Russco Electronics advertisement in the March 1979 edition of "Broadcast Engineering" magazine
Photo courtesy of Carlos Alberto Fanzano
Brazilian audiophile/vintage equipment collector Carlos Alberto Fazano contacted us recently, and wanted to show off his nicely-rebuilt BE Spotmaster-branded Russco Studio-Pro Model B turntable, complete with a vintage Micro-Trak 303 tonearm. CLICK HERE to see the page on his website, with many nice photos, diagrams and more (scroll down the page to see the turntable photos).
UPDATED: 11/29/2016 0630 UTC
The Vinyl Revival--by Timothy Goodrich
As vinyl recordings are seeing a resurgence in popularity, more people are finding, dusting off, and reviving long-discarded broadcast studio turntables. As the Number One source for parts and information for professional rim-drive turntables made by Russco Electronics of Fresno/Clovis, CA, QRK Electronics of Fresno, CA (later owned by BE of Quincy, IL), Harris, Gates, and other brands of studio turntables, we are excited to see this vinyl "renaissance" taking place.
If you are getting "on board" with this vinyl revival, and are thinking about getting a vintage Russco Studio-Pro Model B, QRK 12-C, or other similar turntable, please bear in mind that these were originally designed to be in operation on AM radio stations, "beaten up" on by disc jockeys 24/7, and easily maintained or repaired by broadcast engineers as inexpensively as possible. They were never designed to have "audiophile"-type specs for rumble, flutter, etc. The rumble was reduced by a combination of the construction of the cabinets housing the turntables (including some with sand-filled cavities surrounding the tables to reduce acoustic resonance), and processing of the audio before being sent to the wide-band AM transmitters of the day. That's why you didn't really notice any 'rumble' coming from your favorite AM music radio station in the 1960's-70's!
I always advise anyone who is planning on owning a vintage broadcast turntable that it will take a lot of work to make then run as quietly as possible. Elaborate plinth (base) designs, dense woods, isolating feet...these are just a few of the many methods that have been used to reduce the inherent rumble in these types of turntables. Search around the Internet, and you will see the many different designs some people--including customers of this website--have used to mount their vintage turntable in such a way as to have them run as quietly as possible! Good luck, and as always, when you need replacement parts for your "revived" broadcast turntable, we're here for you!
SPAM! SPAM! SPAM!
Due to the overwhelming amount of spam invading our email inbox, I am forced to remove the actual email links from this website. The spam-bots have apparently gotten our address, and I spend WAY too much time filtering through messages in Russian and offers from Canadian pharmacies! So, to try to cut down on this, I will be replacing the actual link with this text: parts (at) russcoturntables (dot com). I trust that most people who are savvy enough to navigate this (or just about any other) website, can figure out how to make the email address work. If not, feel free to call the number listed below, during the business hours outlined in the footer on each page of this site. Thank you for your understanding!--Tim Goodrich, Owner
Thanks for your interest in the world of vintage broadcast idler drive turntables! And for those with whom we have done business, we appreciate your support! If you haven't done so already, we invite you to follow us on Twitter and 'Like' our Facebook page!
THE LATEST NEWS... RUSSCO TURNTABLES.COM WRITTEN UP IN eNEWS FROM TELOS/OMNIA/AXIA NEWSLETTER
In the September 2011 issue of eNews From Telos/Omnia/Axia, the Cleveland, Ohio-based broadcasting equipment company gave its email newsletter recipients a nice article on Russco Electronics, and this website. We received permission to reprint the text of the article to share with you here. Special thanks to Telos Systems - Axia Audio Marketing Manager Clark Novak. Here is what they wrote:
Turntables built to withstand the Apocalypse
Nearly all of us "of a certain age" in the Radio business will remember Russco turntables, founded by Modesto, California's Russ Friend in 1945. Built like the proverbial tank, Russcos, with their stepped-shaft / idler wheel drive arrangement, were standard issue in US radio stations for 40 years. The ubiquitous sky-blue Studio Pro B, with only a little maintenance, soldiered on for years providing rock-solid record playback for innumerable stations small to large. (And, as a young production director, your editor found that the heavy machined aluminum platter, removed from its housing, could be held by its bearing shaft and struck along the rim to produce a lovely "fight bell" sound effect.) If you're still a fan of Russco turntables - which are surprisingly popular in the audiophile community - and are looking for parts, restoration services, check out RusscoTurntables.com, run by [Tim Goodrich, aka] Skeeter Nash. Skeeter has a love for these workhorses too; so much that he purchased the remaining stock and parts supply of Russco and now offers parts and refurb services from his HQ in [Topeka, Kansas]. And don't forget to put it in neutral when you're finished!
********** OUR LATEST REFURBISHMENT PROJECTS:
A nice Russco Cue-Master (thanks to Glen Pitts of Stockton, CA). CLICK HERE to see it!
