Photo Courtesy of Glen Mullaly
Yesterday, I posted a little piece on Global Adapters by Phonographic Unlimited and it got me thinking about 45 adapters. Yeah, we don’t think of them much. Most people don’t want to bother with little 2 sided records with big holes in them. You need an adapter, or more specifically a “centering device for phonographic records” aka a plastic insert or spider to make them work on a regular turntable, and who wants to deal with that? I do.
Those of us who dig for 45’s have found plenty of them: the solid (but lightweight) metal from Webster of Chicago and Kay Music Company from NY, the triangle shaped ones, the wagon wheels from a Massachusetts company, and last, but certainly not least, the Recotcon snake design in yellow, red, blue, etc. which has been prevalent since the 1960’s (and the most common). I remember one point, as a kid my Dad brought back this Panasonic stereo receiver and turntable from his days in Vietnam. The turntable had this weird, 2 1/2″ rectangle device that sat atop the turntable spindle. It was just wide enough to put the 45 on. I haven’t thought about that in a while. See what I mean here. There was another adapter that looked like California, which was totally bizarre. When I got heavy into 45’s I tried a whole bunch of them: From the original adapter that comes with the Technics 1200’s (which I do not recommend because they get stuck on every damn record tightly) to the tall, colorful, plastic cones (much too light, hard to scratch with) to the heavier Aztec pyramid type ( a little heavy for my taste, but work). The bullet shape always looked nice, and I remember seeing a Jamaican DJ playing 45’s with super tall wooden adapters (which I have had a hard time tracking down). This guy pulled the most amazing records out of an old suitcase full of classic Dancehall stuff. I couldn’t figure out what I was more impressed with, the adapters or that damn suitcase. I even went as far to buy the Turntable Lab hard plastic slip mats (with a smaller rubber slip mat for 45’s which were supposed to help you scratch with and not have to bring your own adapter). For me, they do not work well, unfortunately, but these do, Dr. Suzuki Slipmats: The Donuts. It’s a 12 ” slipmat with another 7″ slip mat on top. It allows you to put a sturdy, metal 45 adapter on top for scratching, cueing, etc. I used these once when I spun at Kevin Coombe’s Moneytown party in DC. These things work like a champ. Out of stock on TTL, I’d love to get my hands on those things when they are available again.
So, I guess it’s really up to you in what 45 adapter style you like. If you’re just playing 45’s for your own pleasure, and can take your time, I’m sure you could get away with just about any of the aforementioned adapters. If you’re DJing, scratching, etc., you may want to go with the taller/ heavier versions, or the Donuts slipmats (provided you can get your hands on them). However, I did stumble on these beauties, which are tall, round, made of wood, and nice and shiny. A bespoke accessory for sure, but who doesn’t want to style out their record playing like a Kanye West video? These may not make your record sound better, but they sure will look good. Keep Diggin’!