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Questions & Answers

The Most Popular Question about Metal Needles

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What's the difference between Loud, Medium, Soft and Spearpoint tone needles?

Loud, the most popular, you will hear music across your entire house.
Spearpoint, has the same thickness as the loud tone but has a nice crisp tone.
Medium, Favorite for those who like to listen to a more mellow tone.
Soft, The shaft is thinner and you will need to be in the same room to hear.
Soft is popular with those who live in apartments too.

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What direction does my tone-arm go?

The tone-arm and reproducer should always be dragged and not pushed on the record.


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What records can I play using the metal needle?

No matter the manufacturer of the metal needle, needles are meant for the hard Shellac records from 1930s and earlier. Anything after the 1930s may have been produced of a different substrate (depending on the company at the time) and often too soft for the metal needle.

Therefore, if you are playing a record from the 1940s, you have a possibility of ruining the record as these were most likely meant for a electrical pickup phonograph that played these types of records. Do not play any record albums from 1950, 1960 and later using a metal needle! So some of those big-band and jazz records you have from the 1940s should be played on a electric pickup phonograph! Be aware and play at your own risk on these later discs. Please educate yourself about these old phonographs.

Some of the more common brands you can play using the metal needle is Victor and Columbia from the early era. These records were made of a very hard Shellac and not plastic like the later 12 inch albums. Please know what year your record is from before using a metal needle on it on your wind-up old phonograph.

DO NOT play Edison Diamond Discs (Re-Creation) and Pathe records with a metal needle as these are meant for special stylus made for that particular phonograph and record made by Edison and Pathe. Do not play Edison cylinders with a metal needle too.

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Do I need to replace the needle after every play of the record?

YES. The needle tip gets worn down during the play of the record, it is advised to REPLACE the needle after every play to help keep the record in good shape. No matter the composition of the needle, the grooves of the record file away at the metal tip and make the tip dull.

This isn't a ploy to sell more needles. This is a fact and not replacing them will scratch up your records. So be aware that there is no such thing as a MULTI-Play needle.

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Can I use metal needles on my Edison phonograph?
You can not use metal needles on your Edison phonograph with the Edison reproducer. Edison made his own special records, called Edison Diamond Discs, that were meant to be played with his own special reproducer, that had a diamond tip stylus. Playing any other brand of record with this reproducer will destroy them. Below is the record labels of the Edison discs, Embossed or paper.

The only way you can play the standard style 78rpm records such as Victor, Columbia, etc. with the Edison phonograph is to get a special adaptor that has the correct reproducer on the end, that uses the metal needle for those particular flat discs.

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How to clean your old 78rpm disc records
Things You'll Need: • Mild hand dishwashing detergent • Soft washcloth or soft bristle paintbrush
• Lint-free cloth • Distilled water

1. Rinse the 78 rpm record with water, taking care not to get the label wet.
2. Mix a few drops of dishwashing soap (Dawn) (a mild type) with water. Apply to the record using a clean, soft cloth (shammy) or a small clean soft bristle paintbrush. Wipe the record in the direction of the grooves, never across the grooves. Use light pressure to remove stubborn dirt spots. Never use rubbing alcohol or alcohol based products on your records.
3. Rinse the record again in water to remove the detergent solution, again taking care not the wet the label.
4. If your tap water is hard and tends to leave spots on your dishes, follow it with a rinse of distilled water. If your dishes have spots, good chance your records will too. Use distilled water rather than your tap water.
5. Dry the clean 78 rpm record by dabbing it with a clean, lint-free shammy cloth. Do not wipe across the grooves.
Let sit flat on dry towel for at least 12-16 hours so that they dry before playing on your phonograph. Do not try to speed drying by placing under a hairdryer, microwave or oven.

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What are Tungs-tone needles?

During World War I, restrictions were placed on commercial uses of steel, so Victor Talking Machine Co. developed a needle with a reproducing tip made of tungsten, a metal that never made the list of restricted materials. These needles lasted up to 50 plays of a record. These needles are no longer produced.

What is a Fibre needle?

Fibre needles can still be found today by individuals who put time into slicing and dicing these into shape. They are long and triangular in shape. These needles put less stress on your record grooves. They need to be sharpened after every play and sound aweful (my opinion). The sound quality from these are low and muffled. Fibre needles are usually made of Bamboo. They sound terrible and not worth your time or money.

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I hear a thump when I crank up my phonograph?

When you crank up the phonograph, a thump occurs. This can be a number of things. But the most common reason is that the grease inside the spring housing is getting gunked up and the spring is sticking. The only way to remedy this is to have the motor cleaned and the springs regreased. Leaving it as it is will eventually ruin the springs, possibly breaking.

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There's no tension when I crank my phonograph?

