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A new venture in vintage land; Bush SRP31D record player

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Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Noble V-Ratter Registered

Well, a new venture for me, I've never worked on one of these before!

I've been shopping again... Bought this rather nice record player, it was in the antiques / junk shop in Sutton on sea, with a price tag of £45, and for some odd reason, I thought it'd be interesting to have a go at! A bit of haggling later, and the added purchase of an old clock with it, and it was on it's way home with me. It even came with something to play on it, a copy of 'The Highwaymen, Michael'. Not that it'll be playing it any time soon, first problem it has is a well busted stylus, and a snapped in half cartridge.

I've had it running already, the deck seems to function normally, although it slows down when it tries to do it's auto stop / next record thing, the idler looks and feels to be in good condition. The amp doesn't seem to be too healthy, not much noise is produced, although the broken cartridge might have a fair bit to do with that, even though I did manage to push the 2 halves back together! It uses a Sonotone 8T4A, which I probably won't be replacing like for like (have you seen the prices of those?!)

Cosmetically, it's pretty good, there are a few marks to the rexine, looks like the mains cable was wrapped around it at some point and it's left a mark. The most worrying thing is the few woodworm holes I've seen, so it's going to be soaked in worm-killer when I get back home. The turntable mat is beginning to go gooey, so I'm planning on making a silicone rubber mould from it before it goes out of shape, and then I can cast a new one from something. I did think I'd lost the Bush logo from the front, but found it rattling around inside the bottom of the case.

I think that's all I can say about it now until I get it back to the workshop for a more thorough investigation!

Regards,

Lloyd

IMG_4844.jpgIMG_4845.jpgIMG_4846.jpgIMG_4847.jpgIMG_4848.jpg

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Topic starter Posted : 14/08/2017 10:44 pm
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
Famed V-Ratter Registered

Great record player, if the amp is low volume you will probably find the selenium rectifier low output. Cannot remeber what type of coupling capacitors are used but will require testing/ replacing.

The 8TA cartridge was excellent at the time, if it is cracked it could well be faulty, I think it's crystal, could be wrong (ceramic) but damp destroys crystal cartridges.

The record player deck will probably require a full service, hardened grease,  shiny slipping idler wheel etc. A good source of info on record changers is the UKVRRR forum, use the sticky threads in the record player section for the info.

Always had a soft spot for these players.

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Posted : 14/08/2017 11:07 pm
PYE625
(@pye625)
Famed V-Ratter Registered

Hi Lloyd,

A nice player there indeed  welld_gif

A bit of TLC, and you will be deafening the neighbours with Cathy Kirby   grin_gif

The Sonotone 8TA is a ceramic cartridge and along with the 9TA, can give very good quality sound indeed. Much better than a cheap BSR cartridge.

Unfortunately, the Sonotone's are not cheap.

Oh, and if the electrostatic tweeter is silent, it can be repaired.

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Posted : 14/08/2017 11:20 pm
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Noble V-Ratter Registered

Sounds like I've bagged a nice player 🙂

The cartridge is broken right where the 2 bits of ceramic begin, the connections having been ripped out. I managed to carefully straighten the flat metal contacts, and pushed them back onto the ceramic 'blocks'. The stylus is totalled, well, looking at it the stylus tips are completely missing, and all that's left is the cantilever, which looks to have been bent round as a bodge to make it possible to play a record (probably only once, as the record would be trashed!). I ran my finger over the stylus while it was running and it did produce some noise, so there may be hope for it!

I haven't listened to the record you have posted a link to, Andrew! I'll have to wait until I have proper internet again, 3's network is a bit flaky to say the least!

Regards,

Lloyd

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Topic starter Posted : 15/08/2017 10:39 pm
Katie Bush
(@katie-bush)
Illustrious V-Ratter Moderator

Hi Lloyd,

I'm not sure how high you can go in price for a new cartridge for your SRP31D, but one of mine has been fitted with an Acos in lieu of the Sonotone, a GP91-1sc if memory serves me. Not strictly kosher, but produces an acceptable result. One downside is that it's not a stereo cartridge, just stereo compatible and available via eBay for about £25. The downside being that with a GP91, you couldn't couple up two SRP's or an SRP plus external amp to get the stereo effect.

I was extremely lucky when I bought one of my SRP31D's because Mike (Catho) donated a Sonotone 8T cartridge for it, so at least one my players is technically correct.

