1897 7-inch E. Berliner Gramophone Disc

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gbfrank
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1897 7-inch E. Berliner Gramophone Disc

Post by gbfrank » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:37 pm

My oldest record so far; an 1897 one-side 7-inch by George Graham, "Negro Funeral" on
E. Berliner's Gramophone 689. From what I learned, this is actually recorded on some form of hardened rubber.
There's a short crack that wouldn't bother me too much on a shellack 78, but I don't know what will happen if I play this thing.

I'm also a bit concerned about playing this one due to the info I found on the playing speed. One source stated it's 55rpm and a few others say it's 78rpm.
Does anyone know for certain which speed it plays?
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1897 George Graham - Negro Funeral
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RE: 1897 7-inch E. Berliner Gramophone Disc

Post by djdaffy1227 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 1:09 am

I don't know anything about the record except that I think it is incredibly awesome!!!
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RE: 1897 7-inch E. Berliner Gramophone Disc

Post by Dr.Dark » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:22 pm

Why dontcha try to play it at 45 first?
Should sound almost like 55 rpm, if it is that.

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RE: 1897 7-inch E. Berliner Gramophone Disc

Post by Shellacky » Fri Feb 08, 2013 2:06 pm

Berliner did experiment with a variety of materials for his records, but after 1895 he was using shellac. You can treat this like any other shellac record. As for speed, there was a lot of variation in the early days of recording. It wasn't considered as big a deal as it is to us today. In fact, on some records the speed varies a bit from the start of the record to the finish. If you want to be really diligent about finding the correct speed, you could look for the sheet music and find out what key it's in, then adjust the record speed until it matches. A more practical approach is to try different speed adjustments until you find one that makes the record sound right to you.

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RE: 1897 7-inch E. Berliner Gramophone Disc

Post by gbfrank » Fri Feb 08, 2013 4:05 pm

Thanks, Shellacky, for the information. I have tried playing at 45 and 78. Although I can tell there is a vocal
recording, it's almost impossible for me to understand anything. Sound quality is very bad, and I don't believe
that it's all due to playing speed.

Frank
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RE: 1897 7-inch E. Berliner Gramophone Disc

Post by wand143 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 4:10 pm

Weren't those Berliner players hand-cranked, versus powered by some wind-up mechanism? That would explain the variance in speed - I guess you had to crank them until the sound was just right.
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