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Beogram 4000/6000 cartridge conversion?

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StuF
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StuF posted on Fri, Mar 30 2012 8:34 AM

Following advice on here approaching 12 months ago regarding setup issues with my 6000 (I've searched but failed to find the original thread!), I've since managed to seek out a specialist  that has given the deck an overhaul. As well as the usual tonearm raising/lowering problems, one of the internal circuit boards had developed a fault causing a couple of components to burn out - the result being the tonearm would only move in one direction! I had thought the deck would be a lost cause! The work needed was done by Simon at AVA Services in Crawley, Surrey, who specialise in anything B&O - Simon was very helpful and has repaired and set everything up beautifully.And at a sensible price.

However ...... my tired old MMC20S is still old ... and tired! I have thought about sourcing a new (or newer) cartridge but have also thought about doing a conversion to take a normal 1/2" fit cartridge. I have a spare tonearm tube enabling me to keep all the original parts intact and have seen articles in the past about such conversions, but currently don't seem to be able to find any information. Has anyone here done such a conversion? I've found a company in the USA who do a full refurbishment service including conversion to a Grado cartridge therefore I believe a conversion is a viable option, but I'd really like to know what's involved before jumping in feet first!

The deck is a Beogram 6000 from 1974 but was converted to stereo some time in the early '80s, hence the MMC20 fitment.

Stu.

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Peter
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Peter replied on Fri, Mar 30 2012 9:02 AM

You can do this, but it wrecks the looks. I would get a different B&O cartridge - a MMC20CL would be my first choice - get one and have it retipped by Axel and you will have a superb cartridge turntable system. You can have your tired MMC20S retipped - the innards of all these cartridges are identical - but in my view it is the wrong colour! The 6000 was always capable of playing stereo records - I take it that someone has taken out the switchable quad board which also housed the RIAA.

Peter

Step1
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Step1 replied on Fri, Mar 30 2012 9:40 AM

Peter:

You can do this, but it wrecks the looks.

Not only that, but the audio purist would question how easy it would be to match the cartridge compliance with the ultra low mass tonearm?? I don't think it is quite as simple as a cut & shunt!

Olly

StuF
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StuF replied on Fri, Mar 30 2012 12:39 PM

Peter I do understand what you mean about colour and certainly the original silver MMC6000 cartridges were very classy! I had 2 of them but over the years they must have been mislaid somewhere most likely during a house move!

A first step would probably be to have the MMC20S refurbished - who or what are Axel?

Stu.

chartz
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chartz replied on Fri, Mar 30 2012 12:48 PM

http://www.schallplattennadeln.de/REPARATUR-RETIPPING/MC-SYSTEM-Reparatur/

His workshop is in Germany, and he offers an affordable re-tipping service. Many members here have used his services.

Jacques

ouverture
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one of my friends in the States has just done this, had his 4002 refurbed and at the same time is now using a p mount Grado 

I have started off a new topic to discuss this interesting concept 

"Modifying any 400x series to take a p mount Grado cartridge"

I am tempted to have a go on my 4000, but only because I have two of them, and one is in much better nick than the other, but would like to discuss all the in and outs on doing this first, as I bought the second 4000 for parts really, thinking it might be sensible to have a spare 4000, but now I want to have two working properly ( one in the lounge and one in my bedroom ) 

 

Søren Hammer
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ouverture:

one of my friends in the States has just done this, had his 4002 refurbed and at the same time is now using a p mount Grado 

I have started off a new topic to discuss this interesting concept 

"Modifying any 400x series to take a p mount Grado cartridge"

I am tempted to have a go on my 4000, but only because I have two of them, and one is in much better nick than the other, but would like to discuss all the in and outs on doing this first, as I bought the second 4000 for parts really, thinking it might be sensible to have a spare 4000, but now I want to have two working properly ( one in the lounge and one in my bedroom ) 

Please don't do it; the 4000 is a pretty rare turntable and will lose much value.

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ouverture
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but to keep sending them to Alex in Germany for repair is not ideal either

http://www.schallplattennadeln.de/B-O-MMC-Reparatur-Repair/MMC-Repair-English/

maybe the answer is to perfect a new tone arm with Grado cartridge, and keep the old one so that it would be possible to change between the two - not so sure how easy that is though
Søren Hammer
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A retipped cartridge from Axel Schürholz will last in exess of 500 hours of playing time and at least another 20 years; I would not call that to "keep sending them to Axel". I can't see the purpose of altering anything.

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ouverture
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that is wonderful news -  500 hours, I can live with that -  thanks Soren 

Søren Mexico
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ouverture:
maybe the answer is to perfect a new tone arm with Grado cartiridge, and keep the old one so that it would be possible to change between the two  - not so sure how easy that is though

As far as I know there are no Tangential tracking tonearms on the market that can easily be converted to fit BG 4000, and a good radial tone arm which can be converted will cost more than 2-3 used BG 4000, and why convert something that can be fixed for between 150-200 USD and then last for 20 years.

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StuF
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StuF replied on Sun, May 20 2012 6:18 PM

Well in the end I took Peter's advice ....

I've managed to source a good condition used MMC20EN - I'd forgotten just how much better looking the silver finish cartridge is over the black 20S. Sounds really sweet as well, so much so that my wife can't stop using it! She even arranged a dinner-party at the weekend and asked friends to bring half a dozen albums each. Result!

A speaker upgrade could now be viable ......

Søren Hammer
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ouverture:

that is wonderful news -  500 hours, I can live with that -  thanks Soren 

You're welcome Wink

@StuF:

The MMC20EN is a superb cartridge, congratulations with the purchase Smile

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StuF
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StuF replied on Sun, May 20 2012 6:24 PM

Thanks Smile

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