Fix my crummy 80s Hi Fi
January 1, 2013 11:49 AM   Subscribe

Speaker and turntable both on the fritz.

I picked up a used pair of speakers and turntable a couple of weeks ago. They seemed fine when I tested them, but after I got them home I've had problems with both. (I'm not sure if I just didn't notice the problems or I somehow busted both of them on the way home.)

Speakers: the tweeters (front grilles) on both speakers appear to be broken -- one of them makes no sound at all, and the other emits a hum and everything through it sounds buzzy. I've tried reconnecting and changing the speaker wire, but no dice. Both of the woofers on the top sound fine.

The turntable is more mysterious -- it seems to be working fine for a while and then will suddenly speed up or slow down (it seems like it's more likely to do this towards the end of a side). There's a stroboscope, and I know how to get the dots to stand still using the speed adjustment knob, but they tend to "drift" after a few minutes.

The speakers are Allison CD7 and the turntable is a Realistic LAB-400.

I would prefer to not have to take anything in anywhere (I'd have to take a cab or borrow a car to move this stuff around) but I realize that's an unrealistic expectation.

I'm no expert, so please don't assume I've already tried any "obvious" solutions.
posted by theodolite to Technology (6 answers total)
You find this forum yet?
posted by Max Power at 12:32 PM on January 1, 2013

Here's the page on the turntable at Vinylengine, complete with pdf downloads for the owner's and service manuals. You have to be registered to download.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:07 PM on January 1, 2013

The tweeters are most likely dead and will need to be replaced. You can probably dig up a new pair on eBay but it may take some time. Otherwise you can probably find something similar to replace them with.

The turntable is direct drive, so there's no belt to fail. There is a thread here:
that explains how to lube the motor to fix that problem. It's worth a shot. Best of luck!

Oh, and just FYI, there's nothing "crummy" about those components. They're definitely good stuff.
posted by Slinga at 1:23 PM on January 1, 2013

Thanks Max Power, I hadn't seen that. I just opened up my table and the motor cover, peeked into the bearing (no gunk), and put everything back together again. Unfortunately, I didn't have any suitable oil so I'll try to look for something I can buy a small quantity of (and not have to order from England for $40..). It seems that people use everything from regular motor oil to sewing machine oil.
posted by theodolite at 3:33 PM on January 1, 2013

3-in-1 oil would probably be fine. Wouldn't hurt to post on audiokarma or vinylengine to check though.
posted by Slinga at 7:32 PM on January 1, 2013

I ended up using some synthetic bike chain lube I forgot I had lying around. It seems to have worked -- the speed control knob still seems a little weird but records no longer randomly slow down.
posted by theodolite at 12:29 PM on January 31, 2013

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