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Old 24th Mar 2020, 11:58 pm   #1
Murphy Maniac
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Default Westminster Table Gram

I have now completed work on the chassis and cabinet of my Table Radiogram and all is working very well.
The deck performs as it should but the output from the cartridge requires the volume to be turned right up before there is adequate output. The output stage is working as it should when listening to the radio.
I enclose two pictures showing the two sides of the cartridge, one side appears to have a broken stylus sticking out, and the other side doesn't look quite right to me, but I am inexperienced at working on record players so may be wrong.
Could someone please advise me as to part numbers and what I need to do in terms of replacements. The deck is a UA4 BSR Monarch.
Many thanks for all the help so far, from my point of view, it has been worth all the effort replacing part of the wooden frame holding the cabinet together as it now looks very presentable and the radio is very sensitive, and totally lacking in hum. It would be nice to have the record player working as well.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 12:23 am   #2
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

In the first picture the cantilever and stylus tip are missing. With the second picture everything looks ok as far as I can tell apart from the chunk of fluff.

Alan
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 1:23 am   #3
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

I hope you're not ruining decent records with that pickup head.

I'm not immediately familiar with that cartridge, but if it's an early crystal type then you're lucky it's working at all. Some of these early cartridges were magnetic types, but still not good for more modern records. You can't replace it with a more modern compatible type unless you can adjust the tracking weight and some of these early BSR decks didn't seem to have any means of adjustment - check for a counterbalance spring under the rear of the arm. Some of these old players are best left for only playing records from their period and not trying to make them something they're not. It's a very interesting player all the same - post a few more pictures of the rest of it.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 2:07 am   #4
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

The cartridge is a BSR TC4 crystal cartridge. The stylus tends to get stuck and can be difficult to remove, it might help to apply a tiny amount of wd40 and leaving it for a while before trying to remove it if you intend to fit a new one. The crystal may have deteriorated by now, but they do seem to have a slightly better survival rate than Garrard or Acos cartridges of the period.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 11:07 am   #5
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

The problem with this arm is adjusting the weight when a replacement cartridge is fitted. If when the new cartridge is fitted, it is too light, then weight can be added by putting sturdy washers under the cartridge mountings, but if it is too heavy, then there is no way to add weight at the back of the arm.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 12:58 pm   #6
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

Thanks for the information , and "No" I'm not playing my best records on it yet, I have my Plus-o-Gram for that.
Are the symptoms of a knackered crystal cartridge lack of output? If so, that seems to be my problem. I assume that replacements are no longer available so I will resign myself to just using the radio and leave it original.
It only cost me 5 at the last Radiophile auction and has given a lot of pleasure already in refurbishing it, it just seems unfortunate that I can't complete the job.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 1:57 pm   #7
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

Quote:
Originally Posted by Audio1950 View Post
The problem with this arm is adjusting the weight when a replacement cartridge is fitted. If when the new cartridge is fitted, it is too light, then weight can be added by putting sturdy washers under the cartridge mountings, but if it is too heavy, then there is no way to add weight at the back of the arm.
With a bit of ingenuity I'm not convinced that it would be impossible to balance a replacement cartridge with something approaching the correct tracking weight. Blu-tack is remarkably versatile for this kind of thing. It's quite a dense material and can be hidden away in all sorts of nooks & crannies including at the back of the arm. All completely reversible. It would be good if Geoff could use the Westminster to its full potential.

Alan
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 3:15 pm   #8
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

You could experiment with different t springs
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 3:39 pm   #9
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

Whilst you will not be able to get a get direct replacement for the BSR TC4, there are other suitable cartridges available. However, these will cost c.35-00.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 4:08 pm   #10
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

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Originally Posted by electrogram View Post
You could experiment with different t springs
There seems to be some doubt about whether or not the UA4 has a spring at all. I'm not familiar with this particular deck however.

Alan
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 5:48 pm   #11
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

Is this the spring we are talking about?
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 5:51 pm   #12
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

That's the one
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 5:56 pm   #13
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

Edward, could you suggest a possible candidate as a substitute please?
Preferably something not requiring anything resembling major surgery.
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 8:05 pm   #14
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

Whoops! I do apologise for clouding the issue, I assumed (wrongly!) that this was the single play deck, which has no adjustment. Should have read the post properly before leaping in!
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Old 25th Mar 2020, 9:04 pm   #15
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murphy Maniac View Post
Edward, could you suggest a possible candidate as a substitute please?
Preferably something not requiring anything resembling major surgery.
If you are only going to play 78's, 45's and MONO LP's, you can get a new BSR MTC8 online. Easy to fit and you just use the two existing tone arm wires.

If you want to play Stereo LP's - and that BSR UA4 Monarch autochanger is most certainly pre-Stereo - you might be able to use a BSR SC11M or SC12H, but you will need to bridge the LH and RH channels.

I would only attempt to use this if you can get the arm tracking weight down to circa 5 grams and you may not be able to achieve this on that heavy tone-arm.
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 12:45 am   #16
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

Thanks Edward.
I would be using it primarily to play 78's and occasionally my collection of old 45's so nothing too fancy is required. In fact, it will be doing what it was originally intended to do. If I use the BSR MTC8, can I just proceed without worrying too much about tracking weight as I have no means of measuring this; or is there some clever method of measuring it without special equipment?
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Old 26th Mar 2020, 4:04 pm   #17
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Default Re: Westminster Table Gram

If you are only going to use it for 78s and 45s then the BSR M TC8 will be fine, it may just track a bit on the heavy side that's all.
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