View Full Version : Realistic LAB 400 With a Shure Stylus RS 8T


Metalownz
08-18-2008, 11:59 PM
I just won this turntable on E-bay. What do you all think of the LAB 400? It looks like it was built with quality in mind. What about a Shure Stylus RS 8T? Im just delving into vinyl, and i feel i did ok with this being my first REAL turntable. Ive had a Sony for awhile, but i dont like the sound of it. This Realistic went for $61.00 on the bay, good price, or no?

By the way, the table is in mint condition.

Hifirob2
08-19-2008, 12:47 AM
I'm no expert on LAB xxx turntables, but I believe they were made by Hitachi for Radio Shack. I just bought a mint condition Hitachi PS-48 at GW for $20. Very similar looking & very beautiful - but no headshell, and no shipping worries. I hope your's arrives in one piece. Should sound great for years - I've heard they were high quality.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 01:29 AM
I'm no expert on LAB xxx turntables, but I believe they were made by Hitachi for Radio Shack. I just bought a mint condition Hitachi PS-48 at GW for $20. Very similar looking & very beautiful - but no headshell, and no shipping worries. I hope your's arrives in one piece. Should sound great for years - I've heard they were high quality.


Thanks Rob. Ive heard they were made by Hitachi, but then other people say CEC or something of that nature, which also made Marantz turntables. The person who is shipping this TT has experience with shipping TT's. Thats why i decided to go with him.

Ive heard some rumors of people saying because its a direct drive, there will be hum. But thats all rumor i believe.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 01:47 AM
Here are a couple of pics of my new Realistic TT.

Hifirob2
08-19-2008, 02:04 AM
I have no hum issues with mine. I also read somewhere today that the Hitachi's had a signal cutoff as the stylus lowers onto the record, and cuts out right before the stylus picks up at the end of play. I always wanted a turntable with this feature. No sudden noises at start/end. I wonder if that feature carried over to your's?

I have no pictures of mine yet, but judging by your pics, the resemblance is remarkable. It's gotta be a Hitachi......very nice!

Rob

reidcc
08-19-2008, 06:59 AM
I picked up a LAB400 last year at a yard sale for $10. It has the Shure/Realistic Cartridge, but no stylus. I have found the M91ED stylus for like $25.

I have noticed that my cue lever doesn't seem to do much- I haven't checked is its linkage or damping fluid. I also notice thatonce the platter is turning- if I take the arm and bring over to end of record, it does not seem to want to "eject" or pickup and return.

These things are built like tanks- and heavy- pleasing to look at as well. Mine has been sitting since I bought it, as I am still using my Technics SL-L20. I have an itch to either get this thing running or just buy a new table.

Chris

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 07:02 AM
I have no hum issues with mine. I also read somewhere today that the Hitachi's had a signal cutoff as the stylus lowers onto the record, and cuts out right before the stylus picks up at the end of play. I always wanted a turntable with this feature. No sudden noises at start/end. I wonder if that feature carried over to your's?

I have no pictures of mine yet, but judging by your pics, the resemblance is remarkable. It's gotta be a Hitachi......very nice!

Rob


Yeah, id like to see some pictures of your Hitachi Rob. What year is your model? This came out in 1978 i believe.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 07:05 AM
I picked up a LAB400 last year at a yard sale for $10. It has the Shure/Realistic Cartridge, but no stylus. I have found the M91ED stylus for like $25.

I have noticed that my cue lever doesn't seem to do much- I haven't checked is its linkage or damping fluid. I also notice thatonce the platter is turning- if I take the arm and bring over to end of record, it does not seem to want to "eject" or pickup and return.

These things are built like tanks- and heavy- pleasing to look at as well. Mine has been sitting since I bought it, as I am still using my Technics SL-L20. I have an itch to either get this thing running or just buy a new table.

Chris


Id try to get it fixed if i were you. It really does look like a damn good table, and i can't wait to get mine! Ill post about the sound once i receive it.

Im looking for some comments on my stylus as i have no idea how good it is. Theres no info on the internet about it.

hakaplan
08-19-2008, 10:17 AM
Im looking for some comments on my stylus as i have no idea how good it is. Theres no info on the internet about it.
Beautiful table. The RS8T is the equivalent of the Shure M75ED Type 2, a very nice .2 x .7 nude elliptical which was second only to the V15 back in the 70s. Used styli are a question mark and unless you're positive that it's in good condition, it's a good idea to replace it lest you ruin your records. Look for the N75ED Type 2 or sometimes just called EDT2 stylus. Check garage-a-records, lpgear, turntableneedles.

Hifirob2
08-19-2008, 12:32 PM
Yeah, id like to see some pictures of your Hitachi Rob. What year is your model? This came out in 1978 i believe.

Mine is from 1978 also, I think. The TOTL that year was the PS-58 - fully automatic, my PS-48 is semi-auto. I found a pic of another members in the gallery section I'll try to attach it - maybe just the link will show - I've never attached a pic before (successfully)....

http://www.audiokarma.org/gallery/watermark.php?file=2199

Rob

chillwolf
08-19-2008, 12:46 PM
I have a Lab 400 table also. I think it was one of the best that rat shack sold. It is a good solid TT. And with the right cart on it, it will sing!

Hifirob2
08-19-2008, 01:11 PM
I have a Lab 400 table also. I think it was one of the best that rat shack sold. It is a good solid TT. And with the right cart on it, it will sing!

