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The lounge Relax, take a break from photo and camera talk - have a chat about something else for a change. Just keep it clean and polite!

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Old 14th February 2019
Crazy Dave Crazy Dave is offline
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Vintage Kit

We seem to go through a lot of radios that only last a few years. Roberts are the main culprits, we've had four I think that have had a very limited life. My wife bought me a Ruark a few years ago, nice set with good sound until the volume control had - well no control. So, I was bought a new set for Christmas from John Lewis, well written up by Which! and almost certainly made by Ruark. It's kind of OK but only just.

The only radio in the house that I really enjoy is one bought in the 1970's made by Hacker when I thought I was moving to Italy. FM, Long and Medium waves with two short wave bands. It's a dream and with a wooden frame, the sound quality is superb.

The Psion Organiser (mid-1980's) is still going strong despite being a museum piece. What's your old-time favourite?

David
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Old 14th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

the wife..........
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Old 14th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

Roberts sell badged versions of other brands, as well as making their own. I had an R283 portable AM/FM radio with an LCD display that went flaky after a year or two and was unusable by the time I binned it after around five years. That was in fact made by Sangean, and the interwebs are full of complaints about the display failing. I also have a Roberts Colourstream internet radio which has been fine over the several years I've owned it, although the software does occasionally freeze.

I remember those Hacker radios, a friend still has one as well as a big collection of vintage Roberts radios, many of which also have wooden cases. I have a couple of pre-WW2 HMV valve radios and one of those Ecko ones in a circular Bakelite case, but none of them work properly! The problem with most modern stuff is the miniature push-button switches they use that fail in fairly short order. The Colourstream uses a touch screen so shouldn't suffer from that problem!

My Psion Organiser still works too but I prefer my iPhone, though I miss the programmability of the Psion.

And I really really like my OM-2n!
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Old 14th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

I am still using a pair of Quad II power amplifiers built back in the 1950's!

Better still, Quad service and repair them at the works in Huntingdon where they were built.

Parts are not cheap, but they do last. To be fair I had a transformer fail sometime in the early 1970's. I wrote to Quad, as one did in those days, and was surprised to receive a parcel a few days later with a letter saying 'Dear Sir, our transformers do not fail.'

I have some more recent Quad equipment from the 1990's which is solid state but otherwise just as good.
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Old 14th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

I remember getting transformers rewound at a then local company.
I also remember building a bench PSU and winding my own transformer having first unwound a donor transformer. Still got it, built mostly out of RadioSpares (as was) components and housed in a welded up piece of probably 9” grey industrial trunking.
Happy days.
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Old 14th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

Some years ago I purchased an alarm clock radio cd player from Currys. A few years later I wanted another one for someone else so I bought the same thing from the same shop but it had a different brand name on it.
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Old 14th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

My Favourite old bits of kit have to be the Land Rover, Mini (classic not MW), and Morris 8

In terms of tech... I still have a 30YO casio calculator on my desk because sometimes its faster than kicking excel up and using that

Regards
Andy
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Re: Vintage Kit

Actually, I have an EMI oscilloscope, model WM8 that was built in 1959. It is quite a big and heavy beast and is all hand made with 4BA nuts, bolts and locking washers holding all of the components in place. I used to use it to keep my workshop warm in the winter but have not fired it up for a while.

I have a much newer (1988) Tektronix which is a much more advanced machine so I am hoping someone might be interested in the old EMI. It would be ideal as a stage prop for a period drama.
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Re: Vintage Kit

I'd forgotten about my old alarm clock radio which I got from a local petrol station with Esso Tiger Tokens, probably in the mid-1970s. It's badged Bush but I doubt very much it was made by them, but it's still going strong and managing to wake me up in the mornings despite all the Rioja!
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Old 15th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

Didn’t all those names / manufacturers from the past get bought up by Curry’s, Dixon’s etc, names like Garrard, Wharfedale, Bush, Murphy, BSR etc?? Only to reappear as rebadged tat from the cheapest manufacturer.
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Re: Vintage Kit

I bought an bog standard alarm clock (Casio) from Dixon's in Aberystwyth maybe 30 years ago. Nothing fancy about it, but it keeps time PRECISELY. Never looses a second...……….

