Reader’s Digest Record Player

Reader’s Digest Record Player

Well this was an unusual item to drop on the bench the other day. I remember seeing these years ago, late ‘60s I guess, but never had one to play with. Sort of suite case design, with the lid comprising of 2 speakers. They unclip in halves leaving you to place them for the perfect stereo sound stage!!

The whole thing looked in quite good condition. I guess these were made in the USA, given the layout of the deck and the larger 45 RPM adaptor for automatic operation. The stylus has a nice built in protector watch can be pushed to one side. Bass, treble, balance and volume, with a couple of push buttons for recording, additional tuner and Mono. So that’s 3 buttons isn’t it?

First thing was to check the voltage selector to ensure it was set to 220v, not 115v in case it was an untouched USA import, before I connected the angry pixies supply.  Power up with the current limiter just in case. Now the power is switched on when you move the turntable’s lever to manual. Got a hum and crackle and some audio from both speakers, and… the stylus was in good order. However, turntable was stationary.

Off with the platter and found the idler drive wheel was missing, in the bottom of the case. The retaining circlip was missing, so the assembly was dismantled to gain access. Out with the box of circlips and springs which of course I dropped on the floor. Luckily the old speaker magnet clinging to the side of the work bench managed to retrieve most of the bits, plus loads of other muck. With the idler in place, clean up, the tension spring tweaking, we now had some RPMs. Someone had been messing about with the record stabilising arm which meant that the record deck in automatic mode would continue forever. Had to make a small pin to fit through the actuating arm under the deck.

The initial hum had now gone, guessing that the smoothing capdensors had reformed after years of being asleep. The amplifier board was check and all seemed to be fine. Lots of top hat germanium transistors!

Reassemble and played well. Let’s hope the customer enjoys the Beach Boys.

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