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

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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 5:14 pm   #1
mrsmaisel
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Default Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

Hi everyone!
I'm considering to buy a vintage record player, it would be my first, and I had my eyes on a Fidelity HF31.
It's in good condition according to the seller, but I would like to have it checked by someone first, can you suggest someone in the London area?
Also, I would like to know if you can connect this model to some sort of speakers.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 5:38 pm   #2
Station X
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

Information on the Fidelity HF39 record player is scant, but as far as I know it's a bottom of the range mono player with a valve amplifier.

Whether or not this has a socket for an external speaker (singular) I don't know. If it doesn't then, dependent on your skill level, you could add a socket.

If you really have your heart set on a record player then buy it or perhaps a better player such as a Hacker.

If not you'd do better with a separate amplifier, record deck and speakers.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 5:57 pm   #3
Edward Huggins
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

I'm not quite sure what quality of sound you are expecting and what type of records are in your collection? To be blunt, this is a very basic, poor sounding, vanity case player and only really suitable for playing 45's and 78's. Don't play LP's on this.

It has a "live" chassis and there's no provision for an external speaker (partly for safety reasons) and also it is liable to sound no better even if one were to be connected.

Not recommended, unless your records are to come from a Charity Shop to get you started in Vinyl.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 6:46 pm   #4
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

It all depends what you want one for. Record playing equipment doesn't all sound the same. If you just want a conversation piece to sit in the corner of a room and play the odd charity shop single then fine. If you actually want to listen to music from vinyl records then you will need a record deck with magnetic cartridge, a stereo amp with a phono input and a pair of decent speakers. There are lots of options between these two extremes.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 6:59 pm   #5
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

To be perfectly blunt the Fidelity HF31 is a cheap rubbish record player and will sound horrible. It would probably cost at least £50 to get someone to service it.

If you want to play vinyl records on the cheap, you would be far better off buying a 1970's unit audio with radio, cassette, and record player, and separate speakers.
You could even plug in a CD player into the tape sockets.

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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 7:11 pm   #6
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

Honest and well said. I doubt if it would sound anything like as good as a mid 30's portable wind up. John.
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Old 23rd Aug 2019, 8:33 pm   #7
mrsmaisel
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

Thank you for all the kind response!
I think then probably something different would be better, I really liked the look of it!

Do you recommend to look into other brands? I don't have any vinyl at the moment and I'm not looking for a perfect sound, but yeah, connecting it to a couple of speakers would be nice.
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 10:51 am   #8
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrsmaisel View Post
connecting it to a couple of speakers would be nice.
You're looking for a stereo record player then?
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 12:41 pm   #9
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

Sounds like one of the Hacker or Bush jobs with the optional add-on amplifier/speaker for stereo might suit- they're still in (largish) suitcase format and can be used standalone in mono mode..


Bush SRP41/AU41 , Hacker GP42/AL42 for starters.


There are later stereo all in one attache case units from the likes of Sanyo but these are black and silver styling rather than "retro".


Try a poke around in Google images using likely combinations of briefcase, attache case, stereo, record player, music centre, classic, vintage etc. If something takes your fancy, no doubt opinions on its desirability from a "quality and technical" viewpoint will be freely offered here

It's (just) possible that one of the modern retro style players might suit- some of them aren't too dire in what they do to records
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 12:48 pm   #10
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

There's one made by ITT-KB that's stereo and gives a good account of itself. I've got one, although I haven't used it in a long while. I would say that the only possible thing against this model is that it's one of those where the turntable platter is all plastic, although this hasn't caused any issues with my particular player, and many other players use this same type of deck without issue.
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 3:23 pm   #11
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

If you want a self contained record player something like this then https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/ittgb_kp043.html

or if you want something with separate speakers then this https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/ittgb_stereo_1040.html
If you want a more sophisticated unit stereo with separate speakers then these are reasonable https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/ittgb_...nter_mc22.html
Or an Amstrad tower system. https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/amstra...er_system.html
Get a decent pair of speakers and you will have a half decent sounding system. The speakers make all the difference to any of these systems.

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Old 24th Aug 2019, 3:29 pm   #12
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

If you take a look at “offers” on this forum you will see a Hacker Record Player, for sale, this will give some idea of price you can expect to pay for a decent system.
Cheers
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Old 24th Aug 2019, 7:15 pm   #13
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Default Re: Total newbie! Fidelity HF31 purchase?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crackle View Post
If you want a self contained record player something like this then https://www.radiomuseum.org/r/ittgb_kp043.html

Mike
That's the one that I mentioned in my previous post. They're actually quite a good record player and examples come up for sale on the internet now and again.

It's worth mentioning that the Fidelity record player first mentioned by the OP is a live chassis single stage amplifier unit that requires a high output crystal cartridge to enable it to output its full volume of audio. These cartridges are now unobtainable and if it still has its original cartridge fitted, then it's likely that it'll fail sooner, rather than later. These original cartridges can't be used to play more modern stereo records without carving up the grooves and spoiling them, so basically any record be it 45 or 33 LP made after about 1970 can't be played on it. This will apply to ANY record player of that type that has only a single stage valve amplifier, so ask advice from forum members BEFORE you decide to purchase, on what type of amplifier is likely to be fitted to a particular model.
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