I am pretty sure no one cares about 2012 and really wants to hear about my restoration efforts on my recently acquired Rek-o-kut K33H turntable.
The K33H is a belt drive 33 and 1/3 rpm turntable with a heavy platter and powerful motor. I don't know all the motor details as I have been mostly worrying about the Fairchild 282 tone arm which was broken off of it's pedestal bearings in transit to my house.
It appears from looking at sites such as AudioKarma and ebay that both items are somewhat collectible. The K33H is a solid and pretty quite drive and it is a fairly easy design to mount in a heavy plinth.
The Fairchild 282 tonearm is reputedly a Raymond Loewy design (think Studebaker) and represents the ultimate in the old 50's style heavy mono tone arms. So basically this state of the art for the late 1950's and early 60's era. Pretty much fits in with most everything else in my life.
The issue with the tone arm pedestal bearings is a fairly serious problem. The bearings are little hardened steel pins and there are small set screws which the pins fit into. There is a corresponding hole on a pin which goes through the pedestal that forms the bearing base for the pins. You can tighten the pins with the set screw and this appears the only antiskate adjustment you have.
After three days of searching the internet I could find nothing so today I decided to make the best of what I had.
I took the turntable to my "clean room," and assembled my tools.
I first attempted to put the arm on the base without taking anything apart but that proved impossible. I then desoldered the wires to the tone arm and removed the pedestal from the base. After first marking everything with a Sharpie.
I soon realized that the bearing pins were higher quality steel than the mounting pin that goes through the pedestal. (See photo) And that the top pin had broken off with such a small indention that it was going to be very hard to remount it using the old parts.
First I tried drilling out the old pin. But the drill drifted immediately.
Next I tried the site adjusting tool for my old AK-47 which is kind of a clevis and clamp mechanism. I almost would work but it started to mushroom the head of the pin. Finally I just found a brass punch and knocked the mounting pin out. This didn't help all that much.
The broken bearing pin that was stuck in the mounting pin was too hard to drill and I gave up on my initial plan of chucking the pin in the lath and drilling out the bearing.
I tried a magnet to get the bearing pin out. I tried a tool steel pair of tweezers. I tried tapping it. Then I tried heat.
If you heat up a pin stuck inside of a larger mass the smaller piece will cool at a faster rate than the larger piece and they will shrink at different rates. This will break the part loose from each other and facilitate removal.
I just don't have a lot of delicate precision tools...
Finally I just said "oh fiddle!" decided to put it back together and see what would happen.
It was pretty touchy to get the little pins aligned in the tone arm. They fit into hollow set screws that threat though the tone arm and then the pins fit into indentions in the pin that goes though the mounting pedestal. The pins are tiny and worn down. I suspect they should be pointed but I can't get the broken pieces out of the pedestal mount.
The following photo is pretty blurry but it shows the size of the pins. The set screw is below the pin setting next to the screw in the turntable base.
A number of times of almost losing the little pins I got it. I set it up a little tight and figured it would wear in.
I carried it back to the house. Soldered the leads back to the connection block under the turntable and hooked it up to my stereo.
I still need to figure out how to adjust the side to side drag of the tone arm. On other arms there is an anti-skate adjustment. The tone arm is a cantilevered arm which also pivots in the middle. The second pivot point is between the Fairchild logo and the pedestal arm. You can see the setscrew for the hinge in the top photo.
I also need to adjust the tracking force as it seems to be balanced with very little down pressure and so it tends to skip a bit.
It has a Shure High Track cartridge. I can't tell you the model number with out getting my arse out of the easy chair but I am sure you will find out in another post. It would be worth a whole lot more money if it had a Fairchild mono cartridge or what seems to be quite rare, a Fairchild stereo cartridge.
It sounded surprisingly good. There is not a lot of noise with the belt drive, even in the horrible non-audiophile mounting setup of a piece of plywood setting on two stacks of books. There was no hum even though I did not have it grounded.
It did rattle in the high end on loud passages so I will have to investigate that issue.
Truth be told I have no business with this tonearm at all. It should be in a museum or in the possession of a collector. I'm probably going to break it. But, on the other hand, it was not even usable before this evening so we shall see.
Happy Nude Year... As in Nude Elliptical