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78 RPM Phonograph in my Wasp?


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The ones I've heard of played at speeds

other than 78 r.p.m.  Chrysler Corporation

cars offered the "Hi-Way Hi-Fi" as a seldom-

bought accessory in the late 1950's. 

 

Others can surely tell you more.

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I know 78rpm ones were made. But it has been about fifty years since I have seen one. None of those phonographs to be installed in cars were very popular, or practical. They tried to make them playable as the car was being driven, but road bumps and vibration caused problems with the tone arm. Efforts to forcibly hold the tone arm and other tracking issues caused problems with the needles and damaged records. So they were mostly only good for sitting and listening to while having a picnic or similar.

The old 78rpm records were easier to break and damage, and were just beginning to fall out of favor in the early 1950s. The newer vinyl type records were actually cheaper to manufacture, and a lot less susceptible to breakage, so they made more phonographs for those than the 78s. 

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43 minutes ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

The ones I've heard of played at speeds

other than 78 r.p.m.  Chrysler Corporation

cars offered the "Hi-Way Hi-Fi" as a seldom-

bought accessory in the late 1950's. 

 

Others can surely tell you more.

The choice of music you could listen to with Hi-Way Hi-Fi was very limited since those record players would only play special records that were available from Chrysler dealers. 

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Best bet is probably record the 78s you want or find them online and play them through a wireless speaker hidden in the glove box or on the floor. Much more portable and a lot harder to break!

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I bought several things from Amazon that allow a win 10 pc to convert 33/45/78 to mpegs. PM for a list

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2 hours ago, John_S_in_Penna said:

The ones I've heard of played at speeds

other than 78 r.p.m.  Chrysler Corporation

cars offered the "Hi-Way Hi-Fi" as a seldom-

bought accessory in the late 1950's. 

 

Others can surely tell you more.

Early "Hi-Way Hi-Fi's" were 16 2/3 RPM* and later ones were 45 RPM.

And yes, finding good 16 2/3 records can be difficult. Even that Jay guy called me years ago, but I didn't have any at the time to give him.

 

* I still recall a 16 2/3 RPM player a customer bought from one of the (allegedly) more reputable vintage automotive radio, etc sales/service/restoration specialist for car I was restoring for him at the time. It was supposed to have been "fully restored" and having seen the receipt with price paid, I thought it should've included box of NOS records and perhaps a sizable diamond or two, but no, not only it looked like something a 9 year old had spray can painted, (chromed) front cover was pitted to hell and the darn thing didn't run, let alone play anything. Told my apprentice/helper at the time to take it all apart, clean and strip everything, send the cover to chrome service while we figure out how to make it work (which we did since it wasn't rocket science).

 

 

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3 minutes ago, TTR said:

Early "Hi-Way Hi-Fi's" were 16 2/3 RPM* and later ones were 45 RPM.

And yes, finding good 16 2/3 records can be difficult. Even that Jay guy called me years ago, but I didn't have any at the time to give him.

 

* I still recall a 16 2/3 RPM player a customer bought from one of the (allegedly) more reputable vintage automotive radio, etc sales/service/restoration specialist for car I was restoring for him at the time. It was supposed to have been "fully restored" and having seen the receipt with price paid, I thought it should've included box of NOS records and perhaps a sizable diamond or two, but no, not only it looked like something a 9 year old had spray can painted, (chromed) front cover was pitted to hell and the darn thing didn't run, let alone play anything. Told my apprentice/helper at the time to take it all apart, clean and strip everything, send the cover to chrome service while we figure out how to make it work (which we did since it wasn't rocket science).

 

 

Are they similar to a 45 changer with more vibration damping? I wonder if any reproduction records could be custom pressed. There are a few vinyl pressing plants around.

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Up until 1928 90% of all phonographs were mechanically wound so no need for wiring. Table top unit could fit in the back seat, if you had one but, most were portable suitcase models to take to picnics, late night parking or dance parties...…

Every major manufacturer made them and most had record storage.

 

The records shown by supercub on his home record changer are from the early 1920's.

 

Shown below is an Edison 1930 portable one of only 2 models he made. 

 

Kurt M

unnamed.jpg

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The hand cranked portables are great for picnics and would match up to a 20 or 30s car. I have a bunch of the later 78s that were made into the 50s that I would use as they are more durable. Probably not practical for playing while driving but for parking listening. Maybe a custom made 50s look under dash unit using a kids portable battery operated as 6v motor, turntable and tapping into the car radio for sound with a higher grade cartridge.

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16 hours ago, AL1630 said:

Are they similar to a 45 changer with more vibration damping? I wonder if any reproduction records could be custom pressed. There are a few vinyl pressing plants around.

To my understanding, the 16 2/3 RPM and subsequent “groove design” were developed to better accommodate “unstable”(?) operational environment. I haven’t conducted any in-depth studies comparing them to 45 RPM automotive players.

I have some vintage car enthusiast friends in Europe with vinyl record presses and they produce vintage style R & R/Rockabilly 45s, but I’m not sure if any have ventured into 16 2/3s. 

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I’m from a era of 8 track tape deck, CB radio and shag carpet in every really classy motor home. But, going back further I remember dad had a wire recorder which used a spool of wire, dragged by a hand crank through a notched, connected to a steel plate diaphragm recorder head and speaker. As you turned the crank, the wire was unwound from one spool, passed through the recording head which used a notched attached to the other, and recorded whatever sounds was sent into the speaker come as notches cut into the wire.When rewound onto the original spool and then passed through the play back head, the notches vibrated the speaker diaphragm, and was heard as a fair reproduction of the sound recorded. It was not close to hi-if, but it is surprising it wasn’t improved upon to make a record impractical.

Edited by Jack Bennett (see edit history)
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