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PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2010 5:19 pm 
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Posts: 539
Location: Minnetonka, MN 55305
The Pfanstiehl cartridge I mentioned in a previous post must have a fairly high output as my player is very loud without a circuit modification.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Sun 13, 2010 8:37 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 45
GSD wrote:
The Pfanstiehl cartridge I mentioned in a previous post must have a fairly high output as my player is very loud without a circuit modification.


Thanks for reminding me to research the VOM things.... the reason that I was asking about the mod, is because I am temporarily using the original crystal pickup, an Astatic 408 that does not hum and has a responsive needle. At full volume, I get a clear warm volume level that I'd expect the unit delivered at maybe half volume when it was new. So, it's obviously only delivering about half it's original capacity.

Therefore, until such time that I select a replacement cartridge, I'm going to experiment a bit with this 100mfd cap, just to see.

As regards VOM's cartridge kits for the RCA players... here is what they say ~ (my comments follow)

Quote:
The RCA 45 changers were used as stand alone attachments and in numerous phono models – the less expensive versions had a 3 volt cartridge and the more upscale models employed a 1 volt cartridge.

• For 1 volt models: The following kits are available to replace the original cartridge. Click on the link to see what's included and what's required to use these kits:

K45A .4v 3 to 5 grams
Cartridge kit - requires shell from original cartridge, not included with kit. This kit is based on the P190 cartridge and is the most popular with enthusiasts. See picture of completed installation at right.

K45B .5v 8grams
Cartridge kit - comes complete, and easiest to install for the novice. This kit is based on the P51 cartridge.

K45C 1.3v 6 to 8 grams
Cartridge kit - comes complete, and is based on the 911D7 plug in needle-cartridge. This kit has the highest output of any kit offered.


I find it interesting that VOM considers the 45-EY-2 and similarly powered units to be upscale. I would have considered them 'less expensive' models, but hey... gotta love'em either way! :wink:



Anyway... you selected the K45A for your 45-EY-2. Yet, VOM claims that the K45C is the highest output for this line of record player...and 1.3v doesn't seem to be excessively high, based on what I've read in various posts here at this site.

I thought one of the main drawbacks to Boscos low rider cartridge was the .7v output not being hot enough to deliver some bass, and that people wanted the powerpoints and such because even though they weren't as installation friendly as the Bosco, they delivered about 1v which was more in line with what the original RCA crystal carts supplied.

So, what was the reason you selected the K45A over the K45C ?
Just wondering, because if I'd stumbled upon that site on my own, I think my choice would have been the K45C.

Is there a mounting issue for the K45C or something that I'm missing, or do you think that extra .3 volts might cause distortion ?

L7

P.S. I just examined the close-up pics of all three carts and I notice that the K45A does have the lightest tracking force and that the K45C is one of the red colored 911-D7's that seem to have a reputation as being less desirable that the black ones. I won't repeat some of the comments about red 911's; So I guess that explains why you didn't select the K45C. But I'm still interested in what you have to say about it.


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PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2010 3:54 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 16, 2007 4:59 am
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Location: Minnetonka, MN 55305
I chose the 45A because the commentary cited it as most popular among the more experienced people who have made the conversion. Tracking and fidelity were the advantages while modification effort was greater. The fidelity and tracking are amazing. The installation is tricky due to the surgical soldering technique required to make up the wires and clips for attachment to the new cartridge. If you decide on this kit PLEASE contact me so I can point out a few pitfalls.

The end result was inexpensive and very effective. I'd do it again.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2010 8:00 am 
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Sounds good to me....

btw... which tip does the K45A have ? Diamond ?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Mon 14, 2010 11:17 pm 
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Location: Boston, MA USA
The 45-EY-2 would be considered upscale because at least it had a two-stage amplifier (voltage amplifier and power amplifier stages). Some of the later models had only a single (power) stage amplifier which required a much higher-output cartridge.

