Author Topic: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B  (Read 982 times)

MotorolaNut

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« on: May 19, 2018, 12:16:31 AM »
Flashback to mid-March. In the driveway after a road trip. A Drexel Motorola sitting in the back of the van. It was a very satisfying moment. Got another three channel on the cheap. Even visited a different state for the pick up. Looked at the wifey sitting next to me. I felt great. I thought she would too. Nope. She just shook her head. "That's it. You're done. No more. No more Craigslist. No more Etsy. No more road trips. No more consoles." What? Where did this come from? I thought she was cool with my obsession. Even helped me with contacting sellers. And planning the trips.

"How many consoles do you have? One in the dining room? And two in the garage?" Well, that wasn't true. Actually it was now three in the garage. "See? Four consoles! Four! What does anybody do with four stereo consoles? You're like an addict. You'll never have enough. This will keep going and going and going. You're not going to stop". Not true. There are actually only a couple consoles I would be interested in getting. Call them grails if you will - three channel grails.

But she was probably right. I had enough consoles in the garage to keep me occupied this year. Why get more? Is it the hunt? Finding a pristine artifact from a long-lost era? Or solving the puzzle and getting a console working again? Probably a little bit of all of the above. But still, she was probably right. I should step away. At least not look for any more consoles. And just work on the ones I already have.

Flash forward to the end of April. No consoles. No road trips. No Etsy. No Craigslist. Well, maybe a little Craigslist. It was during a lunch break at work. I was just doing mid century searches. Local ones. In Akron. No road trips. Then I saw it - Blonde. Atomic. Three channels. Damn. A grail.

I texted the wifey. Asked if she was free for the next hour. And if the van was empty. She texted back:  "What? NO! Not another console! >:(" Yep. Found a new listing. And this one will be gone by the end of the day if we don't jump on it. She texted back: "I thought we agreed on no Craigslist. And no road trips". True. I did look on Craigslist. And I am an addict. But there's no road trip this time. The console's only 10 minutes away. And it's a grail.

Let's make a long story short. The wifey takes the van to a small shop in Tallmadge. Texts me. "You're right. This is a nice one. It won't last long. Do you really want it?" Yes. I really do.

So here it is. A 1959 Motorola SK28B three channel stereophonic high fidelity console with optional dealer installed AM/FM tuner (I know - its a ridiculous mouthful, but oh so true). Owners manual is included. Here are pictures, including the one the wifey took of the console in the shop and one with it still in the wife's van. This pretty lady will be jumping to the front of the line in Santa's workshop this summer ::).

Greg

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #1 on: May 19, 2018, 06:52:06 AM »
That is beautiful Greg!  And it's blonde, you just don't find blonde all that often.  So where will this one go?  Garage or will the wife allow it in the house?   ;)  And four, now five, is not that many!

Bill

MotorolaNut

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2018, 12:05:18 PM »
Garage for now. Sitting with a blanket on it until I can tear it down and re-cap it.  Hopefully I can start a rotation of consoles in the dining room, and get it in the house in a couple months ;)

Greg

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2371
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2018, 05:28:31 PM »
Teach your wife about the "always room for one more" rule.  Give her a choice between your getting a console stereo or a demolition derby car.   ;)
I'm great at multi-tasking.  I can listen, ignore, and forget all at the same time.

MotorolaNut

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2018, 05:34:04 PM »
Shhh. Don't say anything, but I already have a plan for the next one. The wifey has a weakness - call it her kryptonite if you will.  It's called... mahogany ;)

Greg

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 752
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2018, 09:10:27 PM »
That was a very popular wood back in the day, so I can see five growing to ten as long as they are Mahogany!   ::)

Bill

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1327
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2018, 11:42:25 PM »
I've got a sailboat that's old enough to have mahogany trim (nowadays boats all teak, which requires less work, of they have any wood at all).  The challenge is keeping the varnish up.  Imagine putting your mahogany furniture out in the front yard and leaving it there all summer, rain and shine.  Of course, boat carpentry is usually designed to accommodate exposure, but still....  Much of my mahogany is under cover when the boat isn't being sailed. Keeping water and sun off really extends the life of varnish.  The mast is spruce and tends to suffer less because it's vertical.  It gets a fresh coat of varnish (two actually) about every three years.

I sailed for the first time this season today and got two "pretty boat!" shouts from other boaters.  That compensates for spending spring weekends in the boat barn doing all the maintenance.  The boat is in her 58th season afloat and this is my 51st season sailing her.  I have ignored the tradition of buying bigger and bigger boats every couple years.  People buy bigger and bigger and they sail less and less because it's more and more work to do it.  My boat is the smallest in her section of the marina but she actually gets sailed.

