Getting the best sound out of your 78s | Mark Berresford RARE RECORDS | Mark Berresford

Getting the best sound out of your 78s

The question I’m probably most asked about playing 78s is “What size stylus do you use?” Well, the answer is actually not one, but several, of different radii and profiles. However the bulk of pre- and post-war 78s can be played with just two different-sized styli. A 0.0028” full conical stylus will play most acoustic and electric 78s, and for pre-1935 Victors and HMVs, a 0.0035” full conical will get the best out of those deep, wide boomy-bass grooves. Dependent on the breadth and age of your 78s, you may need more - a lot of early acoustic 78s like a small radius stylus - 0.0024” or even 0.002” on some records made on the legendary Gennett label at their Richomond, Indiana studios - think King Oliver’s Creole Jazz Band, the Wolverine Orchestra, Jelly Roll Morton’s piano solos, Whistler’s Jug Band and many more. A few years back I co-authored an article with Ron Geesin that appeared in Vintage Jazz Mart magazine, and its contents are still accurate and pertinent. The world’s leading suppliers are still Expert Stylus Company in Surrey, England - if you do contact them please mention my name!  Click HERE to see the full article.