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 Post subject: Modern replacement phonograph/V-M speed issues
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 9:26 pm 
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Location: New Castle, IN
I have recently (electrically) repaired a Firestone Air Chief 7393-1 "The Sonata" (http://airchiefradios.com/viewadd.cfm?idnum=74). Now that I have it playing radio pretty well, I'm thinking of tackling the phonograph. From what I've read (please excuse any clunky use of terminology), this is a blade style changer made by the New Products Corporation, which later became V-M. Long story short, I'm not really looking to start a collection of 78s, and am interested in a possible modern replacement that would allow me to play some more up-to-date records. This is not something I plan to sell, so I'm not concerned about maintaining any vintage accuracy; I just want to be able to use it! Are there any replacement turntables that would be suitable for this purpose? I appreciate any input (even if you just want to yell at me for ruining any collectability factor this has).

Edit: Subject modified to accurately reflect the direction this thread has turned.


Last edited by johnnyreece on Apr Tue 03, 2018 6:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 11:26 pm 
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Joined: Jan Wed 16, 2013 12:04 am
Posts: 1312
Location: 77001
Hi Johnny,
If you want to replace the changer with say, a 1950's-60's
V-M product, you may need to make a new plinth/wood base
for the V-M to mount in.

Amplifier appears to have one 6V6 for output, so a more modern
ceramic phono cart (0.5 volts e.g.) should do.

I've got some extra V-M 950 or V-M 1200 changers,
if you're interested.
Hotwax

http://www.nostalgiaair.org/pagesbymode ... 006277.pdf


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Thu 25, 2018 2:12 pm 
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Location: New Castle, IN
I definitely don't mind doing a little woodworking, if necessary. I'm trying to find the most economical way to do this, so if a slightly-less vintage player fits that bill, then I'm all ears! Feel free to shoot me a PM with a price, if you'd like to discuss the business side of things a little more. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Thu 25, 2018 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Feb Wed 04, 2015 12:26 am
Posts: 693
Johnny, follow Hotwax's advice.

A Voice of Music changer will be your best bet. Nothing modern (crosley, etc) will fit in these units, and you want to avoid 70-80's BSR changers.

Garrard is another brand that will work.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Thu 25, 2018 4:57 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 27, 2013 5:59 am
Posts: 548
Location: Metzger Oregon
My advice? Try to keep the old changer mount intact, as much as possible, and build a new motor board to sit on top, for the new changer. Stash the old changer somewhere just incase the next person wants to put it back.

I agree with others, an early 50s changer would look right at home in your console, and V-M would be my #1 choice too, though I've had several Webster-Chicago changers that I've been happy with too, but from what I understand they can be a little tougher to service. If you want one and don't mind paying shipping from Oregon, let me know!


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Thu 25, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Thanks for the tips! Again, this is for personal use and not for resale, so functionality will take precedence over collectability (and it doesn't appear this is highly collectible in the first place). My main concern would be to get something reliable, cost-effective, and working. I'm also not dead-set on a changer, if a single record model fits the bill. I'm pretty easy.

Edit: If I do pick up something else, would it be reasonable to expect the original changer to be worth anything?


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Thu 25, 2018 8:43 pm 
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Johnny, here's the thing.

There are no choices in terms of a single player. A modern single player ie: crosely etc, does not have the correct switching to turn the amp on, and the motor runs on a completely different voltage (12 volts). Which would mean having to add a noisy, switching power supply that can be heard through the speaker while on radio. A properly installed and adjusted Voice Of Music will not tear up your records (safe for stereo records), and can modified for mono use.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Thu 25, 2018 9:11 pm 
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Joined: Nov Wed 27, 2013 5:59 am
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Location: Metzger Oregon
The modern Crosley-type single play models are so cheap, you'd probably do just as well with something from the 50s. The only modern player I would even think about would be a 70s or 80s hi-fi component type, but that would look pretty weird in a 40s console, and besides those are in demand anymore. I'm going to agree with everyone else who recommends a V-M, they were the work horse of the day and were found in everything, so one would look right at home in your radio, and they are cheap and easy to repair. I converted an early 50s Airline (rebadged V-M) to use a stereo magnetic cartridge with no trouble, and have a Silvertone (again a V-M) setup with a modern ceramic, both work great, track light, trip when they should, etc.

As far as the value of your old changer, I hate to say this, but I've horded changers from old consoles found at Goodwill, to save them from "recycling", and so far I think I've sold 2 of them, for $5 each. I would like to see them go to a collector or restorer to be enjoyed, but otherwise, there's not much value there. I hope you can find a good home for yours.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Fri 26, 2018 2:35 pm 
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Location: New Castle, IN
Wow, sounds like I came to the right place to ask about this! Thanks, guys. As far as the old changer, I might offer it up for the cost of shipping and see if someone wants it. I hate the thought of it going to the trash. Especially since this is one of the early models (from their site, they began in 1940 until V-M was spun off in 1944). Although, I guess the site also says that 2,300 of these were being shipped daily, so maybe it's not rare enough for someone to want it...

I'm going to admit, I know next to nothing about record changers. One thing that was mentioned that made me curious: A stereo cartridge. My unit has a mono input; is it likely that the replacement will be mono? I apologize for my lack of knowledge on the subject...I'm just trying to make sure I have all my ducks in a row.

Thanks again!


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 6:46 am 
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You'll have a stereo cartridge bridged for mono.

Let me put it you this way, my ten year old niece is using a Zenith flip down stereo record player with a VoM changer from 1963. She got for Christmas, and the changer is holding up beautifully.

