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Sugden Connoisseur turntable refurbishment


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Hi everyone, just want to share the results of this this TT that I've been working on. Got myself this Sugden Connoisseur BD1 and it was in pretty shabby condition. 

 

The plinth was weather faded, belt was very loose and slipping. Tonearm looked to be in decent shape, but the stylus was pretty worn down. I'm not much of a vinyl listener (oops, am I allowed to say that on this section of the forums?) but loved the aesthetic of the table and read that the tonearm was a pretty decent one so decided to overhaul it. Time to get to work! 

 

First off the stripped everything off to get to the plinth. A bit of a quick sand and some restor-a-finish brought it up to a nice even finish. In my excitement to get to work forgot to take all that many 'before' pics. The lid wasn't too shabby although it was covered in grease and muck, nothing some detergent didn't fix up. 

 

The original power cable was flimsy and had 2 pronged US style connections so those had to go. The rca plugs connect to a 5 pin DIN under the tonearm and I could not find a replacement online for a reasonable price, and the plugs were pretty beat up so I just replaced the rca plugs with nice solid amphenol plugs. A little spade for the ground wire and voila good as new! Had the sparkies at work check my power cable replacement but it was a straight forward exercise. 

 

IMG_20191207_205222.thumb.jpg.d8ca1462964b085458857ce0cfa9d66a.jpgIMG_20191207_220701.jpg.93b3abb604eb5927fcd3f0113901c0d9.jpg

 

DIN connections IMG_20191207_210000.thumb.jpg.803db19487aafd906a80567ac3b804e0.jpg

 

IMG_20191207_211043.thumb.jpg.42a10187d3662697de36f48b0052633b.jpg

 

The belt was slipping off as it was really loose and also was sitting too high and proud so that wasn't helping. I got someone who knew what they were doing to look at it and he managed to get the pulley sitting correctly and not pulling inwards, towards the platter when the belt was on. Belt was also replaced but had to be stretched out until the speed was right. Quite a finicky process of trial and error!

 

IMG_20191220_212305.thumb.jpg.083a103fcac05f32aaac642a8857e53a.jpg

 

Stylus was replaced with a nice ADC. Everything is running well and I'm enjoying listening to my records after the hard work! 

 

IMG_20191220_212250.thumb.jpg.77866b7cf9e85fc4191b08346459c27b.jpgIMG_20191220_212307.thumb.jpg.c873d1531d09a6f9e78a395d8c3a4c7d.jpgIMG_20191220_212314.thumb.jpg.045763f624565a2d27de79b21c9d719c.jpgIMG_20191220_212323.thumb.jpg.ac1522e517ba38a39c092809bd75719e.jpg

 

 

Also put some new feet on

IMG_20191220_212354.thumb.jpg.2f8d3ed43456aa2cb475de5c175abe23.jpg

 

 

My new plugs and cable! 

IMG_20191220_212430.thumb.jpg.3c96c13491bd4b63e024f985589fbd96.jpg

 

A very rewarding process, and putting on a  record and looking at the turntable now gives me great joy! 

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My Dad had a BD1 years ago. It was very nice but I can't remember what tonearm it had. I do remember it had a Supex cartridge and it sounded great.

 

Yours appears to have a Grace G840 tonearm.....and yes, it is a great tonearm. The headshell is the Grace HS-4.

                                        

                                                    G-840

http://20cheaddatebase.web.fc2.com/needie/NDGRACE/G-840.jpg

 

■ Price 14,500 yen ■ Model Static balance type ■ Full length                                                                                                      

■ Execution length 237㎜

 

■ Over hang 15㎜
■ Tracking error
■ Stylus pressure range
■ Arm height adjustment
■ Arm base hole ■ Anti skate device
■ Arm lifter
■ Lateral balancer
■ Cartridge weight
■ Line capacity
■ Launched around 1970 ■ Discontinued Around 1971-72 ■ Remarks The price is around 1970. This is the brand's first lightweight universal arm.

