A moral/ethical question regarding my Rek-O-Kut Rondine

Hello.  I hope that you are well and enjoying life in general.

I am putting together a Rondine turntable with a tone arm that is too long to be mounted in the existing hole and too short to be mounted offboard -- on the tonearm side anyway but it fits nicely along the top.

But mounting the tonearm across the top is kind of wrong.  I could cut off the corner of the Rondine but that would really really be wrong.

Or is it?  Would it really be a bad thing to cut the Rek-O-Kut's deck?  I mean, that's kinda permanent but it would put the tonearm where it's supposed to be, and maybe that's a more ethical thing to do.

So tell me.  Has anyone done this?  Has it ruined your karma or condemned you to hell?  Did you hurt the turntable or did it really not mind at all?



I've built stuff and modified stuff and in general people pay a lot more for original condition than hacked up modified. People who want DIY will DIY. People who want vintage value vintage. There is not a lot of crossover into people who value vintage and will pay more to not have that classic look. 

Then again, because I have built stuff I know you can sometimes build something that far outperforms anything that could have been bought off the shelf. It won't sell for but a fraction of what it performs equal to, but if you get enough enjoyment out of it for long enough then it was probably worth it.

My Miller Carbon turntable was like that. Roughly $20k turntable performance for $6k, but worth only $2k used. The buyer said it was shocking how much better it is than anything else he's heard. So just be aware, and no matter how great what you build turns out don't expect anyone else to value it so dear. Even though in absolute performance terms it may be worth a lot, odds are no one else will see it that way.

Don’t cut that plinth! Instead use a rectangular piece of wood/metal/acrylic with a mounting hole at one end for the tonearm. Attach this to the upper left corner of the plinth with a single wood screw. There should be enough space on the upper left corner for this. I have a Rek-O-Kut (KD33) in my TT collection.

Depends. How much do you like DIY?

Here’s a project made to order: build your own plinth. I suspect that with a little research you can build a better plinth than the original, and one that fits your tonearm too.

But beware. I did that and caught the fever. Years spent designing and building my own turntable and tonearm from scratch.

If you don't DIY, and can't see yourself that way, I say "cut."

I would absolutely go the new plinth route instead of hacking up the original (antique) piece. The new plinth would likely be about the depth (front to rear) of a N33H, just with the Rondine itself mounted forward and a “filler” deck piece at the rear of the plinth to mount the tonearm on the right hand side.. Just did this with a Metzner even though right now I’m mounting up a Weathers regular length arm.. my idea being to be able to mount a longer arm some day.. potentially accommodate both lengths, just one at a time. All the extra deck space to the rear of the table doesn’t look as clunky as it sounds, either. I recently built an oversized plinth for a 1941 Rek O Kut and spaced to allow a regular length Livingston on the right side, then a long Audax upside down on the left side. Works great!

As an aside, I started fixing up old turntables (especially Rek O Kuts) instead of buying and buying better and better “newer” equipment. I find it a lot of fun and a heck of a lot cheaper! I’m old school any way!

I wanna tell ya, I'm not enjoying replacing those rubber mounts at all.  I'd pay someone to do it next time.

Okay: Suppose I do this:  Slice off the rightmost two inches from bottom to top and just move it, and the original tonearm hole, over.  This wouldn't be real vandally like cutting a corner off.  It would make the turntable like any old turntable with a separate armboard.  I mean I hate hate hate vandalizing classic stuff but if I had an old car with a single brake system I'd want to put a dual system in it.....