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Topics - SeniorSteve

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Wanted / Dial glass for Sylvania console
« on: September 15, 2018, 03:36:26 PM »
Electronic parts are not that hard to come by, but dial glass with the frequency numbers can make or break a repair.  I have a Sylvania  console chassis that has been "altered" from trying to clean it.  It is off of a Sylvania 1966 R14-5 chassis that reads left to right, not front to back.  I know this would be a Looong shot, but thought I'd ask if anybody has an old console that isn't working, and wants to sell the dial glass (or the whole chassis for that matter).  Can't hurt to ask now, can it?

2
Sightings / Seeburg Home Stereo
« on: August 05, 2018, 10:29:31 AM »
If you want a stereo that has a changer that can hold 50 records here you go..  BTW it's not mine.
Located near Minneapolis.

https://minneapolis.craigslist.org/hnp/atq/d/1969-seeburg-home-lp-jukebox/6658515332.html

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Zenith / 1964 Zenith console mm2670
« on: December 14, 2017, 03:16:09 PM »
Sorry for the long post, just had to show it off.

Picked up this Zenith MM2670 a couple of months ago off of CL.  Changer had issues, tuner really didn’t work and amp had one side out.  Asking price was more than I wanted to pay, but it was THE console I really wanted.  He came down on the price and even delivered it!  I gave him some cash for the delivery as it was over 30 miles away, and he had a truck.  This model is a hybrid with a tube tuner and solid state amplifier.  It hummed really bad when I checked it out.  This is the first chassis that every one of the electrolytic capacitors were bad.  The amp the tuner, EVERY chassis mounted cap was bad.  This is also one where it used germanium transistors for the power output and drivers.  Replacements could get very pricey so I thought to myself, “Why not convert to silicon”, as those type of power transistors are much less costly.  The amplifiers of this age normally had driver transformers, and this was no different.  All I had to do is to change the biasing resistors for the output stage so it works with the silicon transistors.  A little trial and error to get it right and I have the amplifier running silicon for the output and drivers.  The germanium transistors were up to about $27.00 each, and my replacements were under $3.00 each.  I thought that would be enough incentive to do the work.  I also replaced all of the electrolytic caps on the tuner chassis as well.  The tuner is quite sensitive on FM and sounds great.
One of the main reasons I liked this particular console is that the finish was basically flawless.  It has a couple of small dings, but being manufactured in 1964 it really has a beautiful finish.  I wanted to think I was done, but there was something lacking in the lower bass ranges.  Pulling one woofer I checked to see what the free air resonance was, and it was almost 70hz.  The set had wonderful upper bass, but nothing in the lower registers.  The cabinet is constructed in a way that you can easily enclose the speakers and seal them.  That is the approach I took along with new woofers.  I picked up a pair from MCM (now Newark Element 14) for under $15.00 each (plus shipping).  Using some pipe organ music for a test I was truly impressed as to what this console puts out. 
The changer is also one of the ones that Zenith made in house.  The platter is belt driven and it also has the unique “pop up” 45 RPM spindle.  This changer is supposed to be easy on records and I was able to set the tracking force to under 3 grams.  I think that’s pretty good for a changer that is over 50 years old.  This one is definitely a keeper!!

4
RCA / 1963 RCA console 3VF446
« on: May 03, 2017, 02:58:25 PM »
Last year between Christmas and New Year's day, I responded to a CL ad that had an RCA console for $25.00.  It had the model listed on the ad, so I looked up the unit and found it was from 1963 and had a stereo FM tuner.  It also was a tube console with push-pull output stage.  I figured for that price I really couldn't go wrong, so I picked it up.  Spent some time re-capping the amplifier and tuner assembly.  It was rather distorted and low volume, so started troubleshooting the amplifier first.  Along with the standard re-capping, there were several resistors that had gone way up in value.  It's funny, they were the same value resistor, in the same audio stage, but in different channels.  There was also one of the output tubes that had a slight red-plate, but that ended up being a bad tube.  I replaced all 4 of them so I could get them matched.  There isn't any bias or balance adjustment on the output stages between the tubes.  I also had a few resistors in the tuner section that were open (no FM) and the multiplex sections needed to be aligned because there was lots of distortion on stereo signals.
While on the bench I noticed that this system really did have some nice sound to it, and the low bass notes were substantial.  However, when installed back into the console, it just seemed to be boomy without any bottom end to it.  Pulled one of the woofers and found out the free air resonance was over 70hz.  The speakers were ok, but not that great.  Started looking for some replacements and found some for less than $20.00 each from MCM.  Looking over the specifications, it said they could be used in either bass reflex or air suspension, and the recommended size was very close to what I would have when I sealed up the speaker enclosures.  I was sure I could get the bass frequency down to hopefully 35-40 hz.  The way the cabinet was constructed, it made it easy to do just that.  One of the tweeters had an open voice coil, so I ended up replacing a pair of them to keep the sound balanced.  A little bit of fiberglass in the speaker enclosures and it's basically done.  The sound I have out of this console is absolutely wonderful!  I certainly am impressed with this 54 year old console.  The cabinet on this console isn't perfect as it has water stains on the top and some dents in it.  I can take care of the electronics, but am not that proficient in finishing work.  It's a daily driver now.  Now all I have to do is to find homes for the other two consoles, a 1959 Zenith, and a 1963 Grundig.

5
Introductions / Hello from Minnesota
« on: August 12, 2016, 06:53:30 PM »
Hi there, I recently retired and started working on vintage electronics again.  I was a tech in the 70's repairing TV's radios and stereos, but a change in jobs changed that.  Now that I have time again, I've picked up some test equipment and have been restoring some older tube and solid state equipment.  I've always have liked the early 60's Zenith tube consoles with their proprietary changer that has the clamshell 45 RPM adapter.  If I find one I'll snap it up quick!  In the mean time I've repaired several KLH systems, some older Zenith table radios, and am working on an old (1951) German Imperial radio.  I did pick up a Zenith console stereo a while back that was made in 1959 and after several repairs, I now have it running great, but it isn't exactly what I want.  Fixing these treasures is half the fun of getting them.  Love going through the forums, Antique Radio and Audiokarma and reading about the vintage equipment and the personalities.  It's like another family.

 :D
Steve

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