RE-EQUALIZER - Esoteric Sound
OPERATING MANUAL
FOR
ESOTERIC SOUND
RE-EQUALIZER
PRICE; $5.00
INSTRUCTIONS FOR OPERATION OF ESOTERIC SOUND RE-EQUALIZER
INTRODUCTION:
Today's m odern audiophile equipm ent ca n som etim es be frustratin g to owners of o ld re cords, e specially
wh en their co llection includes m any old 78's or old m ono Lp's. All m odern pream ps are designed solely
for today's microgroove, RIAA equalized recordings.
In the 195 0's, alm ost all pream plifiers inc luded se lector switches having se vera l different RECORD
COMPENSTIONS. Occasionally, on the more expensive units, this function was divided among two
switches labeled TURNO VER and ROLLOFF. These terms should be explained: Turnover refers to the
bass boost that must be applied in the preamp to compensate for the purposeful diminishment of bass
during record cutting to avoid crosscutting of the grooves. Rolloff refers to the treble loss the preamp
must provide to compensate for high frequency boost applied during record cutting. The benefit of the
latte r is a red uction of s urface noise during play.
Up until 1954, there were a variety of
recording characteristics applied to records
as they were being cut, such as AES, LP,
NAB and FFRR . Actually, most of these
compensations have use only for records of
a relatively brief period, say between 1940
and 195 4. Before 194 0, mo st records we re
cut flat with only a low frequency turnover of
6 db per octave below frequencies below
from 300 Hz to 8 00 H z. This also app lied to
broadcast recordings(transcriptions) and
Vitaphone type recordings us ed before
sound-on-film . Therefore, if you play a
pre-W W II 78 rpm rec ord on a m odern
preamp, you are actually effectively playing
it with a scratch filter whose cutoff begins at
2200 Hz. This accounts for the lack of highs
and slightly m uffled voice s ex perience d with
these records. Of course, after 1954 all records were cut to the RIAA characteristic.
One way of dealing with the equalization problem is to use a graphic equalizer, but it is very difficult to get
acc urate resu lts by this m etho d. An othe r way of dealing w ith the re cord co m pen sation prob lem is to
modify your modern stereo preamp with an equalization switch for both RIAA and other compensations.
This is probably the best way to handle the problem, but it may spoil the cosmetics of your $1000 preamp.
There is also the problem of what to do with tape recordings made off of modern RIAA compensated
phono amplifiers. They will suffer from the frequency response distortion caused by the RIAA amplifier
and they cannot be p layed through the phono input of a sp ecial or antique record am plifier.
Because of these problems, the RE-EQUALIZER was designed. It is used after the RIAA phono stage,
and connects to the system just like a comm on graphic equalizer. It will then compensate any signal
source for proper equalization. The RE-EQUALIZER allows the use of any phono amplifier and will not
deg rade the perform anc e of a ny aud iophile unit.
Page #1
Figure 1
CONNECTION:
The RE-EQUALIZER should be connected to the stereo system just like any other auxiliary sound
processing component. De-clickers, such as the Packburn 323 or Esoteric Sound SURFACE NO ISE
REDUCER must always precede the RE-EQUALIZER. If tape recording is not used, connect the REEQUALIZER in the tape monitor path. If tape recording is desired, connect the RE-EQUALIZER in the
tape monitor path(Fig. 1) and use a "Y" connector to feed its (or associated equipment's) output to an
unused "Au x" in put. Tape playback w ill be via this "Au x" in put. W ith th e tape m onitor switch ed in, you will
hear via your speakers the sound that is being processed.
If your preamp/am p/receiver does not have a separate "Aux" input, eliminate the "Y" connectors and
connect directly into the recorder, and connect the recorder's output to the amp's "Tape In." Then for
normal listening of Re-Equalized or otherwise processed sound monitor the tape recorder. If the tape
recorder has a "Monitor" switch, it must be in "Source" to do this.
