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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Beogram 4004 (5526): Final Adjustments and Test Drive with Volker Kriegel on MPS

My current Beogram 4004 (5526) restoration project is coming to a close with making a few essential adjustments and tying up some loose ends. First, I replaced the original black plastic carriage pulley with a new one machined from aluminum:

Then I replaced the metal sheet screw that holds the tracking aperture in place
with a nice stainless steel 2 mm bolt that can be tightened with a ball hex key...much better than the original Philips head to get it fully tightened to survive the rigors of shipping in the calibrated position. This shows the new bolt in place:
Then it was time to adjust the tracking feedback sensitivity:
The intensity adjust trimmer (small blue box) on the Beolover tracking sensor light source comes in handy for fine-tuning the mechanism after coarse adjustment of the aperture and sensor positions.

Then I adjusted the floating sub-chassis to be horizontal, did the arm to platter distance adjustment while making sure that the platter is flush with the surrounding aluminum panel. Then it was time to adjust the arm lowering limit that the needle would miss the ribs if it got accidentally lowered onto the platter without a record present. An important fail safe in case the record detection mechanism fails at some point in the future:

Before playing any turntable for the first time it is important to calibrate the tracking weight. I usually start out by replacing the flimsy locking clip that holds the counter weight adjustment screw in place with a nut to be able securing it permanently once the calibration is done. This shows the original condition:
and with the M3 nut in place:
Then I calibrated the weight adjustment wheel to be accurate around 1.2g, the tracking weight for most B&O cartridges:
This is preferably done with a small digital gauge, which are very precise these days due to advances in integrated sensor chip design (even if they are cheap).

After giving the aluminum surfaces a deep clean it was finally time to present this Beogram in its full glory and play it for the first time. I selected a recently acquired vinyl by the awesome German MPS label: "October Variations" by Volker Kriegel and the Mild Maniac Orchestra, which they recorded in 1977.
In my opinion this is among Kriegel's best albums for its consistency and wealth of great melodies and jazzy fusion sound. The second track on the first side "Ballad Garden & Palm Dreams" is my favorite...perfect for taking a Beogram DC motor apart or soldering SMD components...;-). I will now play this Beogram for a bit longer, and then it will be time for the trip home to its owner.


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