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Singles - Mittelloch


Kleines Mittelloch – Abspielen in der Jukebox?

  Small centre hole - playing in a jukebox?
Ich habe einige Singles mit einem kleinen Mittelloch. Welche Möglichkeiten habe ich, diese in einer Jukebox abzuspielen?
Als erstes sollte überprüft werden, ob die Singles auf 33 oder 45 RPM laufen:
  • 33 RPM:
    Es gibt einige Modelle, die mit einem sog. Intermix bzw. Automix ausgestattet sind. Diese Jukeboxen ermitteln anhand der Lochgröße, mit welcher Geschwindigkeit der Plattenteller sich drehen muss. I.d.R. handelt es sich um Musikboxen der 60er Jahre. Bei einigen Modellen gab es das sog. Intermix oder auch Automix als Zusatzoption, z.B. Rock-Ola Empress, AMI Continental
    Standardmäßig vorgesehen für die Intermix-Funktion waren z.B.
    • Seeburg LPC, LPC480
    • NSM Festival 130D, Consul 130D, Hit 130D
    • Rock-Ola 418SA, 425
    • AMI Continental 2, JAL, JEL
    • Wurlitzer 3500LP


  • 45 RPM:
    Das Mittelloch muss vergrößert werden. Einige machen dies mit einem entsprechenden Aufsatz für einen Bohrständer. Eine Möglichkeit ist ein spezieller Kreisschneider.
    Hinweis: bitte bedenken Sie, dass die Single nach dem Herausschneiden des Mittellochs keinen Sammlerwert mehr hat. Das Label wird in jedem Fall unwiderruflich beschädigt.
  I have some records with small centre hole. Which options do I have to play them in a jukebox?
First check whether the reocrds are for 33 or 45 rpm:
  • 33 rpm
    There are some models which are equipped with a so called Intermix resp. Automix. These jukeboxes check by the hole size of the record which speed will be needed for the turntable. Usually these are models of the 1960s. For some models the Intermx or Automix was optional available, e.g. Rock-Ola Empress, AMI Continental.
    Standard with these Intermix-Feature had been for example
    • Seeburg LPC, LPC480
    • NSM Festival 130D, Consul 130D, Hit 130D
    • Rock-Ola 418SA, 425
    • AMI Continental 2, JAL, JEL
    • Wurlitzer 3500LP


  • 45 rpm:
    The centre hole needs to be enlarged. Some do this with an appropriate attachment for a drill machine. Another possibility is this particuliar
    Note: Please bear in mind that the record no longer has any collector's value after the centre hole has been cut out. The label will be irrevocably damaged in any case.



How a forgotten 1949 format war shaped the future of records


YouTube Video
(external site, opens in new window)


RCA describes development of the 45 RPM record (pdf)




7" records: Large centre holes vs. small ones – history

by Erwin Boot of Flamingo Records, AUS
Why do some juke boxes have large centre spindles, and some have small centre hole spindles on their turntable – actually why large (1 1/2" dia. centre hole), and why small centre hole (1/4 inch dia.) records?

Cast your mind back a few years when there was a “fight” between the Dutch electronics giant Philips and the Japanese giant Sony. Each had developed a video cassette recording/playing system and the potential profits from having “your” system accepted in the marketplace, were huge.
History shows that Philips won the fight even though the Sony Betamax system was technically superior.
Back in the late 1940’s, just after the war, records were the 10 inch, 78 rpm shellac version with the small 1/4 inch centre hole. Once the decks had been cleared from the war effort, the 2 main players in the recording business, RCA and Columbia in the USA, who were very competitive and hated each other commercially, each went their own way in trying to develop a new recording system and medium – the new medium being polyvinyl which would replace the brittle shellac.
The giant RCA corporation concentrated on developing the 7 inch 45 rpm record (in a project apparently called "Madame X"), and, as it turns out, Columbia’s R&D effort was directed towards long-playing 12 inch records spinning at 33 rpm.

In 1948, just before Columbia released their Microgroove LP format (played at 33 rpm), the chief of Columbia (William Paley) visited RCA on what was most probably a peace and co-operation mission. Columbia was prepared to share its Microgroove recording process with RCA, if the two could agree on other formats.
The story is that the RCA honcho (David Sarnoff) was livid when he learned from Paley that Columbia had pipped them at the post on the long play format, and according to one story, he called the RCA R&D chiefs in and berated them in front of Paley. He also pressed on with RCA’s own format for the single, which for reasons not exactly clear, but most probably to ease centering on automatic turntables, had the large centre hole. RCA-Victor tried valiantly to retrieve something from the R&D disaster and for some years afterwards, they manufactured record players which only had the large hole spindle and which would therefore not play Columbia LP’s with the small centre hole. This meant that if you wanted to play the latest pop records, limited to about 4 minutes a side, you had to have an RCA-Victor turntable.

Because RCA’s format did not allow long play records of up to 20 minutes a side, and because the public was enthusiastic about being able to play up to about 20 minutes of music before having to change a record, eventually RCA succumbed to market forces and started producing (as other manufacturers had already done), record players with removable spindles so as to allow both formats of records (and both 33 and 45 rpm speeds) to be played.

There’s a lot more to the story, but very briefly, that is why we have the 2 different formats of 45’s around the world. The USA, Canada, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, generally, but not necessarily exclusively stayed with large centre holes, and at that time, the UK, Ireland, Holland, South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden cruised with the small hole format.

Small hole records can be "dinked" - that is, have the centre enlarged by a "dinking tool" (I will send a series of photos of this later!) and large centre holes records can be adapted for use on a turntable which plays only small hole records, with the fitting of an adapter (sometimes called a "spider".

During the 1960's, most American juke box manufacturers developed an Autoplay type system where a sensor arrangement in the turntable's spindle, sensed whether the record which had been placed on the deck had a large or a small centre hole, and if it sensed a large centre hole, it brought up a movable hub (operated by a solenoid) to fill the centre hole of the record and provide the grip to the record to avoid wow and flutter due to slippage.

One complicating factor to the up and down centre hub arrangement, was that some record companies produced 7 inch records, usually Extended Plays (EP's) of 2 or more tracks each side which were to be played at 33 rpm (not 45 rpm)!

The manufacturers again accommodated this novelty (or feature?) by providing a speed change system where another solenoid would move the juke's idler wheel up or down the stepped turntable spindle where a selection was made in a certain row of 10 selections, but generally these two facilities added too much to the service problems in the jukes at that time, and most juke box operators operated their jukes only on all large or all small centre hole records, and the EP facility was generally not favoured by operators and the EP's for juke boxes ceased to be after a few years.

The German manufacturers NSM and Deutsche Wurlitzer both developed a record-centering ("spearing") mechanism which allowed the juke to play either format hole record, i.e. large or small centre hole were accommodated within the one mechanism, and dinking or fitting adapters is not usually necessary on late model NSM's and Wurlitzer jukes.


Die Angaben haben keinen Anspruch auf Vollständigkeit oder Richtigkeit.
Bei den (importierten) Boxen können im Laufe der Jahre durchaus Veränderungen vorgenommen worden sein. Copyright.

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