Since mine came with no headshell, I'm simply using one of my Technics headshells with an AT450 cartridge and an Audio Technica ATN3472SE stylus. It sounds ok - but different than my Technics TT's.

What cart/stylus set-up do you use? - I want to get the best sound I can (for less than $100).

Rob

howie123
08-19-2008, 01:35 PM
It's hard to tell from the pics but is that a wood or wood veneer base or some type of plastic? (The platter reminds me of my '70's Sony). Thanks!
Very attractive TT, btw....

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 02:35 PM
Beautiful table. The RS8T is the equivalent of the Shure M75ED Type 2, a very nice .2 x .7 nude elliptical which was second only to the V15 back in the 70s. Used styli are a question mark and unless you're positive that it's in good condition, it's a good idea to replace it lest you ruin your records. Look for the N75ED Type 2 or sometimes just called EDT2 stylus. Check garage-a-records, lpgear, turntableneedles.


The person who was selling this turntable said the stylus was hardly ever used. Should i replace it anyway?

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 02:38 PM
Mine is from 1978 also, I think. The TOTL that year was the PS-58 - fully automatic, my PS-48 is semi-auto. I found a pic of another members in the gallery section I'll try to attach it - maybe just the link will show - I've never attached a pic before (successfully)....

http://www.audiokarma.org/gallery/watermark.php?file=2199

Rob


Thats a beautiful table! I can see alot of similarity in the two. Its almost like the Realistic STA-90, and the Sansui model 881. Very close!

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 02:40 PM
Beautiful table. The RS8T is the equivalent of the Shure M75ED Type 2, a very nice .2 x .7 nude elliptical which was second only to the V15 back in the 70s. Used styli are a question mark and unless you're positive that it's in good condition, it's a good idea to replace it lest you ruin your records. Look for the N75ED Type 2 or sometimes just called EDT2 stylus. Check garage-a-records, lpgear, turntableneedles.


So, its basically a nice stylus though? I can't wait to hear this thing. I actually think the stylus has alot of miles left on it. It looks to be in brand new shape. And they also said that the table was hardly ever used. Which is good because then the motor is preserved.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 02:43 PM
I have a Lab 400 table also. I think it was one of the best that rat shack sold. It is a good solid TT. And with the right cart on it, it will sing!


Ive been told that many times about it being one of their best. I guess ill soon find out. I wont replace the stylus unless it sounds absolutely terrible. Ill just keep the one thats on there for now, as it has alot of miles left on it.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 02:44 PM
It's hard to tell from the pics but is that a wood or wood veneer base or some type of plastic? (The platter reminds me of my '70's Sony). Thanks!
Very attractive TT, btw....


Its real wood veneer.

Hifirob2
08-19-2008, 02:47 PM
Thanks - I love it's look. I've been a Technics guy all my life, but this Hitachi just called out to me at Goodwill.......it makes my Technics look kinda bad.......

Rob

howie123 - the base is wood veneer on mine......

hakaplan
08-19-2008, 03:15 PM
So, its basically a nice stylus though? I can't wait to hear this thing. I actually think the stylus has alot of miles left on it. It looks to be in brand new shape. And they also said that the table was hardly ever used. Which is good because then the motor is preserved.
Yes, it is a nice stylus. Just so you know, a nude stylus is of a higher quality--it means that it is both chemically and mechanically bonded to the cantilever, as opposed to non-nude which are just glued on. Today nude styli are rare and cost a pretty penny when you do find them in the model line. Shure no longer makes nude styli, but some dealers still have originals in stock.

howie123
08-19-2008, 03:23 PM
Its real wood veneer.

howie123 - the base is wood veneer on mine......
Thanks, I appreciate the replies! I remember a buddy of mine had a Radio Shack store back in the '70's and got all the TOTL Realistic stuff for cost. They really were well made components and sounded great. :)

Shure no longer makes nude styli, but some dealers still have originals in stock.

Hi Howard, sorry for going a bit OT but do you know of any sources for genuine Shure VN45MR (V15-IV) styli?

chillwolf
08-19-2008, 03:29 PM
Since mine came with no headshell, I'm simply using one of my Technics headshells with an AT450 cartridge and an Audio Technica ATN3472SE stylus. It sounds ok - but different than my Technics TT's.

What cart/stylus set-up do you use? - I want to get the best sound I can (for less than $100).

Rob

I am not currently using the Lab 400 now. But when I had it in my main system I was using a Compass ATX5E with nude stylus (made by AT) on the original headshell. It was a very good combination that made the music come alive. :music: I am now using a Dual 606 TT in place of the Lab 400, as I feel it is just a little bit better TT. But I might put the Lab 400 in my secondary system. I'm just not sure yet, as I have about 15 TTs to play around with.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 04:02 PM
Thanks - I love it's look. I've been a Technics guy all my life, but this Hitachi just called out to me at Goodwill.......it makes my Technics look kinda bad.......

Rob

howie123 - the base is wood veneer on mine......


It would have called out to me also. It almost looks like mine. And i fell in love with mine the minute i saw it. I think this Realistic actually has the original stylus on it. Which means it wasnt used all that much.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 04:05 PM
Yes, it is a nice stylus. Just so you know, a nude stylus is of a higher quality--it means that it is both chemically and mechanically bonded to the cantilever, as opposed to non-nude which are just glued on. Today nude styli are rare and cost a pretty penny when you do find them in the model line. Shure no longer makes nude styli, but some dealers still have originals in stock.

