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Disc Transcription Services

POPPY Records can offer a range of transcription services to CDR or other formats:
Transcription discs of all kinds


7", 10", 12", 13", 16" - up to 21"

Any speed

Lateral or vertical cut

Coarse groove or microgroove

Nitrate, 'acetate', cellophane or gelatine

Aluminium, glass, cardboard or galvanised iron

Centre or rim start

RIAA, Blumlein or BBC 'D' characteristics

Coupling sets & Demo discs

Undamaged, damaged or broken
(subject to examination)

Transcription disc

Discs come in a huge range of sizes from less than 3" (75mm) to more than 21" (533mm). During more than 100 years of existence they have been made from an incredible variety of material ranging from chocolate to galvanised iron. Much of the repertoire of commercial discs has already been re-issued, but direct-cut recordings are turning up all the time with historic material which needs to be copied before the discs become unplayable.

Most personal recordings were made on direct-cut discs which are based on a sheet of aluminium coated with lacquer. They are often referred-to a 'acetates' but this was a marketing ploy to disguise the fact that the lacquer is actually highly-flammable celluose nitrate (it is impossible to cut smooth grooves in cellulose acetate). Commercial records are recorded from the rim towards the centre, but broadcasting transcription discs sometimes began at the centre and played outwards.

The standard commercial speeds for coarse-grooved discs were 78 and 80 rpm. In broadcasting the speed of 33.33 rpm was often used (with 16" diameter discs) but 60 rpm is another standard for archival transcriptions from the 1930s to the 1950s. Many other speeds were used, ranging from 16.666 rpm for talking books to 120 rpm for Pathé 'Ice rink' discs. Even slower speeds were used for specialist dictating machine discs.

During recording, the lowest frequencies had to be reduced, to prevent the grooves from running into each other, this then was corrected on playback by a controlled degree of bass boost. Initially each company had its own ideas about the recording characteristic, so deciding on the correct playback characteristic is often a complex task (the logo on the label may not be that of the company which made the original recording). The BBC had its own system which requires special electronic circuitry to obtain the correct playback characteristic.

Poppy Records offers a copying service for individual customers and regularly undertakes larger projects for archival institutions. We have a wide range of specialist equipment which can handle all the variations described above and many more. In the unlikely event that we do not already have the equipment to cope with a paticular fomat, we can design and construct our own specialised playback equipment to suit the format.