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Citronic Powered Stereo Popular

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vinyl_rookie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 03 June 2019 at 1:01am
Hi Everyone,

First post here so I hope this is in the right place.  If you find my story too long winded, the questions I'm looking for advice on are at the end :)

Not sure if I'm allowed to include photos as a new poster so I haven't - but I have a good few of the unit and my dismantling of it to share at a later point.

The backstory

I bought a Powered Stereo Popular last Saturday to use at a charity vinyl event at my local pub the day after!

One of the amps (right) had stopped working the morning I collected it but I figured even if it wasn't possible to coax it back to life, I could run the slave output into an old hifi amp and work with it that way.

So I got it home and took it apart for a good clean in the first instance, general dusting, vacuuming, etc.  I have some electronic knowledge but it doesn't extend much beyond basic testing for continuity, soldering and component swapping.

Faults

I removed the right amp board for closer inspection and found a loose ballast capacitor - on one leg the solder had clearly dried out.  So I ended up reflowing pretty much the whole board as there were a number of dry joints, some of which had insufficient solder.

Hoping that had fixed it, I put it back... but then saw the power connector from the left amp board had detached itself - more dry solder.  So that came out too, the power connector was refitted and the board was similarly reflowed.

Took my time replacing everything based on the photos I took and tested it with a CD player through the line input - BOTH AMPS WORKING and sounding great through some old Mordaunt Short MS35Ti speakers.

Tested my mic (an SM58) and it was very quiet... At which point I surmised the mic input wasn't balanced so I took my TRS jack and shorted the R and S with a small wire to effectively make it a TS.  Immediate improvement!

Refitted the turntable board and pushed up the phono faders for testing to reveal the most awful ground hum.  Bad times.  The grounds had disconnected at the turntable end.  I think it was inevitable due to the way all the stress was on the small amount of exposed shield on the signal wiring as opposed to the L/R which had some slack and thus weren't sharing the strain.  So I cut the wiring back a bit and soldered in a short jumper wire to provide better strain relief and reattach the ground.  FIXED!

Turntables are fitted with Ortofon OM cartridges.  I'd checked the styli with a cheap mini microscope and they looked fine.  The one on deck 2 looked misaligned though so I removed it to find some pretty awful soldering on the tonearm wiring and (i still can't quite believe this) a snapped cartridge that'd been super-glued back together wonky!  I had about an hour at this point before I needed to get to the pub and have the thing working.  Not wanting to modify the headshells, I filed out one of the cartridge mount slots on the cart itself to allow me to mount it on an angle which made it sit centrally.

At that point, I aligned both carts with a basic protractor thing and then set tracking weight to 2g with the mini electronic scale I use for my hifi turntables.  I had to increase it to 3g at the gig because of vibration and some records being in poor condition.

Took it to the pub, set it up, played flawlessly for 6 hours and I had a blast fulfilling long held DJ ambitions.  Raised some good money for an extremely worthy family in the village, who've recently suffered a tragic loss, taking requests too.  Went so well, I've been offered another gig off the back of it at another place - a retro school disco type night.

Questions / plans

I'd like to know a bit more about this unit - so any information would be gratefully received.

Are there any other essential repairs I should do given its age?

I was planning to do the following but would appreciate any advice on pitfalls, common problems, etc.
  • New belts.  Existing seem ok but for the small cost, I think I should replace them.  Where's best to buy?  Ebay?
  • Tone arm rewire (thought I could pull new wires through with the old ones).  Reason for doing this is because deck 2's wiring is a bit nasty - not awful but worth doing right I think
  • Turntable signal to mixer rewire (ditch old cable and run some new 2+ground wiring for each to do my temporary repair (see "Faults" above) properly)
  • New cartridges - what would be good on these decks?  I see that Stanton 500s aren't made any more.  I'm not keen on the OMs and wondered about Audio Technica?  Again - open to advice / suggestions - not looking to spend a fortune
  • Pitch control seems a bit iffy.  Will definitely fit new belts but should I lubricate the motor and clean the pitch controls up with switch cleaner?
  • Re-cap the amp boards, replacing all the electrolytics - some were bulging a little so seems a good idea.  Should I re-cap the mixer too?  Everything works on it but I didn't have time to inspect it properly.
Do those sound like sensible repairs?

Any advice and info on the CL12D turntables would be good too.  I don't know what a good one should feel / perform like?  Records sounded good on both decks after my quick service.

The tonearms feel slightly wobbly on their pivots but as they're both like it I'm guessing that's normal.  Is it?

Some strobe marks are wearing off.  Any advice on repainting them?  A silver pen maybe?

Was this model ever fitted with other types of turntable or just this model?  Has anyone ever retrofitted other TTs?

Thanks in advance and I hope you haven't fallen asleep at all my rambling.

Chris
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concept-10 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote concept-10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2019 at 4:35am
What a great story to wake up and read, well done for persevering and getting it to the gig and fulfilling your dj  dreams for a worthwhile cause, If you plan to keep it to use then replace any caps and wiring you feel needs doing, if the belts have sat for a long time them they could do with replacing, from what I remember the arm pivots were never that accurate from new, as for cartridges there are people on here that will give you the best advice, once again well done and thanks for putting a smile on my face at 4 in the morning. Smile 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jbl_man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2019 at 5:09pm
There is a specialist Facebook group of these old consoles,there is even a resident "Doctor" who can fix just about any console.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/olddjgear/
Be seeing you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote vinyl_rookie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 June 2019 at 5:26pm
Thank you both for the replies.  I've joined the FB group and will repost my story there
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Muckerbarnes1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 December 2020 at 10:07am
Glad to see you made some effort and have now progressed to a vintage vinyl DJ. Well done. 
Billy Dawg.
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