Saturday, 14 January 2012
It was a Turntable kind of day...
Snow in Vancouver today for the first time this winter, so I stayed fairly close to home. It was not a significant amount but nevertheless the roads around here and our drivers don't mix well in marginal conditions.
However the closest Salvation Army is easily reachable on a day like today and I found myself there about noon. As soon as I walked into the bargain basement I spied a woodgrain turntable and quickly snatched it up.
It turned out to be a Dual 504 and was in pretty good shape and had a perfectly acceptable belt included. Of course it had the typical scratched cover and questionable cartridge, an ION 2, whatever that is. It looks Shure-like but examination with my 60 power scope shows a stylus that seems to be completely worn out.
The Dual tonearms are usually low mass or even ULM (for Ultra Low Mass) and tend to like lightweight cartridges. Fortunately I just happened to have a brand new Ortofon Omega I picked up on a whim a few months ago, so I gave it a try. It worked and sounded just great so this one may be a keeper!
Before doing so though I cleaned it up and polished the lid. Actually I polished 3 lids today. In fact I wore a hole in a finger today while polishing lids. When nearly done on the last of them I realized a finger on my right hand was bleeding!
I have been meaning to get around to spiffing up a Sony PS-1350 I snagged a month or more ago and a Technics SL-B100 from a week ago. The intent was to get them ready to sell.
The Sony I had already done some work on, such as repairing the bearing (bushing more accurately) that the spindle turns on. I also replaced the belt and ordered and installed a new stylus for the installed Sony VL 32G it come with. When I bought it the cantilever was completely gone but I managed to find a NOS (New Old School) Sony ND-134G, the OEM replacement.
The end result was pretty acceptable. The lid could still use some more fine work but the main damage is gone, but my hand couldn't handle it today. I also am going to try to get the hinges adjusted to help the lid stay up as they have lost some tension. I hooked it up and it sounded good though.
On to the Technics turntable...
The Technics SL-B100 came with a Technics SA-500 receiver and Optimus 5 speakers last week. I really did not intend to pick it but what the heck. It came in the box with a Grado GT cartridge and was in very good condition. Once again, it needed a belt and the Grado being a P-Mount design with what seemed like good life it did not take long to get it set up and running. I was also happy with the listening results. Though the lid was pretty good, I gave it the wet-sand treatment while I listened to Sly And The Family Stone.
I find the fastest way to get out deep or numerous scratches is wet-sanding. I start with 800 or 1000 grit and go up to 1500. After that I use NOVUS plastic polish 2 and 1 to get a clear shiny lid. NOVUS 3 is meant for deep scratches but I find the sandpaper is quicker. I'm starting to experiment with polishing discs in a drill and soon will be trying a car buffer/polisher but the manual method does work quite well.
Most lids seem to need at least 1/2 hour to an hour of work for a decent result. For a very special table, especially a high quality keeper, I might spend twice as long.
So anyway, the SONY and the TECHNICS go on the market and the DUAL sticks around for now.