Marion

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Posted : 15/08/2017 11:05 pm
PYE625
(@pye625)
Famed V-Ratter Registered

Lloyd said

I haven't listened to the record you have posted a link to, Andrew! 
Regards,

Lloyd

Erm.... it may not be quite  your cup of tea Lloyd   grin_gif

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Posted : 15/08/2017 11:27 pm
Boater Sam
(@boater-sam)
Reputable V-Ratter Registered

The cheap black and red Chinese from ebay is a good stereo cartridge for very little cash, and some sellers include the mounting too.

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Posted : 16/08/2017 11:04 am
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Noble V-Ratter Registered

I've got some of those black and red cartridges, unfortunately no mounts for them though. I also have a handful of P mount magnetic cartridges, as found fitted to the likes of the Technics SL-5, I guess that magnetic cartridges won't work very well with a player designed for ceramic, could always give it a go!

I've been back home and grabbed a small toolkit and a handful of caps, so later on tonight I might have a go at the thing, see what I can make of it...

regards,

Lloyd

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Topic starter Posted : 16/08/2017 5:46 pm
Cathovisor
(@cathovisor)
Illustrious V-Ratter Registered

Lloyd said
I've got some of those black and red cartridges, unfortunately no mounts for them though. I also have a handful of P mount magnetic cartridges, as found fitted to the likes of the Technics SL-5, I guess that magnetic cartridges won't work very well with a player designed for ceramic, could always give it a go!

I've been back home and grabbed a small toolkit and a handful of caps, so later on tonight I might have a go at the thing, see what I can make of it...

regards,

Lloyd

Don't even think about putting a magnetic cartridge in one of those record grinders, Lloyd! You'd need an RIAA-corrected pre-amp anyway. I don't think I have any 8T4As in my spares box: they're a much better cartridge than their BSR equivalents, so I'd be looking for something from the Acos stable (GP94) or maybe even a Sonotone 3509. Those are both ceramic types and they're stereo cartridges too: not sure how they compare (tracking weight and output) but I'm sure someone might know.

Not sure, but I think (BICBW) that the 3509 is also known as the Garrard KS40A.

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Posted : 16/08/2017 6:12 pm
PYE625
(@pye625)
Famed V-Ratter Registered

Cathovisor said

Don't even think about putting a magnetic cartridge in one of those record grinders, Lloyd!

No don't, for another reason, the output will be approximately a tenth from that of a ceramic cartridge and you likely won't hear anything anyway.

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Posted : 16/08/2017 7:52 pm
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
Famed V-Ratter Registered

Specification of the 8TA cartridge from Radio-Electronics magazine Sept 1959.

IMG_1359.JPG

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Posted : 16/08/2017 8:56 pm
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Noble V-Ratter Registered

Little bit of an update! I have managed to repair the cartridge, I straightened the bits of metal that contact the bits of ceramic, carefully pushed them back in with the bits of ceramic, and super-glued the plastic parts back together. I re-fitted the well-dead stylus, connected each channel in turn to my Minidisc recorder's microphone input, hit record and ran my finger over what's left of the stylus, we have sound! Well, more of a well defined rustling noise, but it was the same from both channels! I've ordered a new stylus (it was only £7.49...) so we will see if it's capable of playing a record when that arrives.

I also spent some time stripping the thing down, and giving the cabinet a much needed clean, I also cleaned the deck (cosmetically, not mechanically yet), re-stuck the Bush badge, and got the multimeter on the amp. The reason for the low output level is definitely because of the rectifier, I was only getting 38.9V HT, so I'll be replacing that next to see what other faults might show themselves.

Oh, I mentioned the rubber mat turning to goo; turns out it isn't after all! it's either had some chemical spillage on one edge at some point in it's life, or it's reacted badly to the mains cable being near or on it. It's just gone a little cripsy at the edge, the rest of it is in pretty good order, so I gave it a wash, and it came up quite good. I only used hand-soap on it, as I didn't want to expose it to anything too harsh.

The whole thing is looking pretty good so far! Now to deal with those pesky woodworm.... Anyone got a really big microwave?! Or even a bath full of liquid nitrogen?!

Regards,

Lloyd

(pics will follow....)

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Topic starter Posted : 19/08/2017 9:03 pm
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Noble V-Ratter Registered

Well, I forgot the pictures the other day! Never mind...