You can tell all of that by just looking at a picture? lol Damn, im grateful to have found this site, i learn new things everyday.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 04:07 PM
Thanks, I appreciate the replies! I remember a buddy of mine had a Radio Shack store back in the '70's and got all the TOTL Realistic stuff for cost. They really were well made components and sounded great. :)



Hi Howard, sorry for going a bit OT but do you know of any sources for genuine Shure VN45MR (V15-IV) styli?


I love my Realistic gear. I have a set of Optimus 650's, 2 Realistic STA-90's, and 2 Realistic STA-430's. They all work, and sound good to these ears.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 04:09 PM
I am not currently using the Lab 400 now. But when I had it in my main system I was using a Compass ATX5E with nude stylus (made by AT) on the original headshell. It was a very good combination that made the music come alive. :music: I am now using a Dual 606 TT in place of the Lab 400, as I feel it is just a little bit better TT. But I might put the Lab 400 in my secondary system. I'm just not sure yet, as I have about 15 TTs to play around with.


Wow, 15?? I only own two. The Sony i have is (i think) a PSXL series or something of that nature, its a direct drive.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 04:11 PM
I am not currently using the Lab 400 now. But when I had it in my main system I was using a Compass ATX5E with nude stylus (made by AT) on the original headshell. It was a very good combination that made the music come alive. :music: I am now using a Dual 606 TT in place of the Lab 400, as I feel it is just a little bit better TT. But I might put the Lab 400 in my secondary system. I'm just not sure yet, as I have about 15 TTs to play around with.


Was that stylus better than the original that came with the 400?

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 04:13 PM
Yes, it is a nice stylus. Just so you know, a nude stylus is of a higher quality--it means that it is both chemically and mechanically bonded to the cantilever, as opposed to non-nude which are just glued on. Today nude styli are rare and cost a pretty penny when you do find them in the model line. Shure no longer makes nude styli, but some dealers still have originals in stock.


If i did eventually want to change the Stylus, how would i go about doing it on this turntable? The two screws on the top, and maybe 4 pins to unattatch it?

chillwolf
08-19-2008, 04:23 PM
Was that stylus better than the original that came with the 400?

Oh yes, it is a far superior cartridge. The original one was made for RS by Shure.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 05:12 PM
Oh yes, it is a far superior cartridge. The original one was made for RS by Shure.


I think mine is actually the original. Was your original like a silver color, called a RS8T?

hakaplan
08-19-2008, 05:25 PM
If i did eventually want to change the Stylus, how would i go about doing it on this turntable? The two screws on the top, and maybe 4 pins to unattatch it?
Okay, some terminology is in order. The thing that is held on by screws is the cartridge. What it is screwed to is called the headshell. The headshell plugs into the tonearm and is held secured by that locking ring. The stylus (also called needle) is the assembly that consists of the diamond tip and the cantilever, the flexy arm onto which the diamond tip is attached. That assembly, held together by the plastic you see jutting out the front, slides into the cartridge. So to remove and replace the stylus, you should first remove the headshell from the arm, then pull the plastic of the stylus assembly out toward you. You don't have to unscrew the cartridge from the headshell, but you might need to loosen those screws later to re-align the cartridge, if necessary.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 05:31 PM
Okay, some terminology is in order. The thing that is held on by screws is the cartridge. What it is screwed to is called the headshell. The headshell plugs into the tonearm and is held secured by that locking ring. The stylus (also called needle) is the assembly that consists of the diamond tip and the cantilever, the flexy arm onto which the diamond tip is attached. That assembly, held together by the plastic you see jutting out the front, slides into the cartridge. So to remove and replace the stylus, you should first remove the headshell from the arm, then pull the plastic of the stylus assembly out toward you. You don't have to unscrew the cartridge from the headshell, but you might need to loosen those screws later to re-align the cartridge, if necessary.


Can you get a stylus for a cartridge this old?

hakaplan
08-19-2008, 05:42 PM
Actually I thought there were still originals being sold, but it appears that they are all aftermarket replacements. These two would be the best:

http://www.turntableneedles.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=9592

http://www.export-japan.com/marketing/stylus/product_info.php?cPath=18&products_id=1022

This one is next best:

http://www.garage-a-records.com/proddetail.php?prod=4760de

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 05:51 PM
Actually I thought there were still originals being sold, but it appears that they are all aftermarket replacements. These two would be the best:

http://www.turntableneedles.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=9592

http://www.export-japan.com/marketing/stylus/product_info.php?cPath=18&products_id=1022

This one is next best:

http://www.garage-a-records.com/proddetail.php?prod=4760de

Why thank you kind sir. You have been a huge help! I may replace my stylus soon, just to be on the safe side. But i want to keep the cart since its the original.

howie123
08-19-2008, 05:55 PM
Actually I thought there were still originals being sold, but it appears that they are all aftermarket replacements. These two would be the best:

http://www.turntableneedles.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=9592

http://www.export-japan.com/marketing/stylus/product_info.php?cPath=18&products_id=1022

This one is next best:

http://www.garage-a-records.com/proddetail.php?prod=4760de

Thanks for those links, too! I remember someone mentioning the SAS stylus (forgot exactly where) and they have one for me as well. I guess I can forget original Shure replacements (bought my last in '88).
http://www.export-japan.com/marketing/stylus/product_info.php?cPath=18&products_id=1049

howie123
08-19-2008, 06:26 PM
Why thank you kind sir. You have been a huge help! I may replace my stylus soon, just to be on the safe side. But i want to keep the cart since its the original.


