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Old 28th Feb 2021, 2:02 pm   #1
MagicalGammon
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Default Help identifying my first project

Hello, I'm looking for some info on the record player belonging to my late mother, with a view to restoring it with help from the resources on this site and elsewhere online.

Visually, the appearance is very similar to an Alba 209 with a few differences in the placing of the knobs. The cartridge is a TC8H but the needle needs replacing, possibly the whole cartridge too.

It powers up and the speed selector seems to work, but without being able to test a record, I can't report any more than that so far.

I'd appreciate anyone being able to offer any insight to get me started.

First of all, wondering if there is an option to replace the cartridge with a stereo one and any guidance on compatibility.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 3:32 pm   #2
Wellington
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Can't help with an identification, I'm afraid.

You may have already found these (apologies if you have), but if you have a look here there's a few 'Sticky' posts that deal with record players. I've only given one of these ('Reviving your old record player') a brief skim but it seems pretty detailed, so should give you some insight to help you get started.
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 4:05 pm   #3
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Default Re: Help identifying my first project

Is there any amplified noise coming from the cartridge when you touch it? If so, it's likely to be working. You asked about a Stereo cartridge. Well you can fit one, but it will give only a low output and running this at full volume will show up any residual hum. As it is, this player is only really suitable for playing 78s, 45s or old Mono LPs?
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 4:27 pm   #4
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Default Re: Help identifying my first project

It looks very similar to a Fidelity HF22.

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Old 28th Feb 2021, 5:14 pm   #5
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Default Re: Help identifying my first project

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Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
Is there any amplified noise coming from the cartridge when you touch it? If so, it's likely to be working.
I'd hardly think so Edward. The picture shows that there are no wires connected to the cartridge!!
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 5:34 pm   #6
Edward Huggins
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Oppps, I really missed that. But it's just as well the topic has come up as no way should the OP then touch those red and black wires in case the mains plug wiring is incorrect and the chassis does not go to Mains Neutral. This has a live Chassis!
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Old 28th Feb 2021, 6:30 pm   #7
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Default Re: Help identifying my first project

Yes, it's a Fidelity.

It's certainly been really mangled by someone who didn't know what they were doing - wires pulled off the cartridge and pulled out of the arm with the flag on the cartridge bent right round!

Don't attempt to solder directly to the cartridge tags as any heat whatsoever will kill it, that's if it isn't dead already - most of them are by now and it's non-stereo compatible so can only be used for playing old 60s singles.

The bad news is that there's no stereo compatible high output cartridge (which this player needs) available to buy now, as they went out of production in the early 70s.

As has already been said, this player has a 'live chassis' with absolutely no pickup isolation and one of those two pickup wires connects directly to the mains input, so depending on which way the mains plug has been wired up you could be be electrocuted if you touch one of them!

Having just said all that, it's not all bad. You can fit a medium output stereo compatible cartridge, but you'll have to crank the volume control all the way up for normal listening volume on some records. There's very little to go wrong with these players once working and they actually perform and sound a lot better than you might think for something in what's basically a cardboard box - good luck with it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2021, 11:24 pm   #8
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Default Re: Help identifying my first project

Thanks to all for advice so far. I'm not confident that I'll be able to find the cartridge I need easily but will go through any guides to ensure electrical safety, especially the wiring!

Would be nice to get it going again. Have a few old players with various issues that I can be busying with until I learn more.
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 10:19 am   #9
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I'm afraid you will not be able to find a Stereo or Stereo-Mono Compatible cartridge for this at all "easily". However, if you just confine your listening to 78s, 45s and old Mono LPs, (of which there are not many) you can still buy a cartridge for this.
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 12:36 pm   #10
MagicalGammon
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Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
I'm afraid you will not be able to find a Stereo or Stereo-Mono Compatible cartridge for this at all "easily". However, if you just confine your listening to 78s, 45s and old Mono LPs, (of which there are not many) you can still buy a cartridge for this.
Yeah, I mean its a small unit anyway so maybe just accept that it's to be used for 45s only and that's still a success
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 1:16 pm   #11
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Default Re: Help identifying my first project

Mono LPs were made in this country from 1950 to the middle 1960s so they are not scarce.
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 1:28 pm   #12
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Mono LPs were made in this country from 1950 to the middle 1960s so they are not scarce.
That is true, but the ratio of extant Mono LPs to Stereo LPs is about 15/85. In terms of the OP just using it for 45s, well that's fine - that was precisely what these "Vanity Case" players were designed for!
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 3:11 pm   #13
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I would be intrigued to know how you derived that ratio.
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 4:30 pm   #14
Edward Huggins
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I have a significant experience of the second hand and new vinyl market. Infinitely more Stereo records were produced from 1958 to around 1996 (38 years) than ever were produced in Mono from 1950 to the mid 1960s (15 years). Remember, there was no real volume sales of 10" and 12" LPs until about from 1955 onwards (10 years). Note my use of the word "extant" now in 2021. Most people's record collections will have very few Mono LPs in them by now....
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 4:45 pm   #15
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Default Re: Help identifying my first project

Have a look for 'BSR' stereo cartridges instead of the fancy named modern ones. In-car terms they were like the Ford of the era, ie frowned on by some for quality, but ubiquitous and able to endure a hard life in say a jukebox.
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 7:05 pm   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Huggins View Post
I have a significant experience of the second hand and new vinyl market. Infinitely more Stereo records were produced from 1958 to around 1996 (38 years) than ever were produced in Mono from 1950 to the mid 1960s (15 years). Remember, there was no real volume sales of 10" and 12" LPs until about from 1955 onwards (10 years). Note my use of the word "extant" now in 2021. Most people's record collections will have very few Mono LPs in them by now....
I've got 10,00 LPs and more than 15% of them are mono.
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 7:56 pm   #17
Edward Huggins
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As a serious Collector you will have a high proportion of Mono LPs collected over time as I do, but the average "Dansette" type buyer or in this case, an even more basic Fidelity, is highly unlikely to. Anyway, I think we are getting way off topic and this will be of no help to the OP.
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Old 4th Mar 2021, 11:08 pm   #18
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You have no idea what "the average Dansette owner" has in his/her collection much as you don't know what the word "extant" means.
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