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Vintage Audio (record players, hi-fi etc) Amplifiers, speakers, gramophones and other audio equipment.

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Old 17th Nov 2009, 9:33 pm   #1
silver ghost
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Default repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

Hi

I have received a radio with a record player at the bottom. It's a bit large, the sort people had in their living room. The radio have been repaired and new valves put in, and are working fine. However the record player is not. I am looking for someone who can help me fix it. I found this video on youtube and it looks like the exact model that's in this Philips cabinet.

If you can see the two round buttons in the front left corner. They are still there in my turntable but the bits that connected them to the rest of the mechanism is missing. Is is possible to find replacement parts for this old thing?

The cartridge is not working either, but it looks like I have come in contact with someone who has a working replacement for this one.

I think I might have to rewire the tonearm. There are three wires that goes from the end of the tonearm where the cartridge plugs on; two red ones and a copper one that twirls around the other two. Third one might be grounding. From somewhere under the turntable there are two wires that goes into the radio and connects with plane banana plugs. I have found new replacement for these. One was broken and one was missing. I couldn't find the 1950's type, and I went for some gold plated ones. Their really meant for speaker cables but I think they will work.

These days the most common tonearm wire are silver plated copper, I all ready have lots of it, but can I use this type? I don't understand the grounding wire and quite how to replace it. The wire that goes from under the turntable and connects to the radio have some kind of metal woven stocking that cover the two cables, and looks like at it is soldered to one of the wires some how. The plastic isolation for the two banana connection wires are crumbling away and in bad condition and needs to be replaced. My worry is how to make the grounding work as it should. I have no idea for replacement wires of this type.

Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for this project?
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Old 17th Nov 2009, 10:28 pm   #2
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

Sorry, error in description, it is the two round buttons front right corner of the turntable, not to left. I think they have something to do with leading the tonearm in the right position, adjusting to different diameters of the records.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 1:16 am   #3
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

Hi and welcome to the forum!

My experiences with Philips autochangers have, on the whole, not been good -
Overcomplicated mechanisms, bendy thin metal parts, cartridge/heads which die and are hard to find cheaply and difficult to adapt to any other cartridge....and to cap it all, yours has bits missing! I would forget it and fit in a 'period' BSR or Garrard deck, as the deck fitted already is probably not worth spending time on.

As concerns the wiring, the outer 'metal woven stocking' braid you mention is the ground wire and the other two coloured ones might be for stereo left and right. BUT, In this case, one of the red cables might be also ground, if the system is mono - you say that there are two banana plugs used to connect the record deck to the amp, and the outer braid is 'soldered to one of the wires some how'.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 7:37 am   #4
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

I totally agree with Ben's comments! I am yet to see one of these changers operate correctly for an extended period.. You think you've got it right but it plays up again. Horrible! Philips began to fit BSR changers with their name stamped on them to get over the unreliability of these decks.
I would suggest a BSR UA8 or 12.The head shell will accept most common cartridges. You will require one with an output of around 250-500mw to drive the amplifier at full volume. If you manage to find one and that should not be difficult, I may have a deck cut out template. Regards, John.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 11:07 am   #5
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

I have a Philips radiogram and the autochanger is rubbish - it has a mind of its own! They are fun, especially if you like fiddling with heavy mechanisms while peering at it while upside-down. It is a sport of sorts....


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Old 18th Nov 2009, 3:14 pm   #6
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

I'm with Ben and John as well, regarding Philips autochangers (and even their single players!).

BSR are less than Hi-Fi, but bulletproof and easy to service.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 3:20 pm   #7
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

It really goes against the grain to replace a deck with another model when "restoring" a radiogram, but these chaps know their stuff!