I just re-replaced mine for fun. I'm sure your Realistic's stylus replacement is similar. You just need to be careful not to touch the stylus itself and then holding the replacement stylus assembly by the sides (the squarish plastic piece), gently slide it into place. There seems to be a bit of resistance but you'll know when it's aligned correctly. Just remember that nothing needs to be "forced". :)

http://i514.photobucket.com/albums/t348/howie123_photos/sty3.jpg

http://i514.photobucket.com/albums/t348/howie123_photos/sty2.jpg

http://i514.photobucket.com/albums/t348/howie123_photos/sty1.jpg

http://i514.photobucket.com/albums/t348/howie123_photos/sty04.jpg

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 07:49 PM
I just re-replaced mine for fun. You just need to be careful not to touch the stylus itself and then holding by the sides (kinda like docking a space ship) gently slide it into place. There seems to be a bit of resistance but you'll know when it's aligned correctly. Just remember that nothing needs to be "forced". :)

http://i514.photobucket.com/albums/t348/howie123_photos/sty3.jpg

http://i514.photobucket.com/albums/t348/howie123_photos/sty2.jpg

http://i514.photobucket.com/albums/t348/howie123_photos/sty1.jpg


Thanks. Ill have to order a stylus or two after i get this table. :yes:

slow_jazz
08-19-2008, 08:03 PM
I have the Realistic Lab 420 with Realistic/Shure cartridge. Very well made.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 10:00 PM
I have the Realistic Lab 420 with Realistic/Shure cartridge. Very well made.


How does your 420 sound?

reidcc
08-19-2008, 10:00 PM
How might an AT440MLa work out with this table and arm?

Chris

Jody Thornton
08-19-2008, 10:05 PM
What about the LAB-395 (circa 1982)? Who made that for the Shack? I wish someone had a pic of that one.

Metalownz
08-19-2008, 10:23 PM
What about the LAB-395 (circa 1982)? Who made that for the Shack? I wish someone had a pic of that one.


I dont know. Thats not much newer than the one i have. Are you looking for a lab-395?

BruceRPA
08-20-2008, 09:31 PM
What about the LAB-395 (circa 1982)? Who made that for the Shack? I wish someone had a pic of that one.

If you search for "Lab-395" there is quite a bit of information on it posted on AK including a picture and a reference to the Lab-395 possibly being a re-badged Technics in this thread: http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=171904&highlight=Lab-395 . There is also a lot of excellent information on the excellent Lab-400 as well that can also be found by searching. I have a Lab-400 that I purchased new way back when and I have enjoyed it's outstanding and reliable performance ever since. I do agree that it is probably the best TT that RS ever carried, at least under their own name.

By the way Metalownz, those pictures of your headshell and cartridge are outstanding! They are some of the best photos that I have seen on AK or elsewhere. Are you a professional photographer or just darn good at taking pictures with an excellent camera? :thmbsp:

howie123
08-20-2008, 10:35 PM
By the way Metalownz, those pictures of your headshell and cartridge are outstanding! They are some of the best photos that I have seen on AK or elsewhere. Are you a professional photographer or just darn good at taking pictures with an excellent camera? :thmbsp:

I think you may be referring to the ones I took of my V15 Type IV a few posts up. They were taken with a Sony DSC-F707 camera in macro mode. It's an older 5 megapixel camera but really does take a nice photo. I'm just an amateur, btw, and thanks so much for the compliment! :)

Metalownz
08-20-2008, 11:51 PM
If you search for "Lab-395" there is quite a bit of information on it posted on AK including a picture and a reference to the Lab-395 possibly being a re-badged Technics in this thread: http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=171904&highlight=Lab-395 . There is also a lot of excellent information on the excellent Lab-400 as well that can also be found by searching. I have a Lab-400 that I purchased new way back when and I have enjoyed it's outstanding and reliable performance ever since. I do agree that it is probably the best TT that RS ever carried, at least under their own name.

By the way Metalownz, those pictures of your headshell and cartridge are outstanding! They are some of the best photos that I have seen on AK or elsewhere. Are you a professional photographer or just darn good at taking pictures with an excellent camera? :thmbsp:


Ha ha, i didnt take those pictures. That was another AKer on here. By the way, lead me to the direction of info on the LAB 400! I havent really seen much info on the net, or here for that matter.

howie123
08-21-2008, 12:03 AM
Here are a few pics of the LAB-400. It's a looker! :)
http://www.oaktreeent.com/web_photos/Stereo_Turntables_CD/Realistic__LAB-400_Stereo_Turntable_collage.jpg

Metalownz
08-21-2008, 12:05 AM
Here are a few pics of the LAB-400. It's a looker! :)
http://www.oaktreeent.com/web_photos/Stereo_Turntables_CD/Realistic__LAB-400_Stereo_Turntable_collage.jpg



Thanks for that! Actually, not to brag, but mine looks newer! lol

howie123
08-21-2008, 12:08 AM
Thanks for that! Actually, not to brag, but mine looks newer! lol

Yeah... the wood on yours looks nicer! ;-)

Metalownz
08-21-2008, 12:11 AM
Yeah... the wood on yours looks nicer! ;-)

Yeah, what did they do to that wood???

