Ferguson Collaro 1950s record player
Customer came in with this little treasure today, along with an early 60s tape recorder. The record player belonged to his wife, her father having bought it for her as a birthday present in the ‘50s.
This would have been the next step up from the budget Dansettes etc. We have a Collaro Conquest deck and a valve amplifier all on a PCB. So, dive in a strip down. Collaro decks were always troublesome to get going, having a mind of their own. This was all gummed up with old grease and muck. The motor was jammed and did not budge. These motors were very well made, with nice bearings, with oil retention felt pads etc. With the motor cleaned up, the speed change mechanism sorted and reassembled, the deck worked correctly first time. Unheard of! The only thing that I could do, is to boil the rubber idler pulley, but it seems to have enough traction on the turntable rim for now. The nice thing about these decks, is the speed of the autochanger is independent of the record speed. So, even when playing a 78 RPM. The arm move nice an gently, unlike a BSR or Garrard. It uses the arm to sense the record diameter so it knows where to land. Nice.
Now for the amplifier. 2 valves, UCL83s. The pentode sections are wired in push pull giving a few Watts output. The triode sections being used as a pre amp and phase splitter. All the Hunts capdensors replaced, along with the smellinium rectifier, which was smelling of boiled cabbage. This means it was on it’s way out. I left it in place so that things looked original, with a small diode underside. Changed the HT feed resistor to around 600 Ohms to allow for the efficient new diode. Cathode bypass caps changed. Had a quick test and all sounded great. Trying to get the PCB back in the cabinet and getting the securing nut in place was the hardest part. All working well, but could do with a new stylus. Checked on some Art Blakey for a test.