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JVC JL-F50 Turntable

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JVC JL-F50 Turntable

Postby jblackburn » 02 Aug 2009 18:28

I bought a JVC JL-F50 direct drive auto turntable for 5 UK Pounds on a whim 10 years ago. It has sat in the boxroom until I recently dug it out to test a diy phono stage for a mate. I have since built one for myself.

I have googled the model number and found very little info about it, I know I haven't got a future classic on my hands. I have found the adjustment info for the arm and wondered what else could be done to get the most from it.
That's without swapping it for a Garrard, Lenco or somesuch.

I have seen people say converting autos to manual is a good starting point, so I was wondering what the thoughts are on this, cartridges, or any other advice you may have to offer?

I know it's never going to be a world beater, but it does mean I can listen to a load of vinyl I inherited from a dead mate.

John
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Postby fscl » 04 Aug 2009 10:25

Welcome to VE.

Though not exactly your model number does your unit look like this:

http://www.vinylengine.com/library/jvc/jl-f45.shtml

Follow the instruction manual for setup instructions. This turntable should perform adequately allowing you to listen to the vinyl collection you have inherited.

What cartridge do you have on this tt? Have you set up this cartridge correctly according to protractors available on this site?

Start with listening to this tt with music you are familiar with compare this to CDs of the same music and/or against a friend(s) tts.

After you live with this tt and it's sound for a while you can identify what you may be missing in your sound / setup.

Unless the auto mechanism is interfering with the free movement of the tonearm (it should not), I would leave it intact. In case you do want to upgrade and sell it at a later date, it will be worth more if the tt functions as intended.

In the meantime, check out this thread:

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewt ... &start=510

You may find your existing cartridge in the discussion and a flavor for a cartridge you may want to move up to in an upgrade without a large investment.

Good luck and happy listening.

Fred
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Postby jblackburn » 04 Aug 2009 14:12

Hi fscl.

Thanks for the input on this, I have done nothing to the turntable yet.

The only markings on the cartridge are "PC90" I assume it's the stock JVC item. The turntable looks like this one http://www.oaktreeent.com/web_photos/Stereo_Turntables_CD/JVC_JL-F50_Stereo_Turntable_web.jpg

I will have a read up about the protractors and live with it a while. It's out of the system currently whilst I finish the phono stage, it's back to CDs again for a bit.

The only other TT I can compare it against is a mates Garrard 401 in a granite plinth with SME arm, I dont think it will compete with that somehow.

John
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Postby fscl » 05 Aug 2009 05:36

jblkbrn wrote:
The only other TT I can compare it against is a mates Garrard 401 in a granite plinth with SME arm, I dont think it will compete with that somehow.


Hmmm........

Tough competition, but interesting to find / have a hear out.

If you search the archives / posts, there are DD vs IW shootouts, BD vs DD etc...... Good reading while phono stage building.

The picture linked is quite different than the JL-F45. It looks like the F50 has more features.

Also, don't know how much of a chance you've had to dig around this site, however, you may find this sticky in "cartridges and preamps" helpful in identifying the cartridge:

http://www.cartridgedb.com/

Good luck.

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Postby jblackburn » 05 Aug 2009 11:20

The arm on mine looks identical to the one on the F45, I have downloaded the guide for the F45 and will study it. I'm not after miracles from the turntable, but it may as well sound as good as it can for my huge investment.

I've also got the "stupid" protractors printed out but I am waiting until I can set the turntable up and record it as it stands now. I can then refer back to the wav file if my ears get confused during the process.

I'm still working my way through the various parts of the site, as always every answer found raises another question or two. Thanks for the sticky, it says the cartridge is an Akai, is that a bad thing?

Once again thanks for the input.

John
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Postby fscl » 06 Aug 2009 10:14

I thought it would be easy to find these threads, however, I've been going back in time and memory and FINALLY stumbled upon them:

Note TheChairGuy is using a JVC DD. What matters is to keep an open mind and how your hardware sounds to you. From the threads, I wouldn't necessarily sell your present tt short. You may / can end up with a champ with enough tweaking.

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewt ... sc&start=0

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewt ... highlight=

http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/viewt ... sc&start=0

The cartridge db doesn't have much on the Akai, however, JICO does seem to carry a replacement stylus:

http://www.export-japan.com/marketing/s ... ucts_id=77

There is a replacement here:

http://www.lptunes.com/Akai-phonograph- ... -s/217.htm

It seems Akai are just rebranded / OEMed Audio Technicas. The replacement styli are all conical.