N.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 6:43 pm   #8
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

I totally agree Nick. The problem is if you want to use enjoy this gram there is little you can do. The pick up cartridges failed, agreed after a reasonable period of use but could only be replaced by the Philips part.
The mechanics really were bad and the service manual says it all. 'Bend arm so and so and try again'.. 'Open up lever so and so until the arm drops in the right place'..The saga was strange because Philips were very good mechanical engineers and usually came up with strange but reliable equipment. I have a feeling the poor designer was locked in a room and fed jam sandwiches under the door till he came up with a 'working' changer..
Oh Sean! Surely a few nights down the Bingo hall would be better therapy..Take care. John.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 6:45 pm   #9
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

Sorry, fellas, but I agree with Nick, nothing looks worse than an "out-of-period." deck in a radiogram. I can't see the point in "restoring" a piece of vintage material if you are going to take the easy way out, and replace something original, however temperemental, with something else completely out of character. I await the flak!!

Barry
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 6:48 pm   #10
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

...but you could use a contemporary BSR / Garrard, then at least it would all tie together in terms of age.

If you did, I suppose the original deck could even possibly be stored in the radiogram for reinstatement at a later date if so desired.

Nick
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 7:51 pm   #11
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

Thanks for you inputs. So this is not the best record changer to repair. I think there are a fair amount of 50's turntables around but I don't know if they would fit in the wooden frame. The guy who repaired the radio / amplifier said it was one of the better ones, but he didn't know much about old record players. It is all fitted in a lacquered jacaranda veneer cabinet. It looks good and it's not too large either. Darn about that record player. The Garrard RC88 are suppose to be very good, but I have not yet seen one for sale in my part of the world. I know many people know of Garrard when it is mentioned so there might still be a few around.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 8:38 pm   #12
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

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Originally Posted by Audio1950 View Post
Sorry, fellas, but I agree with Nick, nothing looks worse than an "out-of-period." deck in a radiogram.
Barry
Agreed, hence the suggestion to use a period BSR/Garrard unit! There were plenty from this era (late 60s-early 60s) -I'd use a Garrard RC121. A collaro (conquest?) would fit too provided the rubber idlers are Ok.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 9:21 pm   #13
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

I am almost shore that this radio is from the late 50's, mostly because of the record player. In 1960 Philips record changers had a slightly different tonearm, even though the changing mechanism looks much the same in the spindle and arm, it was different under the deck, and the functions had different buttons for speed change.

I have searched the web thoroughly and not found any thing that dates it to a specific year, but it looks like the tonearm had the same shape for about a decade from the late 40's to the late 50's. Like in the link in my first post.

I contacted Philips here in Norway and they gave me a phone number to a guy that new about the old models and products. He could tell me that the wooden cabinet was built in Norway with Philips parts. Unfortunately he could only tell me what I suspected already, late 50's early 60's.

I don't know if I shall try and replace the turntable with something better, like a Garrard or if I should just get an old Garrard (or similar) and place it on the top of the radio. Then I could keep the original turntable and see what can be done with it.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 10:44 pm   #14
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

I'd do what Nick suggested in post 10. Replace the deck so you have a working gram, without having wires everywhere, yet keeping the philips original stored in case you find another to use for parts in the future.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 10:53 pm   #15
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heatercathodeshort View Post
The saga was strange because Philips were very good mechanical engineers and usually came up with strange but reliable equipment. I have a feeling the poor designer was locked in a room and fed jam sandwiches under the door till he came up with a 'working' changer...
I don't really like 50s Philips products, especially their record decks, their lumpy tape recorders with disintegrating cork clutches, and even their rimlock valves.

Things changed radically in the early 60s, when they started making better, simpler, reliable products.
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Old 18th Nov 2009, 11:23 pm   #16
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

You are probably correct about Philips in these years. However the radio/amplifier is suppose to be fairly good, even though it's not stereo. How good could late 1950's sound be? I haven't thought of Philips much at all. I have a funny looking Philips radio from the 1930's, a brown bakelite box with a very cool loudspeaker. Unfortunately I could never make it work or found anybody that would take a look at it.

Last edited by silver ghost; 18th Nov 2009 at 11:53 pm.
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Old 21st Nov 2009, 4:47 pm   #17
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Default Re: repairing 1950s Philips record player, long post

The sound quality will shock you. Philips equipment always sounded good with their own in house built speakers. Good bass and nice sharp reproduction. J.
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