I scored this portable record player/radio at a local thrift store today.
I cannot find a model number on the unit, but from searching the web it appears to be a Panasonic “Swing Way” SG-610. There are two thin metal plates on the bottom of the unit. One is stamped SGW-1500 and the other is stamped SGW-1520. I’m not sure why it’s an SG-610 if it’s stamped with those other numbers/names, but what do I know?
One of the cool features of the player is that it auto selects between 33 and 45 rpm’s by the size of the hole in the record placed on the platter. There are three “buttons” surrounding the spindle. If they are pushed down by the weight of a record (covered by a small-spindle-hole 33), the player will rotate at 33rpm. However, if the levers/buttons remain up (sticking through the large hole of a 45), the platter will spin at the faster 45 rpm’s.
This thread on AntiqueRadios.com says the player has a tracking force of 8+ grams, but that seemed incredibly high (the whole tone arm doesn’t seem to even weigh anywhere near that), so I got out my scale, and sure enough: 8.3 grams! I used some VHB double sided tape and stuck a large steel nut to the back end of the tone arm to see if I could lighten the tracking load, and I’ve got it to around 4 grams now, which I think is OK for thrift vinyl (I certainly won’t be putting any prized/pristine records on this player).
This guy was surprised to see his SG-515 (only cosmetic differences) go for $215 on eBay (circa 2012). Around the same time (2012) there was another guy who couldn’t seem to get $20 for his (though it did have a broken antenna and no cover for the cord bay).
I’m not sure if we’ll put this one up for sale. I kind of like the idea of being able to play vinyl on a picnic up in the mountains.