Vintage record playing equipment

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Vintage record playing equipment

Are there any users of record playing equipment from the 1950s to the 1970s?

I seem to becoming more nostalgic as I get older, modern equipment fails to evoke much if any empathy from me, I'm actually craving the good ol fashioned gear I used in my youth as well as those items I could not afford at the time.

While I don't doubt modern equipment has advanced, I think I must take a walk down memory lane. If anyone has any domestic or professional equipment from the 50s-70s I'd love to hear from you.

RE: Vintage record playing equipment

I think it was in 1968 that John Borwick wrote in his Gramophone test report that the Swiss made Goldring-Lenco GL75 turntable should last a lifetime subject to the replacement of the idler wheel from time to time. If he'd also added the rubber blocks for the vertical tone arm bearings he wouldn't have been far wrong!

I've had mine since 1969 and it's still in regular use with a Shure M75ED Type 2 cartridge which I fitted following Stanley Kelly's Gramophone test report in 1972. It's certainly as good as anything today in a similar inflated price bracket and I see that Inspire HiFi are now offering a refurbished GL75, resprayed in a new plinth and with a cut-out for a new tone arm for £2130 (£2500 from March) without arm.

The GL 75 was also sold by Leak as the Delta turntable and was incorporated by several other manufacturers into their equipment. Meanwhile Garrard 301 & 401 turntables sell for ridiculously high prices, especially in Japan. One has only to look at the adverts in the back of Gramophone or any audio magazine to see how many dealers are looking for them. 

RE: Vintage record playing equipment

Yes, Garrard 301 & 401 turntables are quite hard to find but over the last couple of years I have managed to source some real gems - so please don't be discouraged.

Usually they are mounted in a large 1960's dusty cabinet mounted on a piece of diy plywood and pushed into a corner of a dark room and forgotten about.

The 301s & 401s I have managed to aquire have been grimey, very dusty and in some cases pitted from a moist atmosphere but with careful strip down and TLC they have proved to be extremely exciting finds.

EMT turntables are also an extremely good buy but be careful, in some cases on the internet you can be purchasing a lot of trouble and heartache. Many of these decks (950 & 948) models were used in broadcasting - beautiful turntables with all the weight and precison that Germany could muster.

I am fortunate enough to own two EMT BBC 950/347 wide body machines that I fully stripped down and refurbished - they are now in beautiful condition and sound magnificent with ease of operation and ruggedness.

However, occasionally do look fondly back to the 1970's  when I owned my Goldring GL75 with a Shure M75ED cartridge - those were the days !

John Shaw.

John L.G.Shaw (Shaw Sounds)

RE: Vintage record playing equipment

I just checked out my Dad's record player which was forgotten about since he passed away, it turns out to be a 18/33/45/78 rpm Goldring-Lenco GL 75 with a Shure ED 6S cartridge in a detachable headshell for which he had a 78 stylus.It is his discs that got me started in the processing lark. Is this of any value to someone? I use two Thorens, one for 78s and one for LPs. You can hear some of the LP results in the link below

clive heath

RE: Vintage record playing equipment

Have you compared the GL75 with the Thorens? Unless the latter is a TD124 the Lenco may be better. I don't know what speed variation the Thorens has but the GL75 would enable you to correct the pitch of those early "78s" where the actual speed was somewhat arbitrary, and I remember some Columbias marked "speed 80".

I don't know how much you know about the GL75 but it will almost certainly need attention to the vertical arm bearings if this has not been done. The vertical arm bearings consist of knife edges resting in V grooves in hard rubber blocks. With wear & tear & the degredation over time of a natural material these blocks will need replacing. Spares with fitting instructions are available, I did mine a decade or so ago. It's a bit fiddly to do but mine's been  fine since. Also if you transport the unit don't forget  to remove the turntable platter and fit transit screws! A 4kg platter being shaken about can badly damage the spindle bearing.


RE: Vintage record playing equipment

The EMT, Lenco, vintage Thorens and Garrards mentioned above are all very good TTs. Well maintained or modified, I would say they are more than adequate by todays standards.

Not so long ago in my home I had a Thorens 124 (SME arm) and an EMT 948 (with arm) along side two contemporary decks: a Simon Yorke & a current top "Project" model...

While, subjectively, the Thorens seemed to be the lesser performer, while the EMT & the Yorke were the stars of the bunch, whole line-up was impressive to say the least in terms of sheer musical enjoyment.

This is in no way comparative eview, of course, just a quick point to highlight the fact that in matters of analogue decks, older may mean better!

Longtemps, je me suis couché de bonne heure (helas!)

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