mem record player servicing



BSR decks using 40mm diameter idler wheels, such as the UA14 and UA25 decks, are infamous for loss of drive problems. The idler, sometimes known as the jockey pulley, is the small rubber wheel which transfers the drive from the motor to the turntable rim. A worn idler wheel causes the turn table to run slow when a record is playing, or grind to a halt during the auto change process. When I service a BSR deck, I change the 40mm idler wheel as a matter of course. Bear in mind that these decks are around 50 years old, so it’s not surprising that the rubber-covered idler wheels need replacing.

By the way, cleaning the rubber or using sandpaper to roughen it up might improve the drive for a few hours, but the wheel will soon lose its grip and slip again. Idler wheels must be replaced to ensure correct and long-term operation. I’ve been working on record decks since the 1960s so I know what I’m doing.


Please note that I do not sell idler wheels. I have a fairly good stock of idlers, but they are for customers’ repairs only. Please also note that I only deal with valve record players from the fifties and sixties. I do not repair transistor record players – or radiograms. However, if you have a radiogram in need of repair and you are able to remove the chassis and or the record deck, then please do send it to me. I have no space to accommodate complete radiograms.


When replacing the stylus, especially on an early turn-over cartridge, it is not uncommon for the cartridge to disintegrate. What happens is that the small pad that the stylus rests on falls apart when the old stylus is removed. In these cases, a new cartridge will have to be fitted. Unfortunately, cartridges are virtually impossible to obtain. If your record player needs a replacement cartridge, I will not be able to complete the repair.

With most record players, you can remove the screws holding the wooden plinth and simply lift the deck and plinth out of the cabinet. Some radiograms are different and you may have to get to the deck clips from behind rather than remove the wooden plinth. The wires from the deck might simply plug in to the radio chassis or amplifier, which is straight forward. However, in some cases the wires will have to be unsoldered or cut. Just make a note of which wire goes where.