CONT ROLS:
The front panel has three controls: Turnover, Rolloff, and Bypass. The Turnover has six positions: FLAT,
300 Hz, 400 Hz, RIAA, Lp, and 700 Hz. The Rolloff also has six positions: FLAT, -5 db, -10 db, -12 db,
RIAA, NAB. The BYPASS switch provides a hard wire connection from input to output with no intervening
circuitry. W hen switc hed to “IN ,” the tw o inputs a re connected togeth er pro viding m ono operation . This
reduces some noise and facilitates recording.
Page #2
Turnover (FLAT) - Use this setting for most acoustical 78 rpm records and all cylinders.
Tu rnov er (300 H z) - This is used for Columbia brand and manufactured electrical records, London FFRR
78's, B BC bro adcast transc ription s, m any pre -W W II records & transcriptions, early W estern Electric
products.
Turnover (400 Hz))(AES) - Some post-W W II 33's, 45's, 78's using the AES characteristic.
Turnover (500 Hz)(RIAA) - Most post-1935 US 78's, b roadcast transcription s and also fo r O rthoacoustic
and NAB transcriptions.
Turnover (500 Hz, modified)(Lp) - For early Columbia and some other Lp's.
Tu rnov er (700 H z) - A go od c om prom ise for 636 Hz and 8 00 H z sug ges ted by seve ral sources. U se w ith
som e early electrical 78's, s om e 1931 vinta ge Victor Lps, e arly 1950's R CA Lps and EP 45's. Als o, it is
useful for impro ving bass on a coustical records, provided there is a sharp rum ble filter.
Rolloff (0dB)(FLAT) - For aco ustical records and all early (pre -193 8) electrical 78's and tra nsc riptions . A
low-pass(scratch) filter is useful in conjunction with this setting.
Rolloff (-5 dB) - This is for a -5 db drop at 10 KHz. Use for some post-1938 78's, FFRR 78's and BBC
transcriptions or to soften noise on early recordings.
Rolloff (-10 dB) - This is for a -10 db drop at 10 KHz. Use for some post-1938 78's, early Lp's such as
London & RC A-Victor.
Rolloff (-12 dB)(AES) - This is used for some post W W II 33's, 45's, and 78's employing the AES
characteristic.
Rolloff (-13.7 dB)(RIAA) - For most modern records.
Rolloff (-16 dB)(NAB) - For early Columbia Lp's and all NAB and Orthoacoustic transcriptions.
REC OM M END ED S ETT INGS (see tables):
These are recomm ended, but not written in stone, for setting the RE-EQUALIZER to accurately play back
various records. As documentation of recording curves is difficult to track down, some experimentation
m ay be called for.
Tables for record compensation settings were published in most early hifi magazines (“Dialing You Discs”
in High Fidelity) but are often fa llacious . These turn up oc cas ionally and m ay be c ons ulted. In
"Conversations With Toscanini," by B. H. Haggin, many subjective suggestions are given for playback of
Toscanini discs.
HINTS ON USE:
One advantage of the RE-EQUALIZER is the ability to not only use it on phono records, but on tape
recordings of vintage records made with RIAA equalized preamps. Be careful not to trust all transcription
and record labels. Many pre-W W II radio shows which were recorded with flat highs were re-syndicated
Page #3
again in the late 40's and 50's. As the original masters were normally used, the re-release will require the
flat Rolloff even though the label states NAB or Orthoacoustic! This is also true for post-WW II 78's. Take a
RCA-Vic tor 78 of G lenn M iller, which was originally rec orded in the 30's on Bluebird or Victo r, and you will
find that a Ro lloff of F LAT or -5 will suffic e. M any of the com pensato r settin gs specified in va rious old
tables would have stated that -10, or the AES setting was the proper Rolloff to use. Try playing many Lp
reissues of 78's, as on RCA Bluebird, with the Flat Rolloff position and you will be in for a pleasant
surprise.
