16" BBC Transcription Discs to CD and MP3 | Audio Restored

16" BBC Transcription Disc on EMT 950 Deck

PricesAudio SampleCleaningPost & Packing HintsBBC Transcription Disc Facts

Prices (basic cost to pro-clean & transcribe discs + manual restoration as required)

16″ BBC Transcription discs£16 / side
Manual restoration£30 per hour (pro-rata)

Audio Sample

16″ BBC Transcription Disc:


16 inch transcription discs are meticulously hand-cleaned before playing. Due to the over-sized nature of these discs, hand-washing is the only practical method of cleaning.







Note that this record was in a very bad state due to a build-up of palmitic acidic-salt deposits – effectively removed by washing with sodium bicarbonate and dilute ammonia solutions.

Post & Packing Hints

dreamstime_6133227dreamstime_613320916″ Transcription discs should be treated with great care when sending through the post. As with Acetate discs, every effort must be made to minimise the possibility of handling damage, especially given the oversized nature of the discs. Our advice would be to securely sandwich the record(s) between several pieces of strong cardboard, then wrap this in plenty of bubble wrap. This should then be placed inside a larger cardboard box, ideally filled with polystyrene shapes, to absorb any knocks and vibrations during transit. Please note: this advice is given on the understanding that we cannot accept responsibility for damage caused in the post – and as with all valuable items, you should arrange sufficient insurance to cover any potential loss.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and we recommend customers use recorded or special delivery, so that your package can be signed for and/or tracked.

We always use first class recorded delivery to return packages, unless we are instructed otherwise.

BBC Transcription Disc Facts

  • These were produced by the BBC from around 1947.
  • They were 33 1/3 rpm coarse-grooved discs, often tracking from the inside groove outwards, and they played for approximately 10 minutes per side.
  • They were mainly used to provide the content for half-hour radio broadcasts, and replaced the previously used 78 rpm 12 inch records (lasting 3-4 minutes per side), as they required less cueing effort by radio operators.
  • Containing much of the BBC’s radio output at the time, they were licensed by the BBC Transcription Services to overseas radio stations who were authorised to broadcast the programmes.
  • Although it was customary for the BBC to destroy copies of these 16 inch transcription discs after use, many still survive, and can be transferred to CD or other digital media such as mp3.

16" BBC transcription disc

16″ BBC Transcription discs are transferred to digital using the EMT 950 deck fitted with a Shure M44-7. The deck is modified to accommodate the oversized record and the appropriate diamond styli is used.

Given their age, remarkably good results can be obtained from these discs, as can be heard from the audio sample below.


Elberg MD12Use of the correct EQ curve is essential to get the best from these discs, as they were produced before the introduction of the RIAA equalization standard in the 1950s. An Elberg MD12 variable curve EQ preamplifier is used to achieve the correct EQ prior to further restoration and transfer to CD or other digital medium such as FLAC or mp3.


Contact us to discuss your requirements fully.