Need help identifying vintage player/getting new needle

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jknepp
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Need help identifying vintage player/getting new needle

Post by jknepp » Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:48 am

I recently got this player for a very low price, runs and is in great cosmetic shape, but the needle, or where the needle is supposed to be, is a plastic piece. Ive never seen that before, but I'm assuming that I need to replace it with a real needle. I don't know where really to start looking, so any help on this would be greatly appreciated!

Also, if anyone can help identify it beyond it being a Sears made Silvertone would be fantastic! Thanks!

Links:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3EKi8 ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3EKi8 ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3EKi8 ... sp=sharing

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Graeme
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RE: Need help identifying vintage player/getting new needle

Post by Graeme » Mon Mar 24, 2014 12:05 pm

It would have been more helpful if you had taken a photograph of the bit you are asking about.

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RE: Need help identifying vintage player/getting new needle

Post by jknepp » Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:16 pm

Whoops! Forgot to attach the other images... Here's the sticker I found on the arm listing what parts to look for...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3EKi8 ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3EKi8 ... sp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3EKi8 ... sp=sharing

I think I found a replacement needle, http://www.turntableneedles.com/Electro ... _1035.html. Would anyone know how to do this on this player? I haven't found any videos or walkthroughs that are more like what mine looks like. Thanks for you help!

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RE: Need help identifying vintage player/getting new needle

Post by Graeme » Wed Mar 26, 2014 10:34 pm

For some odd reason, I can't view any of these images. I did look at those in the OP a couple of days ago, but can no longer see those either - which is really weird - so I'm not really able to help much.

My guess is that the 'block' you referred to is the cartridge itself and the stylus assembly just clips on to it in some way. However, without any pictures that's really only a guess at this time.

What I can tell you is that, as far as I remember, all Astatic cartridges were either crystal or ceramic and neither construction is likely to reproduce high-quality audio. I know you said you got this player for a low price, but it was probably for no more than it's really worth. If you wanted a decent record deck, the you should probably keep looking for one.

If you do pursue this one, then at least spring for the diamond tip version, not the sapphire - it will last much longer and be less prone to wear and well worth the extra $10 asked.

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RE: Need help identifying vintage player/getting new needle

Post by Graeme » Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:31 pm

Well, today I can actually see these pictures - not sure what's going on there. Still, it does allow me to make some more accurate comments.

The stylus assembly you referenced, although it ties in with the number on the tonearm, is not right. This is because someone has replaced the original cartridge, which explains why you couldn't work out how the replacement stylus fits - it doesn't!

The replacement cartridge is what is known colloquially as a 'turn-over' type. This has two different size tips (one for 78's and one for microgroove 45's and 33's). These are mounted on opposite sides of the same cantilever and you select the one you need by flipping a small lever - which is currently positioned in the half-way position in your photographs. You can see a picture of a typical turnover cartridge here - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/350769015737 .

There's not enough detail in the photographs to determine the actual model number of the cartridge. If you examine it carefully, there should be some sort of identification number on it somewhere, although you may have to remove it from the tonearm to find one. Given that number, finding a replacement stylus will be simple.

All that said, this is still not going to be a quality reproducer and if that's what you want, I would advise that this is simply not worth spending any more money on.

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Re: RE: Need help identifying vintage player/getting new nee

Post by jknepp » Fri Mar 28, 2014 6:46 pm

Graeme wrote:Well, today I can actually see these pictures - not sure what's going on there. Still, it does allow me to make some more accurate comments.

The stylus assembly you referenced, although it ties in with the number on the tonearm, is not right. This is because someone has replaced the original cartridge, which explains why you couldn't work out how the replacement stylus fits - it doesn't!

The replacement cartridge is what is known colloquially as a 'turn-over' type. This has two different size tips (one for 78's and one for microgroove 45's and 33's). These are mounted on opposite sides of the same cantilever and you select the one you need by flipping a small lever - which is currently positioned in the half-way position in your photographs. You can see a picture of a typical turnover cartridge here - http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/350769015737 .

There's not enough detail in the photographs to determine the actual model number of the cartridge. If you examine it carefully, there should be some sort of identification number on it somewhere, although you may have to remove it from the tonearm to find one. Given that number, finding a replacement stylus will be simple.

All that said, this is still not going to be a quality reproducer and if that's what you want, I would advise that this is simply not worth spending any more money on.
Thank you SO much for your help with this! Like I said, I'm completely new to all this.

As to the quality, I am not looking for the Hi-Fi aspect of vinyl records. I wanted the sound of the original equipment with the scratches and buzzes they produced.

Is there a specific website you search for/purchase cartridges and needles from that you would recommend?

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RE: Re: RE: Need help identifying vintage player/getting new

Post by Graeme » Fri Mar 28, 2014 7:26 pm

As with most things in life, it's not quite as simple as that.

Cartridges come in three basic types, moving magnet (the most common, by far, these days) moving coil (high-end equipment) and ceramic/crystal (which nobody would build into new equipment, but often found in older players such as yours). All three types have very different characteristics and fitting the wrong type will result in very poor results.

It would be best to try and determine what type is fitted to your player - my guess is it is a ceramic type, as these were cheap and often fitted to the lower-end players since they require less electronic circuitry for them to work.

You already know the model number of the original cartridge. I'd contact the guys who had the stylus and ask if they either have one, or a suitable replacement.

For more about Sonotone cartridges, this makes interesting reading;

http://www.roger-russell.com/sonopg/son ... cartridges

If you are intending to use this player, please don't play valuable records on it, they will surely risk being damaged.

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