Note From Skeeter Nash: QRK Turntables began in a garage/shop area on the back-side of the KYNO (1300 AM) radio studios and offices building at 2125 N. Barton Avenue in Fresno, CA shortly after the station first when on the air in 1948. From what I have been told, it was started by a couple of the engineers working for KYNO at the time. Over the years, QRK was bought and sold several times, and the manufacturing facility was moved from the KYNO studios to a location less than a mile away on Sierra Vista Avenue, where it remained until mid-1980. Owners I know of included: CCA Electronics, Filmways Corp. (that's right, the TV production company that gave us The Beverly Hillbillies, Petticoat Junction and Green Acres!), and the last company to manufacture QRK-branded products, Broadcast Electronics (BE). I began working at QRK in Fresno in early-1980, as an assembler. The late Robert Sidwell was the General Manager, and the late Robert "Bob" Martin was the Sales Manager.
At the time, there were 2 adjoining buildings being used by QRK: one was used primarily for the manufacture and assembly of broadcast consoles, turntable preamps, tape cartridge record/playback units, and other related electronic equipment; the other section was for the manufacture/assembly of the turntables (which is where I worked assembling the model 12-C).
After being aquired by the radio/TV equipment manufacturing giant Broadcast Electonics, Inc. (BE), it was decided in mid-1980 that all production of the QRK line of products would be relocated to BE's headquarters in Quincy, Illinois. This brought to an end over 30 years of QRK turntables being made in my hometown of Fresno, CA.
It should be noted that Russell Friend had worked for a time at QRK (the best information I have is that it was sometime in the mid-1950's to early-1960's, based on my conversations with Russ before his passing). When Russ discovered that QRK had not patented their turntable designs, he decided to take his ideas for design changes and improvements over QRK's designs, and strike out on his own in nearby Clovis, CA. Thus, Russco Electronics was born! This is how--for many years--the two largest, best-known brands in the broadcast studio turntables and related equipment were located less than 10 miles apart, as the crow flies!
In my research, I have not found a vast amount of information on the web concerning QRK idler drive turntables and it's rightful place in the radio industry history, whether in "on-air" broadcast studios around the globe in production rooms, now as well in many collector's small studios. We have put together some interesting material from many outside sources and different web sites to help anyone who seeks knowledge of their QRK unit to find answers to most common questions in one place.
This site is fortunate to have somewhat of an inside look into the in-house memos concerning QRK, sales, trouble-shooting guides and general knowledge concerning QRK units as well as how the "higher-ups" compared other branded tables against their units. We are grateful to and want to thank the late Bob Martin aka "Fresno Bob" Martin for his expansive knowledge and invaluable help in compiling many facts concerning QRK and other audio components.
A lot of information we are posting has come to us through the sharing of documents from "Fresno Bob" when working with QRK in the late-1970's-1980 as Sales Manager, then moving over to Broadcast Electronics for a brief time after QRK was relocated to BE's headquarters in Quincy. Some of the documents are a bit "light" or (banners not legible) yet readable due to using a non-commercial scanner at the time. If you notice slight font change on the documents, this is due to "fixing" where we add the right letters the scanner did not pick up. This material will be added to as time permits; also more HERE.
CHECK OUT THIS QRK SALES BROCHURE FROM CIRCA EARLY- TO MID-1960'S!
Click on the image to open photo album, including descriptions. Thanks to Palmer Johnson of Broadcast Documents.com for this!
In-House Memos from BE Inc. and QRK
Please see Tonearms for more information concerning arms that were generally supplied with--or purchased by--the original owners of these units and recommended by the makers of the specific unit.