 

                                                                                                                           HS-4

 

                                                                                              http://20cheaddatebase.web.fc2.com/needie/NDGRACE/HS-4.jpg

 

       ■ Price 1,600 yen ■ Weight 7g
■ Remarks Aluminum press processing

The price is around 1973.
The price around 1975 is 1,850 yen.

 

 

If you can obtain a Grace F8 cart for it, this set up will sing!👌

 

Great job on the turntable......enjoy the music! 👍
 

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22 minutes ago, stevoz said:

If you can obtain a Grace F8 cart for it, this set up will sing!👌

 

Great job on the turntable......enjoy the music! 👍
 

Thanks for the info steve, will keep an eye out for that cart...for now enjoying spinning my records.

 

May have stretched the belt a little too much in the process of trying to get the speed right, oooops. Now plays at about 32.5 rpm so slightly annoying.

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From this weekend, completed a little shelf for my 'now playing' records.

 

Sitting atop my diy stand + storage shelf

 

Merry christmas everyone and happy spinning

 

IMG_20191221_181154.thumb.jpg.5fb5c66149c5ee1ce810beacd94c2d62.jpg

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18 minutes ago, spamnoj said:

Thanks for the info steve, will keep an eye out for that cart...for now enjoying spinning my records.

 

May have stretched the belt a little too much in the process of trying to get the speed right, oooops. Now plays at about 32.5 rpm so slightly annoying.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/TURNTABLE-DRIVE-BELT-for-CONNOISSEUR-BD1-BD2-BD-1-BD-2-BD2-A-BD2-AR-PRB-OA32-2/112543870223?_trkparms=aid%3D1110001%26algo%3DSPLICE.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D57928%26meid%3D412bac25825e4f8ab09ab66796b1a2e2%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D12%26mehot%3Dag%26sd%3D282554785024%26itm%3D112543870223%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2047675&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

 

$24. 👍

Edited by stevoz
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22 hours ago, spamnoj said:

Thanks for the info steve, will keep an eye out for that cart...for now enjoying spinning my records.

 

May have stretched the belt a little too much in the process of trying to get the speed right, oooops. Now plays at about 32.5 rpm so slightly annoying.

Haven't read the whole post, if you are using your phone to check the speed of rotational they are not really accurate

A strope disc is better 

If the "dots are moving and you time their motion you can work out the true rpm 

The frequency of our mains supply is rock solid. It has to be without going into why. 

Makes me wonder what the advantage of DC is other than starting torque 

 

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  • 5 months later...

Steve,

Nice reno on the Turntable.

I have one of these also and  is in working order. this may seem a silly question but do you / should you run through a phono- stage (pre-amp) before the main amp? If so any recommendations. 

 

Thanks Mick

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On 04/06/2020 at 2:41 PM, Mick Qld said:

Steve,

Nice reno on the Turntable.

I have one of these also and  is in working order. this may seem a silly question but do you / should you run through a phono- stage (pre-amp) before the main amp? If so any recommendations. 

 

Thanks Mick

Hi Mick

 

General rule of thumb most TTs need to go through a phono pre-amp prior to bring the signal up to line level before going to the amp. So yes you'll need a phono preamp. Plenty of options out there depending on your budget from 100 - 10k.

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In other news my belt has become very loose despite only being a few months old with hardly any use.

 

Platter speed runs at 30rpm at the moment. Been reading up with interest about what people have used for DIY belts, from fishing wire to thread to dental floss.

 

I will be giving the floss and thread a go when I get home but wonder if any members have experience with this?

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On 04/06/2020 at 2:41 PM, Mick Qld said:

... do you / should you run through a phono- stage (pre-amp) before the main amp?...

Yes.  If your integrated or pre-amp has a "phono" input, it has a built-in phono stage (usually for MM carts).  If your amp doesn't have a "phono" input, you will need to get an external phono stage, which will then plug into one of your amp's inputs (eg. aux, tuner, tape). 

 

There are many phono stages available, at a wide variety of pricepoints.  The one you get really depends on the quality of your turntable/cart and the rest of the hifi system.  The cheapies will work, and most that cost a bit more are quite reasonable, and probably suitable for your Conniossueur. 

