History of recordings: guide to 78s and early LPs
To understand the sound that comes from early recordings it is important to understand how they were made.
These pages offer introductions by Roger Beardsley on how 78rpm discs were recorded, to handling them and playing them today, and to making trustworthy modern transfers. Roger has also provided information on waxes, shells and stampers, which helps to explain the manufacture of the discs themselves; on defects in records, understanding which can help with noise reduction; and advice on selecting the best playback speed.
There are also documents from the early days, including Maxfield & Harrison's classic 1926 paper on electrical recording (10.5MB), and Columbia's 1930 instructions on the conduct of recording expeditions (5.4MB).