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Old 6th May 2021, 12:21 pm   #1
flyingtech55
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Default Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Could I have your thoughts and opinions please.....

I have an original Fidelity record player as above. It is in pretty good condition and does work. It is still in the original cardboard carton it came packed in from the factory. Problem is it is still fitted with the original Ful-Fi TC8H cartridge. Although this still works the output of the cartridge is much reduced and has very little bass. Also these cartridges are not suitable for stereo records...in fact this set-up will ruin stereo records. I am hoping to sell this player in its original box as I believe they are considered to be collectable. Question is:

Should I keep it as it is or

Should I convert it (reversibly) to Bluetooth.

It will certainly be more usable if it's Bluetooth but will not be original.

What are your (collective) thoughts please.

TimR
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Old 6th May 2021, 2:00 pm   #2
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

There is little point in converting this to Bluetooth as the limited frequency response (espcially in the Bass region) will not produce the kind of sound you might expect. I'd leave it as is and sell it as a Mono player. Re-manufactured Mono-only BSR TC8H (aka H TC8) are available for 35-00. Also do bear in mind these have the most basic of amplifiers and IMPORTANTLY have a "live" chassis, making it a potentially unsafe partner for Bluetooth.
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Old 6th May 2021, 2:36 pm   #3
Kentode
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Do the groundwork to get the Bluetooth in and working to ensure it's compatible, then remove it and sell the Fidelity as original.

This gives you AND the new owner the option to update.

Make sure they understand it's limitations with regard to vinyls.

Just my opinion...
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Old 6th May 2021, 6:45 pm   #4
kirstyd
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

The Fidelity is not worth updating and i would think it would be worth more in its unmolested state especially when you have the box
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Old 7th May 2021, 12:38 pm   #5
john600601
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Could you post a photo of the player with the box so we can see it? With original box it should appeal to collectors and they would most likely strongly prefer it in its original condition and appreciate it for what it is. A collector may prefer to do any work on it themselves to get it up and running so especially with the cost of high output cartridges it may be a consideration to just sell it as it is.
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Old 7th May 2021, 12:50 pm   #6
merlinmaxwell
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

You can pick up stereo cartridges for less than a fiver, they may have a lower output or be moving magnet. It shouldn't be too hard to make a pre-amp that is powered from the output stage cathode resistor.
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Old 7th May 2021, 7:16 pm   #7
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Hi, Notwithstanding what others have already said, a reversible Bluetooth conversion may increase the players saleability and, lets face it, there are plenty of cheap Bluetooth speakers out there that probably have poorer frequency response than the limited one of the amplifier in your player.

The biggest problems that you would face if adding Bluetooth would be as follows -

Finding a suitable supply point for the Bluetooth module,

Dealing with impedance matching of the amplifier and Bluetooth module output,

and ensuring that the additional parts are not accessible by the user due to the player having a live chassis (as has already been mentioned)

Regards

Andrew
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Old 8th May 2021, 10:32 am   #8
flyingtech55
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Quote:
Originally Posted by john600601 View Post
Could you post a photo of the player with the box so we can see it? With original box it should appeal to collectors and they would most likely strongly prefer it in its original condition and appreciate it for what it is. A collector may prefer to do any work on it themselves to get it up and running so especially with the cost of high output cartridges it may be a consideration to just sell it as it is.
Yes, I will certainly post pictures of the player and its box.

The player actually worked/works straight 'out of the box'. All I did was clean dried grease from the turntable spindle and add a drop or two of sewing machine oil to the motor bearings, the idler bearing and the turntable spindle and off it went. The amplifier is very simple comprising only two (Mullard) valves, two resistors and one 'can' type capacitor containing three sections all of which are fine as they are. Also of course the switched volume control, the (rather small) output transformer and elliptical speaker.

Incredibly, the original cartridge, when new, produced a 4V signal and was therefore capable of driving the UL84 output valve directly. I doubt the quality was very good but it obviously worked well enough.

TimR
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Old 8th May 2021, 12:33 pm   #9
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

The output will not have been as high as this. The standard measured maximum output of the BSR TC8H/2 was 1.2Volts and the BSR TC8H/1 at 900mV. On certain transients it might have measured slightly higher.
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Old 8th May 2021, 2:16 pm   #10
flyingtech55
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndiiT View Post
Hi, Notwithstanding what others have already said, a reversible Bluetooth conversion may increase the players saleability and, lets face it, there are plenty of cheap Bluetooth speakers out there that probably have poorer frequency response than the limited one of the amplifier in your player.

The biggest problems that you would face if adding Bluetooth would be as follows -

Finding a suitable supply point for the Bluetooth module,

Dealing with impedance matching of the amplifier and Bluetooth module output,

and ensuring that the additional parts are not accessible by the user due to the player having a live chassis (as has already been mentioned)

Regards

Andrew

Hi Andrew

Thank you for your reply. My thoughts are as follows:

The current fad seems to be for "re-purposing" older things into Bluetooth players. I saw someone on television taking great delight in eviscerating an Avo Model 7 (or Model 40) and converting it to a Bluetooth speaker. In order to get the Fidelity record player to work as originally intended it needs a new cartridge at a cost of 35 and even then it can't be used to play stereo records. It can only play mono records without ruining them.

