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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Beogram 4000: A New Pulley, Hood Bumpers and Shipping Back to Italy

The Beolover always strives to improve his craft and get things as perfect as possible. So I realized that I was not fully done yet with the restoration of the Beogram 4000 from Italy. My recent efforts to restore a Beogram 8000 from Japan introduced me to the concept of rubber hood bumpers that soften the impact if the hood is closed. It makes quite a big difference in terms of how it feels to close the hood. The sound when the hood seats on the enclosure is just so much more solid when the bumpers are present. Unfortunately they all seem gone at this point in time, and that is the reason that it took me some time to realize that all the classic B&O decks actually have(had) them! All that is usually left are some small holes filled with black degraded rubber remnant. This shows how it looked on the hood of the Beogram 4000:
It is easy to get the black stuff out with a 2 mm drill bit operated by hand (do NOT put it on a Dremel or similar...it is easy to damage the plexiglass):
Like with the Beogram 8000, rubber O-ring segments work well to restore the bumpers. In the case of this 4000, however, I needed to use 2mm diameter metric ones since the 0.1" type I used on the Beogram was too thick to squeeze into the holes. I glued the segments in with a bit of contact glue on the tip of the segment. Then I used my 3D printed cutoff template that I developed for the Beogram 8000 and razorblades the excess length off:
A perfect-length bumper resulted:
It has the right length to right the hood into a horizontal alignment with the plinth. The way the hinges are designed at the back of the hood, a ~1mm gap should be around the entire perimeter between hood and plinth if the hood is to be perfectly horizontal. These bumpers guarantee that. Beautiful!

Beyond this issue I also was a bit annoyed that the carriage ran a bit noisily when returning to the home position after a record was played to the end or OFF pressed. This was the result of a somewhat wobbly pulley, a result of a crack in its set screw assembly:

I exchanged it with a custom manufactured Aluminum pulley provided by Nick (via www.beoworld.org):
This fixed the issue and also looks beautiful. I think I will make this a standard part of my restorations since most pulleys are (or will be soon) cracked and/or run wobbly. This pulley quieted the mechanism down quite a bit and made it much more pleasant to use this Beogram 4000!

After these two tasks it was finally time to send it off. My customer requested state-of-the-art Beolover double boxing, and so I used this occasion to make a short video about the proccess:

May the Force (and gentle FedEx men&women) be with you on your way to Italy!

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