My thanks to Daniel Cocker for the first decent pictures I have of a Series 3! This turntable is actually owned by his dad, Alan, who bought it brand new in 1982, and immediately had an adapter plate and Rega RB300 arm fitted. The cartridge remains a Technics EPC-205 moving magnet.
He tells me, "my JBE emigrated with me to Australia, where it lived happily until 1991. Then I noticed some weird pitch stability problems, which deteriorated to the point where the unit was unusable.
Luckily I found a fellow turntable enthusiast here in Brisbane, one who knew his stuff. He diagnosed 'cogging' and changed the motor. Unfortunately he couldn't get a replacement Matsushita and a Pioneer motor was fitted. The Pioneer was much larger, so I designed a new perspex housing for it under the slate plinth. The end result was a different look, and a rejuvenated turntable.
"Unfortunately, the JBE is playing up again. Wow is once again a problem, but not in the same way. This time it will play with reasonable pitch most of the time, but serious wow (almost to the point of standstill), will hit at random. I've lost touch with my 'expert' so unless I can locate a replacement motor myself, this could be the end for my old faithful.
"Anyway, I hope this contact will eventually lead to some way of resolving its current problems."
If anyone can suggest a solution to this problem, please email me via the links page, and I'll pass on your ideas to Alan.
Shani Howard sent me these pics of her Series 3. She comments, "Thank you for setting up your site. I was browsing trying to find out how to digitise my vinyl collection with the kit I’ve got, then discovered that my stereo is all classed as vintage – which makes me feel very old. But then, I suppose it is at least twenty years old.
"I’m sending you some photos of my turntable. I think it’s the Series 3. Our stereo system was actually my first husband's pride and joy – he was the techie who could have told you all about it, but unfortunately he died in 1989.
"He got this is in the early 1980s – sorry I can’t be more precise. I moved in with him in 1983 and he didn’t have it then, and I can remember getting it not many years after. I was quite impressed with the fact it was made of slate.
"It’s had a little wear and tear over the years. Sometime in one of my many house moves the control unit knobs got damaged, and I’ve only managed to replace them with the ‘sticks’ you see. But other than that it is I believe mostly as original. it still works fine, and I wouldn’t part with it."
This JBE is owned by Eric Weiss who has supplied the following information. Like some other owners I've had contact with, his turntable suffered a speed problem that he's struggling to solve. Obviously, if anyone has some answers, then let me know and I'll post them on the site.
"It was stationed in Singapore 1984 to 1987, and in Taipei 1987 to 1992, then it was brought back to Switzerland. In Asia it was in a non-airconditioned room!
To the drive fluctuation problem:
Now and then it had awful speed fluctuation ptoblems, terrible really, that it was unusable. Sometimes it helped to keep the disk running over night, and then it was OK for a while. In the beginning, the problems usually occured after a longer stand-still, say for a month. I first disassembled the motor and cleaned the drive shaft and bearing, it was good for a while, but after a stand-still it happened again. The second time I dripped a few drops of a thin lubrication oil into the bearing, an oil that is here called "sewing machine oil". It was great for a couple of days. Then I cleaned the oil out and added some graphite powder into the bearing, very nice again, but lasted only for a few days again. I disassembled the motor again and cleaned out everything, quite a tedious job after the graphite. It was still not all right. While I tried to adjust the speed with the strobo, it always stayed for a few seconds and then moved away. Suddenly the speed slowed dramatically and the disk stopped. There was no way to get it moving again.
Then I pressed the 45 rpm button and the disk started to move. Adjustment with the strobo worked well, steady condition. I set the adjustment knob to middle position and adjusted the 45 rpm screw at the bottom of the motor to a speed around 33 rpm, then fine tuned with the strobo, and since then my JBE is running with the 45 rpm button at 33 rpm, perfectly stable. I anyway never used the 45 rpm. With the 33 rpm button depressed, nothing moves.
Another two issues:
The acrylic joints on the dust cover look ugly now after the years. I don't know whether it is glue or loosened connections between the parts.
Do you or any reader of your site know a remedy? The other problem is the springs. They are 'flat, worn out, the slate table is laying on the feet, no suspension. For the moment I will try to find replacement springs of similar type.
This Series 3 is owned by Andrew Shorten in South Africa and features an AR tone arm. Like several owners I've had contact with, his has suffered speed problems, which he appears to have cured by cleaning the primary connections with a switch cleaner.
This Series 3 is owned by Steve Walker and the date stamp on the motor is 1979, suggesting it's quite an early example. He comments, "I bought mine in a now defunct hi-fi shop in Huddersfield in February 1981 Ex Demo, no instruction sheet or strobe disc, with an SME Series 111 arm for £260. It is still going strong, although the lid has cracked at the corners. The reason I bought it was I thought it played rock music superbly. Its attack on drums fantastic (still is). It beat the other turntables I heard at the time... the comment about the JBE sounding clangy I don't agree with. I could say the other turntables sounded boxy!
The JBE also needed hardly any setup AND played 45 discs without having to mess about changing the belt.