Joined the Michell club :-)

a space odyssey
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alternativeroute
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Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by alternativeroute » 29 Mar 2015 07:31

I found this turntable recently. A Michell Focus One. It was filthy when I received it. Due to it's filthy state and the fact that bought it untested I managed to get the table for a really good price.

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/ ... 0155_o.jpg
https://scontent-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot ... e=55A77C4C

It cleaned up great.

https://scontent-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot ... 1749_o.jpg
https://scontent-ams.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot ... 9943_o.jpg

I had an itch (and a NOS SME 3009 SII Improved in the cupboard) so I thought that aesthetically the table would look for better the a silver coloured arm...

http://s21.postimg.org/i1e0dly9z/20150312_085411.jpg

Tonybro
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by Tonybro » 29 Mar 2015 08:50

That's fantastic work, beautiful!

You are right about the arm too. :wink:

alternativeroute
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by alternativeroute » 29 Mar 2015 11:50

Tonybro wrote:That's fantastic work, beautiful!

You are right about the arm too. :wink:
I am quite happy with the performance. My only slight quibble is that I find the bearing noise a bit too loud (noise you can hear in the run-out groove or between tracks). I have polished the spindle and thoroughly cleaned the bearing well which improved the performance significantly. My next task when I am out shopping is to find the right size replacement ball.

When I received the turntable I noticed two balls stuck to the magnets for the reed switch and never made the connection that they might actually belong to the bearing... Once I took it apart the function of the balls was clear. They are both discoloured and one is slightly scored...

Literature on the net suggests that the first iteration of the Focus One had problems with noise intrusion from the motor... I have not found this so I might just be lucky with a smooth motor...

I am also going to replace the springs in the feet with sorbothane hemispheres.

I struck it lucky with this table as it was clearly not looked after correctly from when it went out of service until the day I got it. Under the platter the perspex is scratched near the bearing well. It was only when I was polishing the lid that the sequence of events that caused the scratches under the platter became clear to me. Someone must of inverted the table at some stage and then put it back the right way up with the platter now freely knocking around under the lid as the lid also has scratches on the inside from the platter.
Fortunately the arm did not get damaged and none of the switchgear broke for the switch or for the speed selector.
20150312_085333.jpg
Michell Focus One with SME 3009 SII Improved
(103.53 KiB) Downloaded 1699 times

Tarzan
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by Tarzan » 29 Mar 2015 22:53

Very well done Sir, the deck looks new- enjoy it. =D> :)

Officerpup

Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by Officerpup » 30 Mar 2015 08:48

Nice one - my Focus is still doing the biz 28 years since purchase - hope you have as many happy listening hours!

Tunamayo
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by Tunamayo » 30 Mar 2015 14:44

When I received the turntable I noticed two balls stuck to the magnets for the reed switch and never made the connection that they might actually belong to the bearing... Once I took it apart the function of the balls was clear. They are both discoloured and one is slightly scored...
I'm now slightly paranoid that I'm missing a bearing from mine... I thought the design of the inverted bearing was a single thrust ball? Just concerned with your mention of 2...

josephazannieri
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by josephazannieri » 30 Mar 2015 15:46

Yo alternativeroute:

You are worried because you are getting noise in the runout grooves. You may not have a problem with your bearings, it may be rumble recorded into the runout grooves. I have a Radio Shack test record that has a "silent groove" that lasts a couple of minutes, and even that has a recorded "groove roar" on it. It has nothing to do with the turntable, and it rumbles the same regardless of what you play it on.

Before you go crazy trying to "fix" something that might not be a problem, try a different record, or try a different spot on the same record, like the silent groove between selections. Runout grooves are often noisy because the mastering engineer is winding the recording lathe ahead by hand to get the wide spacing between the grooves and eat up the space between the end of the last selection and the center of the record.

I have discovered that some records are dead silent between selections and some records are really noisy. For example, I have an old Atlantic "greatest hits" compilation where I can hear the background noise in the selections switch out to dead silence in the silent groove before the next song. I also have a digital master of Michael Tilson Thomas and L. A. Philharmonic playing Gershwin movie music that is absolutely dead silent between selections.

Try some different records and see if they vary from record to record. If you can hear the difference between records, then you have a good turntable and you shouldn't mess with it. And don't be afraid to turn the volume up enough so you can hear the mechanical noises or groove roar. Just have a hand on volume knob so you can take it down fast when you get to the music again.

And good luck from that noisy, yet silent old guy,

Joe Z.

Officerpup

Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by Officerpup » 31 Mar 2015 08:45

Don't worry, Tunamayo, there IS only one ball bearing!