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48 minutes ago, Colin Rutter said:

Such condescension.

No condescension intended. 

I was intending to convey that the turntable is worthy of something better than cheap+nasty, but spending $2K on a phono stage would be over-kill for this turntable.  You usually get what you pay for. 

 

 

Edited by audiofeline
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Nice one.  Love the Grace arm too.

 

I have a JH turntable in the shed, that is very similar to this Conniossueur.    I noticed the platter bearing shaft is very small diameter, and also there seems to be a little play that allows the platter to rock a small amount.  Is that normal for these super light turntables?  Does your Conniossueur have any play?

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Even though they look kind of similar the Connoisseur had a pretty decent bearing ... certainly much more  substantial than the one in the JH and the 10” platter was cast aluminum rather than pressed sheet metal.

All in all a very simple but quite effective design.

A BD1 was my first hifi purchase (at age 16) with a JH formula IV arm and Ortofon mm cart ... brings back memories.

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1 hour ago, klackto said:

Even though they look kind of similar the Connoisseur had a pretty decent bearing ... certainly much more  substantial than the one in the JH and the 10” platter was cast aluminum rather than pressed sheet metal.

My JH is cast aluminium I am sure.  Will check tomorrow - too dark in the shed now :) 

 

 

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3 hours ago, aussievintage said:

My JH is cast aluminium I am sure.  Will check tomorrow - too dark in the shed now :) 

 

 

No it's pressed or spun aluminium. 

Like a saucepan lid.

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7 hours ago, Colin Rutter said:

No it's pressed or spun aluminium. 

Like a saucepan lid.

 

OK, I dug it out of the shed.  Apologies .  You see, I had two of these types of turntables and only one was complete, so that's the one I kept.  Thing is, this one is a Silcron, NOT a JH.   I must be getting older than I think.  

 

The platter does not look pressed.  There are even spots where they have balanced it by removing material with a machine tool of some kind.

 

IMG_20200611_080652.jpg.fd37be53cfaadb121e50ab71ed3df798.jpg

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Yes, it's quite a heavy platter and what I imagine is a lapped bearing sleeve with (I think) a ball bearing at the bottom of the hole. With a light oil it's a neat fit. I remember spinning it up by hand with the belt off, then going for a shower. It was still spinning when I came back.

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5 hours ago, aussievintage said:

 

OK, I dug it out of the shed.  Apologies .  You see, I had two of these types of turntables and only one was complete, so that's the one I kept.  Thing is, this one is a Silcron, NOT a JH.   I must be getting older than I think.  

 

The platter does not look pressed.  There are even spots where they have balanced it by removing material with a machine tool of some kind.

 

IMG_20200611_080652.jpg.fd37be53cfaadb121e50ab71ed3df798.jpg

Right on.

The Silcron looked very similar to the JH but was a better TT imho.

There is a great story to be told about JH and the Government Ammunition Factory when Gough got into power.

It's a bit involved but in brief the GAF tooled up to make 1000s of TTs for JH not bothering to check how small they were WOOPS😂.

The government tried to recover their set up costs,  to no avail from memory.

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Wow!

 

Nice restoration.

 

This topic brings back memories.  My first turntable was a BD1 kit which I purchased from Quality Hi Fi in York Street, Sydney in the 1970s.  I matched it with a Grace 707 tone arm and a Shure cartridge.  I built the plinth myself and it served me well for many years.  I wish I still had it.

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On 10/06/2020 at 1:40 PM, aussievintage said:

Nice one.  Love the Grace arm too.

 

I have a JH turntable in the shed, that is very similar to this Conniossueur.    I noticed the platter bearing shaft is very small diameter, and also there seems to be a little play that allows the platter to rock a small amount.  Is that normal for these super light turntables?  Does your Conniossueur have any play?

That is the later John Harband (JH Repro Chadstone Melbourne  released turntable)

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On 11/06/2020 at 4:39 PM, Genesis56 said:

Wow!

