David, that is really interesting and I did not know anything about this aspect of ‘record playing’. I looked it up and found you to be 100% correct. The reason for the changing the needle so frequently is by design – the needles are soft metal designed to wear away because the filler used to make the record was 75% limestone & slate!
So now the question begs if this is true for the ACG records used in the talking stations? Either way, a record has limited playings and the 755 I got as a kid has been played and played. And to make matters worse, I remember replacing the needle with one of my mom’s sowing needles several times… talk about wear.
Now I have a granddaughter who will be old enough to push buttons next Xmas and I would like her to enjoy the sounds just like her mother before her did and her grandfather before that. I’m sure I will go with the digital version (and probably the one with all 4 announcements) and break out my whistling billboard to add to my Dept 56 Xmas layout for her.
This has been interesting for me and I thank everyone who offered info,