Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Subscribe
  1. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Aug 8, 2014, 1:08 PM - Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brushes #1

    So, I mentioned this a while ago in another thread although I can't recall which; things like this are why I'm really enjoying this Boba build. Last year it was large format photography whilst trying to research more about old flash units and whilst that was very rewarding I didn't have the necessary time to devote to it. Whilst trying to expand my knowledge of sweep arms and stylus brushes I acquired an old Michell Hydraulic Reference. It was in a hell of a state and whilst I don't usually feel this way about objects it was a real shame to see it in the condition it was. Unfortunately I didn't take photo's of the original condition but it was bad - really bad; The gold plating on the weights was almost completely gone, the platter shim was scratched beyond belief, the hydraulic fluid had covered the entire plinth and set semi solid, the contol cover was cracked, the tonearm was covered in something corrosive, the lid was badly beaten up, the spindle, fluid well, and thrust pad were all badly damaged and needed replacing.

    These are the oldest two photo's I have and were taken after I had spent about three weeks cleaning off the old hydraulic fluid and the corrosive and replaced the aforementioned parts that I was lucky enough to acquire as spares from ebay. Unfortunately these were taken on a camera phone so don't clearly show poor state:



    After I had done these things I felt the project was worth further time and investment and so I made contact with Michell Engineering (pronounced 'Michelle' like the popoular girls name and not 'Mitchell' like the thuggish brothers from tawdry British soap 'Eastenders'). Michell are still in Borehamwood where they were all those years ago when our favourite films were made. I took my TT to the factory which is the same building used back then. I imagine it is very much like it was; a lofty shed filled with lathes. Michell carried out a number of restorative steps that were either too time consuming or difficult for me to do such as replating the weights or putting a new shim on the platter and tonearm board; they also rewired the tonearm for me. After Michell's extensive work was added to my own initial cleanup I am now proud to be the owner of this:





    It's the splayed legs version. The engraving on the motor indicates this one was made in 1977; the last year Michell produced these.



    I bought myself a lovely Gold plated Jelco Brass platter weight to really set it off!

    The platter and tonearm board were re-shimmed using a piece of aluminium shim from the late 70's; those boys at Michell don't throw anything away. Ooh. Shiny.



    The SME 3009 tonearm took some real work to clean it up!



    Vintage Shure V15 Version III cartridge and Stylus as it would have been back then!



    Original Michell Stylus Brush (More on these later).



    Original Motor worked as soon as the fuse was swapped out. The stroboscope bulb is the original. That nut on the right looks familiar.



    The wheel around which the belt runs is used on the imperial Officer caps. A simple sprung loaded knob moves the rubber belt up or down onto the two different sized wheels to change from 33rpm to 45rpm. It's a very simple mechanism.



    I borrowed this picture from another site. This isn't my TT but I wanted to show the fluid well that sits under the platter. It is filled with silicone fluid into which the little vane is dipped to fine tune the speed. The well is physically attached to the spindle/bearing and so directly attached to the platter so when the vane dips into the fluid it causes gentle drag as well as dampening vibrations - another simple but effect piece of design.



    The hinge that flaps down to support the lid when raised is another beautifully simple solution.



    Captain, she swims!



    Playing Steve Hillage's 1978 album 'Green'.



    The only part that isn't truly original is the acrylic lid. I do still have the original but it's not in great shape. I could probably have lived with it had a previous owner not tried to fix it with superglue. That wouldn't have been a problem in and of itself but that person left some large superglue thumb and finger prints and they looked awful.

    Lastly as you know I love a comparison and this all started due to my search for sweep arms and stylus brushes. The turntable feature this one:




    The models of interest to us are featured in this shot. The most common one I have found is the one that is complete and used for several Fett parts. The other two variants featured the same upper parts but I have removed them for another part of my project. The one with the larger base is used for the Super trooper weapon and slots into the end of the Graflex. The one with the nut and bolt protruding from the bottom was a late discovery. I had thought it might have been a home made modification but have now seen several of these so think it likely it was an original release. Most commonly I found the variant of most use to us on the Michell Focus One TT; this was Michell's entry level TT in the 70s which fit nicely with the apparently cheaper design of this sweep arm versus the one featured on the Reference TT and was simply stuck onto the plinth as opposed to the wingut featured on the Hydraulic Reference. If you're looking for these then ebay Germany is a good place to start. Try searching for 'Transrotor' and 'Unisweep' as well as any other terms you might be thinking of.




    Here are a few pictures to demonstrate the differences between the Michell and Transcriptors Stylus Brushes. I am positive that the Michell is the correct version although as a thing in and of itself I think the Transcriptors is nicer. The Michell version has flatter end with less tapering and the cross diamond is not as fine.