Working Drawing QRK--click to enlarge
Broadcast Electronics Inc. A FILMWAYS Company
INTER OFFICE MEMORANDUMDATEAugust 18, 1980
TOLISTFROM . C.I.. Kring Cc: Bob Martin Bob Sidwell Subject:QRK- Bob Martin
Bob Martin will be working starting Tuesday A.I-1. at BE for the next few weeks to assist in training and answering questions relating to the QRK product line. Bob has worked in the Sales Department at QRK the past few years, and is very knowledgeable as to sales, product application and specification of the QRK product line. You can reach Bob on extension 211. Bob will report to me during his stay here, however, he is available to help in all departments atBE. CIK/cjd
INTER OFFICE MEMORANDUMDATESeptember 12, 1980
TOLISTFROMC. I. Kring
cc:T. Ash R. Weirather R. Weaver L. Cervon
Subject.:QRK Product Training Sessions Training sessions on QRK products will be held in the lunchroom at 4:00 P.M. each day Tuesday, September 16 through Friday, September 19 by Bob Martin. You are encouraged to attend (with permission of your Supervisor) so that this information will assist you in performing your job functions relating to QRK products. The sessions will cover such subjects as: Product identification and description Productfeatures and applications in customer systems Product trouble-shooting Product replacement parts CIK/cjd
BROADCAST ELECTRONICS INC.a FILMWAYS Company
INTER OFFICE MEMORANDUM DATE September 22, 1980
FROM T. Humphrey
TO C. Kring
cc: L. Cervon
During one of Bob Martin's "QRK Seminars" and confirmed with more detailed conversations with him, I find that the Galaxy turntable is quite readily and easily converted to a 3~speed, (33/45/78 rpm) variable-speed control turntable.
It is most simply done by utilizing a three position single-pole rotary
switch with precision resistors in series with the variable speed pots to establish the three speeds.
Bob also mentioned another point, applicable to any variable-speed turn- table. This is the problem of the knob-adjusted speed control, which DJ's can "diddle" with. From a hurried examination of the unit, it appears to me that a universal mouI1t could be developed for the speed control permit-
ting either knob - or recessed screwdriver access - speed adjustment.
It seems to me that a 3-speed dc instant start version of the Galaxy would be quite marketable.
INTER OFFICE MEMORANDUMDATE October 29, 1980 TOC. KringFROML.J. Cervon R. Weaver cc: J.EngleR. Weirther C.FosmarkJ. Sutcliffe T. AshB. Martin Re: Model 12C Turntable I noted that the estimated actual cost of the 12C Turntable is running above the $214.45 standard cost. Even at standard cost of $214.45, our cost ratio on the $350.00 selling price, after the 25% distributor discount which is effective November 1, will be 81.7%. When we add to the cost the contingent fee to the prior QRK owners, the cost ratio on dealer sales increases to 86%. Comparable Turntable prices are as follows : Harris Model CB-1201 Two Speed, 60Hz$345.00 Harris Model CB-1201 Two Speed, 50Hz355.00 Rusco Cue Master, 3 speed 355.00 Rusco Studio Pro, 2 Speed399.00 Cetec Model GT 12/SY, Two Speed375.00 Micro Trak Model 720, Three Speed355.00 Micro Trak Model 740, Two Speed399.00 I don't believe it is economically possible for us to maintain the $350.00 selling price on the 12C Turntable. As much as it is embarrasing as well as confusing to change prices soon after a price list is printed and mailed, I see no alternative but to suggest that we increase the 12C price to $375.00 effective December 1 on all orders. Also, it's very important that we be very strict on the new 25% discount and not allow anything greater for any order received after November 1. Please let me have your. comments regarding the suggested price increase on the QRK Model 12C.
INTER OFFICE MEMORANDUMDATENovember 5, 1980
TOCurt KringFROMBob Martin
Ref:L. Cervon's memo dated October 29, regarding the suggest price increase November 1, 1980.
I really feel it's a bit premature to suggest an increase on the item at this time.
From the information that I could gather, the $214.45 standard cost figure isn't fully documented. It appears to be based on the QRK labor/hour standard set in- Fresno and then brought in, and applied against the current B.E. labor rate. We are still running into discrepancies in the QRK methods on a daily basis and haven't had enough experience with the product to get a complete production picture.
For example; the platter assembly was QRK costed at around $41.50 per unit. With the few changes we've already made, the BE standard costs hover around $24.00 a unit. There's about a 40% difference in the cost figures! Again, these labor/cost figures are based on standards set forth from Engineering and what little experience we've gained in 2 months of production. Another point: We're still planning to import the aluminum chassis, raw platters
and motor bases from California. The resulting freight costs won't influence the unit cost directly. But further down the line, these figures in the cost of goods sold (freight) will offset gross totals, and ultimately effect the profitability of the product.
As we gather experience on in-house assembly procedures and production know- how, ba~ed on typical learning curves, the decrease in labor hours will off- set the inevitable rise on material cost and labor rates. From the little changes we've seen in such a short time we might well expect an overall de- crease in standard costs!
