Pilot record player, Collaro deck

A nice way to end a week. Customer came in with a late ‘50s Pilot record player. Wow I hear you all shouting. This player was sporting a Collaro RC 456 deck. Now Collaro decks were more expensive than the budget BSR decks which worked well. However, Collaros were awkward to repair when they started to do silly things and were responsible for most of the suicides within the radio repair business during the 50s-60s. The good thing about this particular model, is the automatic mechanism is driven via an idler wheel direct from the motor, rather than from the turntable itself. This means that the arm movement and operation speed is independent of the record speed. The record falling and arm positioning is nice and sedate, staying the same for 33 to 78 RPM. With BSR and Garrard decks, the automatic mechanism speed was good and gentle at 33 rpm. 45, not too bad, but at 78 rpm the arm would land on the record with a force of 15 foot pounds per cubic millamp squared.
The amplifier uses an ACDC configuration, no mains transformer. This means that chassis could be at mains potential. The deck wiring is isolated so you won’t get killed changing over you Jim Reeves record. The set uses a UCL83 valve. The good thing here is that triode section of the valve is used as a preamp. The crystal pickup has a slightly lower output but has more fidelity. BSR used pickups such as TC8s which produced quite a voltage when a loud record was played. Just about enough output to stuff directly into the grid of a valve such as a UL84 without any pre amp section.
So a good deck clean up, lubricated and set up. All the capdensors changed in the amplifier and have to say, sounds belting!

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