Tunamayo
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by Tunamayo » 31 Mar 2015 10:59

Officerpup wrote:Don't worry, Tunamayo, there IS only one ball bearing!
Phew :-)

I think it's a wonderful deck, but I'm just going through a phase where I'm wondering whether it's worth upgrading or I just spend the money on a modern turntable without any of the quirks. I was given it by my uncle who had it languishing in his loft for the past 15 years. It's fitted with an Audiocraft/Ultracraft AC30, and I can't find a whole lot of information about whether this is worth keeping or not - it's got a really annoying issue with the weight being too long to fit inside the cover, so when it's not playing you have to keep the tonearm at 45 degrees over the platter, rather than on the tonearm rest. A small niggle but it really annoys me that someone fitted it like this :-)

alternativeroute
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by alternativeroute » 31 Mar 2015 11:25

josephazannieri wrote:Yo alternativeroute:

You are worried because you are getting noise in the runout grooves. You may not have a problem with your bearings, it may be rumble recorded into the runout grooves. I have a Radio Shack test record that has a "silent groove" that lasts a couple of minutes, and even that has a recorded "groove roar" on it. It has nothing to do with the turntable, and it rumbles the same regardless of what you play it on.

Before you go crazy trying to "fix" something that might not be a problem, try a different record, or try a different spot on the same record, like the silent groove between selections. Runout grooves are often noisy because the mastering engineer is winding the recording lathe ahead by hand to get the wide spacing between the grooves and eat up the space between the end of the last selection and the center of the record.

I have discovered that some records are dead silent between selections and some records are really noisy. For example, I have an old Atlantic "greatest hits" compilation where I can hear the background noise in the selections switch out to dead silence in the silent groove before the next song. I also have a digital master of Michael Tilson Thomas and L. A. Philharmonic playing Gershwin movie music that is absolutely dead silent between selections.

Try some different records and see if they vary from record to record. If you can hear the difference between records, then you have a good turntable and you shouldn't mess with it. And don't be afraid to turn the volume up enough so you can hear the mechanical noises or groove roar. Just have a hand on volume knob so you can take it down fast when you get to the music again.

And good luck from that noisy, yet silent old guy,

Joe Z.
Thanks Joe. I have my 'usual suspect' test records that I know quite well... The bearing noise is not atrocious just a little louder than what I would deem acceptable (given the reputation of the manufacturer). If it was a Pioneer PL12 the bearing noise would indicate to me that I have picked up a mint condition table...

Officerpup

Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by Officerpup » 01 Apr 2015 09:37

Tunamayo wrote:I think it's a wonderful deck, but I'm just going through a phase where I'm wondering whether it's worth upgrading or I just spend the money on a modern turntable without any of the quirks. I was given it by my uncle who had it languishing in his loft for the past 15 years. It's fitted with an Audiocraft/Ultracraft AC30, and I can't find a whole lot of information about whether this is worth keeping or not - it's got a really annoying issue with the weight being too long to fit inside the cover, so when it's not playing you have to keep the tonearm at 45 degrees over the platter, rather than on the tonearm rest. A small niggle but it really annoys me that someone fitted it like this :-)
Yeah, that would bug me too . . .

I'd have thought a modern deck would have given you better results for less money that upgrading the Focus (not that there's a lot you can do).

Mine was the first 'proper' deck I bought and after having it all these years, and things like it surviving when all my other hi-fi was nicked from a break-in years back, means it has great sentimental value, while still sounding good enough to my ever ageing ears!

chrislynx
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by chrislynx » 07 Jun 2015 12:45

Greetings to all from Singapore.I've just attained a used Focus One S for US$200 from a local gentlemen.It is the second time that I've come across this table in the local used market.It came with a Mission 774LC tonearm which may not be the best of arms but 'She' sure did blow my socks off when outfitted with an Ortofon Red 2M.Here's my question though,the arm lifter is a bit sticky.It at times does not recede once lifted and needs to be manually depressed.How do I go about rectifying this rather minor irritant.All thoughts and suggestions are welcomed.I've yet to figure out on how to post some pictures of the table,will do as soon as possible.Thank you.

bluecity
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Re: Joined the Michell club :-)

Post by bluecity » 13 Nov 2016 12:37

Chrislynx: I have the same setting that you listed. A focus One "S" with a Mission 774LC, but I have a Ortofon OM-30 - I'm very happy with this and had use it for close to 4 decads now... since the 80's...

But my dust-cover/plexiglas-cover is broken... I have the hinges, but someone that know where I can buy a new dust-cover for the Focus-one turntable?

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