Author Topic: 1962 Magnavox Symphony  (Read 1151 times)

TJ

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #45 on: February 13, 2020, 07:56:34 PM »
I live in Northwest Ohio.

I never said the Symphony sounds bad, it sounds pretty good, it's just that when I picked up the Symphony, my criteria for me to keep it (once I went through the electrically restored it and whatever else it needed) was that it would have to outperform the Motorola, I was not going to keep both, just one, or the other, whichever one I liked the sound of better.  The Symphony definitely has a nicer cabinet, but the Motorola outperforms it.

I do listen to a lot of Jazz and Classical music, the Vibrasonic reverb unit on the Motorola does add a nice touch to that music. Reverb on anything with vocals sounds horrible.  The Vibrasonic aside, the Motorola just has something to its sound that I like over the Symphony

Attached are some final pictures of the Symphony, it's sitting in front of the giant picture window in my living room, my dog is not too happy with it sitting there blocking part of her view, as seen in the last picture.
My Consoles:
1962 Motorola SK112CW-FM, All original tubes
1962 Blaupunkt Chicago, PITA to work on...
1959 Magnavox Continental, with extension speaker
1965 Grundig KS590U - to be restored...

TC Chris

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #46 on: February 13, 2020, 11:23:11 PM »
I'm not sure which makes me more jealous:  the handsome console, or the nice dog lying in front of it.

And what's that old V-M changer up to, in front of the fireplace?  I have a later one in a metal pan like that. Mine is a later magnetic cartridge model (GE VR-II) with a 4-pole motor.  Yours looks like it's employed somehow.

Chris Campbell

TJ

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #47 on: February 14, 2020, 07:49:52 AM »
I'm not sure which makes me more jealous:  the handsome console, or the nice dog lying in front of it.

And what's that old V-M changer up to, in front of the fireplace?  I have a later one in a metal pan like that. Mine is a later magnetic cartridge model (GE VR-II) with a 4-pole motor.  Yours looks like it's employed somehow.

Chris Campbell
The VM changer sitting on the subwoofer is a 1954 Model 956 Tri-O-Matic.  Found it at the antique mall for $20.  Get it home to find out that the cartridge is dead, it needs all new rubber motor mounts, and 2 of the roller spindles need to be replaced, but that's all part of the fun.  I had set it there to test it on a little Motorola radio that I have sitting on top of my bookshelf and just never moved it. 

I was going to pair it with my 1938 Philco, but the Philco does not have an RCA input on it.  Not sure what I am going to do with it now.

My dog, Joules, turns 9 in May.  She's an interesting mix of Beagle and German Shepherd...
My Consoles:
1962 Motorola SK112CW-FM, All original tubes
1962 Blaupunkt Chicago, PITA to work on...
1959 Magnavox Continental, with extension speaker
1965 Grundig KS590U - to be restored...

electra225

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #48 on: February 14, 2020, 08:51:20 AM »
I will also have to admit you could stamp a dog turd with "Symphony" and I'd probably like it.  The stuff I thoroughly dislike is Zenith.  Zenith radios with their green crud in the coils, wonky power transformers and SMD. And bakelite radio chassis.  I haven't messed with Zenith TV's, so I'm not commenting on those. 
I don't need Google.  My wife says she knows everything.

TC Chris

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #49 on: February 14, 2020, 07:42:32 PM »
I was going to pair it with my 1938 Philco, but the Philco does not have an RCA input on it.  Not sure what I am going to do with it now.

My dog, Joules, turns 9 in May.  She's an interesting mix of Beagle and German Shepherd...

So what's the '38 Philco?  A little 38-15 and a nearly identical 39-6 (minus SW) are next up in my repair lineup.

Joules doesn't look so energetic at the moment in your photo.  But I can see the beagle face.

Chris Campbell

TJ

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #50 on: February 15, 2020, 12:05:05 PM »
So what's the '38 Philco?  A little 38-15 and a nearly identical 39-6 (minus SW) are next up in my repair lineup.

Joules doesn't look so energetic at the moment in your photo.  But I can see the beagle face.

Chris Campbell

Just checked and its actually a 1937 Philco, a 37-660 floor model to be exact and it came with a 1932 Philco 91L Floor model. The cabinet of the '32 is shot, but the components are all there and in decent shape, I was thinking about making a custom cabinet for it to show off the all of the tubes.  The '37 cabinet really just needs to be refinished, there are a couple of issues with the veneer.  I need to read up on the Philco capacitor blocks and how to rebuild them, or just replace them outright, the '32 is full of them and the '37 is not quite as bad as they used some regular paper caps in it.
My Consoles:
1962 Motorola SK112CW-FM, All original tubes
1962 Blaupunkt Chicago, PITA to work on...
1959 Magnavox Continental, with extension speaker
1965 Grundig KS590U - to be restored...

TC Chris

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #51 on: February 15, 2020, 12:49:42 PM »
One of my table radios has the Bakelite blocks and the other doesn't (it has one or two), according to the schematic.  I am inclined to just by-pass it, leaving the original in place.  Purists will melt the goop out and re-stuff.  I may not be quite so ambitious.

Chris Campbell

electra225

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #52 on: February 15, 2020, 04:49:06 PM »
The first one of those bakelite blocks will take you two hours to do, the next 50 will take 15 minutes each.  You don't need to melt out the goo.  I dig it out with a pocket screwdriver or an awl and you don't make so much of a mess.  Some guys leave them connected, I draw a diagram of the wiring, then disconnect them.  There is a legend on the Philco Phorum that tells how to read the codes on the blocks, what caps go in them.  They are really not that bad.
I don't need Google.  My wife says she knows everything.