-David


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Tue 15, 2010 12:57 am 
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Location: Minnetonka, MN 55305
In reference to David's comment I was delighted to discover that this player has a three tube amplifier. The tip on the cartridge is sapphire i believe but admit I didn't pay much attention. You can send a question to Gary at VOM. Let me know the outcome. Good luck. :D

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Tue 15, 2010 2:29 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 16, 2007 4:59 am
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Location: Minnetonka, MN 55305
The following is from Gary at VOM with reference to the K45A:

Hi John
Great! Glad it worked out! This is the kit that the pros use because it
sounds the best and you can stack the most records. Yes, I hate soldering
tone arm wires too but its all part of the hobby and I warn everyone in the
listings that it does require soldering.

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Tue 15, 2010 3:22 am 
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GSD wrote:
In reference to David's comment I was delighted to discover that this player has a three tube amplifier. The tip on the cartridge is sapphire i believe but admit I didn't pay much attention. You can send a question to Gary at VOM. Let me know the outcome. Good luck. :D


Ah! I did just that, just before I placed my order today!
He stated that the K45A (P190) has a diamond tip.

I only ordered one, but I have three machines, so if this works out, I'll be ordering more. Only aspect I don't like is sacrificing a original cartridge for the mounting. YES, I know they're worthless and dead and so forth....but they can be rebuilt, and they can serve as a reference point. I'm pretty skilled at small stuff, and I have lots of minature sized tools, so I'll probably just fabricate a mount out of some brass shim stock or something simUlar.

I also ordered extra cones and motor-mounts for my RCA A-108 console.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Tue 15, 2010 3:57 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 16, 2007 4:59 am
Posts: 539
Location: Minnetonka, MN 55305
I have just one player and no compunctions about modifying the original cartridge. Send me your address in a PM and I'll send you my remaining half.

John

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Tue 15, 2010 7:20 am 
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GSD wrote:
I chose the 45A because the commentary cited it as most popular among the more experienced people who have made the conversion. If you decide on this kit PLEASE contact me so I can point out a few pitfalls.


Cool! Maybe you could post your triumphs, pitfalls and your mounting scheme - I'd be very interested in it all! Thanks!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Fri 18, 2010 4:28 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 16, 2007 4:59 am
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Location: Minnetonka, MN 55305
I inadvertently expanded this thread to include my own VOM discovery for a cartridge and a list of things I did to resurrect this old unit. My last issue was a slow start up speed that took a minute to reach proper rpm. It occurred to me that the motor mounts undoubtedly affected the alignment of the idler and drive wheel so ordered a new set from VOM and now I have a normal full fidelity player.

I did NOT, as it turns out, replace the idler spring with a stronger unit but instead replaced a spring that is on the end of the cam lever for lack of a better description. The original wouldn't facilitate the normal eject return function but the new one solves that.

Thanks to everyone for the input and best of luck to the original poster who has since ordered a "kit" from VOM to solve his cartridge replacement.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Fri 18, 2010 6:33 pm 
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GSD ~ yes, I did :D and it arrived about a hour ago. I will take you up on your generous offer of the 'other' half of your old cartridge. Just been busy, or I'd have already messaged you.


Regards, L7

By the way.. a few days ago, I went in to do some more work and I loosened up that idler spring by about 50% of my initial 'stretch'.
The turntable still turns smooth and quiet, so I think that's a good thing. Nobody, yet, has suggested or offered the obtainability (is that a word?) of an exact replacement for that spring. So I'm still winging it.

I also installed new motor mounts at the same time, and, predictably, it made the whole assembly operate better, overall.

One member here has a mod for disingaging the idler from the capstan drive....evidently with a simple spring arrangement, but I have yet to find any precise description of how to implement it. 8) 'hint, hint'



GSD wrote:
I inadvertently expanded this thread to include my own VOM discovery for a cartridge and a list of things I did to resurrect this old unit. My last issue was a slow start up speed that took a minute to reach proper rpm. It occurred to me that the motor mounts undoubtedly affected the alignment of the idler and drive wheel so ordered a new set from VOM and now I have a normal full fidelity player.

