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Old 10-09-2011, 06:45 PM
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Silvertone manumatic & Motorola portable record players

I picked up two more record player projects at the flea market today. One is a real oddball that I've never seen before. The first one is a Silvertone manumatic. This is a four speed record player where the 33 and 78 speeds are operated manually and the 16 and 45 speeds are automatic when the large center hole spindle is used. I suppose these were meant to be used with the 16 rpm talking books that looked like a 45 rpm record. I did take a brief look under the hood and it has a two tube (35W4 & 50C5) amp with dual 4" speakers. Also, the motor mounts are shot. As you can see, the handle is broken off and the case is fairly beat up; but, I think this one is probably worth putting some effort into. Has anyone ever seen or worked on one of these? It should be an interesting project.




The next one is a circa 1960 Motorola stereophonic portable. This one uses a 3-tube (12AX7 and 35C5x2) amp and uses a VM built changer with an astatic 13T stereo powerpoint cartridge. This one is dirty; but, I think it will clean up OK. It's not the big Motorola portable that I'd like to find; but, I think it will do OK.

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Old 10-10-2011, 10:26 PM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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That Sears job has to be a very rare bird. I never saw one. Your next entry, please include the model number. Magnavox made an el-cheapo plastic changer that changed the speeds in that manner. There was a plunger that stuck up next to the center post, that was pushed down to select 33 rpm speed. It was only a two speed changer. It had three push buttons to select on,off and reject.
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Old 10-10-2011, 11:02 PM
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I'll get the model numbers and post them.

After re-reading my post, I realized that I wasn't very clear on the Silvertone. The Silvertone has a speed lever that selects either 16 auto, 33, 45 auto, 78, and N. In order for the mechanism to work in auto mode, the speed selector lever must be in either 16 auto or 45 auto and the adapter must be placed over the single play spindle. When small hole LP's or 78's are to be played, the speed lever is set to the correct speed and the record is played manually with the single play spindle.

And, yes, I've seen those Magnavox changers in which you speak. IMHO, that was the biggest piece of junk for a record changer that I've ever seen. I knew a Magnavox dealer and he told me that he burnt their ears over that one. Their excuse was that they were trying to keep up with the competition. Well, even the cheapest plastic BSR changer of the day would have been better than that Magnavox pile of crap.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by radiotvnut View Post
I'll get the model numbers and post them.

After re-reading my post, I realized that I wasn't very clear on the Silvertone. The Silvertone has a speed lever that selects either 16 auto, 33, 45 auto, 78, and N. In order for the mechanism to work in auto mode, the speed selector lever must be in either 16 auto or 45 auto and the adapter must be placed over the single play spindle. When small hole LP's or 78's are to be played, the speed lever is set to the correct speed and the record is played manually with the single play spindle.

And, yes, I've seen those Magnavox changers in which you speak. IMHO, that was the biggest piece of junk for a record changer that I've ever seen. I knew a Magnavox dealer and he told me that he burnt their ears over that one. Their excuse was that they were trying to keep up with the competition. Well, even the cheapest plastic BSR changer of the day would have been better than that Magnavox pile of crap.
I ended up installing a V-M changer for the customer. They were tired of the problems with the changer, plus they wanted to play their old 78's.
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Old 10-11-2011, 09:38 AM
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Unusual RCA phono.

One of our neighbors had an RCA portable phonograph, that only played 45's automatically. It looked simular to the other RCA changers, but it had a short spindle for the small hole records. The 45 spindle had a shaft that was actuated by the change mechanism.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:09 PM
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Cheap plastic record changer...in a Magnavox? Horror of horrors!

I am surprised Magnavox would ever dare use any kind of cheap plastic record changer in its phonographs or radio/phono combination units; after all, Magnavox (the original Magnavox Company of Fort Wayne, Indiana) was one of the best manufacturers of stereo combo units, phonographs, TVs, and radios in the '50s through the '70s or so, second only to Zenith and Motorola. I've seen several '50s Magnavox consoles personally, plus the occasional one that shows up on eBay; every one of them had the Magnavox Micromatic 4-speed record changer with very low tracking force. One ad in the '60s for a Magnavox 3-way console entertainment unit (TV, phono, AM/FM radio) stated the record changer had very low tracking force and that "your records can last a lifetime" when played on it. I simply cannot believe Magnavox would abandon this type of changer for a cheap plastic one, unless the phonograph you are referring to was a cheap rebadged offshore import -- the Magnavox name plastered onto a piece of junk. (I wonder if any of Magnavox's 3-way entertainment centers of the '70s had this kind of changer.) If I had one of these sets and the changer went West for any reason, I'd pull it and replace it with a decent one without thinking twice.

