Vintage Zenith record player stereo console

Discussion in 'DIY Corner - Tips & Techniques' started by dkane360, Mar 8, 2010.

  1. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    So who knows how to fix old record players? I'm assuming my problem has to do with the tubes. Heres an excellent and informative video!

    If I can't get it to work, I think I'm going to gut it and put in my own amp and speakers. The speakers in there don't even have crossovers lol. The turntable sort of works. It needs a new stylus and has a hard time getting up to speed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 19, 2014
  2. highfigh Audioholic Spartan

    highfigh
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    Old tube amps almost always need to have the electrolytic capacitors replaced. The hum is from the power supply filter caps and once they're replaced, it will be much more quiet.

    Now- if you have any ideas that you want to replace them yourself, read up on it, first. Amps and other devices that use tubes have lethal DC voltage when the power is on. DO NOT put one hand on the chassis and touch any live circuit. If you call around, you should be able to find someone who can do the work, if you don't want to.

    The good part- caps are cheap and easy to find. For that matter, many tubes are, too. It may also need a resistor, or two, but those are cheap and easy, as well.

    The turntable is a Garrard and should be pretty easy to fix. The grease has become hard and that's one of the reasons it takes so long to get up to speed. These also have a rubber idler wheel that becomes hard and slick, over time. I think MCM has these. Look next to where the spindle inserts- you should see a ring with two small holes and this will need to come out in order to remove the platter. Once that is out, you'll see a metal or plastic cam with gear teeth. This will need to come out for cleaning and lube. You can use most light greases for this and some people use Vasoline- not the best choice, given that it's over a tube amp.
  3. Loren42 Audioholic

    Loren42
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    Get it fixed, but don't Frankenstein it. It will have much more value if kept original.

    From the video and your description it not over the hill and can be restored.
  4. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    That buzz is from the power supply. I don't see a rectifier tube, so it probably has an old selenium rectifier. Those have pretty much all failed now and are NLA. So the unit likely needs recapping and a slight mod done to take a modern silicon rectifier.

    Garrard parts except for the 301 and 401 are hard to come by. You will need eBay. Finding a good idler wheel, if you need one, will be a challenge, unless there is a remanufactured source out there.

    Loricraft have the right to the Garrard name, and make Garrard turntables. However they only restore and support the 301 and 401 and will have nothing to do with the others. They also manufacture the Garrard 501 which is a further development of those great turntables.
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  5. highfigh Audioholic Spartan

    highfigh
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    I'm pretty sure that if the rectifier went bad, it would be doing something other than humming. That's probably from the early-mid '60s, so it should have silicon diodes.

    Look on the speakers- you should see a 6 digit number, possibly with a hyphen. The first three digits are the manufacturer code and the last three are the date of manufacturer. If ou see something like 220448, it would be a Jensen speaker, made in the 48th week of '64. This will give a rough date of manufacture but it will have other clues, like the numbers on the potentiometers and possibly something on a tube chart. It's possible that it uses a 12AX7 and a pair of EL-84 output tubes, or whatever the US version was.
  6. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    I'm having a lot of trouble removing the amp to replace things. Any suggestions or service manuals?

    And on a side note, my girlfriend picked up the tubes that I set aside. I wiped them off as best as possible. lol
  7. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    What is the reason you want to restore this antique POS? If you really want to do it, I suggest you join an antique radio forum.

    There are legions of people who get a kick out of restoring this gear that was never any good in the first place. They are benchmark products that time line the decline of the West in electronics manufacture.

    I feel your pain. In my youth these were items I refused to go near. Most were in permanent need of service, so I used to get lots of requests.
  8. dkane360 Audioholic Field Marshall

    dkane360
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    I just thought it was a cool project to get working. As time goes on, I'm having less and less of an urge to get the whole thing working. I really just want the amp now.
  9. TLS Guy Audioholic Overlord

    TLS Guy
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    What do you want the amp for?

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