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Beolover SyncDrive: DC Platter Motor Replacement for Beogram 4002 and 4004 (Type 551x and 552x)

Late Beogram 4002 and the 4004 (Types 551x and 552x), which have DC platter motors instead of the earlier synchronous AC motors usually suff...

Friday, January 29, 2016

Beogram 4002 (5503): A New Arrival - First Impressions

I recently received a Beogram 4002 (5503) for a restoration. The 5503 model is the North American variant of the 5501/5502 models. This is apparent from the 'placebo' voltage switch that is installed to fit the form factor of the enclosure:
Overall this Beogram is in very nice condition. Great veneer on the plinth and a reasonably scratched hood that can well be polished back to a near-original beauty. Under the hood it seems pretty original, even though there are signs of tampering like loose bolts around the tracking system and the tone arm mechanism. Here is a picture of the entire unit:
The big AC motor is in the lower left corner and above it are the motor phase and reservoir capacitors, which distinguish the 550x types from the later 551x and 552x designs. 
This unit comes from a time when CD4 quadraphonic vinyls were thought to be the upcoming rage (they were not), and it has a CD4 switch installed. 
Sadly, on the inside the output board is a standard stereo version, missing the preamp and CD4 decoder:
I guess the original owner did not make it to the B&O store to pick up a CD4 board. An item that needs fixing is the carriage drive pulley, which is glued together and very wobbly, causing vibration when the carriage is driven fast. Nothing a precision pulley from Nick of Beoworld could fix!:
Remarkable in the 5503 is the RPM scales illumination bulbs setup (in contrast to the later DC motor models):
The bulbs are directly soldered to the PCB with short leads and not supported in any way. This led to a melting of the plastic cover of the 33 RPM bulb, since it is used much more than the 45 bulb. The later models have a metal shield in place to prevent this. The bulb setup leads to an inhomogeneous illumination of the scales since the light has to be reflected into the scale cavity via a plastic tab that is integrated into the white housing that is attached to the aluminum front plate:
Another item that needs attention is the key pad, which shows some degree of delamination of some individual keys from the aluminum base:
Other items that need looking into are the missing transport lock bushings
and the cracked plastic cabinet guiding washers:
Other than these items the unit needs the usual rebuild of the arm lowering mechanism and the tracking system. So the bottom line is: A great starting point for a restoration to like-new condition!

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