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Vintage Tape (Audio), Cassette, Wire and Magnetic Disc Recorders and Players Open-reel tape recorders, cassette recorders, 8-track players etc.

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Old 26th Aug 2023, 3:29 pm   #1
stevef165
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Default Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Hello.

I have the above amp, tape deck and turntable. They have not been used for ~40 years having been stored, but not very well (it turns out), in a box in the loft. They were bought in the early/mid 70s and used until the mid-80s

Sadly, its likely that they are not in an operational state. I am not a electrical or audio technician and I don't want to attempt to turn anything on in case there is still something of value.

is these any interest in any or all of the above?

Thanks

Steve
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 9:46 pm   #2
DMcMahon
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Hello Steve and welcome to the Forum.

I am not familiar with the Connoisseur turntable.

The Ferrograph amp and Akai tape recorder are well known and well respected units.

Being solid state they will have less potential problems than older valve equipment.

David
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Old 28th Aug 2023, 11:58 pm   #3
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Are you looking to sell them or repair them?

If you are interested in electronics and have some basic soldering and test equipment, then you will find assistance here for the latter.

If the former, they are all good, as David says, (the Connoisseur gets fond write-ups over on Vinyl Engine) so they will be saleable. There is a 'for sale' section here if you are interested in them going to an enthusiast, but you will likely get the best price on eBay or the classifieds.
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 8:42 am   #4
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

The Connoisseur is not a great turntable, in my opinion, but they do have a bizarrely loyal following and so the unit should be saleable in any condition should you so wish.

Equally, it’s a very basic unit, so bringing it back to life is not a difficult task.
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Old 29th Aug 2023, 9:58 pm   #5
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Hi All.

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm not able to repair them myself, but it would be nice to get them working again. Is there a section for those that offer repairs?
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Old 30th Aug 2023, 9:09 am   #6
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

https://www.vintage-radio.net/forum/...play.php?f=145
Quote:
Originally Posted by stevef165 View Post
Hi All.

Thanks for the feedback.

I'm not able to repair them myself, but it would be nice to get them working again. Is there a section for those that offer repairs?
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Old 30th Aug 2023, 9:17 am   #7
stevef165
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Thumbs up Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Thanks Martin
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Old 30th Aug 2023, 1:00 pm   #8
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

The problem there is that it will probably cost as much as/more than the value of the equipment to have it repaired.
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Old 30th Aug 2023, 1:05 pm   #9
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Certainly in a narrowly economic sense, but environmentally, socially and sentimentally it could be worth much, much more. I suppose that's the inherent balance to be struck in the endless conversation of restore/replace/repair. Certainly if I were paying money for my time then my repairs are bonkers, but the other metrics make it worthwhile. That and the warm glow from not buying an energy-intensive new product.
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Old 30th Aug 2023, 2:14 pm   #10
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Oh yes I absolutely and 100% agree! I do charge money for my time however as repairing (and modifying plus some custom building etc etc) hi fi equipment is what I do for a living.

Sadly I have to very regularly turn down repairs in the knowledge that it will now likely go to the skip as one has to set a min fee and an hourly rate that puts food on the table etc. It's business and there is a bottom line and all that. I generally only take on things that are really valuable (VERY roughly over £500 or so per item if it were a hi fi system) like, if talking vintage, Leak Stereo 20, Radford STA25, Quad II's etc and modern stuff in the Naim, Linn etc etc price band.

It really saddens me to have to turn away quality items like the Ferrograph F307, Leak Stereo and Delta 70, Armstrong solid state stuff, mid range mid 70/s Japanese gear etc etc but these sort of things sell on eBay for only around £30-60 and to repair them properly, bearing in mind that they will often need loads of ancient electrolytics replacing etc, is going to be >£100 so unless someone tells me "It was Dad's and has huge sentimental value to me and £100 plus is no problem" I have to turn them away.

Of phone calls I get from local people who have googled for repairs I turn down prob >90% of enquiries as it's usually portable radios, DAB variety that were £40 brand new, car radios, "do you fix tellies?" = No not ever, "my remote controls playing up", "Can you fix my "hi fi"? it's a really good one called Shaisho and cost over £80 you know", "can you fix the charger for my electric drill/phone/laptop?"
I have no compunction in turning away that sort of thing but really get a lump in the throat when I have to turn away something like a Leak Stereo 70 or a Rogers Ravensbrook

Some 70's Japanese hi fi gear at the higher end of the market has gone from being worth £20-30 in 1990 to £300- 500 now so is once again worth repairing (from a purely business perspective) but sadly there has been no such renewed interest in most 70's UK made gear... yet...

Quite how/why people wanting eg a 1965 Elizabethan/Ultra/Marconiphone R2R recorder or a 1968 Roberts radio etc repairing on the "repairs wanted" section here often get a positive reply from a seemingly pro repair person is beyond me! My only guess is that people would not ask for repair to that kind of thing unless it was of such sentimental value as for money to be no object, and the repair guy saying "yes I'll take that on" is assuming this to be the case....
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Old 30th Aug 2023, 3:33 pm   #11
stevef165
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

They were indeed my Dad's. Jez!

