Author Topic: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?  (Read 707 times)

Offline MusicMan_ZA

Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« on: January 22, 2021, 03:32:35 PM »
Pic 1 shows what a parcel looks like when it has spent 10 days travelling down from the far North East of SA down to Cape Town, and then back up to the far North West of SA (West Coast) transported by the "trusty" Stofpad Koeriers :-)(name made up, as I am not sure where the blame should go).



Made in the mid-sixties by A.R Sugden in Yorkshire, England. Apparently cost more than a Garrard 301 when new  :nfi:



In some ways, in not too bad a condition.



But there is a very important part missing! Does anyone perhaps have an idler wheel to sell to me? Probably it's "holder" too.



The thin rubber motor mounts have also broken off - a plan will have to be made. Just glad the motor did not fall out somewhere near Verlorenvlei!



However, after taking it apart, cleaning it, polishing the motor spindles and adding some good oil, I fired up the motor, and it spins perfectly - smooth and silent and very cool running.  :thumbs:



So, can this one be saved? We will have to see. Without an idler wheel it will be impossible, but the rest I think I can McGyver.
I love a challenge!



I love music - analog and digital. Even listening to the Blues makes me happy. During the day I coach and counsel, after hours I indulge in my second passion - listening to vinyl and restoring turntables. Some I keep, some I sell...

Offline DeonC

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 03:57:51 PM »
Please try. She looks like a real old beauty. I admit that I have a soft spot for idlers, so I really hope you can save this old girl.
Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away.

Offline MusicMan_ZA

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2021, 07:17:40 PM »
Seen today:

"TECHNICAL REPORTS Connoisseur Craftsman m Variable 3- speed Transcription Turntable. Price: ,421 15s. 11d. A. R. Sugden and Co. (Engineers) Ltd., Market Street, Brighouse,

Yorks.

Makers' Specification:

Speeds: 33i, 45, and 78 rpm with fine adjustment. Rumble: —50 dB measured at RIAA characteristic when referred to 7 cm/sec at 1,000 c/s. Hum level: less than 80 dB. Wow:0.15 %. Flutter: 0.1 %. Standard input voltage: 210/250 volts AC 50 c/s, or as specified to order for 210/250 volts AC 60 c/s, or 110 volts AC 50 or 60 c/s. Power Consumption: 10 watts max. Weight: 121 lbs. Finish: styled in matt black with satin silver trim. Turned aluminium knobs. Motor Board (minimum size): 13+ in. x 13+ in. with 3* in. clearance below.

To anyone who possesses a transcription motor made by A. R. Sugden and Co., the word "engineers" in brackets after the makers' name must appear superfluous. A few days ago came across a Connoisseur motor that must have been well over ten years old for it had only 78 and 331 rpm speeds and as the Craftsman III had just been submitted for review it was interesting to make a comparison. No one doubts that engineering skill which went into the early Sugden motors, for time has proved that. After testing this new motor I know that the passing of a decade, although necessarily changing detail, has not altered the quality of workmanship one bit. This engineering skill is rarely to be found in mass production' and Arnold Sugden has never succumbed to this. The temptation must, however, have been great at times, for although there is a wide choice of amplifiers and loudspeakers, good makes of transcription motors can still be counted on the fingers of one hand.

The Craftsman III employs a synchronous hysteresis motor of generous dimensions and using high-grade laminations. An adjustable top bearing and a pin-point self-adjusting lower bearing support the rotor, and the spindle continues upwards to provide drive to the idler wheel. This spindle is tapered and speed control is obtained by arranging that the whole motor moves up and down, either to three set positions by operation of the speed-change lever, or by means of the Vernier speed control. So far as I know, this is quite an original approach to the problem of providing a fine speed adjustment. The principle of the tapered spindle is the same as that used on the Goldring-Lenco motors, but in those the idler wheel is vertical and moves along the driving cone and underside of the turntable. When the idler wheel is horizontal, then an entirely different technique is called for and Mr. Sugden has shown very ably that this can be achieved with great precision. The motor itself, on its movable platform, is hung on three resilient supports to prevent vibration reaching the baseplate. This baseplate is diecast from heavy zinc alloy and ribbed to provide additional strength. The turntable is lathe turned from non-ferrous metal so that no interaction can take place when using a magnetic pickup. Both bearings for the turntable spindle are made from nylon the top one being adjustable to allow for long-term wear, and the bottom another pin-point self-locating type. Two very flexible rubber mounts support the idler wheel which drives not on the outer rim of the turntable but on a separate flange six inches in diameter. The click suppressed on-off switch also performs the function of disengaging the idler wheel to prevent possibility of damage. On the underside of the turntable, stroboscopic marks are printed and these are reflected upwards by means of a mirror and viewed at the front centre. Illumination is provided by a small neon lamp, which also serves to indicate that the motor is switched on. Although the bearings require oiling only at long intervals, (twice a year the makers suggest), the Craftsman III is so designed that this can be carried out from the top, a plastic tube carrying the oil down to the bottom motor bearings.

Using the template provided, the motor was mounted in accordance with the instructions on a board *-in. thick and tested both by listening and with the aid of instruments. The adjustable bearings -are set correctly at the factory and therefore required no attention, although, if necessary, this is quite a simple operation, a small spanner being provided for the purpose.