Compared with my car clock which gains several minutes a month...…..
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Re: Vintage Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by TimP View Post
Didn’t all those names / manufacturers from the past get bought up by Curry’s, Dixon’s etc, names like Garrard, Wharfedale, Bush, Murphy, BSR etc?? Only to reappear as rebadged tat from the cheapest manufacturer.
Interesting question. Most of the big names in high-end audio such as Mission, Quad, Wharfedale, Audiolab and Castle Acoustics were bought up and in many cases rescued by the Chinese owned IAG. Most production has moved to China but R&D and service is still UK based.

As for Garrard, I thought they had disappeared when CD's came along but as usual Wiki provides some useful information.

As you say Tim, "Only to reappear as rebadged tat from the cheapest manufacturer."

Isn't it interesting how things always seem to go downhill when the USA becomes involved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiki
The Garrard Engineering and Manufacturing Company of Swindon, Wiltshire, was a British company that was famous for producing high-quality gramophone turntables. It was formed by the jewellers Garrard & Co in 1915. The company was sold to Plessey, an electronics conglomerate, in 1960. During the period 1976-1978, Garrard developed demonstrators of the novel video disc technology. Although the team recognised the future potential of this data storage technology, Plessey chose not to invest. After several years in decline, Garrard was sold by Plessey to Gradiente Electronics of Brazil in 1979 and series production was moved to Brazil (Manaus). The remaining Garrard research and development operation in Swindon was reduced to a skeleton operation until completely shut down in 1992. Then, Gradiente licensed the Garrard name to Terence O'Sullivan, now doing business as Garrard and Loricraft Audio, since 1997.

In the interim, the Garrard brand name was licensed to other companies in the USA, which imported many electronic items built by many different and unrelated Far Eastern manufacturers. Thus, one can find "Garrard" cassette decks, CD players, stereo receivers, boom-box radio/cassette machines, portable "Walkman" type cassette players, serial-port printer cables, universal TV/audio remote controls, and other miscellany, including turntables that had nothing to do with any original Garrard design.
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Old 15th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ224 View Post
I bought an bog standard alarm clock from Dixon's in Aberystwyth maybe 30 years ago. Nothing fancy about it, but it keeps time PRECISELY. Never looses a second...……….

Compared with my car clock which gains several minutes a month...…..
Most car clocks now should be synchronised with RDS data, but as our daughter has found, this only works if you tune in to main BBC radio stations once in a while.
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Re: Vintage Kit

Not sure I'd class Garrard as "high quality". I saved up my pocket money and bought an SP25 turntable around 1969 when they were perceived as being good quality; however there was considerable play in the main bearing. Garrard used an idler wheel to transmit the drive from the motor to the turntable rim and I guess there was a mid-alignment somewhere which together with the play caused the turntable to rock from side to side as it rotated. This in turn caused a slight but noticeable "thud" in the speakers at a steady 33 1/3 beats per minute.

A few years later I upgraded to a Transcriptors Saturn which, guess what, had play in the main bearing. This time though I took it back and got a replacement under guarantee.

Apparently (Wiki) the Bush brand is now owned by Sainsbury's and sold exclusively at Argos!
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Old 15th February 2019
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Re: Vintage Kit

Garrard's 'Transcription' decks such as the 301 and 401 were of very high quality, and were standard equipment in BBC studios and suchlike, but their consumer decks such as the SP25 were crap.

I didn't have problems with bearing play but the hum transmitted by the idler wheel from the motor and rumble from the bearings was no joke at all.

Interesting about Bush, which at one time was part of the Rank organisation.
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