Thursday, 10 July 2014

Hungerford Arcade Selecta Quality Product

Another Selecta Quality Product

I’ve often wondered just what women keep in their handbags, but I certainly wasn’t expecting what Hazel (one Hungerford Arcade’s co-owners, in case you didn’t know) pulled out of hers to show me.The object in question is a thin white plastic disc, 9cm in diameter, with three bands of black lines that decrease in size running around its circumference, a hole in the middle (just like you find on a record) and the words ‘Another Selecta Quality Product’ in the middle.

As the Arcade’s resident vinyl expert, I was duly called upon to see if I could explain its purpose. With Hazel, Adrian (the Arcade’s other co-owner) and Rita all looking at me expectantly I was only too happy to oblige. You see the real clue is in the numbers (78, 45 & 33.3) that run down the middle of the disc, which just so happens to be the speed that vinyl and shellac records are meant to be played at.

The item in question is designed to check that your turntable is playing at the correct speed.

I suspect that it dates from the 1970s but a Google search failed to shed any further information. After testing on my own Ariston deck at home, the disc didn’t seem to work with a torch shining at the lines (if your turntable is playing at the right speed the lines will appear static, if it’s too fast or too slow the lines will appear to move backwards or forwards) so I can only guess that it was originally sold with a Stroboscope part. The writing on the disc makes me think it was sold as an after-market accessory rather than supplied with a turntable from new, but this is only my best guess.

I’d love to know more, so if anyone reading this has more information please get in touch at

Adam Thompson
Centurion Records – Unit 50 Hungerford Arcade

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