I just use a 2" mayonnaise jar lid with a 1/4" hole (or whatever the diametre of a 33 spindle is) punched dead-centre. Seems to work well enough.
The RCA record changer used in the above Youtube post (as well as several others) is definitely NOT the sort of phonograph one would want to use to play an S1K record or any other. The non-counterweighted tonearm with ceramic cartridge (and, more than likely, oversized needle even for a stereo 33) has got to be like a plough running through the grooves.
It's often said that a 0.5 mil needle is required to play an S1K disk--yes and no. These records do have narrower grooves but this is accomplished by rolling off most of the bass and loudness, resulting in a fairly shallow cut compared to a conventional LP. This is also why the standard-issue disks tend to have a rather "flat" frequency response. In reality, the standard-issue S1K disks are produced similarly to how those awful K-Tel "30 cuts on one stereo LP" or old-time radio "single" mono LPs with a full 1/2 hour episode on each side, were made in later years. Thus, a S1K record can still be played with a standard counterweighted magnetic 0.7 mil LP needle, with perhaps a slightly lighter tracking force, and sound fine. Of course, any record can benefit from the greater compliance and tracking of a 0.5 mil needle, especially stereo LPs.
In the early '60s Seeburg did experiment with a primarily jazz-driven "extended range" format called "Encore", if I recall correctly, which had a deeper cut but a significantly shorter playing time as a result. The Rowe jukebox company (a major competitor to Seeburg) did the same thing with their compatible "Customusic" records. I don't know what sort of cut Muzak used during their brief S1K phase, but I imagine it wasn't too different from the regular Seeburg disks because of the very tight timing requirements they had at the time. 45 minutes (three 15-minute Muzak blocks in their "Stimulus Progression" format) fit nicely on one record side using the shallow "Seeburg cut".
But don't bother asking me what I had for dinner last night.
Posted on October 23, 2013 - 10:03 AM