I did write out a quick update yesterday, but the forum decided to log me out when I hit 'post', and the whole thing disappeared into the ether(net), and I couldn't be bothered to write it again! I'll have another go now.. I'm using notepad first this time!

I've made a fair bit of progress, the deck has been stripped down, cleaned with white spirit to remove the old grease, re-lubed with Lithium grease and clock oil on the bits where the manual stated there should be light oil, I found it odd that it said light oil on the turntable bearings? There was a load of grease packed into them before, it runs smoothly with just oil on them, what does anyone else think? should I pack them with grease as before, or just oil them?

I also discovered it has an auto shut-off feature when it's finished playing a stack of records, which now works! It didn't before. Another discovery was the cartridge being fitted wrong, it was too far forward, caused by the mounting bracket being fitted backwards, probably what broke it in half in the first place. I've re-fitted it so it sits back a bit now. just got to wait for the new stylus to arrive now, so I can see if it works properly.

I've also got the amp out to get it working, there was low HT (38.9V), which I read could be caused by a faulty selenium rectifier, so I set about replacing it with a diode and resistor, as per other threads over on the other forum. 330 R, and a 1N4007 is what seems to be right for these. I could only find 470 R 5W, 150 R 10W, and a 300 R with no obvious rating, other than it was smaller than the 5W, so guessed it was probably 2 or 3W, and a 1N5406 diode. I tried the 470 R first, but the HT was still quite low, around 120V, the fuse bulb was glowing quite brightly too. I tried the 150 R, and still the HT was low, only reaching 175V. I checked the capacitors, which were all fine, they are ceramic disc types, rather than waxies. There are no waxies in this at all, just 1 Hunts mould-seal, and that's out of the way in the bass/treble circuits. I changed some resistors that has gone high, but this did nothing. Out of pure desperation I decided to change the 2 ECL86's for some possibly new/slightly used ones, not expecting much to change, because it's never the valves... Well, in this case it was! As soon as I switched it on the HT rose up over 300V, then settled back down to 235V, this with the 150 R resistor fitted. It should be 215V, so I tried the 470 R again, but now the HT was low again, at 195V. The amp sounded much better though, and the tweeter even works! Shame Bush couldn't find a better speaker for these, I think it'd benefit from something more substantial.

Now I just need to find a suitable resistor, and tidy up the chassis. Oh, and sort out the woodworm too, make sure they are dead.

Regards,
Lloyd.

...And pictures will have to wait again!

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Topic starter Posted : 23/08/2017 6:35 pm
Katie Bush
(@katie-bush)
Illustrious V-Ratter Moderator

Hi Lloyd,

Personally, I'd say if it had grease in the bearings before, then it aught to have grease in them now. My own feeling is that although oil might give a good result right now, it may well leach away in a very short space of time, and leave the bearings too dry.

You've surprised me with the faulty valve(s) - I've known those ECL86 to give a good account even when so badly 'tea stained' inside that you can't see the innards. On the HT, probably better running a shade under than over, and given that it's only 20V short, it's an almighty lot closer to spec than your previous 40V total!

Now then..... Shhhh! you've at least got a tweeter that works! As I recall, most gave up the ghost within a few years of manufacture.

Marion

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Posted : 23/08/2017 10:36 pm
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
Famed V-Ratter Registered

If by turntable bearing it's the bearing race that sits at the bottom of the spindle, I always cleaned the old grease out and refilled with new grease.

With the ECL86's drawing so much current I surprised it didn't show up in higher cathode voltages or positive g1 voltages.

All sorted now, glad you had ECL86's to hand, they seem to be getting quite expensive.

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Posted : 23/08/2017 10:48 pm
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Noble V-Ratter Registered

I will re-grease the bearings tomorrow, I did think that oil wouldn't stay put, I wonder why they put it in the manual to just oil them? I do think someone has had a go at this machine before, judging by the soldering on the output transformer (which is horrible, and will be re-done at some point!), and the fact one of the signal cables under the deck was actually caught in the mechanism and had been chewed through by the mech!

As to the faulty valves, I've been playing and found it's just 1 of them, a Brimar branded one, which looks well-cooked, the other valve was a yellow labelled Mullard, which I have since found to be absolutely fine, I've re-fitted it along with another used specimen, and my HT now sits at 200-205V with the 470Ω resistor, the fuse bulb barely glows at all, the mains transformer only gets slightly warm, and the valves themselves generate much less heat. I might leave the resistor, although I did read something worrying earlier whilst looking for a suitable 330Ω one, the metal-clad ones were all only rated for 160V, I looked at 3 different makes and all stated the same voltage. The reason for using one of those was purely for neatness, I can bolt it to the chassis right where the original rectifier was and mount the diode on one of it's solder tags.

