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Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beogram 4004 (5525): First Impressions

A Beogram 4004 (5525) just arrived for a restoration. It came double boxed:
I never have issues with shipping Beograms when double boxing is used. Another key ingredient to a successful shipping experience is to stay away from USPS. FedEx works much better.

The Beogram came with a MMC20CL cartridge that had received a restoration by Axel Sch├╝rholz in Germany. I never saw an example of his work. I really like the little box with the precise foam cutout that houses the cartridge:
The cartridge itself was rebuilt with an aluminum cantilever
i.e. technically this is not a MMC20CL anymore since they originally came with a single crystal sapphire cantilever that has a significantly lower weight than an aluminum cantilever. This results in a higher frequency bandwidth due to the higher resonance frequency. 

The deck itself is in quite nice condition, although there are a few marks on the plinth:
Unfortunately, the keypad also took a hit at some point and has a fairly deep mark on it:
Other than that the unit is original under the hood (I apologize for the blurry image - forgot to shorten the exposure time):
The hood is an unmarked one:
Not sure when exactly they used these, some 4004s do have a "Beogram 4004" label on the left side of the aluminum ribbon. The hood has the usual age-appropriate scratches. 

No problem to sand these out and then do a thorough polishing job to get it shiny again.
After the visual inspection I performed a basic functional test, and it seems everything works more or less. The motor is a bit loud, which concurs with the reported incidence of RPM variations, i.e. this motor will need to get re-infused Oilite bearings. Other than that the arm lowering mechanism is a bit sluggish, which can be fixed with a cleaning and re-lubing job of its mechanical parts. The transport lock bushings are also on their last leg and should be replaced.

In summary, this deck is a very good candidate for a restoration. It will perform like new again once I am done with it.

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