Poll

How Should We Determine Magnavox Console Model Years

A "Console Model Year" Is the year it was introduced in the Magnavox Catalog/Brochures and first sold.
15 (51.7%)
A "Console Model Year" is the same as for cars, Fall 1957 Catalog models are 1958 models.
13 (44.8%)
Don't know, have no opinion.
1 (3.4%)

Total Members Voted: 29

Author Topic: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles  (Read 11671 times)

Larry H

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2014, 11:07:37 PM »
I don't know how Magnavox did it, but RCA followed the same procedure that GM, Ford and Chrysler used.  For instance, the 1958 models came out in late summer of 1957, which means they were manufactured earlier than that.
--Larry

neali

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #16 on: November 05, 2014, 11:28:29 PM »
I don't know how Magnavox did it, but RCA followed the same procedure that GM, Ford and Chrysler used.  For instance, the 1958 models came out in late summer of 1957, which means they were manufactured earlier than that.

If a 1958 came out in summer of 1957, weren't they manufactured until summer of 1958 when the 1959's would have come out? I mean, every console sold for that year was not manufactured on the same day the first one was, no? From what I recall, they appeared in advertising first, then dealers. And it wasn't summer like cars, it was around Thanksgiving, to be ready for the holiday buying.

Larry H

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2014, 11:33:23 PM »
I don't know how Magnavox did it, but RCA followed the same procedure that GM, Ford and Chrysler used.  For instance, the 1958 models came out in late summer of 1957, which means they were manufactured earlier than that.

If a 1958 came out in summer of 1957, weren't they manufactured until summer of 1958 when the 1959's would have come out? I mean, every console sold for that year was not manufactured on the same day the first one was, no? From what I recall, they appeared in advertising first, then dealers. And it wasn't summer like cars, it was around Thanksgiving, to be ready for the holiday buying.
You may be right about them hitting the market in November.  I know from the date codes that some of the 1958 models, for instance, were manufactured as early as the summer of 1957.
--Larry

neali

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #18 on: November 08, 2014, 01:43:20 PM »
Sure, the individual components like tubes, changer, drivers would have to be made and purchased far in advance of the date of console assembly.

TheRed1

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2014, 10:57:23 PM »
Magnavox was a much larger player than Fisher but I suspect they operated on a similar model introduction schedule which does follow the auto industry model to some degree.  As in the auto industry, there were the fall Audio Fairs that kicked off the new model year in September and October - timed to lead into the holiday selling season.  With some variation, depending on your marketing guys and whatever external advertising firm(s) they were contracting with; your first round of catalogs and brochures were timed to be available for the shows.  The vast majority of Fisher's in-house catalogs, brochures and handbooks were copyrighted the year prior to the actual model year.

However, since new developments in the audio field were much easier to put into production than in the auto industry, there was often a round of mid-season console model introductions right around Christmas.  Some years during major technological upheavals Fisher initiated several rounds of new model introductions within a single model year to keep up with developing trends.  Fisher was assiduous in keeping their catalogs up to date - Avery Fisher himself was personally involved and very meticulous about his advertising.  In many years there were at least three different versions - in 1960 there were at least four.  It don't know if it's possible with Magnavox but you can narrow down the date of a specific Fisher model's introduction by correlating the catalogs with newspaper advertising.  Fisher did an enormous amount of advertising in the New York Times and the Washington Post.  Both of these publications are searchable using ProQuest which is available free through many libraries.  That often gives a very specific introduction date and you can even follow some models over time as they were discontinued and their prices discounted.

I have been very lucky with Fisher to have had access to many internal memos to their dealership network detailing new model introductions, improvements to existing models and model cancellations.  So I have a fairly complete picture of one company's operation over the course of nearly a half century.  I have the impression that Magnavox was nowhere nearly as precise in their advertising so it may be a lot harder to pin a specific model to a specific year or span of years.  I think I would use the auto industry model year as an overall guide with allowances made for the inevitable disagreement between the literature and other methods of dating.

It may be instructive to do a few case studies on specific models for which there is good information; comparing multiple sources in an effort to see what it reveals about Magnavox's methods.  I have some Magnavox newspaper ads saved from when I was casting a wider console net before I narrowed my searches to Fisher/Philharmonic.  When I get some time I'll see if I can tease out some specific dates for any models.

