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Old 16th September 2008, 01:58 PM   #1
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Default Information please! Fairchild tonearm and cartridges.

All, A few years ago I acquired some items out of a church attic. Rek-o-kut Rondine turntable, with a large Fairchild tonearm, and three cartridges in replaceable "headshells" ( for lack of a better term). Is anyone in this forum familiar with the Fairchild tonearm or cartridge? Maybe even have experience using the equipment? I've attached pix for identification.

Thanks in advance for any information you can provide.
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Old 16th September 2008, 02:02 PM   #2
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Whoops, here's the cartridges that go with the arm shown above.
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Old 17th September 2008, 12:13 AM   #3
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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All mono cartridges.. I think you will have more luck getting information on the Rondine on vinylengine than here..

Here is the link: http://www.vinylengine.com/phpBB2/index.php You will need to register to access the manuals and other resources here. IMHO VE is the very best place for TT information on the entire web.

The arm is collectable being a Fairchild as are the cartridges, however it is not suitable for playing modern microgroove stereo records.

Some of the later Rondines are quiet enough for stereo playback, some have excessive rumble in the vertical plane which can be a big problem in stereo. A very heavy plinth and a newly rebuilt idler wheel from terry's rubber rollers might help.

Around here some regard this as the poor man's Garrard 301, and it might be - I've no recent experience with this table.
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Old 17th September 2008, 02:54 AM   #4
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Kevinkr,
I live and learn. I got this equipment 3 years ago. A church was cleaning out its attic. They must've had a monophonic record playing system at one point, which included the Rek-o-kut and Fairchild, a Mac C8 and a Mac MC60.
Last night I was surfing ebay looking for something else, and I spotted the Fairchild cartridge. I hadn't done any research before, so didn't realize the Fairchild carts were moving coil. I was quite surprised.
Unfortunately the only (electrically) good cart is the worst looking of the three shown. The other two come up with a big Zero on my ohmmeter... so I assume they're dead. And the styli condition is unknown at this point.
Over the years I somehow managed to inherit a boatload of 78rpm records. And as they, and all the equpment mentioned,are monophonic I guess there's a monophonic system in my future.
Thanks for the tip on the vinylengine site. I'll definitely scope it out.
The Turntable is a Rondine Deluxe. (B12H maybe?) It's a pretty sturdy unit, the motor is huge. I also have a 301 Garrard stashed away in a box somewhere, but I've never done a side by side comparison.

thanks,
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Old 18th September 2008, 05:18 PM   #5
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Cool, this sounds like the ticket to good 78rpm playback. Did you get the C8 and MC-60? The C8 with a rebuild would be the hot ticket for playing old 78rpm discs due to its comprehensive EQ capabilities.

You might be able to get one of these Fairchild mono cartridges rebuilt, but you might be better off with an early SME arm which will take modern monophonic cartridges.

People are paying just obscene amounts of money around here for the 301.
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Old 18th September 2008, 06:25 PM   #6
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Yeah, the ROK, Fairchild, C8, and M60 all came from the same spot at the same time. Ditto a couple Jensen RP302 tweeters (actually three, but one was dead)

I'll explain one thing up front here. I'm as much or more of a hobbyist than I am an audiophile. I like good sound, but .... some of the "true believers" ( and prices of some equipment) get way too insane for me.

I falter and have been known to pay somewhat big bucks for a couple selected items, but that' not my usual MO. Normally I just try and find bargains. (like the above mentioned items.....free for the taking if you come and get them NOW.... otherwise they go in the dumpster)

Yeah, 301's have gone insane. Mine is one of those big bucks Items I was talking about. I spent $600, though admittedly that also included the 301, garrard tonearm, Eico FM tube MPX unit, Sherwood S5000 integrated tube amp, and a Grommes 50PG mono integrated tube amp. I got them from the original owner, and all the 301 documentation and cool booklet was with the table. One of the guys from Loricraft looked it over when he was here in the states, and declared it VERY clean and not needing a rebuild. Just some lubrication and hand working the rubber idler wheel.

I'll eventually build a good plinth for the 301, and get a good tonearm and cartridge. That will be my "primo" table. The ROK Rondine will do mono duty. Lucky for me the GE-VRII cartridges are an affordable and appropriate choice. There's even a hole in the tonearm and slide to accomodate the little twist tool to swivel different stylii in place on the VRII. So Fairchild realized that many people would be running this cartridge.

