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Thread: Connoisseur BD1 turntable.

  1. #1
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,346
    I'm Geoff.

    Default Connoisseur BD1 turntable.

    Who remembers the Connoisseur BD1 (and BD2)? Those who know these little units seem to have very polarised views, you either love them or hate them, I have a great fondness for them, because of their sheer basic simplicity and the fact that if they are set up properly they deliver remarkably good sound. I'm starting this thread as I've just unearthed a BD1 I'd forgotten I owned and I'm very tempted to resurrect it. I've also found a pile of new spares which should help. I had my last one a few years ago, running alongside my Garrad 401 and enjoyed it just as much as the Garrard. Both worked well with Mission 774 arms onboard (see thumbnail, sorry about the dust!). I've owned many BD1s over the years and a few BD2s, which I was less keen on. The one to get is the earlier version without the notch in the motor pulley which was added to facilitate speed change, as it can affect the smooth running of the belt and also avoid the models with speed change mechanisms or remove the mechanism from them. In it's day the BD1 had very favourable reviews, it was low on rumble due to a very good main bearing and had a quite weighty platter, which was only ten inches across, but this did not seem to affect the unit's abilities. They're good fun to own, but do require looking after as the motor suspension needs rebuilding every couple of years, easy job though. The belts have lasted me ten years or more and are still available, along with other parts. Geoff.
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    Last edited by walpurgis; 16-06-2012 at 23:41. Reason: correction/addition

  2. #2
    MartinT Guest

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    I had a BD1 as my very first turntable. I made a solid wood plinth for it and mounted an SME3009-II arm with Empire 2000E/III cartridge. I finished it off with Micro Seiki feet. That deck lasted me a long time and worked very reliably. It sounded good, too.

  3. #3
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,346
    I'm Geoff.

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    That sounds much like how my first one was set up. I had the Micro Seiki feet too. The arm was an Audio Technica AT-1005 II and if I remember correctly the cartridge was an ADC 220XE. I used this with a Ferrograph F307 amplifier and a pair of Tannoy IIILZ speakers. I thought it all sounded great at the time, many moons ago, probably about 1977 (shows how old I am).

    A note to anybody trying out an old Connoisseur: If you start one up that's not been used for a while, you may get what seems like a burning smell. Do not be alarmed, its the ceramic insulation on the wire wound resistor in the power supply burning off absorbed moisture as it warms up and this will dissipate. I've come across it several times.

    Geoff.
    Last edited by walpurgis; 17-06-2012 at 10:17. Reason: addition

  4. #4
    MartinT Guest

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    Nice arm, that AT. I remember the Acos Lustre arm being available dead cheap at the same time as the SME, but I saved up for the latter. Truth is, the Acos was a fine arm too. I think I built my BD1 around 1976, when I was in LVI at school. I also bought a glass platter to make it 12" and that helped the sound too.

    Rest of my system was a Linsley-Hood 75W amp and Cambridge R40 speakers.

  5. #5
    Join Date: May 2008

    Location: A Strangely Isolated Place in Suffolk with far away trains passing by...

    Posts: 14,371
    I'm David.

    Default

    Back in my Linn/Naim agressive days and to my eternal shame, I remember being extremely dismissive of a client who wanted a rubber-band style motor decoupling replacement for his BD1 - Gawd, I was an arrogant cnut sometimes and it's threads like this which remind me too much of my former life

    Seriously though, I believe the one thing that either made or killed a BD1 and BD2 was the motor, it's vibration and the effects of this. Maybe with a modern power supply/re-generator arrangement to cut the motor vibration down and very careful mounting of same, together with a suitable simple plinth, I've no doubt the deck could work really well these days.

    If the motor is a 110V model adjusted for 230V as Rega and Linn use(d), maybe someone could draw out the "2000" issue Rega P3 circuit board, since the little network of resistors Rega used cut the motor vibration right down and enabled the motor to be stuck to the top laminate of the plinth with no rumble/vibration issues. I can't remember of the P2-2000 was the same, but it probably was and a universal kit was available to update older Regas. I suspect that many Thorens owners could benefit too, as well as possibly the owners of BD1's and 2's...
    Tear down these walls; Cut the ties that held me
    Crying out at the top of my voice; Tell me now if you can hear me

  6. #6
    MartinT Guest

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    When my BD1 motor decoupling bands aged, I just used normal rubber bands as replacements!

  7. #7
    Join Date: Apr 2012

    Location: Southall, West London

    Posts: 29,346
    I'm Geoff.

    Default

    I stopped using elastic bands on my motor suspension and started using thin round neoprene drive belting intead. It lasted twice as long, didn't sag and has a degree of self damping. It worked well.

    I have a design in mind for a different suspension, sitting the motor on a rubber pad and using three damped springs to centralise it, with the whole assembly isolated on bushes. I might give it a whirl on this BD1 I've just found.

  8. #8
    Join Date: Jan 2009

    Location: Medmenham, Bucks.

    Posts: 400
    I'm MYLES.

    Default

    There is a BD2 on eeeebay at the mo, 30 mins to go and about 8!! It doesnt have a needle but the motor works, thats their expert opinion!!

  9. #9
    Join Date: Feb 2008

    Location: Sunny (occasionally) Devon

    Posts: 1,504
    I'm Shane.

    Default

    And a BD1 for 1.20 with 1 day to go.

    http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CONNOISSEU...ht_2690wt_1081
    Time flies like an arrow.
    Fruit flies like a banana.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Apr 2009

    Location: Melbourne

    Posts: 130
    I'm Alex.

    Default

    had a BD1 with a Grace 707 tonearm for quite awhile. Couldnt get used to the small platter but it sounded quite good once the supoorted tracks on the inside was playing. Like the little kick start rubber thingy on the on/off lever

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