Version: March 14, 2004

Tim Brooks

The simplest way



This setup from the mid-1970's must be just about as simple as it can get. Just take a cylinder player without its reproducer, and a gramophone tone arm. That is, don't even remove the tone arm from the turntable, just swing it out to the side and let the stylus track the grooves of the cylinder by itself. A stereo cartridge with a 78 rpm stylus will give a decent sound from a Blue Amberol without further modification.

To improve on the player, you can rewire the cartridge for vertical readout and equip it with a larger stylus for cylinders with wider pitch than 200 grooves/inch.

Tim Brooks was surprised how well this arm would track after some nudging with the relative positioning of the arm and cylinder drive. After my own experience with the same arm, I would not agree. But then this was 1975, and any comparison would be with acoustical phonographs.

Christer Hamp, 2004

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