Vinyl Lovers: 78's?

How many vinyl lovers do we have here that listen to 78's?

I thought about this after reading some very scholarly debates on various subjects the other night, and realized 78's are *clearly* the way to go for vinyl. "They" made 'em right back in the old days, yessiree. Nice and thick, to be more resistant to the elements than the cheapo 45's and 33's that warp when the room temperature rises above 72 degrees. Hell, superconductors aren't as environmentally sensitive as most records made in the last 40 years!

I realized that because things like indiscernable amounts of vibration and the varying amperage in equipment due to "dirty" power have significant impact on sonics, record warps (even those too small to be visible to the naked eye) and the slightest bit of dust on a disc have a tremendous impact on sound. In fact, imperfections on vinyl (dust, warpage) must render a true high-end vinyl-based system competely useless. Wow, how frustrating is that?

So through the wisdom I have attained here at audiogon I have come to realize that although I haven't seen it discussed in the forums, the old, thick 78's are obviously the best vinyl made. Ha - I KNEW my continuing subscription to Audiogon would pay off!!

Just kidding folks. Seriously though, anyone listen to 78's? How do they sound compared to 33's and 45's?

One of my professors has about 5,000 78s. I enjoy listening to them greatly, but that's because of the music/performance and its historic significance, not the sound quality. Don't forget that recording technology, if not pressing technology, has come a long way since then, and you're not going to get noise-free, undistorted sound from something that was recorded in the 20s or 30s, or even the 40s. Still, they're damn fun to listen to, especially on a 1910 Gramophone!
I'll forgive the "vinyl" business --except for a few, they ain't vinyl but rather, shellac. Which is why, incidentally, you don't want to clean them with an alcohol-base solution: they'll melt!

Soundwise, they're all over the map. Some are really extraordinary, but most are not. Somehow, though, even the lesser ones can have a magic that draws you in while you listen through their limitations. Then, of course, every 3-4 minutes, you have to get up and change the record!

I have a parlor trick that never fails to amaze. Put on an Artie Shaw Gramercy Five CD and follow it with some of the same tracks on 78.
There's absolutely no contest about which sounds better (although it helps that the CD is one of the worst-sounding ever made).

There are tricks to reduce or eliminate surface noise, and the better the turntable setup (I use a 1962 Empire and Grado 78 cart), the better they'll sound. You can even tell the difference between turntable mats.

I have an old Victrola too and it IS fun to listen to. But there's a lot more music on 78s than most people think, and it's worth trying to make the most of it. Dave
If anyone in the L.I.N.Y area would like about 100 78s, email me. Ella, Sinatra, big band etc. Free. No Charge. Just pick them up.