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Messages - Motorola Minion

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Solid State Consoles / Re: Magnavox 1971 Astrosonic 2P3763
« on: October 17, 2018, 01:54:34 PM »
I did not have a service manual. I just replaced them one for one.

Solid State Consoles / Re: Static through speakers on all settings
« on: October 17, 2018, 01:53:07 PM »
I had this problem on an early solid state Magnavox but I can look up your set in my Sams, and will post to uploads.

It simply required heat sinks on a pair of driver transistors, which feed the output driver transformer.

The first step I would take is to obtain some freeze spray, or component cooler. When the crackles start, selectively chill the suspect transistors and it will probably stop like mine did.

Fisher / Re: 1964 Ambassador IV A-69 P
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:45:40 AM »
I repaired and hardened all four legs, as this is a heavy one. The wonder of structural screws, polyurethane glue and impact drivers make the job easy. The photo below shows how the rear legs needed to be tied into the surrounding hardwood. All cherry where it counts but the veneer is not so great.

This may have been the age where price pressure of offering GOOD solid state made necessary some departures from good carpentry :-\

Chat / Re: Few consoles in vintage CU books
« on: October 05, 2018, 08:22:35 AM »
Avery Fisher was a musician and engineer, a huge advantage if you are designing something good that others will pay more to own. I am only the latter so I can really appreciate the design aspects of High Fidelity. I am also on board with CU's specific attention to safety, especially shock hazards. Many an otherwise fine radio, etc. was rejected outright if "hot" parts were exposed on equipment.

That makes me wonder how most of us lacking musical talent and are possibly tone deaf, differentiate between good sound and not so good. I sure can tell you the difference between playing the same record on two different players, but I would have been out of my element judging the sound quality for CU.

Sightings / Re: 1960 Concert Grand - Chicago
« on: October 05, 2018, 08:13:47 AM »
Well it says $100 on my screen too.  Maybe it's mass hallucination.

It's too far for me even if it is still there.

Agreed, I would be VERY surprised to see one within 2 hours of here. Always a 2 days drive away :-\

Magnificent Magnavox / Re: Need Schematic for Magnavox Portable
« on: October 05, 2018, 08:11:29 AM »
The Astatic 133 was a workhorse used on the lower-priced Motorola-branded V-M record changers 1961-64. The Pfanstiehl 164 stylus it uses looks very much like the EV150/Pfanstiehl 365. I found a 133D in my spare parts and it to, played OK. The more expensive Motorola-VM used a Sonotone 9t.

I also agree that the EV-26 was simple but perfect for consoles, as ceramic cartridges go. My 1960 1ST208 has one as do my other two pre-62 Magnavox consoles with Collaro conquest changers. The sound could hardly be improved.

RCA / Re: RCA VCR45 page 2
« on: October 04, 2018, 04:07:48 PM »
Bill,  What a great amp! Never serviced! Drooling over these pictures, I can't wait to work on my RCA's.

Sightings / 1960 Concert Grand - Chicago
« on: October 04, 2018, 04:05:09 PM »
I saw this on videokarma and figured it would look good here. I thought it said $100 but I must be hallucinating :-[ again .

Astrosonic and Other SS Magnavox's / Re: Astro Sonic 1-ST648
« on: October 04, 2018, 09:14:51 AM »
That's good to hear Stan Kenton sounds on-point. I grabbed a few of his records because he was in a 1958 Zenith Magazine ad with Les Brown. That should give little trouble to anyone who runs it regularly.

I finished up 20 & 30 - watt Astrosonics like yours, I need to make room in my shop and these two were very routine and basically worked as found. I mean, it took only about 1/4 of the time I spend on a tube console :o

I may keep the smaller one for stacking records to listen in my shop, has paperwork from 1967 - local audio business back when they were HiFi, etc. (now into home automation and install high-end AV).
One a R214 dated 12/66 and the other a R220 dated 12/68, most of the caps in the older one were blue Matsushita and I replaced the black Nichicons in the output stage only. 

The 1969 "Hancock" has 30 W and had all blue caps the showed good ESR - and it sounds great, so it only required cleaning pots.

Both these consoles have the W624 Micromatic (all silver except for platter mat) with the later EV-275 P-mount cartridges, ceramic of course. there is something classic and cool about the black plastic tone-arm on the older ones :P

I also have a spare R204 chassis dated 1964 and that needs all its black Nichicon electrolytics replaced, a working spare W604 record changer BUT every one of the Magnavox Astro's I get for next to nothing, don't need many parts :D, just deOxit and mjor cleaning and re-lube. Easy stuff - great results!

Chat / Re: Few consoles in vintage CU books
« on: October 03, 2018, 01:20:59 PM »
Been considering scanning the 30 pages in the 1961 buying guide that names 20+ models from 1960. It would make fun reading in downloads.

I DO agree with their criteria and quest for advocating true HiFi equipment but I'm having a hard time with the fact that CU rejected so many beloved consoles by our favorite manufacturers, without testing them, based on the fact these came with record changers that were already evaluated in the previous years' models and found deficient. Reference: March 1960 issue. 