Also, many small recording company and radio station engineers seemingly didn't understand recording
and playback curves and often employed no pre-emphasis on recordings labeled as NAB. This has been
found to occur comm only, even on discs cut into the 1960's!
You may find many discs that do not fit the tables or discs that do but for whom the table is ambiguous.
On these, you will have to let your ear be your guide and also try to determine if the manufacturer could be
W estern Electric, Columbia, or non-US. These tended to use 300 HZ Turnover. Listening to the material
will often suffice to impres s you whether to use 3 00 Hz or 500 Hz. Onc e the low end is determ ined try
various Rolloffs. Almost all early electrical recordings were recorded with flat response. If noise proves a
problem try m ore than the recom m ended R olloff.
W hen playing older or abused rec ords that require less R olloff, i.e ., Flat, -5, -10, a significant increase in
noise level will often be noticed due to surface noise. In these cases, a high frequency, lo-pass, hi-cut, or
"scratch" filter is recomm ended. Don't forget that when playing a flat cut record with an RIAA preamp, you
are actually effectively using a scratch filter that is some 13.7 db down at 10 KHz. On these types of
records, with let's say a 7.5 KHz scratch filter and the RE-EQUALIZER set to F LA T, you will be gaining in
highs be twee n 2.2 KH z and 7.5 K hz. Altho ugh the scratch filter is e m ployed , its use in com bination with
the RE-EQUALIZER will result in significantly more highs than with a standard RIAA preamp and not using
the filter.
W hen playing vertical-cut records, s uch as E dison or P athe , be sure to switch on e pa ir of lead s (no n-ea rth
ground) of a stereo cartridge used for play. If this is not done, the channels will largely cancel when the
RE-EQUALIZER is switched to “IN,” resulting in very low volume.
SPECIFICATIONS:
Max input s ignal level:
TH D at m ax o utpu t :
Freque ncy Resp onse (R IAA com pensa tion):
Gain:
Signal-to-N oise relative m ax o ut:
3.5 volts (+12 dbm)
0.02%
20 - 2 0 KH z + .5 db
1
85 db
HELP SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
Please inform Esoteric Sound of any errors that you find in the equalization tables. If you have any
additional equalization inform ation, please bring it to our attention so that it can be included in the future
updates.
**** WAR RAN TY ****
This unit is warrante d to perform pro perly for on e year from date of pu rchase. All parts a nd labor is
covered. Sh ould the unit malfunction, return it properly packed, and with paymen t of $10.00 to cover return
postage, and it will be repaired and returned as soon as possible.
Foreign purchasers are requested to remove the RE-EQUALIZER from its cabinet (if purchased) and
return the unit along with payment of $40.00 via surface shipping. W e will return the unit via the same
process.
Page #4