AMP82-01-00

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #20 on: December 01, 2014, 12:27:36 PM »
i kinda feel it would be good to have pics of the said console inside and out. part numbers for every chassis and its dates. also speaker dates and numbers. then at least we can say at a minimum a "926" date on a speaker puts a stereo at mid 1959-early 1960.




we can dissect it further with which tuner and turntable is used. for instance it seems to me in late 1960-1961 the concert grand used the horns with the green caps RP-109 and a 64-XX-XX tuner with the tuning meter also the S600 or L600 (i forget exactly) turntable.




im totally willing to document all of mine like this to see what we can learn. and it can serve as a registry too. it would be real cool to know how many concert grands exist today. im guessing only a few hundred or so.


also cabinets have all kinds of weird numbers in black stencil that i have no clue what they mean. it might be interesting to see what comes up.
David        "If it ain't interesting, its really just boring"

Pat L

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #21 on: December 01, 2014, 12:30:26 PM »
Dave, That's a great idea. I'd really like to get a registry going and have been looking into the software it will take to make it happen.

Imperial

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2015, 08:29:16 PM »
I base year off the newest component in the console. Then the brochure year.

For instance I have a imperial that by the brochure should be a 1961. The speaker date code is 039  for 39th week of 1960. I figure since the componets were built very late in the year and it took time to assemble and be tested and delivered. so I call it a 1961.

To me this is the best way.

I too have struggled with correctly dating some of my consoles. My example is also what I consider a '61 Imperial, in this case my Cherry one, with the components being manufactured late oct/early nov of 1960 but being sold in nov. 1962.
     When I bought it I went by the sale date on the warranty certificate and believed it was a 1963 model. When it didn't match what was in the catalog I then thought it was a '62. Now I am of the belief its a '61 based on the manufacturing "time frame" and the 2-3 month model year lead of the corresponding calendar year.
     I wonder if this instrument sat at this music store for 2 years and they had to finally "move it out" to make way for the new astro-sonics.

624Magnificent

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2015, 10:50:56 AM »
Great discussion. For what it's worth, my 1ST624A has a handwritten date on the back panel of November 23, 1962 which I assume was written by the original buyer. The speakers have EIA codes for Chicago Telephone Supply with build dates of the week of October 15, 1962, (code 137 242). In this instance it appears the speaker components were manufactured by an outside supplier CTS presumably in Magnavox's former speaker plant in Padukah, KY, shipped to the Magnavox assembly plant (Fort Wayne, Indiana?), installed, the console shipped to the retailer (likely in Maine) and sold to the buyer all within 6 weeks. Not much time when you consider warehousing at the factory, shipping by truck, train, or both several times, likely a regional warehouse stop, time on the dealer showroom floor, or if a special order at least at the dealers stockroom.
Tom

Alan Maier

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #24 on: August 21, 2015, 10:50:20 PM »
I tend to lean toward the cabinet build date if it can be found, and usually it can. Then dial the calendar forward a bit if it is a late year build to cover when it would have been at the dealer.


Last night I parted out a 1977ish high-line post AstroSonic that I bought for parts as it had the high power variant of the silver face / blue dial chassis (an excellent chassis) and plenty of good parts, but the cabinet was badly damaged in a move. Cone tweeters were early 1976, McGregor midranges were late 1976, Heppner air suspension woofers were early 1977, chassis was 1977, changer was the BSR style Micromatic with a late 1977 build date. I know it could not have been swapped out as that last generation Micromatic design had a different cutout.


The console was likely sold in late 1977 or most likely 1978 - but I consider it a 1977. Not that I did not catch the cabinet built as it was dark when I rolled the shell to the curb to die. I know my garbage collector guy really hates me. 2 weeks ago it was an Imperial cabinet, but by taking the woofers out - it weighed a LOT less!

MrGears

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2015, 09:47:51 PM »
Would you go about reading a date code on a Tube the same way? Would that make my rectifier the 10th weak of 1962?


Pat L

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2015, 09:59:02 PM »
In this instance 210 is the "EIA" code for CBS-Hytron (manufacturer) and 6013 is code for: 1960 13th week build date.
Pat

AMP82-01-00

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #27 on: October 21, 2015, 11:00:41 AM »
I lean toward the most recent orginal date As the year. most of my consoles are dated late of one year then if its a late 59 date code I call it a 59/60 becuase who knows when it was bought.
David        "If it ain't interesting, its really just boring"

MrGears

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Re: Properly Dating Magnavox Consoles
« Reply #28 on: October 21, 2015, 09:49:13 PM »
In this instance 210 is the "EIA" code for CBS-Hytron (manufacturer) and 6013 is code for: 1960 13th week build date.
Pat

Awesome! 55 years only and still looks and sounds Magnificient. ;)  ;)