AnalogDigit
08-21-2008, 12:40 AM
Never had a LAB 400, I wish though. Nice turntable! I had a cheap LAB 89 during 1980 when I purchase that and a STA-52B receiver (I wish I still had ) with Minimus 1400 (?) bass reflex speakers on layaway when I was a teen.

Metalownz
08-21-2008, 12:44 AM
Never had a LAB 400, I wish though. Nice turntable! I had a cheap LAB 89 during 1980 when I purchase that and a STA-52B receiver (I wish I still had ) with Minimus 1400 (?) bass reflex speakers on layaway when I was a teen.

Do you know of anyone who owned a LAB 400? From what im told, they went for $400.00 back in 78. I own 2 STA-90 Realistic receivers, and love them both.

reidcc
08-21-2008, 08:45 PM
Fellow LAB400 owners-

I am still trying to figure mine out. I do not have a stylus for the Cartridge yet, and am hesitant to buy one thinking the table needs repairs.

Question: How easy is it to stop or slow the motor while turning? I can stop mine from spinning without much force at all. I have used the strobe to try getting it stable at 33rpm- but again- I can't play it yet to nake sure.

My cueing lever goes up- but not enough to even lift the tomearm. I pulled the bottom steel cover off to look, and then I pull the top screws holding down the armboard... I still can't figure out what the problem is. Guess I gotta relax and spend some time tearing down.

In the meantime- maybe I can find a $10 table with a cartridge crap cartridge just so I can briefly listen to this.

Chris

Hifirob2
08-21-2008, 09:03 PM
Fellow LAB400 owners-


Question: How easy is it to stop or slow the motor while turning? I can stop mine from spinning without much force at all. I have used the strobe to try getting it stable at 33rpm- but again- I can't play it yet to nake sure.


Chris


Since my Hitachi PS-48 is your LAB 400's twin, I'll tell you that the advertising brochure stressed their "Uni-Torque" direct drive motor system - mine even says it right on the control plate.

I just tested mine and compared it to my Technics direct drive models - and the Hitachi's motor is maybe a little stronger. So your's shouldn't be easy to stop while spinning. The pitch control on these is also only +/- 3% I believe - so not much room for adjusting a weak motor. According to my strobe - it's speed is dead on accurate right in the middle of the adjustable range.

I'll look at my cueing lift mechanism and see if it's adjustable next....

Rob

Hifirob2
08-21-2008, 09:24 PM
No luck Chris, with mine, anyway. I see no way to adjust it's lift height from the top of the table - maybe from below. Maybe it's just gummed up from damping fluid gone bad, or just really low on fluid?? Mine lowers VERY slow....

Rob

hakaplan
08-21-2008, 11:33 PM
I am not familiar with the intricasies of the LAB 400 or the PS-48, but there has to be a set screw or some mechanism that allows the height of the lift bar to be adjusted. Every turntable has that adjustment.

As far as the damping fluid--it can get gunked up over the years and cause the cueing to be too slow, or it can dry up or leak out and be too fast. Ideally one should figure out how to remove the cylinder or housing that holds the lift bar shaft, disassemble it, clean it, apply new goop, and reinstall it.

But, it pays to at least try the short cut because it certainly won't hurt anything, and it might work. And that would entail using some light oil, or silicone/teflon spray lube directed into the housing to try to loosen it if the cueing is too slow. If the cueing is too fast, then one would obtain some of the goop, known officially as silicone damping fluid, at least 300K (300,000) weight viscosity, from turntablebasics.com or possibly an RC hobby site where it would be called differential (diff) oil. You might need that anyway if you over-loosen a gunked up cylinder.

reidcc
08-22-2008, 06:42 AM
Thanks guys-

I actually found the service manual for this on vinylengine, registered and downloaded it. Took a real quick read last night, and it does in fact mention cue lever height, and how to adjust it.

Will try to find a cheap cart over weekend.

Thanks Again
Chris

pmsummer
08-22-2008, 06:49 AM
You can also order a Swiss-made Phanstiel stylus from Radio Shack... shipped free to your local RatShack.

http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2123374

reidcc
08-26-2008, 07:08 AM
Thanks guys-

I actually found the service manual for this on vinylengine, registered and downloaded it. Took a real quick read last night, and it does in fact mention cue lever height, and how to adjust it.

Will try to find a cheap cart over weekend.

Thanks Again
Chris


Great News! My stylus arrived yesterday(replacement M91ED), and popped in to play. It sounded great- airier than my Technics SL-L20 with P Mount AT450. I still had the cueing issues, and I had not tweaked any arm setting until this point.

I looked at the arm settings and went through the procedure to set up in the Service MAnual, and realized how unbalanced everything was. I zeroed out the Counterweight and arm, and then set tracking for a gram- NO MORE CUEING ISSUES.

The motor seems to wander a bit until warmed up, but who knows how long this thing has not been used. The only issue that bothers me is how LOW the cartridge sits! There does not seem to be a lot of space between the bottom of the cartridge and my vinyl I have never seen one ride so low. Could this be an issue?

Sound wise- this will keep me from buying a new table/cart for a while, as I am happy with the noticable difference in sound.

Thanks
Chris

Hifirob2
08-26-2008, 12:43 PM
That is great news Chris. So where was the adjustment screw for the cue lever height? I tried to register at Vinylengine so that I could view it, but they wouldn't send me a confirmation email to complete my registration.


