Super 40

1957 BAL-AMi Super 40

Made for the UK market by Balfour, with no USA AMi equivalent.

In the USA, AMi had introduced (1957) the radically styled Model H which was a huge departure from previous designs and heavily influenced by the classic 1950s cars of the day. Balfour chose not to license that design but instead borrowed heavily from it to produce a mini version for the smaller UK locations, the Super 40.

Whilst drastically different from the previous model, the Junior, there remained some similarities under the covers. Simon Edy has restored both models and reveals all in the following notes....

"The Super 40 is a completely re-styled version of the Junior J40. Although they shared many internal components, a number of improvements and layout changes allowed for a more attractive cabinet design.

Sound System

Both machines used the Beam Echo amplifier with its integral mains transformer and Goodmans speakers, a 12" bass and 5" treble. (The BAL-AMi specification actually states a 10" bass speaker but this doesn't appear to have been used in either model)

A Tannoy Variable Reluctance cartridge, nicknamed 'the egg', was the pick-up used in both models. The cartridge coped well with weight of the Junior tone arm which lacked any form of tracking adjustment. The Super 40 employed a much lighter and attractive tone arm which encompassed a tensioning spring to adjust downward stylus force.

See photos A and B.


The TT motors ran on 240v, with the majority of J40 jukeboxes using a Collaro record player motor. As production of the Junior tailed off, a much improved bespoke TT motor was introduced which, like the tone arm change, remained in use on the larger jukeboxes. Because the idler wheel rubber is also used on the American machines it is widely available today whereas replacement Junior idler wheels are currently very hard to locate.

See photos C and D.


The J40 and S40 have very compact mechanisms which facilitate a smaller cabinet foot print. They use the same transfer and carriage motors. The latter is also used to assist loading the 20 records into the (toast) rack.

The main difference here is in the method of record selection. On the Junior, the record rack is static. The turntable, gripper assembly etc. traverse on the guide rails until they reach the selected record in the rack. On the Super 40 the roles are reversed - the record rack moves into the selected position and the turntable etc. remain in place.

See photos E and F.


The credit unit and coin mechanism is the same on both models, typically employing a two coin system to provide one and two selections. The amount of plays can be adjusted in the credit unit.

An individual button is used for each selection. The buttons used on the J40 are fairly robust and are adjacent to the title strips. On the S40 the title strips are on the backboard and the 40 buttons are lower on a metal/chrome casting. The buttons look more deluxe being the same as fitted to an AMi H but in actual fact they only serve to press down the same type of button used on the Junior, albeit more stripped down button.


The Junior employs a single fluorescent tube which lights the mechanism compartment, whereas there are 3 tubes on the Super 40. One which distributes light up through the plastic 'topper' and inside the dome. The second illuminates the selection buttons with the final tube casting light downward across the front grill."

The Super 40 is very much in demand now as they are visually attractive, and quite compact.