Chris Campbell


MotorolaNut

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2018, 04:42:44 PM »
Chris, you mentioned teak being used on more recent boats as opposed to mahogany. Any reason other than ease of  upkeep? Just asking because it seems teak was really popular in the sixties for furniture - credenzas and the like.

Otherwise, I have had my eye on a couple mahogany consoles during the past several months  - one a model SK14M and the other a model SK28M. You guys are right, these consoles are still out there in the wild. Problem is that alot of them have finishes that have been pretty chewed up over time. And a mahogany finish (like a blonde one) is a pain in the neck to repair if it's really beat up :-\

picard

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 466
  • Pensacola. Florida
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2018, 11:22:18 AM »
That is one very nice console.Nice find

Motorola Minion

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 816
  • Southern Pennsylvania
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2018, 12:19:08 PM »
That's a grail all right. ;) I cant wait to see what is inside it ;D. I have two HK-42 tuners and 3-channel pre/power amps for those 1959-60 models. All are 6BQ5 outputs.

There is much hope for your wife understanding this disease: You actually asked permission!!!, got denied and took it with grace and, then.....she re-thought the response. Congratulations!

A friend of mine buys, cleans up and flips non-restored consoles all the time, under intense scrutiny but his wife does allow him to keep the very best ones. He shows profit on the flips and that justifies it in her view.
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

MotorolaNut

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2018, 12:18:00 PM »
Intense scrutiny - very well put! ;). I would say that my interest in consoles is experiencing that as well. Truth is, the wifey has been very understanding thus far - and it helps that both her parents and her girlfriends have complimented us on the SK76 when it was playing music for them ::).

I hope to get back to the SK28 this upcoming weekend, open her up and do a preliminary cleaning. I'll post some pictures on what I find inside when I get a chance.

Greg

MotorolaNut

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2018, 10:36:42 PM »
Hey everybody,

I finally got a chance to do some cleaning on the blonde this weekend ::).  Here are some pics of the inside.

A couple interesting things I noticed. First, it looks like the 15" woofer was too large for the cabinet. (Don't think of this as a complaint - a 15" woofer was one of the appeals this model had for me). The manufacturer actually had to make a cutout in the bottom of the cabinet so it could be fit in under the record changer - almost like they hot-rodded the cabinet.  This cutout slot should be visible in my pics.

Also, the AM/FM tuner is actually plugged into the AC outlet on the amplifier. Never seen that before. Maybe its because the tuner was a dealer-installed option - they just plugged it in as a standard.

One final thing - oil spray on the bottom of the cabinet and the amplifier :o.  Never seen that before either. My theory is that was a crude attempt at servicing the record changer (which doesn't cycle correctly) by just spraying the hell out of it with some oil.

Anyway, I'm writing this a couple days after the fact. Oil is cleaned up. Dust swept and vacuumed away. Tubes and connections cleaned up as well. The blonde is back under the blanket - hopefully I can get back to her next month after I am done with another project ;).

Greg

Motorola Minion

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 816
  • Southern Pennsylvania
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #12 on: June 06, 2018, 12:30:22 PM »
See if that amp has wafer sockets or molder sockets for the 6BQ5's. My SK-17 / HS711 has wafers, and I replacing them. My "golden" woofer is identical  ;D
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1327
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2018, 05:07:38 PM »
Chris, you mentioned teak being used on more recent boats as opposed to mahogany. Any reason other than ease of  upkeep? Just asking because it seems teak was really popular in the sixties for furniture - credenzas and the like.


Teak on boats can be finished or left unfinished to turn gray.  It greatly reduces mandatory maintenance.  If you neglect it, nothing really bad happens.  Mahogany is prettier in my view, but demands varnish and suffers when moisture gets into it.

Another factor was that teak was more up-to-date when it was first used widely.  Also, mahogany became hard to get (expensive).

Chris Campbell

MotorolaNut

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 18
    • View Profile
Re: My Atomic Blonde Motorola Stereo Console SK28B
« Reply #14 on: June 10, 2018, 09:41:24 PM »
I'm not sure what kind of tube sockets are used in the SK28, but here are some pictures for everyone to look at for comparison. The first picture is from the SK28B; the second one is from my SK52W (which is from 1960). They look similar, but I can't tell what the sockets from either console are made of. Wafers, anyone? ???

Greg