The resulting confusion on price changes again, along with newly instituted QRK Dealership structures, elongated delivery schedules (already 45-60 days typically!) can only damage our marketing position. I suggest that we delay the decision of price increases for 30-45 days, and then examine the newly revised, in-house documented B.E. standard costs that will be available to us January 1. At that point we can make a more informed decision on the profitability of the 12C turntable.
INTER OFFICE MEMORANDUMDATE November 7, 1980
TOE. HayesM. TournearFROMB. Martin
F. ChernyL. Cervon
C. FosmarkP. Schmelzle
Re: QRK/CCA Replacement Parts
During the many years of operation at the California plant site, there were many products introduced onto the broadcast market with the QRK or Rek-Q-Kut names' involved. Be it necessity, convenience or marketing related; it has led to much confusion as to the availability of replacement parts for products exhibiting the QRK logo. Subsequently! we must draw a responsibility line as to who can supply what for who to alleviate some of the congestion.
The attached guide is written up as an aid for us in helping the customer locate parts we can no longer supply or at least direct them in the right direction.
PRODUCTMFGR.PARTSAVAILABILITY QRK 5 Consoles, Mono/StereoCCA ElectronicsCards, Incomplete manuals QRK 8 Consoles, Mono/StereoCCA ElectronicsCards, Incomplete manuals CCA/QRK Ultimate SeriesCCA ElectronicsCustom Audio Products Bill Greaves Box 1275, 119 Crest Lane Greenville, SC "29602 803-271-2852 Futura 6 Channel Mono/StereoCCA/QRKComplete, See present parts lists Future 10 Channel, Mono/StereoCCA/QRKComplete, See present parts lists Broadkaster, Mono/StereoQRKSee Futura parts lists Discotech ConsoleQRKSee Futuraparts lists Alpha SeriesQRKSee Futura parts lists OmegaQRKComplete CCA AutomationCCA/QRKCrawford Communications Don Powers 4 Oqk Avenue Wenonah, NJ 08090 609-468-2585 QRK" Cartridge MachinesQRKCrawford Communications Don Powers 4 Oak Avenue Wenonah, NJ 08090 609-468-2585 CCA Citadel Tape Cartridge MachinesCCA/QRKCrawford Communications Don Powers 4 Oak Avenue Wenonah, NJ 08090 609-468-2585 Rek-O-KutRek-Q-KutReplacement belts only “N' & ”K" Series turntables Rek-O- KutRek-O-Kut/QRKIdler wheels only Rondines Series (B12-B12-H) CCA 1271, 1272QRKSee 12C parts lists McMartinQRKSee 12C parts lists LPBQRKSee 12C parts lists
Units are manufactured by Broadcast Electronics / essentially the same as the QRK Model 12-C.
These units are the same as the Russco “Cue-Masters”.
These units are the same as Russco “Studio-Pro”.
*D.All 2-speed units offer speed indicator lamps to show what speed the unit is running on.
Similarities: (1) All units (2 and 3 speed) have fixed speeds and are not variable.
(2) All units (2 and 3 speed) will accommodate The Model S-320 tonearm.
(3) All units (2 and 3 Speed) have removable platter assemblies.
(4)All units (2 and 3) speed) have shock-mounted motor assemblies.
(5)All units (2 and 3 speed) are Rim-Drive types and have Idler wheels.
(6)All units (2 and 3 speed) are completely manual in operation.
(7)All units (2 and 3 speed) have Aluminum chassis.
INTER OFFICE MEMORANDUM DATEDecember 5, 1980
TO R. Fannin/ShippingFROM B. Martin
It has come to my attention there is a potential problem in shipping regarding
some QRK turntable replacement parts.
Apparently, when QRK motor assemblies (#830-0016) are being shipped to customers, there is little effort being made to protect the assembly from packing material: if effect the white packing pellets are getting into the motor. There is also no provisions being made to protect the pheonolic capstans. These are sensitive fittings and a jar as little as a flick of the finger can knock these out of true. I've got 2 calls from customers who just received shipments with these motor parts protruding from the side of the box!
Suggest immediately that we use a card board tube of sorts taped or tied down over the capstan of the motor and individually wrap the motor assemblies in a plastic bag to protect it from packing material getting into it. Action is required immediately.
Partial Update 11/29/2016 0630UTC
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Email:parts (at) RusscoTurntables.com
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