I’ve had a couple of these in for repair over the last year, when working well they’re a pretty good Hi-Fi with a sought after retro vibe.
This one, however, arrived in a pretty poor state, it looked like it had been in someone’s outside shed for the last twenty years, the recessed screw holes in the back of the cabinet were full of debris, not sure what it was though, dirt / spider web or something else, I don’t know. Inside wasn’t much better, all the metal work was pitted and covered in rust spots and mould. In theory none of this would affect the way it worked so I started the assessment. The door clamp was broken, the turntable belt was missing, one of the styli was broken, the other had oxidised, the side B tonearm was snapped in half and the minute wires from the cartridge were broken in several places. All the function switches were noisy, as was the volume control. Moving on to the tape deck, the capstan belt was missing but apart from that it all looked good. The only way to see if it all worked was to start replacing stuff!
Starting with the turntable, a new drive belt was fitted and for everything else I was lucky enough to have a VZ-3000 in the corner of the workshop that I could use for spares, even more lucky was that the door clamp was identical although not very easy to fit, the whole door mechanism had to come to pieces, never mind though, that would make it easier for the further work I had to do. My luck ran out with the tonearm as the one in the 3000 was completely different and with no spares available online the only option was to repair the one that was in there. Getting the tonearm out so I could work on it was no easy matter either, I had to release the guide wire from the back of the deck and then remove the circlip holding the guide plate in place, then with a little levering I was able to release the plate and slide the tonearm off. It’s held in a small mech which allows it to pivot up and down as well as left and right, this had to be partially disassembled to allow removal of the arm itself. Now I could glue the arm back together using araldite, this would be a firm repair, the cartridge wires were a different matter though, far too fine to be repaired, they would have to be replaced, thanks again to the VZ-3000! It didn’t end there though, the wires had to be glued at intervals along the tonearm and it’s holder to keep them in place. The last thing was a missing spring between the arm and it’s holder which provides the stylus force, once again the 3000 had exactly what I wanted and with a bit of fine adjustment the turntable will be fine.
There is a slight pause in proceedings at the moment while I wait for two new styli and some belts for the tape deck but work should start again next week.