Author Topic: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono  (Read 1296 times)

Larry H

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Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« on: September 24, 2016, 12:00:07 AM »
I lucked into a real nice Zenith late 40s tabletop radio-phono with the Cobra teardrop changer today for $99 with free Fed Ex shipping.  It's in super condition, and will just need a good cleaning and amp and changer service.  I've never worked on a chain driven changer, so it will be a challenge.  It'll give me something to do this Fall.
--Larry

Larry H

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2016, 12:10:42 AM »
I think that's neat how the lid opens all the way back and out of your way.  I've never seen a tabletop record player with lid that opens like that. 
--Larry

AlexanderMartin

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2016, 01:12:08 AM »
I have literally the same exact model, changer, and everything. Just not in as nice of condition as I'd like. I need to restore it. how's the fidelity on them?

Harbourmaster

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2016, 01:56:19 AM »
That's a real sharp looking unit Larry. I think you stole that for $99 shipped!


Hope it arrives in one piece!
-- Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!

Larry H

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2016, 02:04:50 AM »
I have literally the same exact model, changer, and everything. Just not in as nice of condition as I'd like. I need to restore it. how's the fidelity on them?
It was built before the days of hi-fi, but I'm sure it has a nice warm tube sound.  I'll bet it sounds pretty good for what it is when it's restored.  Now I have to get some 78rpm records.   Only thing I have in 78s are Bozo records.
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Larry H

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2016, 02:11:16 AM »
That's a real sharp looking unit Larry. I think you stole that for $99 shipped!
Hope it arrives in one piece!
I thought it was a good deal too.  I suspect it will cost the seller $50 to ship that via FedEx from Delaware to Arkansas.  He certainly isn't getting rich at his prices.
--Larry

AlexanderMartin

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2016, 10:54:31 AM »
Inspires me to giver er' a go, though I got some RCA Tabletops to restore. I've had some 'later' Zenith pieces and I have really liked how they sound in comparison to their older era radios.

Larry H

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2016, 10:34:02 PM »
 I've been working on the amplifier today, cleaning it and replacing capacitors. The cabinet cleaned up nicely, and last night I polished it and cleaned and polished the front eschutcheon.  The grill cloth on the bottom half of the radio dial has a cardboard frame around it, and I removed it and just brushed it off with an old toothbrush.  It cleaned up like new.
--Larry

Larry H

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2016, 10:36:21 PM »
The changer came right out after removing two clips underneath and a wiring harness from the amp.  Instead of having both a power cord and a phono cord, Zenith incorporated all this into one wiring harness, with a nice plug that plugs into the amp.  I like that.  I did a minor changer cleaning on top, but will do a thorough cleaning in a day or two once I get the platter off.  I found you have to release a clutch underneath for the platter to come off.
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Larry H

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2016, 10:38:24 PM »
Today I noticed the round dust cap in the middle of the speaker had deteriorated somewhat.  I'm going to cut a piece of felt and glue over it.  Don't want it to cause a tear in the cone.
--Larry

Larry H

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2016, 10:18:14 PM »
The Zenith was finished today.  Here's a video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R9hjfQhPg-M
--Larry

AlexanderMartin

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2016, 11:07:37 PM »
Great job restoring that, she turned out great!  :D

TC Chris

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2016, 10:35:46 PM »
Is the cartridge one of those moving-vane affairs that modulates an RF signal and is then demodulated for audio?  And if so, does it use the radio circuits to accomplish that?  I've got a 1948 Wurlitzer jukebox with a Zenith Cobra arm  cartridge like that, but because there's no radio involved, it uses a separate "preamp" (really the mod./demod., so I suppose it's a modem) to accomplish the extraction of audio.

Larry H

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Re: Zenith Cobramatic Radio-Phono
« Reply #13 on: October 08, 2016, 01:25:32 AM »
Is the cartridge one of those moving-vane affairs that modulates an RF signal and is then demodulated for audio?  And if so, does it use the radio circuits to accomplish that?  I've got a 1948 Wurlitzer jukebox with a Zenith Cobra arm  cartridge like that, but because there's no radio involved, it uses a separate "preamp" (really the mod./demod., so I suppose it's a modem) to accomplish the extraction of audio.
Yes, Zenith called it its Radionic pickup.  A phono preamp tube and oscillator in the circuitry produces the sound. 
--Larry