I can power the Bluetooth module from what is effectively the insides of a mains powered 5V power supply fitted inside in a plastic case. This will fit entirely within the cabinet, be switched using the existing switched volume control and will provide a fully isolated 5V supply.

I can combine the two audio output channels of the Bluetooth module into a single channel and use that to drive the volume control. I believe the output impedance of the module is about 50K so that should be OK to connect directly into the 1M volume control (Note the word 'should'. One of my favourite words along with 'might', 'probably' and 'oops'.)

Your last and most important point....

The Bluetooth modules I use are fully self contained and require no user intervention. You simply power it up and it comes on and makes itself available for pairing. There are no user controls although these can be added if required. There is a facility to re-name the module to reflect what unit the module fitted to. Two LEDs indicate the status of the module and the 'trick' is to position the module so that the LEDs can be viewed through a convenient ventilation slot/hole.

As stated the record player is 'live chassis'. The interesting aspect of this is that the original design means that one of the two connections to the cartridge could be live as it is returned to the 'earthy' end of the volume control which is in turn returned to the chassis. So by disconnecting the cartridge wiring at the amplifier end it would actually make the record player safer.

On the other hand, I am not a design authority, so should the unit be left entirely alone and sold as a vintage artefact and leave it up to the buyer to decide whether to actually plug it into a power source or not.


TimR
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Old 8th May 2021, 2:55 pm   #11
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

It might come down to how much time and effort you want to spend on it, and what price you would be looking to achieve at the end of it all as to whether it is worth it or not. I'm following this thread with interest as I have a later HF31 model (same amplifier & similar vanity case design) in my collection which also has the original box and may be potentially interested in the HF22 depending on cosmetic condition. The working condition or lack of cartridge would not be important but I perhaps speak for a few collectors in saying originality would be. I personally don't like the thought of altering a player of this age for bluetooth, I prefer them for how they were originally intended but that's just my two penneth!
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Old 8th May 2021, 3:27 pm   #12
flyingtech55
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Quote:
Originally Posted by john600601 View Post
It might come down to how much time and effort you want to spend on it, and what price you would be looking to achieve at the end of it all as to whether it is worth it or not. I'm following this thread with interest as I have a later HF31 model (same amplifier & similar vanity case design) in my collection which also has the original box and may be potentially interested in the HF22 depending on cosmetic condition. The working condition or lack of cartridge would not be important but I perhaps speak for a few collectors in saying originality would be. I personally don't like the thought of altering a player of this age for bluetooth, I prefer them for how they were originally intended but that's just my two penneth!

I'll take some photos of the carton and the record player. I'm looking for something in the region of 10,000 but may be willing to negotiate a (slight) discount to a forum member .


TimR
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Old 8th May 2021, 3:55 pm   #13
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

In that case I would convert it to Bluetooth and try and sell it for 10,001
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Old 8th May 2021, 3:59 pm   #14
flyingtech55
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Did I ever mention that 'Optimist' is my middle name!
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Old 8th May 2021, 4:05 pm   #15
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

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Did I ever mention that 'Optimist' is my middle name!
Optimist......Someone who isn't in possession of all the facts.

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Old 8th May 2021, 4:21 pm   #16
flyingtech55
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

That's one way of putting it!!
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Old 8th May 2021, 4:44 pm   #17
flyingtech55
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
The output will not have been as high as this. The standard measured maximum output of the BSR TC8H/2 was 1.2Volts and the BSR TC8H/1 at 900mV. On certain transients it might have measured slightly higher.

This is the info I got from the website:


https://www.adelcom.net/BSR%20Cartridges.htm



TC8H
TC-8-H TC-8H TC8-H tc8h tc-8-h tc-8h tc8-h
Monaural Ceramic Piezo
  • Cartridge Type: Ceramic Piezo.
  • Stylus Shape: Conical.
  • Stylus Type: Conical 1.0 mil. Diamond for LP & 3.0 mil. Sapphire for RPM. (Flip-Over)
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz. - 20 kHz.
  • Output Voltage: 4.0 V at 1 kHz, 5 cm/sec.
  • Vertical Tracking Force Range (Grams): 10.0 grams - 12.0 grams.
  • Recommended Load Impedance: 47,000 Ohms.
  • Number of Terminals: 2.
  • Replacement Stylus: N8-7S & N8-7D.
  • OEM Part Numbers: BSR TC8G, TC8R & TC8S.
It does seem very high and may of course be a misprint or just simply wrong. I'd have thought somewhere between 1V and 1.5V (as you suggest) would have been more reasonable.

TimR
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Old 8th May 2021, 5:15 pm   #18
flyingtech55
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

Pictures of carton.
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Old 8th May 2021, 5:18 pm   #19
flyingtech55
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

More pictures of carton.
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Old 8th May 2021, 5:29 pm   #20
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Default Re: Fidelity HF22 Suitcase Record Player

I think a TC8 was a crystal cartridge not a ceramic as shown in the spec. Suggests that the details are suspicious.
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