You may want to upgrade the cartridge to a newer cartridge with elliptical needle and bypass buying a replacement stylus for this Akai.

Good luck and happy listening / tweaking / buying / selling / trading......

:)

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Postby jblackburn » 06 Aug 2009 15:32

Thanks for the links, there's some reading to be done there and no mistake. Sorry to take so much of your time with this.

It had a new stylus when I first bought it, so it's probably only done 20 hours tops. The new stylus cost me twice as much as the turntable did!

Once I have done the alignment, judgements can be made from there. I'm not looking to spend a great deal on upgrades, it sounds very fair as it stands. A little nicer is always good though, you know how it goes.

I could justify a better cartridge and have a nagging thought that goes "why spend the time aligning the Akai only to do it again with a new cartridge" Practice is probably the answer to that one though, better to make mistakes with the one I have than a newly bought one.

Cheers Matey

John
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Postby Paladin » 06 Aug 2009 19:05

Don’t let the lack of JVC information deter you from enjoying a great sounding turntable. They are hidden treasures. Many pass them up as their quality, depending on the model, was across the board so knowing how to cherry pick them is an advantage. I own three JVC turntables and I own a sour brand that tells me that JVC can make excellent music. The tonearm and general setup looks like a slightly redressed version of my old and reliable QL-F4.

Image

Your cost is definitely right. Setup right, it can have great sound at your bargain cost. Leave it alone (except align that cartridge.) Paying twice the amount on a cartridge will not get twice the sound. I’ve never underestimated the ability of a conical stylus. The PC90 cartridge is another variation of the conical tip Audio Technica AT3600, a budget cartridge. You can trade up by getting an expensive and abundant elliptical ATN71E stylus. Should you want to upgrade later then I would recommend an AT120E cartridge as an excellent start. You’ll definitely hear a welcome difference and can upgrade even further later.

First, align the tip then leave your machine alone for a month. Just spin it and you will get happy surprises.
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Postby jblackburn » 06 Aug 2009 20:34

Hi Paladin, welcome news indeed.

I was surprised to find so little information out there, it appears to be a very solid, well made thing. The weight is remarkable for its size.

I will get a "base" recording made from it tonight and then take a look at the alignment. I suspect it will be out as the headshell (new word learned!) was loose and there was only one screw holding the cartridge on when I bought it.

John
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Postby Paladin » 06 Aug 2009 21:19

Glad to help. Hanging on by a thread, eh? If you get the cartridge roughly in the center then you will roughly be close. It will be aligned to something but we will not know exactly where. A fair guess is it is designed for a Stevenson alignment. If it is like my other curved arm JVCs then the headshell overhang setting should be 48mm from the stylus tip to the rubber o-ring in back.

I know the ‘what the hell is going on’ feeling but you will get the hang of it then the fun really begins. You’ll have the platform and the treasures are finding lots of LPs to play. And so cheap to find now. I picked up 6 mint albums (7 records) at my favorite hiding place for $7 yesterday. Far cheaper and better sounding then iTunes!
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Postby jblackburn » 06 Aug 2009 21:50

I have had a peep at the alignment, it's not good. This is the inner Baerwald grid. The stylus is off centre for the ropey photo only, just to show the angle between the centre line and stylus.

Image

It's a job to be done in daylight I think, my eyes aren't what they were. I will check the measurements and try it on a Stevenson protractor also.

John
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Postby Paladin » 06 Aug 2009 22:41

Looks like you will have to twist the whole cartridge a bit outward. Is the beam, the tip, twisted to the right side? You can tell if you look at the two little horns (the magnets) in the cartridge body. If the horns are straight then the tip is twisted.
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Postby jblackburn » 06 Aug 2009 23:11

I will have a good look at it tomorrow in daylight, it's 11pm here and I'm a trifle wobbly to be trying anything tricky! Rudgenots Old Spleen Bruiser strikes again.

Are there any lubrication points on the arm that should be addressed while I'm on with it? Obviously after my lubrication has worn off.

John
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Postby Paladin » 06 Aug 2009 23:21

Never had to lube mine. I know for sure my JVC TT has sealed bearings...one of them. Well...it doesn't have bearings. The drive and tonearm are maglev.

Don't do anything when tired. Although the temptation is there, we know what happens when we are tempted. Anyway, the timeout will give you a chance to think.
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Postby fscl » 07 Aug 2009 08:33

No problem, there's a wealth of information here at VE for new members, just wanted to show where it's all hiding.

The revisiting of threads gives me a chance to retain 50% of the 50% I forgot when I read them the first time around. :)

Good luck and look forward to posts in "currently playing".

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