How to transfer a 78 rpm record to a digital file?

I would like to know how to transfer one 78 rpm record (both sides) to a digital file.  As it is only one record, I don’t want to invest in equipment, and was hoping to find an individual or a service that could do this.

Here is the backstory:

My 85 year old father-in-law, Don, refinished antiques for most of his life. He has an old Victrola-style record console in his basement, with many old 78s in the storage compartment beneath it. While most of the records are not of much interest to him, one of them is the the Purdue alma mater sung by the Purdue glee club.  Don is a boilermaker, as is my wife and myself.  While he was is the hospital recently (he is doing much better now) he mentioned that he wanted to make sure my wife got this record if/when he dies. We found the record, but have no way of playing it, having gone all digital years ago.  I would consider buying a 78 compatible turntable, but my pre-amp is line stage only.

thinking it would be nice for him to hear this record while he still can.

can anyone point me in the right direction?

Thanks, Bill


I’ve done this a few times with historic recordings and it isn’t that complicated a task. You can use a conventional turntable and preferably an inexpensive 78 rpm stylus on a standard MM phono cartridge. You can take the preamp’s tape out into a laptop, but I make a CD-R using an Alesis Masterlink, then load that into my computer for editing. Many 78s aren’t that close to true 78 RPM, but you can clean that up in software - even if you did the transfer at 33 or 45 RPM. (That is where having a turntable motor controller such as the VPI SDS really helps, because you can dial the speed right in.)

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