What was wrong with changers such as Collaro's F200C, Glaser-Steers 6709, V-M 1200, RCA RP-211 and BSR PS274?
The observed speed accuracy and flutter in most samples, often both serious issues affecting the same unit. It was also noted this was not consistent.

Chat / Re: Few consoles in vintage CU books
« on: October 03, 2018, 12:48:06 PM »
Five years ago, our post-2001 top load Maytag washer shaft bearing seal leaking again. I was determined NOT to buy a front-load or any of the boutique brands, and the wife was in agreement.

While I had nothing against Whirlpool, Kenmore or GE, I wanted a Speed Queen. Just to confirm the online reviews that seemed to uphold the virtues of these tried and true products from Wisconsin, I bought a CU magazine to double-check those reviews.

Suffice to say that CU went above and beyond to downplay any advantages to buying a standard, top-load washing machine and the reason: water usage! WTF!!!  I have a well and its a perpetual rain forest here in the northeast, 2018 being a banner one for rainfall totals.

Forget the fact that it has no stupid circuit boards, touchpads, displays ore lights for that matter. No, it was ALL about the water usage. Thanks CU!, no help at all.

Chat / Few consoles in vintage CU books
« on: October 01, 2018, 03:15:20 PM »
Consumer Reports tested many products but I could not find stereo consoles in their reviews, even after I bought a dozen year-end issued "buying guides" on fleabay.

Then I saw a side bar discussion in the 1961 issue, under the listing High Fidelity equipment, where a selection of low-mid priced consoles were tested...and deemed unacceptable, mostly due to the record changers that came in them. It seemed that a Webcor Coronet and a few others were barely-acceptable consoles.

CU also stated that true stereo realism cannot be achieved when speakers are only 3 feet apart. 6-10 feet of separation was only possible with two-cabinet consoles (none reviewed), with separate components or with only the largest custom and some Curtis Mathes "aircraft carrier" consoles.

I offer a few questions for discussion:

1. Was CU biased toward picking the best individual components, assuming they all can play well together, as opposed to a group of components from one manufacturer designed to work well together :-\ (yes - I am thinking Magnavox speakers and amplifiers here)

2. CU reviews of record players (single-play ) included tone-arms rated ala carte, and separate from the turntables. Didn't Rek-o-kut, Grado and others make good enough tone arms ???

3. CU was a value guide, so were more expensive consoles simply ignored? In earlier buying guides, kits by Heath and Dynaco, speakers by AR and Warfdale were rated very favorably.

4. Due to the relatively good record quality prior to the "give me convenience or give me death" or 8-track and cassette era, was the general preference for high-quality players diminished by then? An example is the fact BSR replaced Mag, RCA and Zenith console changers by this time

Chat / Re: Internet speed
« on: October 01, 2018, 09:09:38 AM »
If I had "fios" service via the local Telco, it would be the similar as the cable "giant", that has their neighborhood fiber-to-coax box three poles up the road. At least my local cable/tel is half wired but much of the state was not. PA may not be an official New England state but infrastructure upgrades are slow as March maple syrup here.

Many parts of upstate Pennsylvania lack nearby fiber infrastructure and a telecom "tax" was added to all cable and satellite services to build this out. Just last week, the Public Utility Commission is asking all the folks in East J'bip & beyond to do a ping test so they can verify if upgrades have been made.

The best bet is any variation of using your cell service as a "hot spot" for your PC.

Other Solid State Console Brands / Re: Sylvania Maestro SC919K
« on: October 01, 2018, 08:53:31 AM »
I am pretty sure they both used RCA's  ;) transistors  :-\ and may have each claimed 200-300 watts ???.

The was the TOTL Sylvania as far as the vintage Sylvania website is concerned. I have a Zenith Z966 and the sales lit claims 320 watts. If that is an IHF figure, its the highest peak "quotable" and was not anything like the more reasonable numbers from Magnavox and RCA.

Some day I will have both these SS units recapped and pots cleaned, so I can compare them.
All they really need is time and parts I already have, unless there is a speaker issue.

Fisher / 1964 Ambassador IV A-69 P
« on: September 27, 2018, 03:13:37 PM »
This was one of the hybrid models that is 85% tubes, with four output transistors for each channel. The 690 amp has the entire power supply for both tubes 300V and +/- 32 volts for the push-pull output transistors. I will recap the power supply first, before trying anything.

Before offering a reasonable sum at a well-known swap meet last Friday, I pulled all four fuses from the amp to confirm nothing bad went down. This amp is the type that direct-couples the push-pull output transistors to the speakers without a capacitor. From the schematic, it would seem a shorted transistor could fry the speakers. 

It definitely needs repairs to the legs before I can put it upright. The cabinet suffered through a few moves by the look of things. Fisher cabinets are one of the more damage prone, based on a lack of bracing found underneath. I have already used structural woodscrews to tie the rear legs into the base trim and glued one leg that split in half.
The legs and most of the "fruitwood" cabinet appear to be cherry, and like my 1964 Electra VII in "distressed walnut", will need to be stripped.

The amp and receiver chassis had all the 12AX7's swiped but the rare 6HU8 tubes were not ??? The Garrard type A record changer is complete and nothing else looks missing.

I was curious about the speakers first, so those are the photos below. Ill have to get a better picture of the tube map.

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