I was surprised at the voltages all seeming to measure out OK, the only one that threw me was the grid of V2a, the triode section, being 10V positive? But looking at the circuit, it kind of makes sense, it's connected to the cathode via 2 resistors, and that is at 25V, with a 47K resistor to ground between the 2 resistors. The only other voltage that was out was the anode voltage to V1b was much lower than V2b. Now they both sit within a volt or 2 of each other.

The amp is sounding pretty good at the moment, I've only been running the headphone output from my phone into it so far, had a bit of David Bowie's album The rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust playing through it, and the only thing that let it down was that naff speaker! I'm sure it's the same as the one fitted to the likes of the VHF80C, and it was too small even for the amplifier in that. I might try connecting up something bigger just to see how it performs.

I've also doused the cabinet in liberal amounts of worm-killer, hopefully that'll be the last I see of them! Strangely, there was a crispy carcass of one of the beetles still in one of the holes, I picked it out, they have brown wing casings, and a black head, and are about 3-4mm long.

I've just looked at new ECL86's, they are rather pricey! The ones I had came from a box given to me when Rugby college were having a clearout.

Regards,

Lloyd

Here's some of the pics I promised, the others are still on my phone, and the cable is in the car...

IMG_4886.jpg

Busted cartridge

IMG_4887.jpg

Repaired cartridge!

IMG_4888.jpg

Testing with the Minidisc recorder, note the 'level' bargraph thing down the left of the display.

IMG_4889.jpg

Nice clean deck

IMG_4890.jpg

Chewed wire

IMG_4913.jpg

Amp chassis underside

IMG_4914.jpg

Very low HT.

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Topic starter Posted : 23/08/2017 11:48 pm
Katie Bush
(@katie-bush)
Illustrious V-Ratter Moderator

Hi Lloyd,

Something doesn't look right there... I'm sure the cartridge shouldn't be visible like that (reminds me of Dougal - Magic Roundabout, with his tongue sticking out).

On mine, I seem to recall the cartridge is tucked away neatly up inside the head-shell. To point of fact, would put your cartridge further back, and higher up inside the shell.

I'll see if I can get to it during later half of the week and take a picture.

I have to confess though, I haven't played mine for a fair while - though it should soon be getting a blast of "The Edinburgh Military Tattoo of 1967" just as I remember it from fifty years ago.

Marion

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Posted : 24/08/2017 12:27 am
Lloyd
(@lloyd)
Noble V-Ratter Registered

Hi Marion,

yes, that was something I noticed in pictures of other machines, it turns out the bracket that the cartridge is mounted on (the Mazak bit) was put in backwards, I've since turned it round and the cartridge sits further back, looks much more sensible!

regards,

Lloyd

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Topic starter Posted : 24/08/2017 11:02 am
Nuvistor
(@nuvistor)
Famed V-Ratter Registered

I remember the BSR UA16 deck being introduced, I always thought it looked so much nicer that the previous models, very space age with the streamlined looks and the metallic blue and white colour scheme.

The early 60's was the space race age, perhaps it's just me or perhaps that was in the designers mind.

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Posted : 24/08/2017 12:06 pm
Katie Bush
(@katie-bush)
Illustrious V-Ratter Moderator

nuvistor said
I remember the BSR UA16 deck being introduced, I always thought it looked so much nicer that the previous models, very space age with the streamlined looks and the metallic blue and white colour scheme.

The early 60's was the space race age, perhaps it's just me or perhaps that was in the designers mind.

Hi Frank,

I must confess, I like these decks, and to me it's a design that never seemed to age. Even today it still looks modern, but needs to be really well cleaned up, like Lloyd's is in the pics above.

There was a cheaper BSR deck at the same time, with a two tone grey appearance, but the mat was little more than a narrow band atop the turntable, the turntable itself was smaller and lighter, and the tone-arm was plastic and prone break in the hands of an aggressive teenager. I also seem to recall a lot of 'wow' with them - now, what was the model number? It was favoured by the likes of Fidelity and Alba in their two valved UL84/UY85 amped auto-changers.

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Posted : 24/08/2017 11:17 pm
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