I did NOT, as it turns out, replace the idler spring with a stronger unit but instead replaced a spring that is on the end of the cam lever for lack of a better description. The original wouldn't facilitate the normal eject return function but the new one solves that.

Thanks to everyone for the input and best of luck to the original poster who has since ordered a "kit" from VOM to solve his cartridge replacement.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Fri 18, 2010 9:36 pm 
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Posts: 356
Location: USA
Louie7 wrote:
Nobody, yet, has suggested or offered the obtainability (is that a word?) of an exact replacement for that spring. So I'm still winging it.

Anytime I need a replacement spring (rare), I go to one of the "good" hardware stores I've scouted out in nearby cities, which has a good selection of springs. (For me, it's an Ace Hardware.)

I take what's left of the spring I'm replacing with me and just pick several "seemingly close" replacements (hey, they're cheap, so get several), then work with them at home to cut them down to the right length, and re-form the end hooks as needed.

I don't know of any one source of "phonograph spring specifications" where you can look up model X of phonograph, and it will tell you exact specifications of the spring for you to order from any "Springs-R-Us" online store, although if I had more spring problems during restorations, I'd probably wish there were such a thing!... :)

Unless someone in the phono hobby has already done this before, knows the exact type & length springs for your model, and has bought them & "prepped" them for re-sale to phono collectors, I don't know if you're going to find a better option. Of course, for VM changers, there's Gary Stork, with an awesome warehouse of new-old-stock parts, but I don't know of a NOS parts source like that for the RCA 45 turntables. (Closest I know of is Willie Bosco, who made his own RCA 45 replacement idlers, cam tires, cartridge assemblies..)

Know this probably isn't the type answer you're hoping for, but hope this helps,

- Bob


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Fri 18, 2010 10:27 pm 
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Joined: Dec Mon 14, 2009 7:16 pm
Posts: 45
well, yeah... that's about what I imagined.

So, given that, I'm thinkin' that my stretching the original spring a little bit is probably about equivalent to buying an unknown spring and adapting it by trial and error.

Not saying it's better - just similar; and cheaper. But as you say, new springs aren't going to break the bank. 8)

L7


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun Sat 19, 2010 1:02 am 
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Joined: Dec Sun 16, 2007 4:59 am
Posts: 539
Location: Minnetonka, MN 55305
I suspect that engineers have a unit of measure for spring tension and can describe a device that will measure springs for relative strength. As a non-engineer I'm picturing a tiny fish scale calibrated in milligrams. If we could measure the original and compare to what looks like a close replacement we could quantify our assumptions. :?:

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 Post subject: rebuild of RCA 45's
PostPosted: Sep Sun 19, 2010 8:11 pm 
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Joined: Aug Thu 05, 2010 7:26 pm
Posts: 114
Location: Elk Grove, CA
I know I am behind the 8 ball on this post, but I just ran across it while doing some research for my 7HF-5 RCA Orthophonic.
I have restored 20 or 30 bakelite RCA 45's and have found that the Phanstiel 190 does a good job. I wouldn't consider an amp done until the cathode resistor was by-passed with an electrolytic. The resistor gives the voltage to the tube cathode and the electrolytic gives the audio bypass to ground which results in more audio boost to the tube.
I did not see any mention of replacement of the idler wheel. I do not ever, not replace the idler. You can clean them with anything you want, but nothing replaces the grip of new rubber.
As for parts for these dudes, Gary at VOM has everything you need including the rubber and all mechanical parts you may need, and is probably the most reasonably priced.
I have moved most of my purchases for phono replacement parts to Gary first, and if he doesn't have it, then I have several other sources.
Lee at http://www.all-unique.com


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 Post subject: Re: Astatic 89T (RCA 45 Player) revisited
PostPosted: Sep Sun 19, 2010 9:48 pm 
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Location: The Twilight Zone
blacknwhite wrote:
Doug VanCleave wrote:
These are designed to be disposable cartridges. Wear out one of the tips and replace the whole cartridge even though the ceramic element may still be good. Even the Astatic brand can be a real crap shoot. Older ones can be trash depending on how they have been stored.

