Japanese Tonearm Ball Bearing size???

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by MuZak, May 18, 2017.

  1. MuZak

    MuZak Active Member

    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    SoFla
    I fully realize there are likely many sizes...
    But I've been beginning to wonder lately, if many arms didn't use one size ball bearing in the horizontal bearing assembly...
    From disassembling several, it's starting to look that way.
    I haven't measured any of them... don't have measuring tools that precise...

    Beginning to wonder also, if there wasn't one company (or a small handful) that made all
    the arms for the big name brands....

    In case that goes nowhere...... the arm in question, that I'd like to replace the balls of...
    The free (non caged) horizontal balls.... in a Synetec S-220 (aka: Piezo PU-402 aka: Sedco-Sparta S-220 and possibly Jelco TS-503)

    Also starting to wonder... if the company behind Jelco just made most of the mainstream Japenese arms of that era....

    Anyway... my main interest... is to determine what size ball bearings are correct, and preferably where to get some...

    TIA!
    Greg
     
  2. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

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    Measure one and you will know the exact size. :music:
     
  3. tnsilver

    tnsilver Super Member

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    2,480
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    I'm guessing there were less than a handful tonearm makers for the run-of-the-mill turntables and about a handful for the rest. Micro Seiki was probably the biggest, then CEC and the different parts for the tonearms were probably made by the same number of specializing makers.
     
  4. MuZak

    MuZak Active Member

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    188
    Location:
    SoFla
    Believe it or not.... I actually figured that out for myself!
    But AS I SAID: I don't have measuring tools fine enough......
     
  5. tnsilver

    tnsilver Super Member

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    You can get a digital caliper off ebay for less than $10. It ain't a "scientific" tool but it will do.

    EDIT: just checked... It's actually less than $5 and free shipping from HK. You may have to wait like forever but it's practically free.
     
  6. MuZak

    MuZak Active Member

    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    SoFla
    That's pretty much exactly what I'm thinking....
     
  7. MuZak

    MuZak Active Member

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    188
    Location:
    SoFla
    That's mah plan..... but hoping for an answer before I get to that, and it actually arrives from the orient..
    (also wondered about the quality tho)
     
  8. loudnoises

    loudnoises Escalates Quickly Subscriber

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    Japanese stuffs are often metric, which are a pain to find here. Be wary of North american sellers. need an 11mm? you're likely to get a much cheaper 7/16" from a US supplier, and it'll be way out of spec at .1125mm oversize.

    Make sure your caliper can resolve finely enough.
     
  9. Balifly

    Balifly Listening Subscriber

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    Take one to a bike repair shop, they may be able to tell you....:idea:
     
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  10. pfcs49

    pfcs49 Phil Subscriber

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    Anyone with a good caliper can measure it. Any sophisticated automotive shop or machine shop might do it for free.
    Then you'll need to (IMO) search IMC or McMaster-Carr or any wholesale bearing house for that size or very close, preferably in the smaller direction (and replace all if so; keep the originals)
    These will be pretty small balls so watch for significant digits! (there's a joke somewhere inside that!)
    PS: virtually all ball bearings are metric. Been that way since well before "metrification" was an issue.
     
  11. kaplang

    kaplang Works for me ! Subscriber

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    Maybe a friend has a small micrometer you can borrow. Doesn't have to be digital as long as it can be read properly. The assumption is it doesn't need to be calibrated.
     
  12. loudnoises

    loudnoises Escalates Quickly Subscriber

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    I...
    hmmm.
    Why? Was it that the first mass production started in europe?

    (yeah sorry i threadjack, insatiable curiosity and all)
     
    John James likes this.
  13. Wes_in_VA

    Wes_in_VA AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That's my suggestion. God ones will have a tool specifically for determining bearing size
     
  14. pfcs49

    pfcs49 Phil Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,898
    Location:
    N/W NJ, USA
    Normally, if a caliper or micrometer reads -0- when closed, it is calibrated. These things don't get much wear! If I used any of mine 60 times a year, that's a lot.

    Also, bicycle bearings are huge compared to tonearm bearings, and compared to a machine shop, have little ability/familiarity with precision measurements.
     
  15. MuZak

    MuZak Active Member

    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    SoFla
    Thanks for all the great replies!!!

    Ok, so I was hoping someone would just know..... a shortcut.. :D

    But since evidently nobody does...
    I took the above suggestions..... ordered a digital caliper..... but this one cost $9.95... (lol)... and I chose that one cuz its shipped from California!!
    So it won't take TO long to get it..
    Like... a week-ish rather than 3 weeks or more from the orient..

    I also remembered a piece of info.... there's a local place I'd heard of not long ago, but never contacted/been to..
    Called "Boca Bearings" Not even ten minutes away!! And ten rather than five only because its via the most highly traffic'd road around..
    Seems they specialize in "miniture" bearings of all shapes... and in selling to the end-user/consumer!!!
    Lots of demand for things like fishing reel bearings and the like.... other "hobby" oriented stuff...

    I'll give them a call tomorrow!!
    Find out their hours and if they take "walk-ins"....
    If so, I'll just shoot over with the goods..... pretty sure they can measure them up.. ;)

    I'll post results!
     
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