Monthly Archives: January 2014

Collins Broadcast Turntable goes under the knife

I have quite a few vintage turntables awaiting restoration.  This is a 70’s vintage Collins model 200 with a MicroTrack tonearm. The tonearm is completely aluminum, which is unusual for MicroTrack, as their arms were typically made of wood. This has been lots of fun to restore. It brings me back to my college radio days.

For some reason, these idler-wheel broadcast turntables are very desirable among collectors. Turntable collectors/audiophiles are also very picky and temperamental about their vinyl reproducers. They love the idler concept, but the buyer also wants the specifications of a direct-drive/belt drive. On these behemoths,  the best rumble isolation you can hope for is about -40db.  Anyway,  I think perception of sound quality is biased by how much money is spent.  Maybe part of the attraction is the ability to “slip-cue” records, as radio DJs did in the 60-70’s.  The powerful motor maintains speed even if you hold the record still against the felt.

The platter rides on a single ball bearing packed in grease.    I built the massive plinth, rebuilt the fractional horsepower motor, and installed new rubber dampers and idler. The frame rests on four large silicone bumpers to isolate it from the plinth.  Currently waiting for the paint to cure before buttoning it up. I’ll sell it with the popular Shure M91ED cartridge. The felt is from JoAnne’s.  January’s been quiet for location sound, so I’ll post some pics/video soon, as I should finish this up in a few days.
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