This is most likely due to either cracked springs or springs that released from the pin within the barrel housing case. The springs within the case will have to be removed, cleaner, fixed/replaced and regreased.

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I want my broken phonograph fixed. Who do I call?
Click the banner.
I recommend! Wyatt is a prefessional repairman and dedicated to getting your phonograph singing again.

EXCELLENT WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION ON OLD PHONOGRAPHS, PHONOGRAPHS GRAMOPHONES ANTIQUE PHONOGRAPHS SONORA EDISON VICTOR VICTOR TALKING MACHINE COLUMBIA PATHE RECORDS BRUNSWICK INFORMATION ON ANTIQUE PHONOGRAPHS GRAMOPHONE GRAFANOLA GRAPHOPHONE INFORMATION RECORD PLAYERS CHAMBERLAIN NEEDLES STYLUS SAPPHIRE DIAMOND DISC CYLINDERS CYLINDAR ADVERTISEMENTS INFORMATION ON OLD PHONOGRAPHS PHONOS FREE INFORMATION PHOTOS REPRODUCERS HORNS PARTS PHONOGRAPH PARTS LEATHER BELTS SONATA ANTIQUES ANTIQUE OLD TYME REPRODUCTIONS FAKES HMV HIS MASTERS VOICE NIPPER RCA VICTOR APPRAISALS APPRAISAL OF OLD PHONOGRAPHS INFORMATION PARTS FOR SALE SALES THUMB SCREW NO.2 SOUND BOX REPRODUCERS

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I need a small part to fix my own phonograph .
(Micas, gaskets, springs, felt, screws, and more)

Contact me for a list of vendors who sell these parts. ebay is overpriced third-party sellers.
Buy direct from the small-parts source.

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I see "New Old Stock" on some sales listings,
What does that mean?

New Old Stock (NOS) really means, "I have something that is old and never used". This is a fancy way to say, "Buy it cuz it's old and pay more money for it". In my eyes, NOS is just a way to get people to buy something readily available for more money. I don't advise using OLD needles even if they look unused.
New needles are cheap enough and you know you're getting brand new points.

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Can I play common 78rpm discs on my
Edison and Pathé Phonograph?

Edison and Pathé (Pronounced, Pah-tay), are the only records that use a special stylus that lasts much longer than the standard metal needle. These were constructed of either a Sapphire or Diamond tip.

Edison used the Diamond stylus and was made to play its Diamond Disc records.

Pathé use a Sapphire stylus and were made to play Pathé discs at 90rpm.

Using these two different stylus on your old records can ruin them instantly. Never use a metal needle on Edison or Pathé records. The only Pathé record that actually uses a metal needle are called "Actualle" made by Pathé.

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What is the needle for my Edison?

Edison decided to use his own technology and his own style of records. He called his records, Diamond Discs. You can identify these records from other 78's because they are about 1/4 inch thick. They also will have Edison's face embossed or on the label too. The Edison phonograph stylus was meant to play thousands of records without replacing. The stylus was made of Diamond tip. These were not meant to be switched out like the common metal needles. These are still available although may need to be replaced by a professional repair service. They can also get more spendy.

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What the heck is a Pathé Needle?

Early Pathé records were made to use the Sapphire Stylus, which looked like a glass ball at the end of a metal shaft. These were meant only for Pathé records that spun at 90rpm. This stylus lasted a longer period time if taken care of and for many plays of records. Using this on the standard 78rpm records can ruin them. Pathé eventually stopped production of their special "Vertical" Cut records and created the record called "Actuelle" that used the metal needle and spun at 78rpm.

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I need new needles for my phonograph, where do I go?

Since 1991, You can buy them from your original needle source, click here.

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EXCELLENT WEBSITE FOR INFORMATION ON OLD PHONOGRAPHS, PHONOGRAPHS GRAMOPHONES ANTIQUE PHONOGRAPHS SONORA EDISON VICTOR VICTOR TALKING MACHINE COLUMBIA PATHE RECORDS BRUNSWICK INFORMATION ON ANTIQUE PHONOGRAPHS GRAMOPHONE GRAFANOLA GRAPHOPHONE INFORMATION RECORD PLAYERS CHAMBERLAIN NEEDLES STYLUS SAPPHIRE DIAMOND DISC CYLINDERS CYLINDAR ADVERTISEMENTS INFORMATION ON OLD PHONOGRAPHS PHONOS FREE INFORMATION PHOTOS REPRODUCERS HORNS PARTS PHONOGRAPH PARTS LEATHER BELTS SONATA ANTIQUES ANTIQUE OLD TYME REPRODUCTIONS FAKES HMV HIS MASTERS VOICE NIPPER RCA VICTOR APPRAISALS APPRAISAL OF OLD PHONOGRAPHS INFORMATION PARTS FOR SALE SALES THUMB SCREW NO.2 SOUND BOX REPRODUCERS

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