Rek-O-Kut Master Pro System with modified Presto 1D Cutter Head

Tasos of Epos Laboratory (a Grado retipping specialist) from the beautiful south of Greece is the lucky owner of this 1950's Rek-O-Kut disk recording system.

It consists of a Rek-O-Kut Model V 16" turntable, which he found in the USA (where else?) as a non-runner. The motor was in bad shape and refused to run at all. Even if it would run, it was expecting to be fed on a regular diet of 110 VAC/60 Hz!

"Can't be having this kind of attitude around here", Tasos thought, while packing it up to send it over to us. The motor was repaired and the usual arrangement of a 50 Hz capstan (covered in several previous posts) was added, along with a Type 1760 transformer.

Tasos and Daisy visited us, bringing a custom handcrafted wooden cabinet for the final assembly of all the parts. We did some tests with a thermal FLIR camera, offering a very detailed perspective on what gets warm.
Shown above are the repaired motor and Type 1760 transformer, after a fair amount of running and test cuts, within the unventilated cabinet. Making a vent on the cabinet shall be the next project, although the temperature rise is within an acceptable range as it is.
The overhead is a B5, closely related to the M5. A clutch mechanism is fitted to the leadscrew, but there is no hand crank for spirals. Perhaps one could be added in the future. The leadscrew is for 270 LPI, the finest pitch Rek-O-Kut offered. Some cleaning, lubrication and several adjustments later, it was up and running, cutting good-looking steady grooves! An interesting feature of the B5 overhead is the head height adjustment through a knob! This alone justifies the "Master Pro" name!
The cutter head arrived as a Presto 1D with fried coils, showing signs of a previous inadequate attempt at repairing it. Tasos sent it over for repair, but he was not in a hurry, so we took the opportunity to try a few things we always thought would be a good idea but never had the time...

So the Presto 1DA was born (the "A" for Agnew), a high performance modification which will be described further in a future post!

Until then, happy cutting!

J.I. And Tassos happily cutting records on Rek-O-Kut lathe