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Monday, April 26, 2021

Beogram 4004 (5526): A First Look

A while ago I received a Beogram 4004 (5526) from Pennsylvania for restoration. This unit arrived in the original box but double boxed:

I am not a fan of using the original boxes. The styrofoam is pretty hard, and I am worrying about the old brittle PCBs a bit etc...but this unit seems to have braced transport fairly well:
Under the hood I found this note pointing at a MMC 20CL cartridge that sat unprotected on the arm. A recipe for disaster! Especially with the arm unsupported.
Oh well, I had a look at the cantilever, and the tip was still on it. So there is a chance that it may actually have survived. But we will hear when I play the deck for the first time after the restoration. Anyway, I secured the precious thing in a Beolover MMC box:
The cosmetic condition of the unit is pretty decent. There are no significant damages in the aluminum surfaces.
Sadly there is a deep reaching strange 'spot' on the plexiglass cover, which seems unpolishable. It is very deep. I wonder what happened! But this means there may be a new cover from a donor in the future for this 4004. Too bad since the cover is otherwise in very good condition. Another one bit the dust.
The keypad has the typical damage on the START key where the clear coat has worn off:
Under the hood the condition seems pretty original. I was not able to see any obvious traces of previous 'human interaction' at this point:
After this inspection I plugged it in and pressed start. A screeching noise indicated a running DC platter motor with dry bearings. Nothing special at this age. The carriage started moving sluggishly towards the LP setdown point and upon reaching it the solenoid engaged. Good signs of life!
In summary, this seems to be a straight forward restoration project.

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