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"16" speed on old record players?

This talk of iPods and CDs got me to thinking back when I was a kid. We had an old Curtis-Mathes console stereo (it actually sounded really good) that had a built-in record player. I wouldn't even go as far as to call it a turntable. Anyway, the record player had the choice of 4 different rpms. There was 33 and 45, of course and also 78 (we actually had a few "78" records), but is also had a "16" speed. I have never seen anything intended to be played at 16 rpm. What was up with that?
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:29 AM
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Re: "16" speed on old record players?

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Originally posted by IROC
.... I have never seen anything intended to be played at 16 rpm. What was up with that?
That speed was used back when 'ludes were popular
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:33 AM
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Heard a long time ago that 16 rpm's were mostly used for spoken words, like recorded books or learning a language. Never actually saw a disk though. Makes sense that you could get more mileage/content because of the slower speed, but probably at a lesser quality.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:37 AM
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Transcription speed.Programs were supplied to radio stations and broadcast at a real slow speed. I recall seeing some of these recordings when I was a kid....Aluminum disc coated with wax(?).
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:02 AM
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Very interesting. I never knew this...
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:15 AM
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I own one 16 rpm disc. It is a recorded spanish lesson, most probably from a set.

I have heard, as mentioned, that 16 was for spoken recordings. The slower your recording speed, the more inaccurate the playback - exactly analogous to high data compression settings. This was fine with voice, though, since spoken word doesn't have the range of a musical recording.
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I heard if you play old Beatles albums backwards at 16 rpm they sound like Al Franken campaign speeches.
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Old 02-16-2007, 11:41 AM
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16 was also used for private one off recordings
like a spoken letter, not very wide spred but a proposed idea on a new speed format that never really caught on
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Old 02-16-2007, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moneyguy1
Transcription speed.Programs were supplied to radio stations and broadcast at a real slow speed. I recall seeing some of these recordings when I was a kid....Aluminum disc coated with wax(?).
These are called 'accetates'. Its a hard wax that one can use for making a one off recording. But more commonly, its used as a step in the production processs of making the record. The accetates are the first masters that are cut from the original source material.

Not really used as much anymore, because many pressing plants are using Direct Metal Mastering (DMM). It skips the accetates.

I've produced some vinyl records before. Its a cool process
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Old 02-16-2007, 04:01 PM
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i think that the 16 rpm was to help me learn the laws of physics because i remember that i learned about coefficient of friction, as well as centripital and centrifugal force using that speed( as well as the concept of RPM). my toy cars would just fly off the skidpad on the higher speeds, but they would go roundy-round on 16 rpm.
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I've wondered what that meant too, as my record player (yes, I have one!) has a setting for 16 speed but I never knew what it was for.
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Old 02-17-2007, 08:37 AM
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