A couple of weeks on, there has been plenty going on with the Black Box record player project.
I decided that it wouldn’t be practical to find enough original parts to fill my empty box, so have taken the route where I just use whatever I can get hold of (so long as it doesn’t change the character too much).
Speakers – Originally, there was a 6.5 inch and 4 inch tweeter each side of the box, and I have gone for a dual cone 17cm each side, omitting the tweeter. With modern speakers, this should be a reasonable solution. I used a pair of Pioneer TS-G1721i speakers.
Turntable – This would have been a Monarch or Garrard autochanger deck originally, but I found an old BSR one (DD3918/411, S51 SL7) for £15 on eBay and bought that. It isn’t an auto-changer, but is in fair condition and looks quite ‘vintagey’. The mechanism was gunged up, but a few squirts of WD40 sorted that out, and it seems to work fine. The rubber turntable mat is a bit warped, but I can probably find a replacement for that.
Amplifier – I discounted using a valve amplifier, because modern ones are very expensive to buy, and old stereo ones hard to get hold of. I toyed with the idea of finding a couple of 60′s record players and stripping out the amplifiers, one for each channel, but that would have been a shame.
The main observation here, is that the amplifier needs to support a crystal cartridge input, and most modern ones don’t because they have no connection to a record deck. I didn’t really want to mess around with a preamp. But, Bingo! Someone had listed a 1970′s Bush Arena A220 amplifier on eBay, brand new but not working, for £20. OK, only 10 watts RMS each side, but that is plenty for my box! It arrived yesterday, I fired it up this morning, and it actually works perfectly!
Even better, now I’ve taken the amplifier out of its case, I can see it will easily fit in the bottom of the box with very little modification.
So, that’s all the bits I need apart from a couple of vintage knobs. I still have to make the plinth for the deck, and modify the amplifier so I can move the volume on/off and tone controls to the side of the box. This will mean a bit of fiddling about, because currently there are separate bass and treble controls. Not a major problem, though.
Just before writing this, I tacked together wires across my bench between the turntable, the amplifier and the speakers, and put on an old Dr Hook album (it had be an oldie, didn’t it!). It sounded great, so that’s the green light for me to carry on with the project.
Sylvia’s mother says Sylvia’s busy, too busy to come to the phone….
(Thanks to http://www.picgifs.com/graphics/music-notes/ for the musical image)