    Here are the bases from the two brushes. The Transcriptor one (used on the bowcaster) is on the left and the Michell on the right.








    The last time I saw a pair of Michell Stylus brushes for sale on here was from Kurtyboy a while back for around 250. My research would tend to indicate that this is about the right money. You might find them for less after a long hard search but to find a pair together ready found for you like that then 250 is a steal! If that seems like a lot for a relatively unseen piece of the puzzle then I suggest you look to the quite excellent offer from Mojo Fett (Mojo Skywalker on ebay). At 25 a pair, a mere tenth of the price of real ones, those are absolutely spot on. I think they look awesome. Ditto the sweep arm part as you'll be lucky to find a real one for under 100 and as with all found parts it easier to pay than to find.


    Live the dream.

    Andy
    Last edited by intwenothor; Sep 18, 2014 at 12:24 PM.
  2. Become a member for 90 days and create 50 posts and you won't see these ads.Register now!
  3. Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,225
    Aug 8, 2014, 2:48 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #2

    Forgive my ignorance, but is it a standard turntable that plays music LPs? It looks really cool and for someone that loves the sound of LPs, this looks like it would make a great usable turntable.
  4. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Aug 8, 2014, 4:15 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #3

    JC, it's a standard belt driven TT and plays at 33rpm and 45rpm. The tonearm plugs straight into the phono of your amp or pre-amp.

    I think it sounds great and it looks absolutely fantastic of course. I am sure that many audiophile purists will tell you that it is a great deal of style over substance and that many cheaper modern decks sound superior. Luckily I only have ordinary, standard issue late 1970s human ears and this turntable sounds absolutely brilliant to me. The only other fair quality TT I have ever had was a Goldring Lenco and it sounds far better than that and I thought that sounded pretty good - even with my modest amp and speaker setup this really is great. I intend on keeping it and so far I have been using it every day. I'm listening to it right now (Bowie - Wild is the Wind). I don't know why but regardless of any arguments over the relative quality of Vinyl against modern digital formats (or not) there's just someting very satisfying about playing big records that come from bigger cardboard sleeves; going to old vinyl shops to buy them is also more immersive than downloading tracks and you get out of the house.

    The original design by David Gammon 'Transcriptors' was 1963 which is a little different from this one in it's first versions but the principles are the same. His company produced them for some years in Tottenham and then moved into the unit next to Michell's in Hertfordshire. In those days Michell was a straight up engineering company and made many of the parts for the David Gammon originals. In 1973 Gammon relocated his business to Ireland and Michell made the turntable under license until 1977 when mine was made. They made a few design tweeks of their own such as the splayed legs but it is essentially the same thing. Michell went on to manufacture their own range of high end turntables when they stopped making these, the first being a version of this with electronic speed control rather than the fluid well. Apart from the parts we know and love there are other Michell/Transcriptors parts used on other props (part of the Fluid tonearm are on the Luke artificial hand prop). Going to the workshop was a great experience and the guys there were supremely helpful. I can't say enough good things about them especially Johnny Nye who I believe did most of the work on my TT. I bet the factory has hardly changed at all in forty years.
  5. Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,225
    Aug 8, 2014, 5:16 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #4

    I have been on the fence about buying a TT. While I don't have any LPs myself, my brother has a bunch that out parents bought when they were young.
    I can only imagine what a TT like your would cost. Maybe I will get lucky and find one in a thrift shop or garage sale, but I doubt it.
  6. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Aug 8, 2014, 5:28 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #5

    Well, I reckon I was right that something newer would most likely be technically superior and cheaper. I ended up with this through the Boba Fett connection and once I'd taken the first steps and saw the potential I thought investing further time and money would be well worth it. I hope to still have it in another forty years but I imagine my style over substance comment is probably pretty true. I get you on the old vinyl; I have quite few of my own at my parents and I know they have quite a few they won't mind me taking to listen to.
  7. Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,225
    Aug 8, 2014, 5:53 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #6

    I'm a big pink Floyd fan and vinyl is the best way to listen to dark side of the moon.
  8. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Aug 8, 2014, 6:05 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #7

    You're absolutely right. Great Gig is awesome and vinyl must be the best way to hear it.
  9. Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,225
    Aug 8, 2014, 6:07 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #8

    It's a great piece of equipment. I hope you hold on to it for a long time. If your a Floyd fan I have some great vids from roger waters doing the wall in 2013. We had dead center floor seats, it was epic.
  10. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Aug 8, 2014, 6:16 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #9

