General Electric A1-501 tonearm - anybody have any info on these? - diyAudio
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Old 30th December 2012, 11:29 AM   #1
DeonC is offline DeonC  South Africa
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Default General Electric A1-501 tonearm - anybody have any info on these?

Hi guys

I got given these by a friend of mine. They are interesting in that they work in the same way as the Dynavector DV 507MK2 tonearm, in that the arm moves parallel to the platter, with the vertical pivot are the headshell. Any info and comments on these would be appreciated. Pics are below.

Thanks,
Deon
Attached Images
File Type: jpg GE%20A1-501%20(1).jpg (158.0 KB, 162 views)
File Type: jpg GE%20A1-501%20(2).jpg (157.5 KB, 147 views)
File Type: jpg GE%20logo%20on%20base.jpg (124.7 KB, 130 views)
File Type: jpg Pivotting%20headshell%20with%20counterweight%20system.jpg (145.6 KB, 126 views)
File Type: jpg Close-up%20on%20counterweight.jpg (147.2 KB, 124 views)
File Type: jpg Underside%20of%20headshell.jpg (147.7 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg Back%20of%20tonearm%20base%20to%20show%20height%20adjustment%20screw.jpg (112.5 KB, 47 views)
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Old 5th January 2013, 04:30 PM   #2
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I've never seen one, but it looks like it works in a similar way to othes like it, like the arm on the Garrard Zero 100

Garrard Zero 100 on thevintageknob.org

Have you hooked it up and tried it yet?
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Old 5th January 2013, 04:56 PM   #3
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I had one of those arms in the mid 60s. It was a good arm if it was balanced properly.
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Old 7th January 2013, 08:11 AM   #4
DeonC is offline DeonC  South Africa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geneml View Post
Have you hooked it up and tried it yet?
Hi

Sorry for the late reply. Thanks for the link. I have to have a closer look before I comment. I have not used it yet, as I don't have suitable 'table ready yet. I have a Technics SP15 that needs a service, and when that is done I will try it on that one.

Deon
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Old 7th January 2013, 03:48 PM   #5
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These were very high quality tonearms, aka the "Baton" arm, and designed for broadcast and professional use. The design is unipivot and somewhat similar ro the Dynavector but NOT to the Garrad "Zero 100" which has an automatic mechanical (pantographic) offset angle correction system. This arm is much better than the Garrard and you're very lucky to have the long broadcast version (for 16" transcrtiption records) which is very rare and sought after. This is a valuable (and quite expensive) arm today, and a perfect fit for G.E VRII series cartridges. (but could accomodate other vintage mono cartridges too). Check the bearings and if they're OK mount the arm (must be carefully levelled) and enjoy the music.
The complete original manual can be downloaded from the Vinyl Engine library at:

General Electric Baton A1-501 Owners Manual, Service Manual, Schematics, Free Download | Vinyl Engine

And I have attached a scan of the original G.E technical datasheet below.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg GEBATON.1.jpg (639.7 KB, 36 views)
File Type: jpg GEBATON.2.jpg (316.9 KB, 34 views)

Last edited by Tubologic; 7th January 2013 at 04:02 PM.
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Old 7th January 2013, 07:12 PM   #6
DeonC is offline DeonC  South Africa
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Thanks for that info. I actually received three of these beasties. Of the three, one works perfectly, one needs a pin on the side of the headshell (the pin that the counterweight arm uses on the side of the headshell to lift the headshell), and the third one is almost complete but in pieces. The third unit (the one in pieces) has only one tone-arm bar and needs the sliding counterweight. The counterweight will be easy to replace. I also think I'm going to try and source a pair of carbon fibre wands and put them on. The comparison could be interesting.

One more question- what would you suggest to use as a lubricant for the tonearm bearings? These arms are quite a few years old, and I'd prefer to lubricate them before use. I'd probably end up selling one, just keeping one of the complete units and the experimental one, but I'll see.

Thanks,
Deon
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Old 8th January 2013, 06:59 AM   #7
DeonC is offline DeonC  South Africa
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I looked again at the three tonearms, and I realize in my exitement I made a mistake. Of the three, one is complete, but both the others need the little counterweight. Not too serious, but still. The third arm also needs the bearing part of the tonearm on the headshell side. I took a photo of all three (see below).

Enjoy,
Deon
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File Type: jpg Kimberley-20130108-00461.jpg (133.6 KB, 38 views)
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Old 8th January 2013, 04:31 PM   #8
kevinkr is offline kevinkr  United States
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Not sure you should lubricate those ball bearings at all, do so at your own peril.. (Possibly a dry film type lubricant spray might be ok, but check.)

There may be more information over at Vinyl Engine | The Home of the Turntable and plenty of very experienced members who may be able to provide some good advice. Another potential resource would be the the vinyl asylum.. Vinyl Asylum
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Old 8th January 2013, 04:37 PM   #9
sreten is offline sreten  United Kingdom
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Hi,

I'll just warn such arms are a nightmare regarding overall level,
and levels must be exact to get control of bias, otherwise the
anti-skate will be far too much, inwards or outwards.

rgds, sreten.
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Old 9th January 2013, 12:28 AM   #10
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It looks like a blunt instrument to me. Dynavector and Garrard both made big improvements in the geometry of tone arms after 1958, which is the year of a hi fi handbook in which this GE item is featured. Along with the Burne-Jones arm. I want to like it though.
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