Author Topic: General Electric Consoles  (Read 1706 times)

Nippersonic Sylvania

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General Electric Consoles
« on: May 31, 2016, 08:36:50 PM »
Gentlemen:

What's the general consensus regarding solid state General Electric consoles from the Porta-Fi era? A friend has found one, but I wanted to see what thoughts anyone had about them. I don't have any pictures or anything, so I know next to nothing about it. Apparently, the GE label record changer doesn't work, but that's no obstacle at this point. Is there anything made of unobtainium in these things?

Thanks for any replies; I've only seen one GE console in my life and the owner will not part with it. I've also never managed to find a decent catalog or website for GE consoles, so if anyone knows where to find either, I'd appreciate it.

Motorola Minion

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Re: General Electric Consoles
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2016, 11:25:32 AM »
When it comes to early solid state, I have seen very few GE console Stereos in comparison to Magnavox and Zenith. Porta-Fi was a remote speaker system and I may have worked on one years ago.

If there is anything I have had trouble with in 1960s HiFis, it is the germanium transistors that are expensive (if using NTE) and hard to find if using generic. What I thought was curable with a simple re-capping on an otherwise well-constructed Silvertone, turned out to require many transistors replaced. It just sounded awful and some guys at ARF noted that as opposed to silicon, germanium transistors fail like vacuum tubes, due in part to inadequate heat sinking used on earlier models.
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Dave

Nippersonic Sylvania

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Re: General Electric Consoles
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2016, 04:18:46 PM »
Thank you very much for the reply; it answers some questions and generates a few more, as follows:

-The use of rocker switches for various options on the tuner suggests late 1960s/early 1970s, doesn't it?
-Assuming I can ever see the thing myself, what kind of cues am I looking at to identify germanium transistors?
-What's the cut-off period for when those would have been replaced by silicon?

If it isn't easily serviceable, then I'll have to leave it, but I'd rather know that before I travel to and buy something I can't fix or that runs a major risk of irreparable failure. I'm told that GE made decent consoles (better than the average house brand model) and I wouldn't mind having one, but I have to be able to refurbish and maintain it.

Motorola Minion

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Re: General Electric Consoles
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2016, 08:12:25 AM »
Having seen few 65-72 GE consoles but many more RCA's, the germaniums were replaced by silicon by 1967-68.

Those rocker switches probably date to 1969, and that was a good period for General Electric.

That said, I would not be afraid of any earlier SS set from Magnavox, Zenith or RCA - even if it has germaniums because their parts sources were good. GE, Motorola, Admiral, Sylvania, Westinghouse and Philco as well.

Other brands from this era with "borrowed" names like Capehart and Morse Electrophonic are not good at all. I just got burned by a 1965 Silvertone, so Airline and other store brands are also suspect.
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Dave