However, as received, the motor ran sweetly straightaway, and I was most impressed by the absence of mechanical noise—not complete absence, of course, for there must always be a little, and in this case so little that I was unable to hear it when listening at a distance of 6 in. Using a constant tone record flutter, wow and rumble proved to be so low that I am convinced no user would ever have any cause to complain. In fact I could detect none of these with my ears and had to resort to the oscilloscope before detecting rumble and so good is the motor isolation that this was barely measurable—in fact it might have been on the record! Further tests included a run of several hours to check the motor's longterm stability (excellent) and the effect of drag caused by increased playing weight of the pickup. The latter was very slight and easily taken up by the fine speed adjustment. In all, a most excellent performance.

I noted that, when the motor is mounted the top of the turntable is some 2 in. above the motor board. The makers suggest that if this is outside the limits of the pickup height adjustment, the pickup should be raised by mounting it on a plywood disc. This may be a little inconvenient for cabinets with limited space inside the lid, especially when using pickups such as the EMI EPU 100 which require approximately 2 in. of height above the turntable. Remember too, that 3-1 in. is required below the motor board. Measure first then, so as to make sure!

PHILIP TANDY."
I love music - analog and digital. Even listening to the Blues makes me happy. During the day I coach and counsel, after hours I indulge in my second passion - listening to vinyl and restoring turntables. Some I keep, some I sell...

Offline MusicMan_ZA

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2021, 07:21:20 PM »

I love music - analog and digital. Even listening to the Blues makes me happy. During the day I coach and counsel, after hours I indulge in my second passion - listening to vinyl and restoring turntables. Some I keep, some I sell...

Offline Katji

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2021, 08:10:27 PM »
wow

"Turned aluminium knobs."
Imagine.
I wonder what work an apprentice would do until he would be given the job of making the knobs.

Such nice proper writing matches this engineering too.

Offline mahleu

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Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2021, 09:28:04 PM »
Save it. Any idler within reason will work, it's just a transfer wheel from motor to platter.
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Offline johan.pretorius

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2021, 06:39:03 AM »
Awesome turntable, hope you find an idler wheel for it. Perhaps Simone Lucchetti can point you in the right direction?

And surely this FB group: The World of Bespoke Idler-Wheel turntables - Garrard, Lenco, EMT, etc.

Quote
About This Group : Idler-wheel turntables modding ideas and bespoke Garrard 301 (and 401), Thorens, Lenco, EMT, Rek-o-Kut, Commonwealth, etc. from around the world.

ps - I've sent you an invite
There is no better idle time than Thorens time.

Offline charles

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2021, 10:52:21 AM »
Congratulations, it is a very good turntable.

I may have he same model in "deep storage".

Time permit, I can take it out of storage and have a look at its idler wheel assembly.

Offline fredeb

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2021, 11:45:36 AM »
Beautiful ! I also hope you manage to get it up and running .

If Charles does manage to measure the diameter of the wheel you can have one made up here : https://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/catalog/phono_wheels_turrets.asp

...evolution is the gradual development and stratification of progressive series of wholes, stretching from the inorganic beginnings to the highest level of spiritual creation.
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Offline marantz123

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Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2021, 05:57:41 PM »
Wow ...look at the condition of that package !  Only a table built as solidly as this would survive that trip. I had a parcel arrive similar to this once, barely wrapped in thin cardboard pieces, not in a box..and the shipper assured me that they know how to pack, will do it properly, do it all the time.

Fortunately, getting the speed spot-on wont be a problem as its fully variable, any idler wheel close enough to the original size could work. For the sizing, probably something like the L75 idler wheel diameter is a guess. The thin rubber mounts mentioned,...is it similar to the motor mount (rubber-band type of suspension) as used in the Connoisseur BD2 ?
Lovely project, a few challenges but worthy (that motor looks powerful) of a full restoration and will make beautiful music once again. Idlers are so special, have fun and keep us posted!  :)
« Last Edit: January 23, 2021, 07:07:08 PM by marantz123 »

Offline mahleu

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Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2021, 09:44:46 AM »
I think I have an older Connosieur in pieces. I'll see what state the idler is in. I'm missing a platter.
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Offline MusicMan_ZA

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2021, 10:00:55 AM »
I think I have an older Connosieur in pieces. I'll see what state the idler is in. I'm missing a platter.

Thanks Matthew.
It is not just the idler wheel that is missing - it is the whole assembly (wheel + "cage/holder")
that connects to the "swing arm" with two rubber "connectors".

I get the feeling this is going to be a loooong term project! :-)  :thumbs:
I love music - analog and digital. Even listening to the Blues makes me happy. During the day I coach and counsel, after hours I indulge in my second passion - listening to vinyl and restoring turntables. Some I keep, some I sell...

Offline Qualityten

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2021, 12:42:05 AM »
This is a case where you could also ask for parts and support on the UK vintage radio repair and restoration forum.

Offline MusicMan_ZA

Re: Connoisseur Craftsman III turntable - can it be saved?
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2021, 11:06:31 AM »
This is a case where you could also ask for parts and support on the UK vintage radio repair and restoration forum.

Thanks very much - I will keep that option open.  :thumbs:
I love music - analog and digital. Even listening to the Blues makes me happy. During the day I coach and counsel, after hours I indulge in my second passion - listening to vinyl and restoring turntables. Some I keep, some I sell...