BBC turntable opinions

vonrozen

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Hello all!

Could one use them outside of a studio? They seem to have useful features, such as the scratch noise filter, etc.
Are they good and how does one connect them up to the Rogers 5/8 etc.
How do they perform ?

Thank you

Alexander

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paulears

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Feb 7, 2014
As in the other topic - a lovely piece of vintage gear from the 70s. From memory - the output is stereo 600 Ohm from the pre-amp, so equalisation is internal - so a normal line level input, although I think it's a +4dB level, so pretty hot. Lovely talking point too!

Feed with care into a spare line input!
 

vonrozen

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
As in the other topic - a lovely piece of vintage gear from the 70s. From memory - the output is stereo 600 Ohm from the pre-amp, so equalisation is internal - so a normal line level input, although I think it's a +4dB level, so pretty hot. Lovely talking point too!

Feed with care into a spare line input!


Excuse me , Paul , as i am pretty much zero in audio electronics , could you explain what you mean by the above sentence ?
Thank you very much

FYI : I am using Rogers 5/8 from the BBC as my set up


Alexander (the audio simpleton)
 

paulears

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Feb 7, 2014
I'm confused Alexander? You have the rather nice BBC designed speakers, but presumably you are driving them from an amplifier of some kind? The usual turntables you could (and still can) buy have a very low level output from the pickup - it is also not remotely a flat response. The output from old fashioned records, and the pickups was very light on bass and very heavy on treble, so there was an equalisation curve agreed pretty much throughout the world - the RIAA curve. Too much bass on a vinyl recording can pop the stylus right out of the groove - so they deliberately recorded the bass very weakly in comparison to the HF - the preamp simply did the opposite curve - it boosted bass while tailing off the HF. Most hi-fi kit had this curve and the right gain built into the record deck switch position. The other inputs were 'line' level - sometimes described as the typical maximum voltage level .775V to give 0dB on a tape recorder meter. Professional equipment often used a different setting of nearly a Volt and a half. They also used three wire connections which had a totally separate ground - still found today int he common microphone connection system using XLR connectors. However, back then, 3 circuit jack plugs, looking like the current larger headphone types were common.

Your new record deck will connect to an amplifier without the EQ RIAA curve, because that's what that preamp section does for you. You plug that into an amp, and then the amp into the speakers. Interconnecting the +4dB pro level equipment to domestic amps can create distortion - after all they expect less than a Volt coming in on the loud bits. Some cannot handle the pro level standard. You do have the option on the BBC unit to reduce the output - so I'd guess matching will be fine. Your speakers should make the whole system quite nice to listen to, although remember the BBC designs were never very good with over-cooked bass - they were designed for a pretty neutral sound.

What kind of an amp do you have? If you want to be impressed by the turntable - put the stylus down, and hit the start button - it's impressive how fast it gets to 33 or 45! The motor unit is hefty!
 

vonrozen

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Thanks very much for the detailed and very, very helpful answer !

My BBC Rogers , the LS5/8, is a BBC-designed ones - two-way, active speaker originally powered by a modified Quad 405 amplifier which was known within the BBC as an AM8/16. The modifications entailed a transformer-balanced input with different input connectors (Postie jack and a male XLR3 in parallel) and a rotary sensitivity control, a different output connector (female XLR5), an XLR-LNE mains input connector, and the installation of a line-level active crossover board so that one channel powered the woofer, and the other the tweeter.
 

paulears

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Feb 7, 2014
Ah - then you should be fine, as it will cope with the output from the turntable preamp with no issues. The only thing you might need to pay attention to is the turntable it had very little isolation so the entire unit was designed to need serious mechanical 'sturdily' from whatever it sits on. Suspended floors or other non-rigid floor structures often got picked up. Sitting on concrete was fine. Most studios have nice sturdy sold floors so were fine. First floor converted offices were not so good!
 

vonrozen

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Thanks for this advice Paul. Well, I do not have a plinth but let's just see the beast once it arrives. Have got to find the 2.2 grand somewhere first -
will be playing French lottery tomorrow.
 

paulears

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Feb 7, 2014
The current auction ended today but there were few real bargains, but that auction house are known for their good prices. The BBC kit was mainly older mechanical video. They moved all the newer stuff so tried very hard to get the older video machines and old cameras shifted. I think the audio equipment was probably the best to buy. The fact these were still in use says how good they are. Have fun with it.
 

paulears

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Feb 7, 2014
Gosh not seen one of those for a long time. If one ever comes up, I'll remember this topic.
The current auction that ended earlier today had a few interesting items but there were few real bargains, but that auction house are known for their good prices. The BBC kit was mainly older mechanical video. They moved all the newer stuff so tried very hard to get the older video machines and old cameras shifted. I think the audio equipment was probably the best to buy. The fact these were still in use says how good they are. Have fun with it.