BTW, the Motorola phono mentioned in this thread, IMHO, also deserves much better than a plastic changer; I'm glad that one has a real changer made primarily of metal parts. Moto is, again IMHO, in the same class with Magnavox and Zenith sets of the '50s through the end of the sixties; as such, any piece of entertainment gear made by Motorola deserves the best as far as replacement parts are concerned, including the entire record changer if such needs to be replaced.
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Old 10-13-2011, 09:22 PM
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Magnavox always had a "bargain line." In the 70's it was the mini V-M 2100 changers and even (God forgive them) BSR's.
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Old 10-13-2011, 10:01 PM
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I used to have some Magnavox service manuals that covered those BSR and VM built changers. Those BSR's are cheap; but, they are still better than those cheap all plastic things that they used in the early '70's. I even had a color TV/stereo combo that had that cheap plastic changer. The TV was a hybrid and the stereo was all SS.
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Old 10-14-2011, 07:28 PM
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Any clue as to the maker of the changer in the Silvertone player... I have never seen anything like it! Is it mostly plastic, or is the base stamped metal?
jr
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Old 10-14-2011, 10:03 PM
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There is a 528 prefix (Warwick) on the amp chassis. I don't know who actually made the changer. The base is metal. The tonearm and turntable platter are plastic.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:14 AM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AUdubon5425 View Post
Magnavox always had a "bargain line." In the 70's it was the mini V-M 2100 changers and even (God forgive them) BSR's.
I never saw a mini changer built by V-M. I thought they were built by BSR. I never worked at a shop, where they handled a large volume of work, like you younger techs. Around that time was the begining of the end of quality consumer electronics.
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Old 10-15-2011, 11:29 AM
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It's interesting to me that many of you seem to look down on BSR record changers. I had a Zenith IS-4041 four-mode integrated stereo system with a BSR changer; had the system 17 years, never one bit of trouble with the changer, although I never used it much (most of my music was on cassettes in those days [now on CDs as well], so the cassette deck saw much more use than the changer ever did). However, I knew someone in the '80s who had the same opinion of BSR record changers as do many of you; I once told him my stereo had such a changer in it. He responded, "BSR means BS" or something like that, so I guess BSR record changers had a bad reputation even thirty years ago, or perhaps even further back than that. I always thought BSR changers were made by a British company (BSR MacDonald, IIRC) and, as such, were a cut or more above other foreign-made (and even some US-built) changers. It would not surprise me one bit if BSR wound up outsourcing its business to offshore companies thirty years or more ago.
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Last edited by Jeffhs; 10-15-2011 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dieseljeep View Post
I never saw a mini changer built by V-M. I thought they were built by BSR. I never worked at a shop, where they handled a large volume of work, like you younger techs. Around that time was the begining of the end of quality consumer electronics.
Here's a "mini" V-M from about 1973:
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Old 10-15-2011, 02:26 PM
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It's interesting to me that many of you seem to look down on BSR record changers. I had a Zenith IS-4041 four-mode integrated stereo system with a BSR changer; had the system 17 years, never one bit of trouble with the changer...
BSR changers (and I'll have to limit my comments to the 1970's models) did the job and were easy to service, but I swear I've never had one run at the correct speed. I have good pitch and it grates on me to hear a record spinning too fast. I actually retrofitted a V-M into my Zenith IS-4041 before it got shelved.

I have a few BSR and Glenburn changers that are as close to new condition as they get. They're going to be sold eventually - I guess the speed discrepancy didn't bother most people.
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Old 10-15-2011, 08:16 PM
dieseljeep dieseljeep is offline
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Originally Posted by AUdubon5425 View Post
Here's a "mini" V-M from about 1973:
OK. Now I remember seeing one of those. The thing that made me remember it was the on-off-rej knob, that also locked the tone arm, to minimize stylus damage.
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