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cj walker

Posted: 20 Apr 2004 23:03
by maruan
hi,anyone to give me rewards about an old cj walker turntable?

Posted: 21 Apr 2004 07:39
by JaS
I only know they where mid-range, belt driven, suspended decks with some sort of acrylic/plastic platter? I'm sure someone else remembers more?


Posted: 21 Apr 2004 19:11
by nat
At least some of them had MDF platters and subchassis. Got very good reviews in their price range. Not common outside of UK, I would imagine. Would also be interested in more information about them.

Posted: 21 Apr 2004 19:42
by Guest
Subchassis is usually MDF.

Platter is usually an industrial plastic (brown colour).

:) sreten.

Posted: 22 Apr 2004 13:18
by jvo
In my old HFChoice booklets there must be some reviews of them. I'll look for them when I am at home.

Posted: 22 Apr 2004 13:51
by jvo

Posted: 22 Apr 2004 17:38
by jvo
it contains a review of CJ 61 (cilinder form) and one of CJ 58. Both are Best Buys. One of these days I'll copy the texts for you if you like.

Posted: 23 Apr 2004 14:33
by jvo
Two reviews: both were HiFi Choice Best Buys.

Walker CJ61
Possibly inspirated by the drum-plinth Systemdeck, Colin Walker has come up with a quite remarkable new turntable. If the purchaser is prepared to forego a cover, this model can offer a true floating subchassis, with a good- quality synchronous motor driving a substantial two part platter via a precision ground belt -all under 90 UKP. It is likely that the factory-assembled package of a CJ61 plus Mission 774LC arm will retail in the region of 145 UKP, a price territory where a proper subchassis , with its attendant performance benefits, is still commonly ommitted; only the B&O and NAD have it in the 100UKP price range.

The 61’s subchassis is of wood composition, as in the CJ58, and the properly-designed three-spring suspension can be easily aligned from below via the accesible bolts. Two speeds are provided, manually changed by lifting the belt, while the established Walker Tufnol platter has been retained, this a further major asset at this price level. A new thin felt mat is bonded to the platter. Finish is in satin black, practical and workmanlike.

Our pre-production sample came supplied with a rubber drive cord and gave just audible wow and flutter. During the project, it was however replaced by a full production model which was fitted with a trusty conventional belt drive.

Lab report

The first sample gave high wow and flutter results and this was queried with the designer. The other characteristics were however fine, and start-up was particularly quick. Torque was fine and rumble satisfactory, though affected by the presence of the high flutter, the spectrogram lowered by 20dB to allow recording of this trace. Note that the final sample gave rather better wow and flutter readings than those here, plus reduced rumble; clearly there are no problems on this score now.

Fine results were obtained for vibration isolation and acoustic energy was particularly well rejected. The disc impulse response was above the initial transient being well handled with a low incidence of secondary ringing. A trace of a low frequency resonance may also be seen towards the end of the pulse recording.

Sound quality

Final auditioning on the second sample provided very good results, these in no way related to the low price! Sound quality was fully equal to that of a medium-range subchassis model and the 774-arm complemented it well.

Bass was pretty clean with surprising speed and articulation. The midrange was free of hardness and yet was explicit with good resolution of detail, while the treble register remained in good tonal balance.

Stereo images were well focussed, stable and exhibited good depth, while dynamics were well protrayed without undue forwardness.


In its production form, this new Walker model has broken a price barrier for good subchassis motor units. Compatible with the Mision 744LC tonearm, and arguably, with even better models as well, it offers a very good sound at a very modest price. Its fine value for money ensures it Best Buy status in this edition.

General data
Motor unit
Motor section
Type belt drive, subchassis
Platter mass/damping 1.9kg/ average+
Finish and engineering adequate*/very good
Type of mains lead/ connection lead 2- core /-
Speed options manual change, 33/ 45 rpm.
Wow and flutter (Din wtd, sigma 2) 0.3%
Wow and flutter (lin peak wtd 0.2- 6 Hz/ 6- 300Hz) 0.25%/ 0.2%
Absolute speed error 0.25%
Speed drift, 1 hour/ load variation synchronous/ -0.25%
Start- up time to audible stabilisation 1.5 secs
Rumble, DIN B wtd, L/R average (see spectrum) -74/ -72 dB
Size (wxdxh)/clearance for lid 41x31x14 cm/ none
Ease of use fairly good
Typical acoustic breakthrough and resonances very good
Subjective sound quality of complete system good +
Hum level/ acoustic feedback fair/ very good
Vibration sensivity/shock resistance good/ fair
Estimated typical purchase price 85 UKP
*Prototype review sample, not typical production

Walker CJ58

Walker’ s first turntable design, the CJ55, did well in the last issue and indeed broke new ground by its use of predominantly natural materials such as wood, which was used even for the subchassis. It ‘played safe’ with a four point coil spring suspension which was effective enough. Colin Walker then devoted his attention to developing the CJ58, less expensive , still retaining the non-resonant Tufnol platter and associated drive system, but with notable economies in both construction and plinth finish. This time the price target was 115 UKP or slightly lower, if possible.

The ’58 still has a fully suspended internal subchassis, now essentially formed from a single piece of wood, rather than the previous fabricated form. Three springs are used in a classical orientation, and indeed the dynamics of the new chassis are particularly good. No compromise has been made with regard to the main bearing, which remains closely tolerated and generous in depth.

