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PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 6:38 am 
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Yeah, those cheap "one tube wonders" are just what the name implies - cheap kids record players that were never meant to reproduce anything close to hi-fi (despite the "high fidelity" wording that was often printed on them). They were made, in various forms, from the late '30's until the early '70's. Once tubes fell out, the same concept was used with solid state amplifiers. They often sold for $10-$15 new and their main purpose was to play children's story records.

And, I don't expect to get "hi-fi" sound out of this old 78 rpm record player. I'd just like to get the volume level up to what it was with the original crystal cartridge.

If you want a record player with better sound quality, look for something that has a built in preamp stage and push-pull output (two output tubes) would be even better. Generally, the more tubes that are in the amp, the better. And, the inclusion of a power transformer on the amp usually indicates a better product.


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PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 6:42 am 
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And, the same single tube amps were even paired with some models that contained an automatic record changer and when stereo came along, the concept was expanded to use two tubes (one for each channel) with both of them being driven by a high output stereo crystal cartridge. Most of the stereo players were so cheap that they had seperate left and right volume controls and there may or may not be a tone control. Usually, the tone control consisted of a potentiometer and a capacitor, which was wired in the plate circuit of the output tube, and all it really did was cut the high frequencies.


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PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 7:08 am 
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You're right! I'm on the nostalgia train. I found something that I thought was cool and expected more from it than it was capable of producing. I need to think more about that before I do it again. My first stereo was a hand me down from my older brother, it was a small Zenith console,missing the TT, about four feet long, with eight inch speakers. I bought a cheap Garrard TT and hooked up some crappy Ampex speakers to the external jacks, and thought I was an audiophile. :lol: I don't remember much about it, except that it threw off a lot of heat and sounded better than a portable Aiwa am/fm/cassette player I had, that had seen it's better days. I'm hoping to come across something small like that. Too bad, there isn't a place you could go to hear what something would sound like before you thought about buying it. I read about all of the cool players and consoles on here and I start to drool. One of these days, I hope to find something I can work on that will satisfy my need for nostalgia and meet my expectaions for sound. Guess I'd better look for something with lots of tubes!


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PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 7:48 am 
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The funny thing about consoles is that a big cabinet does not always indicate decent electronics. I've seen big consoles that contained a "hot" chassis single ended 50C5 based amp that didn't put out any more power, and didn't sound much better, than a regular 5 tube AM radio. As far as Zenith goes, they made a few lower end consoles during the mid '60's that were lacking; but, most Zenith stereo consoles up until the mid '70's were decent quality. The lower end model that I'm thinking of was a hybrid model that used a tube tuner and a small solid state amp and there was a similar hot chassis model that used a tube amp.

I think those little one tube record players are cool, as well. However, I don't expect much out of them. My biggest issues with them is the high output cartridges they use and the fact that most of the ones I find around my area look like they've been to heck and back. At least this Decca has a nice looking cabinet. It's much better looking than the average 63 year old kid's record player. And, to be fair, that Decca doesn't sound too bad for what it is. I'd just like to get the volume up a little more.

I did find a JFET based preamp for a guitar pick-up that I may experiment with. If I discover that what I desire can't easily be obtained, I'll hook everything back up the way it was and use the record player "as is".


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PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 7:50 am 
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BTW, I'll still take a "one tube wonder" over one of those modern Crosley knock-off's.


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PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 9:01 am 
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Just saw this thread and chat about increasing the output of a one tube wonder player. I did this a couple months back, I took a one tube single stage RCA 8EY31 45 player and made it a two stage two tube player. Here is the thread about it with a lot of pictures.

http://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=154301&highlight=

What I found the easiest thing to do, instead of modifying the existing circuit or building some sort of pre-amp for it, I looked for a pre existing amp circuit that was similar to the one tuber with the addition of the preamp stage. I used the circuit from the RCA 6EY3 player which utilized mostly all the same parts with the additional 6AV6 tube preamp stage. Now I can use a very common .5v cart and the amp has plenty of power and volume now and sounds WONDERFUL.

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http://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=248043


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PostPosted: Feb Sat 26, 2011 6:08 pm 
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bastardbus wrote:
Just saw this thread and chat about increasing the output of a one tube wonder player. I did this a couple months back, I took a one tube single stage RCA 8EY31 45 player and made it a two stage two tube player. Here is the thread about it with a lot of pictures.

http://antiqueradios.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=154301&highlight=

What I found the easiest thing to do, instead of modifying the existing circuit or building some sort of pre-amp for it, I looked for a pre existing amp circuit that was similar to the one tuber with the addition of the preamp stage. I used the circuit from the RCA 6EY3 player which utilized mostly all the same parts with the additional 6AV6 tube preamp stage. Now I can use a very common .5v cart and the amp has plenty of power and volume now and sounds WONDERFUL.

Image


I remember that thread and I have to agree with you about liking the style of a poor performing player, but not being satisfied with the sound. I'm looking to hotrod my crappy Webcor because I really like the style of that particular model. I want to paint the platter and tonearm, turquoise, to match the cover and speakers. Then I want to upgrade the speakers and amplifier to sound like what I imagined this thing should sound like. Pipe dream??? There's definitely room in there for a bigger amp. I'd like to make this thing sound like some of the RCAs you guys are always talking about.


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PostPosted: Mar Tue 08, 2011 7:24 am 
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The isolation transformer from AES came in today and I was able to mount it to the underside of the motorboard. This player weighs a little more now; but, should be much safer.

I've not done any more preamp experiments, yet.


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PostPosted: Mar Thu 24, 2011 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Wilmington, NC 28412 USA
Thinking of building some pre-amps for just this 78 problem

Will be approx 1 inch square and run from 3-32 VDC
Variable output.

ANY INTEREST (enough for me to spend time on this)

Bob T

I have one in my RCA RE-45 and it will Blast me out if I want it to.


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