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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, December 4, 2020

Beogram 4000: A New Arrival from New York

I recently received another Beogram 4000 for restoration. This one came from New York. It came in a Beolover double boxed shipping container and so shipping was no problem. I extracted the unit from its cocoon and put it on the bench:

The aluminum surfaces are in pretty good shape. There are a few small scratches on the platter but nothing too bad:
The plinth is also in excellent condition with very nice corners:
Unfortunately the hood is one of those that have a flimsy plastic imitation Beogram 4000 trim in the back. Also its hinge areas are cracked due to the high strain inflicted by the weight of the hood against the springs that hold it open:
Since all the parts of that cracked area are still present I may be able to patch it back together and put a new aluminum replica trim strip on this hood. If that works, all it needs is a good polishing to be back in service again. I took out the aluminum panels and found an original looking setup, an excellent starting point for any functional restoration:
Luckily, the hard to replace red position indicator is also in good shape:
Unfortunately, the mounting tab for the MMC cartridges has broken off. This is a frequent issue with the 4000 since they used a more stiff and therefore brittle plastic for this first iteration of the 400x series:
Even if the tab is still in good condition I usually recommend replacing it, since even moderate torque when sticking on or removing a cartridge can break it off, and sometimes the broken off part ends up lodged inside the cartridge, and then it can get really expensive.
Luckily, this issue can be fixed with a 3D printed Beolover replacement that is made from a modern material that does not break very easily.

A minor issue are the cracked plinth guidance washers:
They can easily be replaced with Beolover replica washers. 
What I also found during this first inspection was a cutoff mains plug. Not sure why quite a few Beograms come with their plugs cutoff, but here we go:
I did not dare plugging it in just now since my customer had informed me that there was some 'hot electronics smell' coming from the unit when he tried it out. So I will need to be a bit careful. I am sure the root cause will give rise to another interesting episode of my 'A fun evening with...' post series....;-).

In summary, I think this Beogram 4000 is a pretty good starting point for a full restoration to a like-new condition. More about this in some upcoming posts...

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