This Gates CB77 dates from the mid-1960s, sometime after the Gates Radio Company, a major US supplier to the radio industry, had been acquired by the Harris Intertype Corporation. It was almost certainly used in a radio studio, but relatively sparingly, as the condition and operation were very nearly as new when it arrived here at Cool Gales.
We had the electronics checked out by the ever-patient Anthony Matthews at Tube Distinctions, who’s repaired and serviced several of our vintage amps. He needed to change nothing.
The motor (manufactured in New York City!) is massive, as is the one inch (2.54 cm) diameter bearing shaft. The idler wheel is an unusual design, driving not the inside rim but a large column on the underside of the platter. Speed change is controlled by a very retro “gear shift”. The big red on/off switch operates a mercury switch, eliminating the danger of a loud on-the-air pop. A lamp under the switch illuminates when the turntable is running.
The whole base is constructed of cast aluminium, and was designed to slot onto a studio console. The foam rubber surround that cushioned the base had deteriorated, so needed to be stripped and replaced with a self-adhesive foam rubber tape. It sits on a plinth made of layers of birch ply, crafted in a beautiful asymetric shape by the brilliant Olly Christian (OC Bespoke), whose workshop is just outside Bath, and who has designed several Cool Gales plinths. The opening for the original (rather short) tonearm is covered by an ebony plug. Olly has made an outboard tonearm board made of thick ebony, attached to the original aluminium base. The plinth sits on three Shun Mook large Diamond Resonators. The custom rack is constructed of heavy American black walnut.
The tonearm is a Schröder BA, whose shape pays hommage to old vintage tonearms, wired with silver cryo’ed tonearm cable. The current cartridge is a Miyajima Infinity Mono 1.0 mil.
As the CB77 is a US spec deck, it’s connected to a voltage/frequency convertor. Speed is rock steady and accurate. Old mono discs come to glorious life on the CB77, immediate and startling.
Not currently for sale.