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

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Old 8th Nov 2019, 6:08 pm   #1
Casiodan
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Default Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

Hi all.

Iíve inherited my grandparents Ekco ARG134. I can get the turntable spinning and the valves glowing but thatís about it. Thereís no sound and the radio bit seems to be dead. Iíve very little knowledge about these things and wondered if there are any resources to help me get it working. My alternative is to stick a new turntable and amp in it and maybe replace the tuner with an iPad.

Cheers
Dan
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Old 8th Nov 2019, 11:00 pm   #2
Michael Maurice
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

Are you sure about the model number Dan? If it is an ARG134 then it dates from around 1948-1950.

Please do not destroy the originality of it.

The amplifier employs what is known as a 'live chassis' which means that the radio chassis is connected to one leg of the mains hopefully neutral.

Please note that you can get a severe electric shock if this unit is not serviced correctly.

There are several parts which must be replaced for safety and reliability. That will include a new mains cable to ensure the risk of electric shock is zero.

If the turntable is original then its for 78's only however many people had new turntables fitted in the mid to late 1950's to be able to play 33 and 45 records.

Post some pictures and we can guide you from there.

Once properly serviced, it may be possible to connect an ipod/phone/bluetooth but it has to be totally and absolutely safe.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 3:16 am   #3
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

I have the same thoughts, it would be a great shame to alter such a nice object. These things are never quite the same once they are messed about with.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 10:37 am   #4
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

Going back to the original question......

Nothing is beyond repair; most vintage electronics will be beyond economic commercial repair.

And yes, there is help available here but like most things it depends on how much you can do yourself and where you are relative to any hands on (maybe even free) help that may be offered.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 10:40 am   #5
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Default

Iíve attached some pictures.

I would like to get it working as originally intended. I just donít know where to start and donít have a load of money to throw at it.

Iím comfortable with doing the work and replacing parts myself but I have absolutely no knowledge about these things. Iíve replaced valves in guitar amps and done plenty of soldering jobs etc. If someone said replace this bit with this bit Iím happy Iíd be able to do it.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 11:02 am   #6
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

It's highly unlikely that anyone will be able to look at pictures of the radiogram and tell you which parts to replace.

You'll need to get a test meter, learn how to use it and then do some basic testing. Members can guide you through this, but it's likely to take a very long time with no guarantee of success.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 11:18 am   #7
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

According to a schematic I'm looking at it's not a Live Chassis design, it's mains isolated.

Three stage amplifier for Gram.

Lawrence

Last edited by ms660; 9th Nov 2019 at 11:23 am. Reason: Additional info
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 11:22 am   #8
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

Hello Dan,
There is this old thread on the forum that may encourage you with how good it can look, but there is more about the record deck than getting the Radio functional.
https://vintage-radio.net/forum/showthread.php?t=125368
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 2:00 pm   #9
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms660 View Post
According to a schematic I'm looking at it's not a Live Chassis design, it's mains isolated.

Three stage amplifier for Gram.

Lawrence
I'm looking at Paul's CD, but didn't see the power supply for the AC only version.

Seen it now, most unusual
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 2:32 pm   #10
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

It's very repairable, a basic multimeter, and some basic hand tools will be a minimum.

Shouldn't take a lot to make it functional, but will need a bit more work to make it reliable, and partly compliant to modern standards.

A common sense approach will make it at least as safe as the manufacturer intended though
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 2:33 pm   #11
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

Ref Post#9: That sounds like the Trader sheet for the A104.

The ARG134 manual doesn't give any valve voltages but the voltage tables for the A104 can be used with the proviso that the anode voltage of V2 (IF amplifier) in the ARG134 will be lower, that's because V2 is used as the 1st AF amplifier when Gram is selected, in effect the value of the anode feed resistor has been increased (still decoupled at IF) so it can serve as the anode load for AF (Gram)

Lawrence.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 2:48 pm   #12
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

I'm sceptical as to, given the amount of work this (especially that Garrard) will need, just how the OP will feel about the ultimate functionality of this when eventually in use?
No FM band, 78 rpm only, no Stereo of course, noisy AM, limited station choice, the need for a good external aerial....Sorry, that's just my view.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 3:07 pm   #13
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

It does appear to use basically the same chassis as the Ekco A104/A144 table radio, which isn't a bad choice as a beginner's project. It all depends if the OP is genuinely interested in acquiring the skills and putting in the effort, and only he knows that. I agree that the record deck is likely to be of little practical use even after restoration, though a later record deck could be fitted internally or externally to play stereo records (in mono).

It does need to be restored properly though - there's no quick fix that will sort things out in 10 minutes.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 4:45 pm   #14
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

Classy looking radiogram. I restored one two years ago and it's in regular use with it's new owner.

DFWB.
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Old 9th Nov 2019, 5:21 pm   #15
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

It's actually a three speed deck, a Garrard RC72 by the look of it. It'll depend what's fitted in that pickup head as to what records it will play, and playing 7" singles requires some skill as it'll only autochange 10" and 12" sizes. Nice old gram, though.
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Old Today, 7:12 pm   #16
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Default Re: Ekco ARG134 - beyond repair?

I can just make out it is an RC72A, 3 speed, and I suspect the red plugin pickup is a 'microgroove' one.
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