Some of these new old stock cartridges are nearly a half century old. It shouldn’t be too surprising that they might be in less than perfect condition. I see them listed from $5 to $70 and wonder what the heck these sellers are thinking. They have no idea of the real condition of the cartridge or the value of the record player that it’s used in.

Doug, you have a great way of summarizing the most important points in a thread :)



What Doug and yourself have stated is very true!
I have just gone through three nos astatic 93tx's and all have been a complete waste of money.
Some have no bass,others jump grooves,and I've had several where the sound gets fuzzy and drops out during quiet passages on a record.

Its extremely annoying to say the least.

It seems it's a toss up as to wether you will wind up with a good one or pile of junk.

I'm going to give the electrovoice ones a try now.

I was thinking the exact same things. The flexible parts do get old & become less compliant; storage conditions over the lifetime of the stylus (temp, humidity) become a HUGE, if not THE BIGGEST, factor, in whether it will skip uncontrollably on some records due to hardened parts.

How "new" are the "new" old stock ones being sold now?... (rhetorical question)

Guess the best folks can do is to try & sort out the "typical trends" by casing color, as in this thread... there it is...

- Bob


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 Post subject: "NOS" cartridges
PostPosted: Sep Sun 19, 2010 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Aug Thu 05, 2010 7:26 pm
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Location: Elk Grove, CA
Over the years, I have tested and sold at least 400 89t's. The best ones that had the best overall response and output "Punch" were the Gold colored ones I bought from Califone when they stopped manufacture, or at least importing. I never did find out who made them for Califone. I just sold my last Gold cartridge this week, keeping a couple for myself. Incidently, I took the photo of the two gold 89t"s back about 5 years ago. They are all over the net now, in pix, but what you get, are either Phansteil or Astatic.
All I have left now are about 200 Astatics. And yes, they are the older of the two. What a lot of people don't realize, besides age, is the interior of these as well as other crystal and ceramic cartridges, is the fact they are filled with a heavy viscous fluid for damping. As the stuff gets older, it gets stiffer. At about 40-50 years old, it is mostly putty or harder. Thus the deterioration.
I have a calibrated Califone I test all cartridges on. I never had a problem with the "Gold" ones which were the last made. The black Astatics range from not working to "Fantastic". I threw away about a third of my last bulk buy. Probably why prices fluctuate.


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 Post subject: Re: rebuild of RCA 45's
PostPosted: Sep Mon 20, 2010 4:51 am 
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Leland2 wrote:
I know I am behind the 8 ball on this post, but I just ran across it while doing some research for my 7HF-5 RCA Orthophonic.
I have restored 20 or 30 bakelite RCA 45's and have found that the Phanstiel 190 does a good job. I wouldn't consider an amp done until the cathode resistor was by-passed with an electrolytic. The resistor gives the voltage to the tube cathode and the electrolytic gives the audio bypass to ground which results in more audio boost to the tube.


I've mentioned that fact in a previous posting too.
A 47-100uf cap/25v works fine.

There's also a "high boost" capacitor on some models with tapped loudness controls that, when removed, compensates for the "shrilliness" of new-manufacture cartidges.
(the old crystal elements were originally lacking in highs)

This is usually the mica cap from the tap to the high side of the control.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Oct Sun 03, 2010 6:56 pm 
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Location: Lewes, DE
Can someone tell me how to get to the VOM site? I'm going nuts trying to figure out the cartridge alternatives for my two 45EY3s I'm amateurishly trying to get to work>


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