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Model 1493 From 1962
Play the Princess. Click on the video icon to play a selection. FLASH PLAYER REQUIRED.
Used jukeboxes, for home use, continue to be available. The asking price will depend mainly on age, brand and style. While 78 RPM phonographs bring a good price, the 1950's 45 RPM players don't fall far behind. The average jukebox, between the mid 60's, through the end of record phonograph production, are easy to locate and bring a very affordable price. Jukeboxes that bring a higher $$ will be those where the playing record is visible.
This brings us to the Rock-Ola Princess, Model 1493. Manufactutured in 1962, this was one of the smallest coin operated phonographs made, weighing in at 205 pounds. With a somewhat limited supply and the fact that some of the mechanics are visible and the record playing is displayed, this machine can be difficult to find and brings a fairly high price.
You must have the desire to own this particular machine, or the frustration of refurbishing and finding parts, will raise your stress level. Although I am very pleased with refurbishing my Princess, I learned that this is a dog eat dog hobby. Parts are extremely rare and if you find them, there are those who are willing to exploit your pocket book. Information isn't free either. Be prepared to learn on your own and scavenger the internet looking for parts. Ebay sometimes turns up Princess parts that the junkyard dogs place a premium price.
Don't give up hope yet. With no help from others, I successfully completed my Princess. I researched many sources for parts and information, not to discount the shortcuts that can be taken. Before refurbishing a Princess, decide what you want for an end product. If you want the machine to be like new, you are in for some big headaches. If you want it to look and perform very well and you're not concerned with original design, then the road gets easier.
There are several on-line suppliers, offering Princess reproduction parts. They're expensive! With a little creative imagination, you can cut the cost of refurbishing your Princess. (Example) If your pricing and instruction plates are faded and/or missing, you can use Microsoft Word to exactly duplicate the original. Instead of being on plastic, you print it on white paper. You can't tell the difference and you have saved some money. Check the cost for a replacement background curtain. This is the plastic sheet with stripes that appear inside the machine, behind the records. A plastic shop will cut an exact piece of 1/16" plastic, then you cover it with your choice of stick on design vinyl. See my Princess for the results.
All jukebox turntables turn by means of an electric motor. The vibration set up by these motors are dampened by three rubber shock mounts. After years of heat and just plain age, the rubber hardens, causing noise transfer to your amplifier. Most jukebox parts suppliers will offer these (Motor Gromets) for $3 each. You need three. The catch is that they have a $30 minimum. That now makes each gromet worth $10 each. There is a cheap way around this too.
Most importantly, if your machine isn't broken, don't fix it. Run it til' it dies, then do the repair. Please do not exclude lubrication from this.
I completely rebuilt the amplifier. That is, new tubes and capacitors. The speaker was torn and frozen, so it received a rebuild from a professional. If you have some experience with a soldering iron, amp work isn't difficult. Just replace all the capacitors with close values. Do not substitute tubes, but use a tube checker for good readings. Bad tubes can cause audio output transformer failure. That gets cost prohibitive.
If you have a Princess 1493 and want to take on the fun of refurbishing, you're not alone. I will provide you with any information and contacts that I have. Those expensive photocopy schematics; they're right here for your use. If you want information and/or help, visit the forum page on this web site. I will respond to you. Your post on the forum is emailed directly to me. Your email address is optional.
Note: One simple thing that will make your machine bright and colorful, is to replace the lamps to daylight bulbs. There is more blue, than the yellows seen in other lamps.
Play Deck Before
Play Deck After
Models having the three guides that fit in the record center, indicates that the machine will play a 33 RPM, 7 inch record. When a small center record hits the guides, it pushes them down, shifting the idler wheel to a different position on the capstan. UK 45 RPM singles are manufactured with a punch out center for jukebox play.
Let The Records Play
SUGGESTED TITLE STRIP PRINT PROGRAM
Print your jukebox labels like a professional at an unbelievable price. Don't take my word for it, click the image to the left and watch the demo for yourself. This user friendly supported software will make label making fun and attractive.
NOTE ABOUT STEPPER MAIN FUSE The idea behind this odd looking fuse was to prevent a service tech from overfusing the stepper. (One fuse, one value) Through age, this fuses and holder become brittle, sometimes breaking easily. A simple modification is to: 1) Completely remove old fuse holder by desoldering the two lead wires and carefully drilling out the two holding rivits. 2) Cut a piece of plastic and cover the large hole, from the inside. Drill two holes for the nuts and bolts. (Prior to mounting the plastic, a large hole will have to be drilled in the plastic for the new fuse holder.) 3) Use a standard fuse holder as a replacement, mount it, resolder the two wires and supply with the appropriate fuse. This will work and look good.