyl.

Other Epics I have from that period (Bengt Hallberg LN 3375, Swedes from Jazzville LN 3309, Jazz on the Left Bank LN 3387) carry the same "Nonbreakable" tag on the label. Must have been a sales gimmick at a time (2nd half of the 50s) when vinyl was all there but 78s had not yet disappeared from the record shops). Never would have thought this was anything but vinyl. ;)

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Some early LPs were made of styrene (or whatever it was called) and were VERY breakable. Decca comes to mind immediately. I think that's what they hype was about.

But can you break an unbreakable vinyl record? Hell yeah, sure you can.

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15 minutes ago, JSngry said:

But can you break an unbreakable vinyl record? Hell yeah, sure you can.

Yes you can indeed. E.g. if you ship a 50s original inside 2 flimsy covers of (coincidence?) polystyrene and expect it to survive a cross-the-pond shipment. Happened to me (as a buyer) in my very early eBay days with a Decca ^_^ LP (rainbow-stripe label and therefore early 60s pressing, so definitely no "styrene" - I suppose these were early 10" LPs).

1 hour ago, Aftab said:

Hi folks,

I just picked up a copy of BRAFF!! By Ruby Braff (admittedly mainly for the classic cover). The LP says it is “nonbreakable”. Am I able to play this with my regular stylus or is this more like an old 78? Please school me. Thanks!

https://www.discogs.com/Ruby-Braff-Braff/release/3353720

BTW, I also have a (unfortunately rather battered and scratchy) white-label promo pressing of the abovementioned Bengt Hallberg LP on Epic. It does NOT say "Nonbreakable" on the label so it looks like the people at Columbia assumed that the men of the trade and DJs who'd get hold of such items would know anyway this was "non-breakable". ;)

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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I have several 12" Decca LPs that I got from my folks' collection that are definitely not vinyl. Nor rainbow label either. These are 1950s jobs all.

 

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Just out of curiosity and trying to narrow down the time frame etc.: What label, what (number) series? And is there a way to clearly identify them visually? (Edge, dead wax, etc.?)

I just checked a few 50s 10" U.S: Decca LPs that i have and they do look and feel like vinyl to me and all say "Long playing unbreakable microgroove" on the label. They all are from the DL series but the labels differ (red & gold or black with gold script or black with silver script which all seem to have existed in parallel). The only 50s 12" I was able to locate at a quick glance (50s black label, and it does not say "Unbreakable") looks vinylish to me too.

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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At work, but the three I got from the folks are Lombardoland, The Glenn Miller Story OST, and Bing's Merry Christmas.

They all have the cool Decca white plastic "envelope" inner sleeve. They all feel a bit brittle too. Not dangerously so, just, like, they got NO bend in them at all. None.

Here ya' go: https://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threads/styrene-lps.47655/

example:

R-1351709-1406750040-8103.jpeg.jpg

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Interesting ... thanks ... styrene seems to have been used much longer than in the 50s only.
If the statement below from your link is correct as a telltale identifier ...

From what I've read somewhere once upon a time (maybe here), the easy way to see if you have a styrene 45 (instead of vinyl) is to look at the edge. It won't have any kind of "special" edge to it. It will be very straight & flat, and will be even height-wise with the rest of the record's "body" (for lack of a better term) across its entire edge.

.. then some of those I'd inspected look like they should be styrene too. But I have my doubts (not only because it says "unbreakable" on the label). Of course i never tried to test their "flexing" either. ^_^

Edited by Big Beat Steve

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By bend/flex, I mean just holding them regularly, two hands @ 9 & 3. They don't feel like other records I have from the same time.

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Also, when you give these records a little thumb ping on the rim, they don't sounds like a vinyl lp, they sounds hollow or something. Words perhaps faile me on this.

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