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  #1  
Old 05-28-2008, 11:40 PM
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Webcor Musicale Coronet Hi-Fi phonograph w/ GE VR-II cartridge

This animal was another of my "paid too much" purchases from epay. This is a mid '50's Webcor Musicale Hi-Fi record player that has the GE VR-II cartridge. There is an Aux input as well as a tape output. The amp has 5 tubes: 6V6 x 2, 12AX7 x 2, & 6X5. There are two larger speakers on the side and a smaller speaker in the front. I have replaced all the caps in the amp and it appears to be pretty stout for what it is. Both of the needles are shot and the TT needs help. None of it's auto functions work and the idler wheel has a flat spot. I'm trying to decide if I want to repair the original record changer or replace it with a little newer model (like a Garrard or VM) in better condition. I do like the dual needle arrangement on the VR-II cartridge. That will enable me to play both microgroove and 78 records without having to swap needles around. Will the GE VR-II cartridge safely play a stereo record or should I just stick to mono? Of course, I'd never play any mint condition records of any value on this.
I'm anxious to hear this thing at it's full potential.
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  #2  
Old 05-29-2008, 12:18 AM
cactuscowboy cactuscowboy is offline
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I recently bought a mid 50s Capehart Farnsworth AM/FM console with 3 speed changer that's somewhat similar to what you've got. I'm restoring mine and will use it for radio and 78s only. I don't think it's a good idea to play vinyl on old changers that are tracking at 7-10 grams.
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  #3  
Old 05-29-2008, 02:32 AM
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You will find that once you restore the Webcor changer you'll be happy with it as its fairly gentle to the records compared to others of that era. It sounds like all you need is an idler rebuild ($35) and degrease, clean and regrease. This particular changer also had the magic mind feature where you can intermix 45 and 33 records as long as you use the flat adapters in the 45's. It will change speed and diameter settings automatically on the 2 speeds. It works best though if you put the 33's on first then the 45's so theres no slippage of the records. Theres no intermix option for the 78 though as obviously the stylus had to be flipped first so that speed wasnt included in the intermix function. The LP stylus is a 1 mil so its best if you stick to mono records. Some aftermarket places do make a .7 needle for the VR but they are hard to find and also expensive. The stock needles are very affordable on the auction site. There are several up for auction right now NOS with the t-bar included with an average buy it now price of $9 to $13. I have one of these Musicales and i love mine! When your done you definately wont regret the money you have put into it as these are great players and sound really good. Most of the vinyl i play on my older changers arent museum quality copies anyway so i play away.
-Tony
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  #4  
Old 02-03-2012, 01:16 PM
taur64 taur64 is offline
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Smile Musicale coronet

I too have one of these I am restoring. The needles were easy and cheap to buy at "thevoiceofmusic.com". Mine took the 501 needle. My changer does not operate but I am not sure how to fix it or whom to send it too, to be fixed. If anyone knows please let me know. Also, my caps have not been replaced, I hear I should do that, what have you others done with the caps? Can you give me some particulars.
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  #5  
Old 02-03-2012, 02:15 PM
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I don't believe the VR2 can safely deal with stereo records, though its quite good as a mono cartridge. The changer itself is pretty simple to overhaul. I have a very similar one in an Emerson portable I trashpicked, and it was a piece of cake to rebuild. Mine needs an idler too. No flat spots, but its hard and the platter usually stalls when it tries to cycle, and it makes irritating rattling noises from the petrified rubber. Its one of those dual idlers though, so rebuilds are a little more expensive.

Caps you can do easily, drop on over to the tube audio section here for some info on that. Its pretty straightforward though.
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Old 02-03-2012, 02:25 PM
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Do NOT play stereo records with a mono VRII!!!!!!! This includes any records mastered after 1968, including repressings of older mono recordings.
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  #7  
Old 02-03-2012, 02:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatcomber View Post
This includes any records mastered after 1968, including repressings of older mono recordings.
Why?
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Old 02-03-2012, 03:08 PM
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A true mono cartridge has no vertical compliance. Stereo and modern mono records are cut with stereo lathe heads and the mono cart will destroy the groove wall.
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  #9  
Old 02-03-2012, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuzzer View Post
Why?
Because from about 1968 onward, the studios and mastering facilities started junking their "old fashioned" mono gear, including the cutting lathes. From that point forward, whenever they needed to cut new plates of the older mono recordings, they cut them using a stereo lathe, so in effect it is a stereo record with identical information in both channels.

A true mono cartridge like the VRII has no vertical compliance and cannot track a stereo groove without damaging it. That's why, until 1968, most LPs were simultaneously issued in mono and stereo. The mono pressings were mastered with a mono lathe, and these records require no vertical compliance from a stylus.
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  #10  
Old 02-03-2012, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celt View Post
modern mono records are cut with stereo lathe heads and the mono cart will destroy the groove wall.
So you're saying that modern mono have vertical info on them? Why? Mono systems can't use that info.
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  #11  
Old 02-03-2012, 03:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beatcomber View Post
From that point forward, whenever they needed to cut new plates of the older mono recordings, they cut them using a stereo lathe, so in effect it is a stereo record with identical information in both channels.
Right, so there's no vertical information on them. Which would mean there's no problem playing them with a non-vertically compliant cartridge. Obviously a stereo lathe would cut a groove that would require a 0.7mil stylus as opposed to the old mono lathe cut 1 mil.
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  #12  
Old 02-03-2012, 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuzzer View Post
So you're saying that modern mono have vertical info on them? Why? Mono systems can't use that info.
Huh? Modern mono records are in actuality stereo records with the same info in both channels.

Go ahead and play them with a VRII if you want, but don't expect them to still sound good when you play them with a stereo cartridge.
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c.'67 Fisher 400 | Yamaha CR-1020 | '78 Pioneer SX-780 | Rotel RCD-1072 | KEF LS50 | Pioneer SP-BS21-LR, SP-FS51-LR
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  #13  
Old 02-03-2012, 03:47 PM
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Think of them as playing a mono recording on your home cassette deck. There are still two tracks of audio information, they are just identical. So you are playing a stereo record, just with mono information. The vertical wall is there and the mono cartridge will wreck it.
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2012, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Celt View Post
The vertical wall is there and the mono cartridge will wreck it.
Nope, the groove is identical to a mono cut groove except for the width which was lowered to 0.7mil. Horizontal modulation is L+R and vertical is L-R. If L and R are identical then how does it move vertically? L-R=0 if L=R

Quote:
Originally Posted by beatcomber View Post
Go ahead and play them with a VRII if you want, but don't expect them to still sound good when you play them with a stereo cartridge.
I have and will continue to do so. Any idea when the vertical info gets wiped out? 10 plays? 100?
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2012, 04:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuzzer View Post
I have and will continue to do so. Any idea when the vertical info gets wiped out? 10 plays? 100?
Okie doke.
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