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AlexBlank 7th Dec 2017 6:13 pm

*Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
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Iíve recently found an argosy record player in my loft. It was filthy, slightly damp and looking rather sorry for itself. Iíve got a photo of the outside but havenít dared open it up to see the innards yet. Could anyone tell me roughly how much it would cost to restore it? I donít know if itís even worth doing it but itís such a gorgeous shape and size that it seems a shame to bin it.

Thank you!


AC/HL 7th Dec 2017 9:05 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
Hi Alex, welcome.
Unless you have a sentimental attachment to this player, it's probably going to cost more than it's worth. We can help you to do much of the work yourself, but the main problem is likely to be the pickup cartridge, which will cost anything up to £50.
If you haven't already, have a read of this thread:

Ed_Dinning 7th Dec 2017 9:07 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
Hi Alex, if you care to do it yourself, with guidance from this forum it should come up nicely. I've seen much worse wrecks than that restored.


Boater Sam 8th Dec 2017 1:12 am

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
Seen a lot worse restored. People buy worse on ebay for daft money.
Could you use the ceramic red and black Chinese pickup cartridge in this player, they are only around £1 each but you have to work out your own mounting?

Edward Huggins 8th Dec 2017 7:20 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
This is a good sounding 3 valve (push-pull?) unit with a large speaker and good gain on the amplifier, so it will not need an expensive high output cartridge. The Chinese cheapos would do - or a BSR X5M. It comes from 1958/59 and with plenty of Welly. Definately worth fixing!

AlexBlank 9th Dec 2017 7:35 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
What exactly is the cartridge? I have a friend with electronics components but sadly, I have no clue!

John10b 9th Dec 2017 8:32 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
The cabinet looks a decent design, and as a project for the winter would be well worth doing up.

David G4EBT 9th Dec 2017 9:33 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?

Originally Posted by AlexBlank (Post 998419)
What exactly is the cartridge? I have a friend with electronics components but sadly, I have no clue!

Before you can make any headway, you need to know what model it is so you can download the circuit from the link at the top right of the page. Really, there are three aspects to consider - the cosmetics of the cabinetry, secondly, the electronics, thirdly, the auto-changer. Taking those in turn:

Cabinet: Check for signs of woodworm infestation. If you see lots of holes, they're not where the worms got in, but flight holes where the beetles emerged. The worms will have pupated into beetles and are long gone, but the wood itself will be nothing but dust inside so will not be structurally sound and will be beyond redemption. A few flight holes may mean just a limited infestation, but without recovering the cabinet, it will never look much cosmetically. No evidence of woodworm, then see how the cabinet comes up with foam cleaner or whatever. Also, see what condition clips, hinges, catches etc look like.

Electronics: Ought not to pose a problem to someone who is electrically competent and has the necessary test gear. (At least a multi-meter, and the knowledge to use one). Depending on the model, it may only have two valves, but could be more. It may only need a few capacitors changing - indeed, it might work, if first tested for safety, but at this stage, don't plug it in to try it as you might damage something such as the output transformer. It will need a new mains lead and an appropriate fuse - not the 13A fuse that will almost certainly be in the mains plug.

Turntable: Most likely to cause most difficulties. It will probably need a new cartridge, certainly if it's a mono cartridge as you'd wreck stereo records if played on it. The turntable will almost certainly need to be stripped down, old hardened grease cleaned off and where appropriate, new grease applied. The driving force that causes the platter to rotate is a small rubber wheel generally known as an 'idler wheel' which is driven by a stepped motor shaft and rubs on the inside of the rim of the platter to cause the platter to rotate. The idler wheels harden and perish with age, and are pretty much irreplaceable.

Basically, if you - or anyone else for that matter - decide to restore the player, you're embarking on a voyage of discovery which will take time, money and expertise, probably well beyond what the player is worth, and possible with an uncertain outcome. It won't be worth much as it does not have the cachet of a 'Dansette', which tend to command prices far beyond their true worth.

As to your opening gambit 'I don't have a clue' do bear in mind the disclaimer at the bottom of the page - you ride at your own risk, so if you aren't electrically competent, don't take it apart or do any work on it yourself except only when it's not plugged into the mains.

Hope that might help a bit in deciding where you go from here Alex.

Radio Wrangler 9th Dec 2017 9:43 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
The turntable is the round part that the record sits on. The whole metal construction which includes the turntable and the arms, which actually plays the record is the 'deck'.

Starting from the groove of the record and working upwards, you have a stylus which is a lump of polished sapphire/diamond on the end of a tiny metal lever (the cantilever) this little assembly is replaceable as the stylus wears out eventually.

The stylus assembly is mounted onto the cartridge. The cartridge is a blocky thing at the underside of the end of the arm which plays the record. Inside tha cartridge's housing are the piezo-electric or magnetic devices which convert mechanical vibrations into electrical signals. Cartridges can be replaced too. There will be screws or clips holding it to the arm. Some cartridges are well known failure points and proved susceptible to moisture.

From the arm, thin wires carry the electrical signal to the amplifier.

The record deck is usually bought in from a specialist manufacturer by the manufacturers of the record players. Likely Garrard or BSR.

THe other arm is the over-arm which is used to steady a stack of records balanced on the top of the spindle. These decks are 'autochangers' the user stacks a series of records on top of the spindle, places the overarm onto them, and sets the machine going. It drops one record to the turntable, plays it, moved the arm out of the way and drops the next, then it plays this one.... and so on until the stack has been played.

You get to hear one side of each disc in succession!


Tractorfan 9th Dec 2017 9:53 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
A point to bear in mind with that BSR deck (a UA8) is that the two knobs are made from thin plastic and are very fragile. If they feel stiff to turn, DO NOT force them round, they will break and are virtually unreplaceable. The spindles they are fitted to are prone to seizing up, especially if it's been stored in damp conditions.
Cheers, Pete.

Edward Huggins 10th Dec 2017 11:52 am

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
Also a very common failure point on the BSR UA8 can be the 3 rubber motor mounts can perish and the motor drops. This may mean that the motor speed does not correspond to the speed settings as the stepped speed spindle from the motor drops down in front of the idler wheel.

AlexBlank 10th Dec 2017 5:18 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
RadioWrangler: thank you for understanding my level of knowledge. Iím good with DIY and wood but electronics are totally lost on me. My friend, however, has a soldering iron and everything and better still, heís interested in this kinda thing. Iíll be opening this bad boy up tonight and having a look at the innards. Photos to follow.

Does anyone out there have any idea of the model? Thereís nothing on the outside to say and a trail of google has left me no clearer.

Edward Huggins 11th Dec 2017 2:58 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
There may have been RGD and Regentone versions of this, but the "innards" would be the same. It dates from late 1957/58. From memory, and without the model number which I think begins with "AH", it may use 2 x UCL82 valves and an UY85 rectifier. So if I am correct, this will have a "live" chassis so do be careful. Ensure the Live and Neutral wires in the mains lead are correctly connected onto the plug.

AlexBlank 15th Dec 2017 5:43 pm

Re: *Loft find* argosy record player restoration or scrap?
Without seeing the inside, can anyone give me an estimated cost for an update? Iíd like it clean and tidy and working. Imagine itís all ********? Photos of the inside will be posted later I promise!

I have attempted to unscrew it! Got the screwdriver and WD40 on hand but alas, one of the main screws is buttered and my drill isnít strong enough to drill it out :(

Updates will be posted after Iíve borrowed my dadís drill! Thanks for all advice and guidance up to this point :)

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