Personally, I wouldn't put any decent records on that but, hey, that's just me.
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You may not have too much to worry about with your Fisher/ BSR console.
In looking at photos of the BSR turntable , it most likely has a ceramic cartridge, as opposed to a magnetic cartridge. This was not unusual for console turntables. BSR, Garrard, and Voice of Music were some of the popular manufacturers that supplied turntables for consoles.
So, if my hunch is correct, things like counterweights and anti-skate will not be of concern as they can not be set.
The difficult thing will be finding what ceramic cartridge fits your turntable. I would try reaching out to the Needle Doctor or Audio Asylum Vintage Forum or some of the Fisher or BSR forums.
I would contact Paul Grzybek of Tube Audio Design. He's stopped making new products under the TAD brand but still repairs/restores vintage Fisher gear. I think he mostly works mostly with tuners, pre's, amps, and receivers, but if anyone would know about your unit, he would. Here's his website:
I would guess that it has a Pickering, or Stanton moving magnet cartridge. You could probably find a replacement stylus for it. The number (stylus+cartridge) should be on the front or bottom of the cartridge. You should be able to play one record at a time I think. Most changers from back then could. I don't know how safe it would be for records by today's standards.
My table actually looks to be identical to the one in your link. The console is different, but the table appears to have all of the same features. I will get in touch with Needle Doctor today and see what we can come up with. I was holding out hope that I could contact someone locally and have them make a house call to verify proper operation and calibration of the table...I'm of the school that just because something seems to be operating correctly, doesn't mean you're not causing irreparable damage due to mis-calibration.
I'm also going to contact Paul G. I've talked with him before and owned some of his products; I'd forgotten that he worked with Fisher gear.
Yep, with most ceramic cart record players (that's what they were generally called)you just need a working cart and the right stylus/needle. Not much else to do or adjust usually. These were designed to be user friendly buy and play devices for the masses, not for finicky audiophiles, so things were kept simple.
My sister had a similar console for years. Not "audiophile" sound but still functional and lots of fun.
Does yours do 78's? Old 78's can be lots of fun to listen to. You generally need a special stylus/needle to play those. Many stylus/needles for ceramic cars were reversible, ie you flip the lever over to lower the stylus for 78s, flip it back for 33 1/3, 45s, etc.
I'm not certain if it plays 78s. I will check when I get home from work. To be honest, I bought this on a whim and it was so cheap, I couldn't resist. The receiver works flawlessly, and the FM tuner is stunningly good for a unit this old.
As I said, it's mainly a restoration project that I might keep or sell based on how well the restoration goes. Thanks to everyone for the information and suggestions; it sounds like I might just need a new cartridge to start.