Also, what do you mean my your new cart/stylus sounding more airy than the AT 450? I ask because I have about three AT450's that I use, and always wonder how others sound compared to it.

Thanks,
Rob

reidcc
08-26-2008, 08:44 PM
That is great news Chris. So where was the adjustment screw for the cue lever height? I tried to register at Vinylengine so that I could view it, but they wouldn't send me a confirmation email to complete my registration.


Also, what do you mean my your new cart/stylus sounding more airy than the AT 450? I ask because I have about three AT450's that I use, and always wonder how others sound compared to it.

Thanks,
Rob

Rob-

I didn't need to touch the adjustment screw. Once I balanced the arm and weight to Zero, and set proper force for cartridge- it worked perfectly on its own. The adjustment screw is a small slotted screw on the right of the cueing arm(as you look at it from front. Unloosen, and pull up, and tighten.

As for sound- I can't say what it is. Soemwhere between the different table, different arm, and the Shure cartridge- it just sound more natural and subtle and laid back than the PMount AT450.

Chris

Metalownz
08-29-2008, 01:35 AM
I didn't need to touch the adjustment screw. Once I balanced the arm and weight to Zero, and set proper force for cartridge- it worked perfectly on its own.




How did you do this? I got my turntable from FED-EX yesterday, and i set it up, and it works perfectly. But i want to make sure im as close to 1 gram as possible, so im not wearing my stylus and records out.

I do have the manual, but im having a hard time figuring out how to do this part.

By the way, the turntable sounds fabulous! This one actually has the original stylus on it! And its in nice shape also. Which means this table wasnt used all that much. Im now the proud owner of a Realistic LAB-400!

reidcc
08-29-2008, 07:12 AM
How did you do this? I got my turntable from FED-EX yesterday, and i set it up, and it works perfectly. But i want to make sure im as close to 1 gram as possible, so im not wearing my stylus and records out.

I do have the manual, but im having a hard time figuring out how to do this part.

By the way, the turntable sounds fabulous! This one actually has the original stylus on it! And its in nice shape also. Which means this table wasnt used all that much. Im now the proud owner of a Realistic LAB-400!

To allow the arm to somewhat balance- I had to have the cueing "catch" all the way down(it goes down to allow lp play when unit is running). I turned unit on with platter spinning- to allow tonearm to drop down. Move the arm off the rest and between rest and moving platter- there is a small area to do this. I then turned the Counterweight in rear to allow arm to "float" and become somewhat balanced. Then turn the small round dial in front of Counterweight to read Zero.

Just a followup to this- I am no expert with any of this- in fact it is my first try. Now I could use some help in making sure my Cartridge is mounted properly(straight) and with proper overhang. I d/l'ed a protractor to try the overhang, but now I gotta make sure my cartridge is mounted straight. I am getting some sibilance.

If an AK'ers out there local to Massachusetts wanna halp out a new brother AK'er- I could use some help or at least re-assurance!!!

Thanks
Chris

I think I am missing a step here- but at the end of the day- you end up turning that same dial to 1- which is halfway between the tracking range of the RS1000E cartridge. I then turned my anti-skate to 1.

I did not have instructions with mine, and downloaded both the instructions and the Service Manual from VinylEngine. I do remember these being in the Service Manual.

Chris

reidcc
08-29-2008, 08:13 AM
OK- a quick followup to balancing the arm. I just looked at the manual again online.

Acording to manual- the cueing lever will drop the arm with power off. Rotate the counter weight only to get arm to float or balance, and then turn the dial in front of it to Zero. Return arm to rest, and then turn the Counterweight AND the dial in front of it together until the dial reads One(1). Then set your Anti-Skate to match

Chris

Hifirob2
08-29-2008, 01:14 PM
Hi Chris

I don't know if I can help. As for stylus overhang, there should be a chart/pic in the owner's manual to give you the recommended distance in mm. Since mine didn't come with a manual, and the tonearm looks the same as my Technics S-shaped ones, I used the distance for my SL-1950 (52 mm - the distance from stylus tip back to where the headshell meets the overhang gauge - when headshell is inserted).

As for alignment of the cartridge, I downloaded a chart from EnjoyTheMusic.com, printed it out, cut it out, and followed the instructions. Once properly aligned, mine sounded MUCH better.

Rob

reidcc
08-29-2008, 06:43 PM
Thanks Rob!

I actually d/l'd that one last night. I was going to attempt this- however, I was now worried about how straight in the headshell the cartridge was(meaning was it cocked or crooked slightly). I wasn't sure if there was a way to make sure of that.

Chris

Hifirob2
08-30-2008, 12:26 PM
Hi Chris

This was my first attempt at cartridge alignment. Up until a few months ago, all of my turntables had P-mount cartridges, so none of this was necessary. Now I have 5 TT's that have the S shaped tonearm with standard mount carts.

I 'eyeballed' my first one. I thought it looked perfectly lined up, until I checked it with the chart lines. Now, it looks a little crooked in the headshell, but it sounds better - the improvement is incredible.

And after reading a post with close up pics of dirty stylii, I clean my stylus after each record. I also "deep" clean my thrift store records - and many of them sound like new.

Funny how the little things turn out to be big things as far as records are concerned.