PHONOGRAPH RECORD EQUALIZATION COMPENSATION SETTINGS
MANUFACTURER
SPEED
BASS (TURNOVER)
TREBLE (ROLLOFF)
==============================================================================================
Acoustic records*
All
FLAT
FLAT
AFRS Transcriptions
AFRS 12" Transciptions
1944 Some or if NAB Stated
33
RIAA
700
RIAA
Allegro
33
Lp
NAB
Allied
33
RIAA
NAB
American Recording Society (<E2KP9607)
33
RIAA
-12
Angel (<35022)#
33
RIAA
-12
Arizona (up till 1955)
33
400
-12
Artist
78
RIAA
NAB
Atlantic
33
RIAA
NAB
Audiophile
Audiophile
33
78
RIAA
400
-12
FLAT
Audio Fidelity (901-903)
33
RIAA
NAB
Bach Guild (501-529)
33
Lp
NAB
Balkan
78
500
Banner (up to 10002)
33
Lp
NAB
Bartok
Bartok (301-304, 309, 906-920)
33
33
Lp
700
NAB
NAB
71.29
FLAT
FLAT
BBC Transcriptions
BBC Transcriptions (1949)
33
33
300
500
FLAT
-5
Bluebird
All
See RCA-Victor
See RCA-Victor
Blue Note
33
400
-12
Boston (up to B202)
33
Lp
NAB
Brunswick (1925)
Brunswick (1946)
Brunswick (up to MG4400)(early “T”)
78
78
33
300
LP
LP
FLAT
NAB
NAB
Caedmon
Caedmon (1001-1022)
33
33
700
700
-12
NAB
Canyon (to C6160)
33
400
-12
Capitol(FDS)
Capitol*
Capitol(FDS) (up to P8155)
Capitol(1953,FDS>8156)
Capitol-Telefunken
Capitol-Cetra (up to A-50155)(9/53)#
78
45
33
All
78
33
400
RIAA
400
RIAA
RIAA
400
-12
-12
-12
RIAA
FLAT
-12
Cetra-Soria
33
Lp
Berliner*
Page #5
FLAT
FLAT
NAB
-5
NAB
MANUFACTURER
SPEED
BASS (TURNOVER)
TREBLE (ROLLOFF)
=================================================================================================
Colosseum
33
400
-12
Columbia-1925
Columbia-1938
Columbia-1948
Columbia-1948*
Columbia-1948 (up to ML4895, XLP3200)#
Columbia-1954 (after XLP3200 matrix)#
Columbia with “HIFI+” sticker **
78
78
78
45
33
All
All
300
300
300
RIAA
Lp
RIAA
RIAA
FLAT
-5
NAB
NAB
NAB
RIAA
RIAA
Columbia(English) (1925-53)
1949-1953 (XA561-XAX817-1N,2N only)
78
33
300
RIAA
FLAT
FLAT
Contemporary
33
400
-12
78
33
33
33
33
33
RIAA
Lp
700
400
RIAA
RIAA
-5
NAB
-10
-12
-10
RIAA
Contemporary (3501, 2501/2/5/7, 2001/2
(2504)
(after AP121)
33
33
33
400
RIAA
RIAA
-12
NAB
RIAA
Cook
Cook(binaural-inside band)
33
33
RIAA
RIAA
-12
FLAT
Coral (up to MG4400)(w/raised matrix)
Coral
33
78
700
400
-5
-12
Cylinder records*
All
FLAT
FLAT
Decca (US)(pre 1946)
Decca (1946)
Decca*
Decca (up to MG4400)(w/raised matrix)
78
78
45
33
300
RIAA
RIAA
700
FLAT
NAB
-5
-5/-10
Decca-English
Decca-FFRR (1944)
Decca-FFRR (after 6/50)
(>ARL1173)#
(>ARL2530)#
78
78
33
33
33
300
300
RIAA
Lp
RIAA
FLAT
-5
FLAT
-10
RIAA
DGG (Deutsche Grammophone)
33
78
Lp
300
-10
-5
Dial
Dial*
Dial
33
45
78
Lp
Lp
Lp
Edison
80
FLAT
FLAT
Electra (2-15, 18-20, 24-26)
(17, 22)
(16, 21, 23, 24)
33
33
33
700
400
RIAA
NAB
-12
RIAA
Electrical 78's (general) (1925-1938)
1932-1938
1938-1946
1947-1954
78
78
78
78
300
300/RIAA
300/RIAA
300/RIAA
FLAT
FLAT
FLAT, -5
NAB
Electrola
78
700
-10
Concert
Concert
Concert
Concert
Concert
Concert
Hall
Hall
Hall
Hall
Hall
Hall
(XTV matrix to 20386)
(E0 matrix)
(E1KP/E2KP matrix)
(CH matrix?)
