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Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Beogram 4002 (5513): A New Arrival - A First Look!

Another Beogram 4002 (5513) arrived recently. After an unplanned (yet interesting) delay with the Beogram 4000 that I recently rebuilt, it was time to have a look. I extracted it from the double box where an excellent packing job had prevented any shipping damage. A detailed video about how to do pack a Beogram properly is shown here.

Once I had it out, I took the hood off and had a look at the panels:

They are in very nice condition. The keypad shows the usual triple digit usage pattern indicating not too heavy use:

The STOP key is a bit pulled up, but not too bad. Then I had a look under the hood:

Everything looks quite nice...no obvious signs of 'human intervention' (usually the most challenging  and interesting repairs result from that...;-) and pretty clean. Also the transport lock bushings are still good, so there was no need to put the vacuum cleaner to it. Then it was time to plug it in. I pressed START, and nothing! After checking the fuses, which have corroded holders,

I measured the voltage at the reservoir capacitor, which yielded a healthy >30V reading. After establishing the presence of power, I then determined that P5 had come loose during transport. I plugged it back in and tried again. Now the carriage started limping hesitantly (due to a loose servo belt and hardened lubricants) towards the center of the record. Once it made it to the 30 cm set-down point it properly activated the solenoid, but nothing further happened. Moving the linkages by hand immediately suggested that the lubricants are hardened and that the mechanism needs cleaning and re-lubrication. A first sign of this was the non-parallel tonearm when I had a first look under the hood:

This is usually a sure sign that the arm linkage is stuck. So far so good. It seems mechanically all it needs is a good cleaning and some lubrication to get going again. After this I assembled the panels and put the platter on with the belt to check the platter and arm alignments. As usual the platter sits too low and the arms are not horizontal...this needs to be adjusted.

Other than that the cosmetic condition of this deck is really nice. The hood could use a deep polishing since it has a few deep gashes that can be felt with a fingernail:

One really wonders why people do not put a plastic bag and some foam pad on their Beogram hoods before they store them in their basements. But such is the world. Luckily, there are good polishing materials available these days.
Lastly, I had a look at the MMC20CL cartridge that came with the deck:

The sapphire cantilever and the tip looked pristine and everything appears well-aligned. So I stuck it on the Beogram 4000 that I am re-testing again before shipping, and put Eberhart Weber's "Fluid Rustle" on a pristine ECM pressing that I recently obtained from ebay and cranked up the volume on my Beomaster 6000 4-Channel. Absolutely gorgeous! This cartridge seems to be in pretty good condition!
So, the bottom line is that this is a very good starting point for a happy Beogram 4002 restoration! The deck is in a great cosmetic condition, which is usually the most important concern when it comes to investing money into a restoration. 

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