They have some AKG 414 mics - the current price is more than a brand new one costs, and with the seller premium and VAT @20% the prices are going totally mad.
 

paulears

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Feb 7, 2014
They're completely silly prices. I must admit there are a few nostalgic bits of video kit but a twenty year old camera on a 40 year old pedestal isn't really that useful.
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Hello all !

Could one use them outside of a studio ?

They seem to have useful features, such as the scratch noise filter, etc.


Are they good and how does one connect them up to the Rogers 5/8 etc.

How do they perform ?

Thank you

Alexander



View attachment 19909
Looks like you guys have a good conversation going (y) I just stumbled upon the thread and this is a first glimpse at this gem for me! Regardless of this being any use in our digital age, I'd love to have one to add as a collection piece. Pretty cool. From a sampling POV, I suppose it has a "sound" of its own. Or does it? Maybe the electronic crowd would find a use for sampling records. Thanks for sharing!
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
It’s an interesting time in record history. BBC radio were using a mix of of American products and British products in the radio studios with slip mats. Usually green, for some reason in the studios I went to! This was how we did quick start, so you spun the turntable to find the track start, the rotated back exactly the amount to get to full speed. The American ones had a clutch that spun them fast. The British ones had heavier platters that needed the slip mats. Then suddenly Technics popped up with theirs which was amazing. The BBC at the time also had their linear tracking ones that still played in sound effects by dropping a needle into a groove on a 78! Actually quite neat with a numbered scale and a handle and little sort of viewfinder so you marked the record with a Chinagraph pen then on cue dropped the arm. Great stuff. The EMTs were popular, I understand in Europe, but we lagged behind, resistant to change. BBC radio one had the Russcos in numbers, then the sP10. Technics were a st4ange company, Panasonic did the cheaper and cheerful Hi-fi and Technics took the up market stuff. Their amazing reel to reel that looked out of this world. You were more likely to see Ferrograph in the studios. I started on the series 7, the previous models gone when I got there, but once Ferrograph died, Revox crept in with a few students in some departments, then of course the PR99, the version the BBC loved. You have to remember that discos had just arrived and the lower tier of record players used just two turntables in numbers. The Garrard SP25 mk III and the BSR MP60 being the two leaders here by miles! The SP25 was £27 in 1974, the Russco £127 and of course needed an arm too!
 

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vonrozen

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
Looks like you guys have a good conversation going (y) I just stumbled upon the thread and this is a first glimpse at this gem for me! Regardless of this being any use in our digital age, I'd love to have one to add as a collection piece. Pretty cool. From a sampling POV, I suppose it has a "sound" of its own. Or does it? Maybe the electronic crowd would find a use for sampling records. Thanks for sharing!

Hello Chris ,

if you are very interested in the BBC turntable let me know ... I will figure out a way to make you the owner ;-)
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Hello Chris ,

if you are very interested in the BBC turntable let me know ... I will figure out a way to make you the owner ;-)
I’d love this but not quite enough to buy it, but thank you for the offer. It’s a real gem.
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
er, it doesn't connect to the speakers. It's a line level output as we spoke about above? It needs your amplifier to drive the speakers. The two cables to the left black and white, that go to A and B sockets are RCA phono, which are the same sockets fitted to most hifi amps that have a turntable input. The output from the multipins could be used to go to a line level input if you are careful with gain - the unit you have is 600Ohm output at +4dB - which is higher than some amps are comfy with.

The only snag are the BBC spec hypertac connectors - that were used for the umbilical wiring - they're really hard to find. The version you have is actually the TV one - which has the extra facilities the TV folk wanted.
 

vonrozen

Member
Joined
Jun 10, 2015
ok , understood , so I connect them directly to the 405 Quads ?
But I can not see any black and white cables you mention !
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
very left hand end sockets A and B which preamp do you have? The 405 is a power amp, isn't it?

Edit

Just a thought - if you can do some soldering you can probably get an output from the monitor socket, or possibly one of the others with a little bodging that would go into the Quad happily, and use the controls on the console?
 
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