(E2RP>4095/E2KP>9607)
Page #6
NAB
NAB
NAB
MANUFACTURER
SPEED
BASS (TURNOVER)
TREBLE (ROLLOFF)
=================================================================================================
EMI (1931-53)
78
300
FLAT
1949-1953
33
RIAA
FLAT
7/17/53
33
RIAA
RIAA
EMS
33
400
Epic
33
Lp
Esoteric (ES500, 517, EST5, 6)
(E2KP to 9607)
33
400
RIAA
-12
-12
European 78's (general)
78
300
-5
Festival
33
Lp
NAB
Folkways
33
Lp
NAB
Fraternity Records (up to F-1013)
33
RIAA
FLAT
Good Time Jazz (3, 9-19)
(1, 5-8)
33
33
400
RIAA
-12
-16
Gramophone
78
300
-10
Handel Society
33
Lp
NAB
Haydn Society (<XTV20386, HS3062, HS80)#
33
Lp
NAB
Hit Of The Week
78
RIAA
-5
Home recordings
33/78
RIAA
-5
78
33
33
300
RIAA
RIAA
FLAT
FLAT
-12
71.29
FLAT
FLAT
Kapp (up to 1001)
33
700
NAB
Kendall
33
RIAA
NAB
Keynote
78
RIAA
FLAT
King
78
RIAA
NAB
Linguaphone
78
300
FLAT
L'Oiseau-Lyre (up to OL50018)#
33
Lp
-10
London (pre 1945)
London-FFRR (after 1944)
London-FFRR (after 6/1950)
(>ARL1173)#
(>ARL2530)#
78
78
33
33
33
300
300
RIAA
RIAA
RIAA
FLAT
-5
FLAT
-10
RIAA
Lyricord (before 1953)(E0-E3 matrix)
(XTV matrix)
(If 629 listed on jacket)
33
33
33
400
Lp
700
-12
NAB
NAB
Majestic
78
RIAA
NAB
Mercury (MG10000 series-approx fit)
Mercury (thru 10/54, <MG50026, 7000)#
33
33
500
400
HMV(English)
1925-1953
1949-1953 (2XEA213-392 -1N,2N only)
HMV(American-1951)
Improved Record (Eldridge R. Johnson)*
Page #7
-12
NAB
-10
-12
MANUFACTURER
SPEED
BASS (TURNOVER)
TREBLE (ROLLOFF)
=================================================================================================
Mercury*
45
400
-12
Mercury
78
400
-12
MGM (up to E3071)#
MGM*
MGM
33
45
78
RIAA
RIAA
RIAA
-12
-12
-12
Montilla
33
RIAA
-12
Musicraft
78
700
RIAA
33/78
33/78
RIAA
400
NAB
NAB
New Records
33
Lp
NAB
Nocturne (LP 1-3, 5, XP 1-10)
33
400
Oceanic (up to XTV20386)
33
Lp
NAB
Odeon
Odeon(some early electrical)
Odeon(pre-1947)
33
78
78
300
700
300
-10
FLAT
FLAT
Okeh(electrical)
78
300
FLAT
33/78
RIAA
NAB
Overtone (1-3) (up to XTV20386)
33
Lp
NAB
Oxford
33
Lp
NAB
Pacific Jazz (1-13)
33
400
-12
Parlophone
1947-1954
pre-1947
1947-1954
33
78
78
300
300
300
-10
FLAT
-10
Period (up to 576)#
33
RIAA
Philharmonia
33
400
-12
Polydor
Polydor
33
78
300
300
-10
-10
Polymusic
Polymusic(binaural-inside band)
33
33
RIAA
RIAA
NAB
FLAT
Rachmaninoff Society
33
Lp
71.29
76.59-78
78
33
78
78
78
78
33/45
33/45
33/45
FLAT
FLAT
300
700
300/RIAA
RIAA
RIAA
300
700
RIAA
RIAA
33
RIAA
NAB/NARTB transcriptions
NAB/NARTB vertical transcriptions
Orthoacoustic transcriptions
RCA-Victor
Early Acoustics*
Later Acoustics*
1925
1931(Program Transcription)
1935
1938-1954
1954 (New Ortho only)
1930-50 (European)
1949 (D9 to EOLRC3980)#
1950-8/52 (>E0LRC3981)#
8/52(New Orthophonic)(>E2RP4094)
Remington (up to 199-135)#
Page #8
-12
NAB
NAB
FLAT
FLAT
FLAT
FLAT
-5
-5
RIAA
FLAT
-10
-12
RIAA
NAB
MANUFACTURER
SPEED
BASS (TURNOVER)