When I put up the original post I was thinking just of passing these on to someone who could make some use of them. But since then I have been thinking it would be lovely to hear them working again if that were possible.

I need to think about what budget I could afford, but I am definitely leaning towards a repair

Cheers!
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Old 1st Sep 2023, 11:32 am   #12
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Given what you say stevef165 I will guess that repairing the Akai could be a problem for you - please search the various posts on this site. In contrast the BD2 is very straightforward. If I had it I would simply turn it on to see if the turntable rotates.

The Ferrograph amplifier needs a little thought. There is a good chance it is alright, however do not simply plug it in to the mains and switch on as there are some components that should be brought back to life in it (the electrolytic capacitors to be precise) gradually by slowly raising the input mains voltage from zero to 240 Volts slowly over a few minutes. This requires a variac (a special type of mains transformer that has an adjustable output voltage) which I think you are very unlikely to own!

An alternative to the variac is to wire a low wattage (say 40 Watt, better would be 25 watt) old-fashioned incandescent 240 Volt light bulb in series with the mains supply to the amplifier and turn on. This would be better than nothing but not as good as the variac approach.
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Old 1st Sep 2023, 5:46 pm   #13
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

The Connoisseur turntables were much better than their low end price, and the Connoissseur tonearms were pretty decent too. Well worth saving IMHO.

The rubber motor mounts are a particular weakness, and will probably be shot from prolonged storage. It's a simple arrangement though, and easy enough to improvise a repair. The motors were particularly weedy, and the rubber bumper on the start lever ensured it went the right way - if it went missing, the things were just as likely to start in reverse!

You could also buy them in kit form, save even more pennies!
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Old 1st Sep 2023, 7:43 pm   #14
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

Given that the standard budget ware at the time was an SP25, the improvement obtainable by spending the same money on a BD1, a budget arm and a Goldring 800 cartridge was astonishing. I listened to mine, with a Lenco 75 arm, for many happy hours.
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Old 2nd Sep 2023, 9:46 am   #15
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

stevef165,

If you are considering getting the system going again (an admirable aim in my humble opinion), may I ask do you have:

1) The interconnect cables;
2) The loudspeakers;
3) The reel-to-reel tapes;
4) The records;
5) the operator/instruction manuals.

Perhaps in another box in the loft? Otherwise you will need to budget for these as well.
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Old 2nd Sep 2023, 10:42 am   #16
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

I have a couple of the BD2As (arm, plinth and TT combined kit). The motor suspension is indeed a nuisance, but I think you can construct a viable replacement from vehicle inner tube (I have a wheelbarrow inner tube (waiting for the round tuit).

I ran mine with an Ortofon cartridge originally, and the second TT is because my dad liked it so much he too got one (to be fair he had a Connoisseur idler-drive unit before that). I ended up with Nagoka; he stuck with Ortofon, but more up-market than mine.

They were built down to a price, but sonically none the worse for all that.

There were a couple of mods described in the press at the time: filling the turntable itself with Plasticene (pouring it in molten!), between extra ribs of Balsa. The idea being to add mass and dampen the resonances (which were indeed there - without the mat and the belt it rings nicely!). I didn't bother, as it sounds messy and the motor isn't very powerful, so the extra mass would probably be a nuisance.

My own mod, was to remove the little cam from the motor that prevents it starting backwards. This eliminates a repetitive 'tic, tic' sound that does get transmitted to the cartridge. The drawback is about a 1:3 chance of it starting backwards (the motor start lever gives it a clockwise kick, so it's not 50:50). I can live with that.

The only other nuisance is a captive pickup cable, and a similarly awkward earthing arrangement, which I don't like. Mine has an XLR on the back for the pickup & earth, which reduces the chance of catchig the cable on something when I need to move it about, but obviously it's non standard.
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Old 5th Sep 2023, 1:00 pm   #17
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

I have found the simplest way to re-instate the BD2 suspension is by using a handful of 20mm diameter cassette deck belts to hang the motor from its mounting bracket in the same manner as the original 'spider' would have done.
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Old 5th Sep 2023, 5:24 pm   #18
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

I'm a great fan of the BD1. It was my first 'proper' turntable, and when I eventually replaced it with the Linn LP12, I was so disappointed that the Linn was no better.

One issue I do have is with the SAU2 arm. It has a very clever offset gimbal bearing, with the gimbal being biased by a weight that acts as a bias compensator. Unfortunately, this causes the headshell to rotate about the arm axis as the arm traverses the record. With a spherical stylus as was common at the time, this is no great problem, but becomes one with the use of an elliptical stylus and makes a line-contact stylus unusable as the stylus will scrub up the groove walls.

Nevertheless, for the time and the market it was addressing, a far better effort than the ubiquitous SP25 or MP60.

S.
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Old 9th Sep 2023, 5:41 pm   #19
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

..and I found my Ferrograph F307 today whilst looking for some jump leads and a tarpaulin... which I didn't find...
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Old 16th Sep 2023, 10:05 am   #20
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Default Re: Old Ferrograph F307 amp, Akai 4000DS tape deck and Connoisseur BD2 TT

I wonder if the Op came to any conclusion as to what to do next?
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