I have a Sonora Phonograph and need needles- Where is the best place to get them online? Also can I play Edison records and other Columbia, Victor, and Decca records on them--? How do I tell if they are 78's or something else?
I didn't mean to create a poll - not sure whay it did that?
Last Edit: Dec 14, 2012 23:27:25 GMT -5 by cynthia
Hi! You might try the Talking Machine Forum, as they have an excellent list of suppliers (as well as discussion on the merits of the various brands of new steel needles).
As for your Sonora: does it have an attachment for vertical records? If so, you could possibly play Edison discs, provided you can get a properly sized diamond stylus for the machine. You can also get a sapphire stylus for vertical Pathés and a few other labels; although some verticals (like the early OKehs) used a steel needle.
You can generally recognize 78s from the width of the grooves, which are coarser than LPs or 45s. Edison Diamond Discs (not to be confused with the VERY rare Edison Lateral 78s) are easily recognizable, being extremely thick (about 1/4 inch). These have a much finer groove than 78s. Then there are, of course, the (also VERY rare) Edison LP Diamond Discs, which have grooves even finer than vinyl LPs.
One type of record you should definitely NOT play on an acoustic machine is the vinyl 78 of the 1950s: these were meant for lightweight electric pickups, and are far too soft for a steel needle.