Rob

hakaplan
08-30-2008, 06:36 PM
Hi Chris

This was my first attempt at cartridge alignment. Up until a few months ago, all of my turntables had P-mount cartridges, so none of this was necessary. Now I have 5 TT's that have the S shaped tonearm with standard mount carts.

I 'eyeballed' my first one. I thought it looked perfectly lined up, until I checked it with the chart lines. Now, it looks a little crooked in the headshell, but it sounds better - the improvement is incredible.

And after reading a post with close up pics of dirty stylii, I clean my stylus after each record. I also "deep" clean my thrift store records - and many of them sound like new.

Funny how the little things turn out to be big things as far as records are concerned.

Rob
Rob, if it sounds fine to you, that's great. Just FYI the reason it might look crooked is that Japanese turntables were designed with Stevenson alignment while the enjoythemusic protractor (and almost all others you'll find) use Baerwald alignment. Generally the Baerwald will push the cartridge forward and tilted, but if you're using Technics headshells or clones (generic DJ, Stanton, etc) then you'll have enough room in the slots. The vintage headshells that originally came with the tables (except for Technics) were usually too short for Baerwald. If you're ever curious, vinylengine has the Stevenson free for printout.

Hifirob2
08-30-2008, 10:11 PM
Thanks Howard - I did print out the Stevenson guide just now and used it.

My ears thank you....again!

Rob

Metalownz
09-01-2008, 01:33 PM
I have no hum issues with mine. I also read somewhere today that the Hitachi's had a signal cutoff as the stylus lowers onto the record, and cuts out right before the stylus picks up at the end of play. I always wanted a turntable with this feature. No sudden noises at start/end. I wonder if that feature carried over to your's?

I have no pictures of mine yet, but judging by your pics, the resemblance is remarkable. It's gotta be a Hitachi......very nice!

Rob

Mine has that feature as well. Ive been listening to it all weekend, and that feature really stood out at me. There is so much to say regarding this turntable. First, the sound quality is incredible. And having it hooked up to a Realistic STA-90 receiver which are only 2 years apart really makes my stereo sing. My friend was over listening to it, and this guy grew up in the 70's. He says his records never sounded better, which made me smile. Now i know theres better and all, but iam happy with what ive got. And i think Realistic made some amazing gear back in the late 60's to the early 80's. Well. Or, the people who did make Realistic equipment had quality in mind. But, yeah, your turntable looks ALOT like mine Rob.

Hifirob2
09-01-2008, 03:42 PM
Mine has that feature as well. Ive been listening to it all weekend, and that feature really stood out at me. There is so much to say regarding this turntable. First, the sound quality is incredible. And having it hooked up to a Realistic STA-90 receiver which are only 2 years apart really makes my stereo sing. My friend was over listening to it, and this guy grew up in the 70's. He says his records never sounded better, which made me smile. Now i know theres better and all, but iam happy with what ive got. And i think Realistic made some amazing gear back in the late 60's to the early 80's. Well. Or, the people who did make Realistic equipment had quality in mind. But, yeah, your turntable looks ALOT like mine Rob.

I'm glad your's has that cut off feature, also - I like it. As for other 'high-end' Radio Shack gear, I bought a TOTL cassette deck in the early 80's from them - as Realistic SCT-42. It was a single well only, BUT this thing had every imaginable feature on it - quick reverse, fully programmable, you name it - and I found out it was made by Hitachi also - it was a twin to one of theirs. I still have that deck - it needs a re-belt (wish I knew how to do that), but it was my daily runner for many years. When I ever get it fixed, maybe I'll build a complete RS system - good stuff. And not too many out there...

This turntable is really challenging my opinions of an 'ideal' TT. I'm a huge Technics guy - going back to my first one in 1983, so I'm biased, but this may convert me. Technics did build a very beautiful wood base belt drive TT for JCPenney's MCS line in the late 70's - the 6502. The 6700 was direct drive - even more beautiful, but no wood base - it was black. My rosewood base really stands out and compliments the aluminum/chrome controls nicely. All my friends agree that it is beautiful and sounds great, but most are more entertained by my Technics changers when I use the stacking spindles - especially for 45's. Takes them back to their childhood....

Play on,
Rob

Metalownz
09-02-2008, 12:33 AM
I'm glad your's has that cut off feature, also - I like it. As for other 'high-end' Radio Shack gear, I bought a TOTL cassette deck in the early 80's from them - as Realistic SCT-42. It was a single well only, BUT this thing had every imaginable feature on it - quick reverse, fully programmable, you name it - and I found out it was made by Hitachi also - it was a twin to one of theirs. I still have that deck - it needs a re-belt (wish I knew how to do that), but it was my daily runner for many years. When I ever get it fixed, maybe I'll build a complete RS system - good stuff. And not too many out there...

This turntable is really challenging my opinions of an 'ideal' TT. I'm a huge Technics guy - going back to my first one in 1983, so I'm biased, but this may convert me. Technics did build a very beautiful wood base belt drive TT for JCPenney's MCS line in the late 70's - the 6502. The 6700 was direct drive - even more beautiful, but no wood base - it was black. My rosewood base really stands out and compliments the aluminum/chrome controls nicely. All my friends agree that it is beautiful and sounds great, but most are more entertained by my Technics changers when I use the stacking spindles - especially for 45's. Takes them back to their childhood....