    You lucky so and so! I am a fan of the Floyd, Led Zep, Bowie (actually a fan of quite a lot of things old and new). I've been lucky enough to see Page and Plant a few times. Led Sep II sounds great on this.
  11. Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,225
    Aug 8, 2014, 6:49 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #10

  12. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Aug 8, 2014, 6:58 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #11

    Thanks brother. I'll enjoy these!
  13. 22ssplt's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    1,735
    Aug 9, 2014, 3:48 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #12

    Pretty cool man!
  14. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Nov 27, 2014, 5:52 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #13

    JC, I just got Wish You Were Here on 180g Vinyl. Sounds sublime.
  15. Jc27's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2,225
    Nov 27, 2014, 7:21 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #14

    I bet, I would like to hear that turntable and watch it spin, it looks really cool.
  16. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Nov 28, 2014, 1:58 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #15

    Soon it'll sound even better. I just bought myself a pair of these:
    http://www.whathifi.com/tannoy/revol...dc6t-se/review

    i got a great deal on these at 500 for the pair and at that price these are an absolute steal especially as they could last me as long as twenty years.
  17. Member Since
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    171
    Dec 3, 2014, 4:34 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #16

    So what parts are off this turntable that are used on the Bowcaster?
  18. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Dec 4, 2014, 4:20 AM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #17

    The discs that go with the stylus brushes I believe but here's the kicker: going rate for a stylus brush and disc is around 100+!!!!!!
  19. Member Since
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    171
    Jan 4, 2015, 7:07 AM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #18

    Hi Andy can you show the dimensions of the conical disc used on the Bowcaster I've found a couple of discrepancies on the flatter one (Bevelled) provided on the RPF compared to my Michell disc from a sweep arm I managed to find. Any chance of pictures using a pair of vernier calipers?
  20. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Jan 4, 2015, 9:31 AM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #19

    Yes. Please standby. It won't be today though as I have work tonight.
  21. Member Since
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    171
    Jan 4, 2015, 11:37 AM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #20

    Quote intwenothor said: View Post
    Yes. Please standby. It won't be today though as I have work tonight.
    Thanks Andy
  22. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Jan 5, 2015, 1:41 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #21



    So there are four different types of disc out there (I know this one is next to a Transcriptors brush but take my word for it that they are the same on some Michell).

    1). The domed type pictured which is used for Stylus Brushes.
    2). A smaller but similar disc used on the sweep arm brush.
    3). A flat disc with bevelled edges of more or less the same diameter also used for stylus brushes (it's the same as the flat section at the bottom of the jetpack stabiliser).
    4). A smaller but similar disc used for the sweep arm.

    The two larger discs have the same internal thread diameter and the smaller discs have a smaller internal threaded hole but is the same on both small discs.
  23. Member Since
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    171
    Jan 6, 2015, 1:31 AM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #22

    Andy do you have reference pictures of the height and the diameter on the hole on this disc (pictured) as you have of this outer diameter?
  24. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Jan 6, 2015, 6:47 AM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #23

    I don't but i can do some if I can find the disc (this is an old picture of a disc I gave to Gotwookie but I think I have another). Do you want pictures of all four discs? Do you want them posted here or at the RPF?
  25. Member Since
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    171
    Jan 6, 2015, 10:36 AM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #24

    Hi Andy, if you could it would be awesome. I'd be happy if they were here as it keeps the info all together with what you have provided about these pieces already
  26. intwenothor's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2009
    Posts
    802
    Jan 6, 2015, 1:18 PM - Re: Reference Hydraulic Transcription Turntable by JA Michell. Sweep arms/stylus brus #25

    Okay please clarify that you want pictures of all four discs? I want clarification because I'll need to take the brushes from the turntable to do it (a bit fiddle but no problem) and if it isn't needed it'll save time.

Similar Threads

  1. Michell Sweep arm parts breakdown
    By Art Andrews in forum Boba Fett Costume
    Replies: 21
    Last Post: May 8, 2011, 3:22 PM
  2. Michell Engineering Turntable Sweep Arm Wrist Dart Variations
    By Art Andrews in forum Boba Fett Costume
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Feb 12, 2010, 10:22 PM
  3. Michell Engineering Turntable Sweep arm
    By vaultwiki in forum Main
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: Aug 15, 2009, 4:10 AM
  4. Sweep arm
    By Bobby Fett UK in forum The Sarlacc Pit
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: Jun 11, 2009, 5:04 PM
  5. Michell sweep arm Disassembly??
    By slave1pilot in forum Prop Building Workshop
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Sep 30, 2008, 5:52 AM