Motorola Minion

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #53 on: February 15, 2020, 09:04:38 PM »
Playing with blocks is what you do with a Philco. The payoff is always obvious when you get down to business, they sound incredible when you get it all done.
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

TJ

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #54 on: February 17, 2020, 08:37:12 AM »
From what I have read the 37-660 was the 2nd from the top-of-the-line model, the TOTL was the 37-670.  The difference is that the 670 had another shortwave band that went up to 42Mhz, the 660 only goes up to 18Mhz, or something like that. The 32 and 37 were listed in a Facebook Marketplace ad for $50 to get them both.  I could tell that the 32 had cabinet issues, but the 37 looked decent; if they were total trash I figured I could sell the components and get my money back plus some. 

An interesting feature of the '32 was that it had dual speakers, one that was forward-facing and another that was facing downward. It'll be interesting to hear how it sounds if I ever get it back up and running in a new cabinet.

I gave the Symphony some attention this weekend.  I played some records on it and played a lot of music through the Bluetooth receiver that I added to it.  I think I need to pull the radio out and do an FM alignment, it just doesn't seem to pull in the stations as it should, even the local station that is has a strong signal seems weak.  It seemed to do better when the back was off and I had the antennas routed differently for testing, but now that the back is on and the antennas are in their factory locations it just doesn't perform well on FM.  I thought it should do well sitting in front of the picture window, the window is original to the house and does not have the modern glazing on it that affects signal like new windows; the one perk of having 1957 double-pane windows I guess...   I'm too scared to replace that window (in terms of cost of replacement at least) it is 3 sections wide, making the entire window set 12 feet wide by 6 feet tall.
My Consoles:
1962 Motorola SK112CW-FM, All original tubes
1962 Blaupunkt Chicago, PITA to work on...
1959 Magnavox Continental, with extension speaker
1965 Grundig KS590U - to be restored...

TJ

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #55 on: February 21, 2020, 07:44:26 AM »
Yesterday evening I went through and did a quick peaking alignment on the FM stage, FM sounds better and is getting more stations but it still sounds distorted on music in FM Stereo mode.  I don't have the tools to do an FM multiplexer alignment, the alignment instructs call for an FM stereo signal generator which I do not have, it claims you can tune to a strong FM station and do the alignment that way, but I was not getting any response from the pots when adjusting them, so I'm guessing there is something going on inside the MPX unit, maybe a diode is on its way out. Not a big deal, however, as it sounds really nice on standard FM.

I also went through and did some rebalancing of the channels, the channels are matched really well (I had a voltmeter on each channel) until the volume gets to be about 50% then the right channel will jump up and really out-power the left channel. I can balance it so that it is balanced above 50% volume/loudness but then it is really unbalanced on the lower-end of the volume control.  I'm opting for the lower half of the volume to sound balanced as that is where it will likely spend most of its time getting used. I'm guessing to volume control knob just isn't very linear for the right channel compared to the left, there is a big jump at about 50%...  My Continental does this as well, but that it is slightly unbalanced until the volume control is at about 75%, interestingly, the Continental's owner's manual states that that is normal.

Enjoy this short clip of the Symphony running on Bluetooth last night.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/MkfxWTokcNeAVhXF8

My Consoles:
1962 Motorola SK112CW-FM, All original tubes
1962 Blaupunkt Chicago, PITA to work on...
1959 Magnavox Continental, with extension speaker
1965 Grundig KS590U - to be restored...

electra225

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #56 on: February 21, 2020, 10:36:57 AM »
Antenna strength is important for good stereo FM reception.  Depending on the station and the orientation of the cabinet (the internal FM antenna is directional), you may have to experiment with antennae to get one that sounds good on FM stereo station you are using.  I've never seen an issue with a MPX that was very complicated.  There's not much to one.  If the tubes and the caps are good, you should be fine.  I've said this before, and will repeat with all due respect.  Don't overthink an old Magnavox stereo.  They are what they are.  Trying to "improve" them usually just makes a mess.  Good luck.
I don't need Google.  My wife says she knows everything.

Bill

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #57 on: February 21, 2020, 11:32:55 AM »
That sounds good Trevor.  I still want two of you handles, as two of mine are broken off. 

Bill

TC Chris

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #58 on: February 21, 2020, 10:38:08 PM »
As to the balance issue--many devices have a tapped volume control for loudness compensation at lower levels.  I wonder if you've got some other components associated with the compensation that might be out of spec and causing imbalance when the wiper is below (above?) the tap.

Chris Campbell

TJ

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Re: 1962 Magnavox Symphony
« Reply #59 on: February 22, 2020, 01:00:22 PM »
As to the balance issue--many devices have a tapped volume control for loudness compensation at lower levels.  I wonder if you've got some other components associated with the compensation that might be out of spec and causing imbalance when the wiper is below (above?) the tap.

Chris Campbell
If it really starts to bug me I could always just take the loudness circuits that are on the back of the volume controll from the parts radio that I bought and switch them in, but that's a lot more work than I want to do at this point. 
My Consoles:
1962 Motorola SK112CW-FM, All original tubes
1962 Blaupunkt Chicago, PITA to work on...
1959 Magnavox Continental, with extension speaker
1965 Grundig KS590U - to be restored...