Play on,
Rob

Hey, if your converting to be a Hitachi fan, its all fine and good. It shows you have an open mind when it comes to equipment. The really cool thing about my turntable, is not only is it fully automatic, but it also has the repeat feature where i can keep listening to the same side over and over without getting up. Thats pretty rare on a turntable built in the 70's from what i can gather. Im still struggling with the counter weight thing. I can't figure out why i cant get it right. What i can't figure out is, how far up the counter weight toggle has to be? I mean, it sounds good, and its not skating. I have to mess with it some more, or have someone show me in person how its done, because it plays on my mind every time i listen to it.

Hifirob2
09-02-2008, 01:35 AM
Oh, I hope Howard jumps in here to help......

What do you mean by "how far up the counter weight toggle has to be?" Do you mean the shaft behind the tonearm pivot that the weight screws onto?

Oh - my Hitachi is merely semi-automatic, so no repeat switch on mine....:(.....but if you like the repeat switch, play with a changer like mine some time. It has a knob you can set to play a record 1-6 times (then shut off), or continuously repeat. Kinda fun.

Rob

hakaplan
09-02-2008, 10:01 AM
Hey, if your converting to be a Hitachi fan, its all fine and good. It shows you have an open mind when it comes to equipment. The really cool thing about my turntable, is not only is it fully automatic, but it also has the repeat feature where i can keep listening to the same side over and over without getting up. Thats pretty rare on a turntable built in the 70's from what i can gather. Im still struggling with the counter weight thing. I can't figure out why i cant get it right. What i can't figure out is, how far up the counter weight toggle has to be? I mean, it sounds good, and its not skating. I have to mess with it some more, or have someone show me in person how its done, because it plays on my mind every time i listen to it.
Okay, here is how to set the tracking force. You set anti-skate to zero. Move the arm to the space between the rest and the platter. Rotate the counterweight until the tonearm floats horizontally. Then turn ONLY the dial at the front of the counterweight (it moves independently) so that zero is at the top. Now turn the counterweight (the dial moves along with it) so that the desired tracking force is at the top. For the M75ED or clone it should be 1.25g. (1g is too light and will actually do damage from bouncing around in the groove.) Now set anti-skate to 1.25. That's it.

Also, REPEAT function was actually very common on turntables back then, but only on full automatics.

Metalownz
09-03-2008, 12:36 AM
Okay, here is how to set the tracking force. You set anti-skate to zero. Move the arm to the space between the rest and the platter. Rotate the counterweight until the tonearm floats horizontally. Then turn ONLY the dial at the front of the counterweight (it moves independently) so that zero is at the top. Now turn the counterweight (the dial moves along with it) so that the desired tracking force is at the top. For the M75ED or clone it should be 1.25g. (1g is too light and will actually do damage from bouncing around in the groove.) Now set anti-skate to 1.25. That's it.

Also, REPEAT function was actually very common on turntables back then, but only on full automatics.


Hey, i did it! I set it at 1.5 though because i like a little more bass in my music. And i also set the tracking force at 1.5. My question is, if i change the Stylus, am i going to have to do it all over again? Now that i know how to do it, its not all that complicated. Just curious.

Metalownz
09-03-2008, 12:38 AM
Oh, I hope Howard jumps in here to help......

What do you mean by "how far up the counter weight toggle has to be?" Do you mean the shaft behind the tonearm pivot that the weight screws onto?

Oh - my Hitachi is merely semi-automatic, so no repeat switch on mine....:(.....but if you like the repeat switch, play with a changer like mine some time. It has a knob you can set to play a record 1-6 times (then shut off), or continuously repeat. Kinda fun.

Rob


Yeah, I think mine can also do that, but im not sure. What weight are you using for your tone arm, just out of curiosity?

Hifirob2
09-03-2008, 01:42 AM
Yeah, I think mine can also do that, but im not sure. What weight are you using for your tone arm, just out of curiosity?

I'm using 1.5 grams. I've stuck with that setting on all my turntables for years (if they were adjustable), and it's worked well for me. I've also never bought carts/styli that suggested tracking at 1.0 or less, or higher than 2.0

Rob

Hifirob2
09-03-2008, 01:52 AM
Hey, i did it! I set it at 1.5 though because i like a little more bass in my music. And i also set the tracking force at 1.5. My question is, if i change the Stylus, am i going to have to do it all over again? Now that i know how to do it, its not all that complicated. Just curious.


Well, now I have a handful of mismatched headshells loaded with differing carts, so I reset/check my tracking force each time a swap out a headshell. If you are only changing the stylus, I wouldn't think you'd need to re-check anything - unless the new stylus calls for a differing tracking weight.

Rob

Metalownz
09-03-2008, 06:58 AM
I'm using 1.5 grams. I've stuck with that setting on all my turntables for years (if they were adjustable), and it's worked well for me. I've also never bought carts/styli that suggested tracking at 1.0 or less, or higher than 2.0

Rob


I figured 1.5 would be a good tracking weight. On my manual, it says 1.0, but the manual also tells you how to set the counter balance wrong too. Thats why i was so confused. Either that, or it gets overly technical about it.

Metalownz
09-03-2008, 07:00 AM
Well, now I have a handful of mismatched headshells loaded with differing carts, so I reset/check my tracking force each time a swap out a headshell. If you are only changing the stylus, I wouldn't think you'd need to re-check anything - unless the new stylus calls for a differing tracking weight.

Rob


The stylus would be alot newer thats for sure. This is the original that came with the cart. Thats why i was curious.