 

Nice restoration.

 

This topic brings back memories.  My first turntable was a BD1 kit which I purchased from Quality Hi Fi in York Street, Sydney in the 1970s.  I matched it with a Grace 707 tone arm and a Shure cartridge.  I built the plinth myself and it served me well for many years.  I wish I still had it.

Same 😞🙂.  My first tt was a BD1 with Grace tonearm though can't remember exact model, nor cartridge model, but it a ripper..great fun.

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On 11/06/2020 at 6:39 PM, Genesis56 said:

Wow!

 

Nice restoration.

 

This topic brings back memories.  My first turntable was a BD1 kit which I purchased from Quality Hi Fi in York Street, Sydney in the 1970s.  I matched it with a Grace 707 tone arm and a Shure cartridge.  I built the plinth myself and it served me well for many years.  I wish I still had it.

Lovely set up!👍

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On 11/06/2020 at 11:41 AM, Colin Rutter said:

Right on.

The Silcron looked very similar to the JH but was a better TT imho.

There is a great story to be told about JH and the Government Ammunition Factory when Gough got into power.

It's a bit involved but in brief the GAF tooled up to make 1000s of TTs for JH not bothering to check how small they were WOOPS😂.

The government tried to recover their set up costs,  to no avail from memory.

Any more detail regarding this intriguing story Please?

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Here is a J.H. early turntable (Believe the first edition Made by John Harband in Chadstone Melbourne who imported Tonearms from David Gammon in he early 1960ish!

This turntable with it seems an original cart still goes strong indeed.

Brilliant design and a trens setter that is still to be surpassed today.

 

JH first edition TT.jpg

Thorens and Unipivot Tonearm.jpg

JH TT amongst friends.jpg

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  • 4 months later...

Intriguing allright...I have a JH turntable .. it runs fast as usual ... have ordered some pulleys from China ... so in about 3 months will fiddle about when they arrive.  The tone arm is a very nice Excel ..but God knows how to truly setup the 3 counterweights .. manual doesnt mention them ..... Why I have chipped was this,  I was out on my run it was pouring and I took cover infront of a TV repair shop opposite Ainsile Park Ringwood and all the repairs are stacked up awaiting pickup. So I spotted what I thought was a JH turntable but no ! it was a Connoisseur  with a unknown to me tonearm.... I would love to know if it runs truly on speed. 

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We have turned up a few shafts of different diameter and now the speed is correct!

Brilliant bit of kit indeed.

I like the older turntables much more than the current offerings!

Bit of a TT Tragic!

And love TT motorcycle racing as well!

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 23/12/2019 at 12:42 PM, spamnoj said:

From this weekend, completed a little shelf for my 'now playing' records.

 

Sitting atop my diy stand + storage shelf

 

Merry christmas everyone and happy spinning

 

IMG_20191221_181154.thumb.jpg.5fb5c66149c5ee1ce810beacd94c2d62.jpg

 

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On 16/06/2020 at 9:51 PM, Analog Revenge said:

Here is a J.H. early turntable (Believe the first edition Made by John Harband in Chadstone Melbourne who imported Tonearms from David Gammon in he early 1960ish!

This turntable with it seems an original cart still goes strong indeed.

Brilliant design and a trens setter that is still to be surpassed today.

 

You mean no TT since then produces a better sound?????  xD

 

Andy

 

 

 

Edited by andyr
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If any one can pick these up, will not post. 

You can have the pair for $50 or may swap for some vinyl.

Motors on both TT turn, when powered up, both need refurbishing. What you see is what you get 🙂

1659639966_JH1.thumb.JPG.ea155a0fbc422f1c576a79ccb7eda8e4.JPGSugden.thumb.JPG.053ebd8192e4ec3fceb2c7349884e499.JPG

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11 hours ago, andyr said:

 

You mean no TT since then produces a better sound?????  xD

 

Andy

 

 

 

The turntable I got has the special Arm on it that was an option. And for their time an Australian or 2 had a go. But I get the sarcastic undertone. I refrain from reacting any further

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