TREBLE (ROLLOFF)
=================================================================================================
Riverside
33
400
-12
Renaissance
33
Lp
Stradivari
33
Lp
NAB
Supraphone
78
400
FLAT
Technicord
78
700
-12
Telefunken
78
400
-5
Tempo
33
RIAA
NAB
33/78
33
33
RIAA
300
400
FLAT
-5
NAB
Transradio
33
Lp
NAB
Ultraphone
33/78
400
FLAT
Urania-old (up to XTV20386)
Urania-later (<E2KP9607)
Urania-late 1954 (>E2KP9607)
33
33
33
RIAA
400
RIAA
NAB
-12
RIAA
Vanguard (411-422, 6000-6018, 7001-7011,
8000-8004, (up to XTV20386)
33
Lp
NAB
Vox (up to XTV20386), PL8400)#
33
RIAA
NAB
War Department-Special Services - 12"
33
700
-5
Westminster (EO matrix)
Westminster (up to E2KP9607)
Westminster (up to XTV20386)
33
33
33
700
400
Lp
10
-12
NAB
Victor
All
See RCA-Victor
See RCA-Victor
Vitaphone(motion picture)
33
300
FLAT
Vocalion(electrical)
78
300
FLAT
Western Electric(early transcripions)
33
300
FLAT
78
71.29
300
FLAT
FLAT
FLAT
All
RIAA
RIAA
Transcriptions(many pre-WWII)
Transcriptions(vertical-old)
Transcriptions(vertical-NAB)
Zonophone
Zonophone (early)
RIAA, Ortho, New Ortho, New NARTB, New
AES used on recordings since 1955
Notes:
*
**
#
-12
On some recordings with very thin bass, such as 45 rpm EP's and acoustics, 700 Hz Turnover
may be used with appropriate rumble filter.
Sometimes, one side has old matrix number, the other new. There are two Eqs.
These are approximate record numbers circa adoption of RIAA
Sources:
McIntosh Laboratory, C-8, C-22 Manuals.
High Fidelity Magazine, Dialing Yor Discs, 1953-57.
Fisher Master Audio Control 80-C operating manual.
Pickering Record Compensator manual.
Packburn 323A operating manual.
Source Engineering Specialist Preamplifier operating manual.
Page #9
Western Electric 9A reproducer manual.
RCA Universal Tone Arm And Filter Kit MI-11870 manual.
Radiotron Designer’s Handbook.
The Recording and Reproduction of Sound, Oliver Read, 1952.
Radio & Television News, Charles Boegli, 1953.
Getting the Best from Records, Wireless World, February, 1940, P. G. A. H. Voigt.
Preamplifier Switching and Equalizing Unit for Critical Listening, M. V. Kiebert, Audio, 1952.
Evolution of a Recording Curve, R. C. Moyer, Audio, 1953.
Professional Equalizing-Preamp Suitable for Home Use, K. W. Betsh, Audio, 1957.
Letter from E.C. Forman to John M. Kaar, 1935.
Drawing KRD-1384, from letter of H. I. Reiskind of RCA to John M. Kaar, 12-10-49.
Personal correspondence from Emery Cook, 1987.
Letter from V. C. Houk of RCA to John M. Kaar, 10-26-48.
Letter from H. I. Reiskind of RCA to John M. Kaar, 4/11/50.
Personal correspondence and articles from Peter Copeland, 2002.
FREQUENCY RESPON SE OF RE-EQUALIZER FOR VARIOU S SETTING S OF TURN OVER AN D ROLLOFF
Esoteric Sound
1608 Hemstock Ave.
W heaton, IL 60187
630-933-9801
E-Mail: [email protected]
Page #10
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