Webster-Chicago Wire Recorders were the basic manufacturers of this consumer format from 1947/8 to the early 1950s. This is one of a family of recorders using the same wire spool size which also included Silvertone Air King, Fidelitone, Pentron, Soundmagnet and Wiremaster.|
Wire containers Wire Reels
Webster type stainless-steel wire was sold on spools which, regardless of playing time, are the same diameter, about 2-3/4" and ¾" wide. One hour spools were filled to the edge while others occupied less space around the core. Some had the recording time stamped on the bottom of the spool.
Broken or tangled wires are not unusual. Sometimes I can fix broken
ones, but a mare's nest tangle of wire is hopeless and I don't work
on them. Fatal internal damage is often hidden by the outer winding
so sometimes I can only recover part of the recording. Though I
have rebuilt and recalibrated my machines, I make no guarantees
at all on wire restoration work.
At best, their fidelity is limited- perhaps medium quality AM.
There are defects in the design of many recorders which records
as hum. I reduce (but sometimes can't completely remove) it. Processing
time includes an initial playing and rewinding to remove or reduce
the accumulated kinks in the wire after many years on the spool.
COSTS: If there are no unusual problems, transfering a 15 minute
wire to the computer costs about $ 135, 30 minute $ 200, 1 hour,
$ 275. Making the first CD from the sound file is $ 30 and each
additional CD made at the same time is $ 20.
Microphone and machine electronic clicks from the off-on switches
can be louder than what was otherwise recorded. Removing or reducing
these takes about 1.5 times the playing time. Should this seem to
me be an intrusive problem, I'll notify you and let you decide if
the cost is worth the added clarity.
site ©2001 Steven Smolian rev. 1