********** A HUGEQRK/Collins 17-B (with a 17-inch platter!) from the late-50's/early-60's. This table was in use for years at the Stanford University radio station, and Brett Saunders of San Francisco obtained it. Brett sent it to us, and we brought this relic back to life! CLICK HERE to see it!
********** ATTN: CHIEF ENGINEERS...clean out your equipment storage rooms, transmitter buildings and other cluttered areas, and contact us at parts (at) RusscoTurntables (dot com) to take some of that old equipment (especially turntables!) off your hands! Please pass this along to others who might be interested in selling/horse-trading retired broadcasting studio equipment. Thanks!
The Beatles' 2009 Remastered Albums Released on 180-gram Vinyl! Original British Parlophone stereo titles (plus Capitol Records' Magical Mystery Tour album) available individually or in deluxe box set! CLICK HERE for the details.
Whenever we have a new and exciting product available, we'll feature it here on the Home page! Come back often to see what's new!
REPLACE THOSE BURNED-OUT SPEED INDICATOR LAMPS!
NEW ITEM! Now you can replace those burned-out speed indicator lamps on your Russco Studio-Pro Model B with these bright Weathers 110 VAC replacement lamps! These are NOS, and we have customized them with large '33' and '45' numbers. While they are not the 'engraved,' silk-screened numbers (like the originals had--and there aren't any of those available anymore, to our knowledge), they look virtually the same...and they look a LOT better than burned-out or blank replacements!
Only $6.95 each, or buy a set of 2 for just $13.00 [plus shipping]. Limited quantities available, so don't wait! Write us NOW at parts (at) russcoturntables (dot com) to order!
Original Bodine Electric Motor Lubricating Oil!
This high-quality lubricating oil keeps your motor running smoothly with just a couple of drops every 2-3 months! This is NOS, kept in sealed cans in a warehouse for many years. Supplies are limited. A 4-oz. bottle is just $4.95 (plus s/h), and will last a LONG time! Order a bottle today at parts (at) russcoturntables (dot com)!
Aside from being your online resource for parts, one of our main goals is to add information on an on-going basis gathered from "like-minded" distributors, individuals and manufacturers. This small but expanding database is really due to the generosity of giving by friends, associates and the many folks whom we have never met but would like to thank! Their wish is to help all who need or require information concerning idler-drive turntables and companion equipment within the analog/vinyl/digital community.
RTC is a small "custom" supplier/builder paying attention to detail where it concerns idler-drive types, and parts required. RTC strives to constantly expand our information and knowledge base. Our primary endeavor: sales of new and used parts, sharing information concerning these parts, drawings and re-builds on the many models of idler-drive turntables, including built and branded under such names as Collins, Harris/Gates, LPB, Micro-Trak, Presto, QRK, RCA, Rek-O-Kut, Russco, Sparta, Spotmaster, Weathers and others. Our Mission:Russco Turntables.com is rooted firmly in the use of traditional broadcast turntables and associated equipment, while at the same time helping to provide free information to both builders and collectors.
Meet The Owner Russcoturntables.com (and co-owned QRKturntables.com) is owned and operated by Tim Goodrich. Tim's experiences includes a stint with QRK in Fresno, CA, assembling the mighty QRK 12C model. While working full-time at QRK, he began working part-time on the air at radio stations in and around Fresno, often using Russco, QRK and other professional turntables to play the hits of the day for listeners up and down the San Joaquin Valley. He knows how simply--yet ruggedly--these classic units were designed and built, because he built them! Although many stations began to use tape cartridges ("carts") to play their music, some still played vinyl records...requiring their turntables to be in use literally 24/7! Tim's career as an on-air personality spanned 36 years. He worked under the 'air name' "Skeeter Nash" between 2003-2014. His last position in radio was hosting the Afternoon Drive show at Alpha Media USA's KTPK-FM (Country Legends 106.9) in Topeka, KS, where he was also the station's Program Director. Previously, he was at KIXS-FM ("KIXS 108") in Victoria, TX, and theSaga/Jonesboro Radio Group of stations in Jonesboro, AR. He has also worked at WSM-AM/Nashville, TN; WSIX-FM/Nashville; KKBB-FM/Bakersfield, CA; KTIE-FM/Bakersfield, CA; KJUG-FM/Tulare, CA; KBOS-FM & KKAM-AM/Fresno, CA; KFRE-AM & FM/Fresno, CA; KMAK-AM/Fresno, CA and KNGS-AM/Hanford, CA.
Tim is also a licensed Amateur Radio operator (General Class), call sign: N5ASH.
Partial Update 09/03/2016 2330UTC
Located in the U.S.A.
Email:parts (at) RusscoTurntables.com
RusscoTurntables.Com--a division of ValleyRidge Audio