Author Topic: Motorola Portable Stereo  (Read 128 times)

Bill

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Motorola Portable Stereo
« on: July 03, 2019, 06:20:14 PM »
A couple of weeks ago I finished up a Motorola portable stereo, model SH12N.  The interesting part of this is while I was in Arizona this past winter, I spotted it on Craig's List back in Michigan. ::)  Go figure, right!  I missed out on one just like it a while back and have kept my eyes open every since.  I called the owners back in Michigan and told them I wanted it, but that I had a problem, I was in Arizona.  After talking for a few minutes the guy said, "you sound like a guy I would like to see have this, as it was my aunts, so I'll hang onto it until you get back."  Wow, that was really awesome.  I told him he would not need to wait that long, as I would arrange to get it picked up as soon as I could.  I called family that lived in the area of the Motorola and they worked out the details with the owner.  When I got back to Michigan, I had a new toy waiting for me.  ;) ;) :) :)

The cabinet was really in great shape and looked like it was hardly used.  I started on the rebuild, cleaned everything, total recap of all capacitors, and checked the tubes.  Which by the way, were all labeled Motorola so I'm guessing they were all original, and all checked good.  That was the easy part.  The hard part was the changer.  VM 1200 series with some Motorola trim added.  Someone, referred to by Gary at VM, "as Louie the Lubber", was in there before me.  As far as I could tell they used axle grease, and it was everywhere, and everywhere it should not have been.  It was so hard, I had to chisel some of it to get it off.  :(  There were parts not installed correctly, springs missing, just a mess.  After a complete cleaning, using the proper lubes, and ordering parts from Gary it was finally working correctly.  ;D ;D  Oh, I forgot, it had a power point cartridge that was deader than dead, so Gary provided that as well.  All assembled, and now ready for it's first record.  The changer worked great, amp worked great, but no highs from the speakers, and the bass seemed weak.  Problem solved with the highs, new crossover caps for the tweeters.  But the bass is still kind of weak, and kind of disappointing consider the amp.  Do not get me wrong, it still sounds amazing, and it will drive you out of the room at half volume.  It's very powerful!   :o :o ;) :)   So that's the story of my Motorola portable, using the term portable loosely. I think it must weigh 50 pounds.  IMHO, Motorola built units that could keep up with the best of them.  Everything I've seen so far has been top quality. 

Bill

electra225

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Re: Motorola Portable Stereo
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2019, 08:23:12 PM »
VERY nice, Bill!  That is a great addition to your collection.  Great job on the changer, I know how hard you worked on it and what problems it gave you.  I notice you have quite the fan collection as well.   ;) :)
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TC Chris

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Re: Motorola Portable Stereo
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2019, 11:09:00 PM »
Nice lookin' portable!  As to the bass, just remember that sealed, air-suspension speakers were designed to address the small box/weak bass phenomenon.  Don't expect too much from portables with smallish, standard speaker systems.

I've got a fan like that 2-motor GE unit under the table.  It has a thermostat.  And the motors have oil ports, so they were designed to last.  But those aluminum blades are noisy....

Chris Campbell

Bill

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Re: Motorola Portable Stereo
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2019, 08:03:45 AM »
Thanks guys!

My GE fan has a thermostat as well, and it can be oiled.  And yes, it is noisy.  I have a few more fans kicking around the house that may show up in other photos as I share my next few projects. 

Bill



1959MagnificentMagnavox

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Re: Motorola Portable Stereo
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2019, 08:39:50 PM »
Bill,
that came out great I have the big brother too that the SH18. Same type story. I bought mine from ma College professor. it was his abuts and she bought it new in 59.
it was wrapped up in a blanket in her closet for years and was like new. Motorola had some nice studs from that time. Now that I think of it I'm going to play mine tomorrow.

Mike

Bill

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Re: Motorola Portable Stereo
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2019, 01:00:19 PM »
Mike,

Does your SH18 have reverb, and is it three channel?

Bill

1959MagnificentMagnavox

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Re: Motorola Portable Stereo
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2019, 02:14:45 PM »
Hi
no, none of the portable ones are 3 Chanel that I know of. mine doesn't have reverb in it. mine was made in 1959. They didn't start offering reverb I think till 61. I had a top of the line 1961 Drexel made three channel console but was sold.

Motorola Minion

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Re: Motorola Portable Stereo
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2019, 03:46:06 PM »
That is a great "portable" Bill., but I don't think it belongs in the portable section with that amp.

The three channel models, despite having just a cabinet around the woofer, make plenty of bass.

Just make sure your speaker polarity is matched between the channels, obvious when turning the balance control, putting in the center just kills bass.
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Dave

Bill

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Re: Motorola Portable Stereo
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2019, 09:02:59 AM »
Thanks Dave!  Polarity is correct, I'm beginning to think it's just the nature of the beast.  I am going to do some experimenting with other speakers, just to see what happens.  I'll keep everyone posted.  :)

Bill