Belt driven from a synchronous motor, a two- piece platter is used, surmounted by a new , very thin but high- density felt mat. The alignment nuts are easily accessible from below without need to remove the bottom cover and current models are also fitted with a black veneer top panel, which is a great improvement over the early vinyl examples. The whole usually comes with the Mission 774 LC tonearm and this package retails for around 180 UKP.

Lab report

After a short running-in period, the well toleranced main bearing provided very good results for rumble at –75dB DIN B, while spectrum analysis verified the good filtering of motor vibration components. The spectral lines illustrated are electrical rather than mechanical breakthrough.

Wow and flutter was satisfactory at 0.15%, with some improvement after running in and absolute speed was 0.40 % slow, which was slight enough. Good torque was shown by the mild slowing under load, measuring at –0,25%.

The start-up was quicker than average at 3.3 seconds. Speed stability was essentially that of a mains supply, due to the use of a synchronous motor.

Subchassis resonances were slightly on the high side at 6, 6.9 and 7.5 Hz and suggested that the cartridge compliance should be on the low side in order to provide a highish arm/cartridge resonance frequency clear of the subchassis frequencies.

The unit gave good results for both acoustic and vibration interference, indicating a well designed suspension. Disc impulse responses were also well controlled with a fairly good leading edge response and subsequent damping.

Sound quality

Auditioned using the latest bonded felt mat, the turntable sounded well balanced, with a decent bass register, the latter strong in terms of extension and articulation.

Stereo images showed better depth than usual, while the central focus was clear and stable. It was particularly good on transients and seemed to portray dynamics and subsequent silences well. It complemented the Mision arm, resulting in a well integrated and well balanced sound, and the Rega arm would be another strong contender.


In the space of a year and a half, Colin Walker has provided us with a superior turntable which costs 25% less than the original model. It is in fact one of the best sounding at under 170 UKP level, and certainly deserves a Best Buy rating.

General data
Motor unit
Motor section
Type belt drive, subchassis
Platter mass/damping 1.9kg/ good+
Finish and engineering fairly good/ good+
Type of mains lead/ connection lead 2-core /-
Speed options manual change, 33/ 45 rpm.
Wow and flutter (Din wtd, sigma 2) 0.15%
Wow and flutter (lin peak wtd 0.2- 6 Hz/ 6- 300Hz) 0.10%/ 0.08%
Absolute speed error -0.5%
Speed drift, 1 hour/ load variation synchronous/ -0.2%
Start- up time to audible stabilisation 3.3 secs
Rumble, DIN B wtd, L/R average (see spectrum) -77/ -78 dB
Size (wxdxh)/clearance for lid 48x38x15 cm/ 5.5 cm
Ease of use average
Typical acoustic breakthrough and resonances very good
Subjective sound quality of complete system very good
Hum level/ acoustic feedback good/ very good
Vibration sensivity/shock resistance very good/ fairly good
Estimated typical purchase price 115 UKP
(with Mission arm: 180 UKP)

Re: cj walker

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 10:26
by edickins
Hello everyone.

I am definitely a noob user of quality turntables (I am a long-term owner of technics SL1210 MkIIs, just not the sort of turntables featured on here) and I would appreciate any help you can provide on this.

I was given a CJ Walker turntable in the 90s and I have decided to do what I can to make it work so I can play vinyl in my living room. I have cleaned it up and put a new stylus on, and replaced the drive belt. I see from the specs supplied in this thread ^^^ that the turntable supports both 45 and 33 rpm, but I cannot see a mechanism on the drive spindle that would support any speed other than 33rpm. Am I missing something, or maybe the drive spindle I have on my turntable only has a fitting for 33rpm? If i move the drive belt down to where a notch sort of is underneath the one for 33rpm it pops up again to the original position.

This is what I see inside the turntable.

all help very much appreciated.

Re: cj walker

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 12:06
by Woodbrains

Just pull the belt to to lower capstan, there is no mechanism. If it pops off, it might be that the capstan is not in line with the rim of the platter, or maybe you just need to manually revolve the platter until the belt is level with the capstan when it is around the platter. It does look like the capstan is sitting a little low. The belt may be touching the plinth when on the lower capstan, and this is pushing it up. Higher the motor if you can, or raise the capstan on the spindle, if it is, in fact, too low.


Re: cj walker

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 14:40
by edickins
Thanks for the help Mike I shall try this

Re: cj walker

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 15:18
by edickins
Hi Mike

What I discovered is that in order for belt to run properly it requires the weight of the platter on top of the plinth the platter sits on and then the belt is happy and stays on the plinth. The construction of the turntable is that it is under tension from three springs - which gives the platter freedom to spin I guess?

What I was doing before was just trying to get 45rpm but without the platter on top, observing it spinning and the belt popped off. I don't know if it is legit to rely on the weight of the platter to push the plinth down to the correct position, but it is working fine.


Re: cj walker

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 15:25
by Woodbrains

I'm glad you sorted it out. Yes, the platter in place will be necessary; the motor is fixed, but the platter is suspended and height relative to the motor will be determined by the mass.


Re: cj walker

Posted: 20 Oct 2019 16:06
by edickins
brilliant. I am looking forward to many hours of quality audio :)