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Reader's Digest Model C-141 Turntable

Reader's Digest C-141 Turntable  Restoration - RF CafeThe C-141 Turntable that came as part of my original Reader's Digest Model 800-XR AM/FM Radio + 8-Track Tape Player stereo system was not included with the set I bough on eBay. A couple years later, someone offered the receiver and turntable as a set for $35 so I bought it even though it appeared to be in shabby condition. The lady selling it told me that everything was functional 'the last time she used it.' The system was shipped in a box with literally no padding at all, so stuff was pretty beat up when it arrived. She did the honorable thing and refunded my money. I now have a spare chassis for the receiver / tape player. The turntable ,which was manufactured by BSR for Reader's Digest, was a mess and powered on, but would not shift into action. It needed work.

I photographed everything in detail and then disassembled everything that would come apart. A solution of Lysol and hot water in the bath tub, along with a an toothbrush and a rag did a great job of cleaning even the grimiest and greasiest parts. There did not appear to be any broken parts, and the stuck gear was due to grease hardening on a control lever. Everything went back together smoothly, and I used grease and oil sparingly as necessary. When powered back on, the C-141 Turntable functioned perfectly from a mechanical standpoint. The stylus needle, however, was a total loss.

A replacement stylus was ordered from a vendor on eBay. It brought the turntable back to life, but the sound quality was very tinny. I suspected the tone arm cartridge might have been compromised, so a replacement was purchased. The original TC8H1 cartridge could not be found, but a TH8H0/5 worked just fine. The only difference is the voltage output, which did not really matter anyway since I mounted a Pyle stereo phonograph preamp inside the turntable chassis to boost the signal level since the cables to the stereo receiver are rather long.

The transparent Plexiglas cover arrived very scratched and scuffed, so I am in the process of sanding it smooth and then will buff it out to a nice glossy clear condition again.

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Posted May 16, 2017

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