Perfect model for your unit

https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1950-V ... SwTQtaRZCW


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Jan Sat 27, 2018 7:12 pm 
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Joined: Nov Sun 01, 2015 11:52 pm
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"...you want to avoid 70-80 BSR changers"

I am shocked, SHOCKED, at such a statement. The BSR Minichanger solves all needs.... 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Mar Thu 08, 2018 6:36 pm 
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Just an update on this, I did get a V-M changer (thanks, Hotwax!). It's *working* but not quite what I need (the old cartridge is pretty much only useful for mono records). I've got a new cartridge and idler wheel on order from Gary at V-M Audio Enthusiasts, and will report back when I'm done. Many thanks to the folks here, and especially Hotwax, for helping me get this going.

While I'm waiting for parts, I have a question to kick around: I have a Bluetooth receiver so I can play my phone through the radio. Would a simple Y connector be okay (my radio has one input, and when the changer is done, I'll have two sources)? If not, would a switch be my only course of action? Thanks again for all the help!


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Mar Tue 20, 2018 2:12 pm 
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Okay, final update on this (unless someone has questions). I replaced the original mono cartridge with a Pfanstiehl P228. It's working FANTASTICALLY! Before, it would skip terribly on stereo records. Mono records would be *mostly* okay, but still would have occasional skipping. I played four records last night, and had one skip, which I'm blaming on the record. It seems to be a little less gain than the previous cartridge (I have to turn the volume up louder than before), but it still plays at an acceptable level. I also replaced the idler, as it seemed to kind of warble before. Not badly, but enough I could notice it. Well worth spending a few bucks, since I already had an order with Gary in the first place. Thanks again for all the guidance. I'm ready to be done tinkering on this for a while and just enjoy it!


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 23, 2018 3:29 pm 
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If the record changer has not been cleaned and properly lubed I recommend contacting Gary to get the service manual before cleaning and lubing the record changer.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 23, 2018 5:27 pm 
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Tube Radio wrote:
If the record changer has not been cleaned and properly lubed I recommend contacting Gary to get the service manual before cleaning and lubing the record changer.


Luckily, I bought this changer from member Hotwax (really cool guy, by the way), and he had already overhauled it and lubed it up. It really is working perfectly, and I couldn't be happier. Yesterday, I came home to my wife playing the Mary Poppins soundtrack on it for my 7-month old. Made me feel like I'd done something worthwhile. It's one thing to know that I appreciate what I've done, but for my family to appreciate it, that means a lot.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Mar Fri 23, 2018 5:47 pm 
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Awesome.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Mar Sat 24, 2018 3:45 pm 
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Location: Dallas, TX
johnnyreece wrote:

I have a Bluetooth receiver so I can play my phone through the radio. Would a simple Y connector be okay (my radio has one input, and when the changer is done, I'll have two sources)? If not, would a switch be my only course of action? Thanks again for all the help!

At the very least you would need a switch. The ceramic phono cartridge is high impedance and the bluetooth receiver is lower impedance, so the bluetooth would load down the cartridge output. Also you may have a problem due to frequency response modifying components used on the cartridge input. You could try the bluetooth by unplugging the phono cartridge cable from the amp (I'm guessing it has one) and plugging in the bluetooth output. That brings up another problem, the amp is mono and the bluetooth would be stereo. The two stereo channel will have to be combined into one mono channel. Usually that is done by inserting a resistor (4.7K probably) inline with each channel before they are connected together. The resistors prevent the two stereo channels from 'fighting' each other.

_________________
Tim
It's not the Destination, It's the Journey.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 03, 2018 12:05 am 
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Well, I’ve got a new problem...I thought my warble issue was solved, but now it’s pretty bad. It seems that it plays fine on 45 and 78, but 33 is bad and 16 basically is inoperable. When I look at what’s going on, the motor seems to bounce, which pushes the idler wheel away. If I get under it and push my feet get against the idler, it seems to work okay. Any thoughts on a more permanent solution than my finger? I thought about trying to tighten the spring that pulls the idler towards the motor. I also wondered if motor mount replacements would be a good idea, but they seem fine. The changer is level, if that info is needed. Any help is appreciated.

Edit- it seems that, even with my finger stabilizing the idler wheel, it still turns slow. Also, pushing down on the platter seems to keep it from bouncing, as well. The motor gets relatively hot. Not too hot to put my finger on it, but hot.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 03, 2018 2:17 am 
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johnnyreece wrote:
Well, I’ve got a new problem...I thought my warble issue was solved, but now it’s pretty bad. It seems that it plays fine on 45 and 78, but 33 is bad and 16 basically is inoperable. When I look at what’s going on, the motor seems to bounce, which pushes the idler wheel away. If I get under it and push my feet get against the idler, it seems to work okay. Any thoughts on a more permanent solution than my finger? I thought about trying to tighten the spring that pulls the idler towards the motor. I also wondered if motor mount replacements would be a good idea, but they seem fine. The changer is level, if that info is needed. Any help is appreciated.

Edit- it seems that, even with my finger stabilizing the idler wheel, it still turns slow. Also, pushing down on the platter seems to keep it from bouncing, as well. The motor gets relatively hot. Not too hot to put my finger on it, but hot.


replace the motor mounts first, then check the spring that holds the drive wheel against the motor.

Was the motor cleaned and oiled? If you bought it from here, it more than likely was completely gone through though.


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 Post subject: Re: Modern replacement phonograph?
PostPosted: Apr Tue 03, 2018 3:25 am 
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Guess I should have gone ahead and bought those at the time...well, I got this from Hotwax here, and he indicated he’d been through it. I took player out and looked, and the screws holding the motor together were a bit loose, so I tightened them (not super tight, but reasonably tight, as I don’t know the torque specs). It seems to have helped some, but not all the way. I’d say 33 is the worst offender. I can see the motor shaft and idler wheel bounce away from each other, but can’t say why. Guess motor mounts are the next step.


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