Yes the C8 is feature rich as far as equalization settings go. I have a Bogen PR100, and that has nearly limitless choices too. Same for my Fisher 50c.

Sorry for the long winded response. Tell me more about you, your interests, and your system(s). And thanks again for your response.
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Old 19th September 2008, 05:19 PM   #7
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Generally I design and build my own gear, which most recently has included a dac and cd transport project. (Completed this spring)

The dac is loosely based on the Twisted Pear stuff, bought one of their spdif receiver modules (wm8804 based model) and a pair of cod, and a single IVY as bare boards which just coincidentally could be slightly modified for my purposes. (Funny that they chose the same exact chips I was using in my design and their implementation was not that different either - rather than spend a large sum of money for more less identical boards I bought theirs.) Supplies are custom. The analog supply is a compound regulator somewhat similar to the Jung super regulator, however I use a fast integrator instead of the straight error amp of the Jung design - it has better HF stability.)

The transport is a variant of Peter Daniel's Shigaclone based on a cousin of the chipset used in his version and the same mechanism. It is far from the prettiest version of the Shigaclone, but it sounds great. It has about 14lbs of mass loading in addition to the sescom box and the power transformer.

Both are packaged in nice sescom chassis boxes, however it is hard to mistake their amateur provenance.. (I kind of like that.)

I have been running a media server I built about 3 yrs ago, very convenient, getting it to work well and sound good was not trivial at the time, but it has given little trouble over that time. I use J River Media Center for audio on WinXP. Sage TV software handles video recording. (Flac files, Asio aodio drivers, M Audio 2496 audiophile with spdif I/O for music, and the analog I/O for measurements and video sound. It will run multiple media streams without audible problems.)

I also have slowly been modifying my Sony SCD-777ES sacd player.

System is based on homebrew Onken 3 ways with Iconic 165-8G woofers in a 11 cu ft enclosures with a slight extended bass tuning (originally by accident, but I liked the resulting sound and the measurements) JBL pro mid horns 4333 and 2402 annular ring radiator horn tweeters. The X-O is a 2nd order Butterworth that took me a second try to get right. 100Hz - 10kHz is now flat within a couple of dB at my listening position - not too shabby. (1/3 octave smoothing typically.)

All of this is driven by a 300B SE amplifier I built 4 yrs ago based on one of my old commercial designs.. There is also a dht transformer coupled line stage which I wrote about in PFO a few years ago...

I designed a phono stage around D3A and 5842 with 5687 as active loads (gyrators) took a bit of tinkering, but works well now. It's incredibly quiet, except when a bad 5AR4 rectifier tube arcs over (now replaced) and has over 50dB of gain. Input referred noise is substantially less than the thermal noise of my mm cartridge.

Most of my stuff has outboard power supplies which is getting a bit ungainly..

TT is a Thorens TD-125 I completely rebuilt 2 yrs ago with an SME 3009 series II arm, and a Grado Reference Platinum cartridge.

Restoring a ReVox G36 and converting it to half track operation, also have a nice Otari mx-55..

Once upon a long time ago I tried to make a living from audio, it didn't work out too well..

I actually got into this because I wanted a good tube pre-amplifier and could not afford to buy what I thought I wanted. (About 1988) I ended up cloning the ARC SP-3A, what a mistake that was. Boring lifeless sound. Decided I could probably design something better if I tried.

Started as an audiophile hobbyist music lover in my teens, and actually built a lot of my own gear. As an young adult I thought it unlikely I could build something as good as the majors and didn't try. Audio Amateur magazine and access to a good machine shop (for making chassis) provided the initial impetus. As an old codger, I still can't buy what I want, (mostly wouldn't want what I can) but I can make it..

I've posted rather a lot here at diyaudio, my home on the web.. Various places here are pictures of my projects..
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Old 24th November 2008, 10:43 AM   #8
josluis is offline josluis  Spain
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Hi there Mr. Fairchild tonearm! I'm receiving a mono Fairchild like yours. Please let me know where I could find an adequate cart for it. All the best, Jose
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Old 14th December 2008, 10:57 AM   #9
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I also got one FairChild Tonearm, but I do not have cartridge slide .. I can not mount my cartridge to the tonearm ..

Can anyone give me some advice..


Thank you
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