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 Post subject: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Wed 07, 2018 6:47 pm 
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I have a '39 RCA Victor R-100 phonograph "attachment" with a syncro motor and crystal cartridge. As expected, the motor runs fine with a little lubrication, but no sound out of the original cartridge. I read that I can easily substitute a ceramic Astatic 51-2 cartridge. My one question is that although the tone arm is a bit heavy, much of the weight is with the old metal cartridge. Once removed, it's not a whole lot heavier than a Zenith Cobramatic arm. Has anyone tried this swap? Did it work or will the needle bottom out under the weight?
Much thanks - Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Thu 08, 2018 4:20 pm 
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With the P-51 you can only track a few grams. Anything more and you will kill the cart over time. This would never work with a unit that has a chassis and speaker. The R-100 is depending on the radios amp to drive the volume up. Just throw one in and test it to see if there is sufficient volume. I don't think the volume is good enough. I want to be able to turn it up and hear it in another room.

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Thu 08, 2018 4:51 pm 
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OldRestorer wrote:
With the P-51 you can only track a few grams. Anything more and you will kill the cart over time. This would never work with a unit that has a chassis and speaker. The R-100 is depending on the radios amp to drive the volume up. Just throw one in and test it to see if there is sufficient volume. I don't think the volume is good enough. I want to be able to turn it up and hear it in another room.

:)

Hi Kirk!...and thanks for chiming in on this. I was going to attempt to rebuild the original cartridge, but decided to go with the ceramic replacement. Can I expect it to install easily as other collectors have written? I was figuring I'll need to use silicon to mount it. I am going to be sending the output to my AM transmitter, so I think I'll be okay with volume level. I find that in transmission, low volume is all that's needed. As far a wearing out the cartridge, I will likely be using the phono infrequently, so just to hear a record or two every once in a while will please me. This 51-2 I ordered comes with a sapphire stylus. I would like to lighten the tone-arm if I could, but I so far cannot figure a simple way. Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks again - Joe


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Thu 08, 2018 6:41 pm 
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Heyo,
That is the main issue. There is no where to put a counter spring to lessen the weight. Thats why most either let it be a shelf queen or pay to have the original rebuilt. The original cart is not the typical mount that the P51 would switch right out with. Mounting will be a little tricky but not hard...

:)

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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Thu 08, 2018 7:20 pm 
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OldRestorer wrote:
Heyo,
That is the main issue. There is no where to put a counter spring to lessen the weight. Thats why most either let it be a shelf queen or pay to have the original rebuilt. The original cart is not the typical mount that the P51 would switch right out with. Mounting will be a little tricky but not hard...

:)

Thanks Kirk. I never did it before, but I heard that silicon as an adhesive is the best for this. It sounds a little crazy, but what about something like a piece of steel mounted at the very back of the arm? I'm wondering if that will counter balance and lighten the front of the tone-arm a bit? Actually, the tone arm without the heavy original cartridge and bracket is not VERY heavy. I would say it's a notch above the Zenith Cobramatic arm. It's lighter than those period metal versions.


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Thu 08, 2018 9:14 pm 
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The P-51 is rated for 8 grams, but can easily take 12 grams or so.


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Thu 08, 2018 9:36 pm 
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Ken Doyle wrote:
The P-51 is rated for 8 grams, but can easily take 12 grams or so.

Thanks Ken. That gives me as little confidence. The bottom line is the unit is not going to get heavy use. It's just for the fun of listening to a couple of old 78's once in while.


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 6:39 pm 
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I successfully installed the 51-2 in the original mounts with some washers and spacers. It works fine (I tested it with test clips) and does not bottom out. I retro-fitted the original set screw onto the new cartridge. It looks more original and makes a nice handle. Next is getting the proper connectors. I'm sure the weight is at least max for the needle, but it will get limited use. It should last for many years.
My apologies for the blurry pics. I could not get them much better for some reason.


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 6:47 am 
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Looks good Joe...
I will probably do mine the same now... If I ever get to it :roll:


Kirk

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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 51-2 cartridge with a '39 RCA R-100
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 12:59 pm 
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OldRestorer wrote:
Looks good Joe...
I will probably do mine the same now... If I ever get to it :roll:


Kirk

Thanks Kirk. Luckily the cartridge flanges could be retrofitted with the old screw holes and in doing that it's also tipped at just the right angle. When connected to my '37 Pilot it produces ample, but not very loud volume, but when sent through my transmitter, naturally, I get full volume through the radio. It sounds excellent too. Many times better than with the steel needles. Right now I have small test clips on the cartridge connecters. They're rediculiously small, flimsy, and close together!
The nearly completed phono by the way:


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