Author Topic: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D  (Read 1978 times)

Burnsy949

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Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« on: July 09, 2019, 06:53:07 PM »
Hello,

I am a new member from Orange County, CA (Aliso Viejo for those familiar).

I have successfully built a number of tube guitar amplifiers over the past few years, and am enjoying that hobby immensely.   Recently I was offered a Magnavox 148D (1947 I believe) with the 3 speed turntable and AM/Short Wave tuner. (No FM tuner unfortunately).    This console was in the home of my Father in Law and his brother in Los Angeles when they were boys, and although both are still alive, they are offering the unit to me. 

The unit appears to be complete and in good condition, but will definitely need some restoration.  I am looking forward to the restoration, as I enjoy both electronics and woodwork.  The wood is in good condition, but I don't love the finish color (blonde), and there are a few blemishes. 

I've attached a few pictures I was sent - they are a little blurry, but show the general condition pretty well.   I saw a post on a similar unit (a Georgian) by another member which was very helpful and interesting.  I believe this model is a "Contemporary" but I haven't confirmed that yet.

I look forward participating in this forum and learning more about this hobby!

Regards,
Arthur


1947 Magnavox 148B - CR-197D chassis, 1961 1ST611 Concerto Far Eastern Contemporary.

electra225

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2019, 07:01:17 PM »
Welcome aboard, Arthur!  This is the right place to talk Magnavox.

I haven't had a lot of experience refinishing blonde furniture.  Good luck.
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TC Chris

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2019, 08:43:14 PM »
I'll start by saying that I'm a mahogany and walnut guy by instinct.  But some of those blond units are handsome devices, and yours is one of them.  The design is simple and it's not "French Provincial," which later seemed to be the default mode for Magnavox.  Everybody who wanted to be respectable had one of those in their perfect, un-lived-in living rooms.  I think that one of yours deserves attention and some affection.  Nice lines; simple design; a period piece.  I've got a slightly later (about 1951) console with the same shape and layout bit with later innards and different design.  Here's a link to photos:
http://vintagehifi.net/index.php/topic,3126.msg20472.html#msg20472

Your record changer looks like it's a later upgrade.

Chris Campbell

Burnsy949

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 01:17:23 PM »
I'll start by saying that I'm a mahogany and walnut guy by instinct.  But some of those blond units are handsome devices, and yours is one of them.  The design is simple and it's not "French Provincial," which later seemed to be the default mode for Magnavox.  Everybody who wanted to be respectable had one of those in their perfect, un-lived-in living rooms.  I think that one of yours deserves attention and some affection.  Nice lines; simple design; a period piece.  I've got a slightly later (about 1951) console with the same shape and layout bit with later innards and different design.  Here's a link to photos:
http://vintagehifi.net/index.php/topic,3126.msg20472.html#msg20472

Your record changer looks like it's a later upgrade.

Chris Campbell

Thank you Chris.  I'm excited to go and get this from the storage unit tomorrow so I can see it in person.  I do find the unit's lines pleasant, and likely more appealing that some of the more "elaborate" styles that followed.   I'm going to avoid doing anything drastic to the wood finish (at least at first) to preserve its originality, but it will probably have to live in the garage if it stays blonde due to my wife's preference for darker finishes.  The only thing I'd consider is a very light sanding/staining, but again I really hesitate to do anything like that to an original unit.

First steps will be replacing capacitors and checking voltages to get it up and running.  I was able to find a good schematic here for the CR-197 (mine appears to be a D revision, and I have the Rider schematic and D revision notes).  I also have to get my head around the record changer maintenance - from my research so far, I will avoid doing any major disassembly on the changer unless all else fails.  Still researching these.  I think it's a Webcor (maybe a 356) from the pictures I received, but I can't confirm that. 

On a side note, I did purchase (for a small fee) a good clean copy of the CR-197 Rider schematic, and would be happy to upload that to the "Downloads" section if appropriate.

Regards,
Arthur
1947 Magnavox 148B - CR-197D chassis, 1961 1ST611 Concerto Far Eastern Contemporary.

Motorola Minion

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 01:22:02 PM »
Welcome Arthur,  My experience with blonde finishes is limited but a good scrub with gel-hand cleaner on a scotch-brite pad gets off the grime. I have some units that could use a bleaching as these tend to yellow excessively too.

That Webcor appears to be a perfect fit, though maybe not original since 45 rpm records came a year or two later :-[ maybe. I have this later Magnavox changer in my Berkely, also not original. Second photo is the original (photo from an ad)

You will find that AM and SW performance are superb after some modest work like recapping and simple AM-IF alignment. The 1946-48 catalogs show your model as the "Contemporary". The best way to enjoy that Maggy is to play records on it ;)
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Dave

Burnsy949

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2019, 02:05:55 PM »
Welcome Arthur,  My experience with blonde finishes is limited but a good scrub with gel-hand cleaner on a scotch-brite pad gets off the grime. I have some units that could use a bleaching as these tend to yellow excessively too.

That Webcor appears to be a perfect fit, though maybe not original since 45 rpm records came a year or two later :-[ maybe. I have this later Magnavox changer in my Berkely, also not original. Second photo is the original (photo from an ad)

You will find that AM and SW performance are superb after some modest work like recapping and simple AM-IF alignment. The 1946-48 catalogs show your model as the "Contemporary". The best way to enjoy that Maggy is to play records on it ;)
Thank you MM, and to everyone for the information and encouragement.  Much appreciated!

I'm having fun learning more about these units and seeing all the pictures of your consoles!

Regards,
Arthur
1947 Magnavox 148B - CR-197D chassis, 1961 1ST611 Concerto Far Eastern Contemporary.

electra225

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2019, 03:56:06 PM »
I'd recommend caution using Go-Jo (waterless hand cleaner) and Scotchbrite or steel wool on old furniture.  It took the finish off my Stereo Theater and the residue is giving me fits getting it out of the veneer on tempered Masonite.  It might not be so bad on hardwood where one could be more aggressive with solvents.  If you decide on using this method, try it on an inconspicuous place and don't get too aggressive with abrasives.  A terry cloth towel might be enough.  And, in fairness, I've used this method in the past with no problems.  Once bitten, twice shy...... ::) :-[ ;)
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Bill

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2019, 06:36:48 PM »
Welcome Arthur! 

That is a handsome unit you are getting.  If it were me, and I had that handed to me, and because it's different, I would leave it blonde.  You have kind of, a one of a kind unit.  I have never seen a blonde Magnavox of that era.   Good luck, and most of all have fun.

Bill


TC Chris

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 07:43:16 PM »
One thing to add--in that era Magnavox used a chassis pan underneath the chassis that it sits on.  Remove the rear two screws, pull the chassis aft, and the front hooks disengage from the pan. Slide in, slide out. It was a remarkably thoughtful design, making for easy service removal and also providing a shield underneath.  I've always admired little damn-the-economics touches that reflect a dedication to doing it right. 

Chris Campbell

Burnsy949

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2019, 10:42:28 PM »
Welcome Arthur! 

That is a handsome unit you are getting.  If it were me, and I had that handed to me, and because it's different, I would leave it blonde.  You have kind of, a one of a kind unit.  I have never seen a blonde Magnavox of that era.   Good luck, and most of all have fun.

Bill

Thank you Bill.  I have seen one other one in this color in my research online, but it didn't have the 3 speed changer and was missing the AM/Short Wave tuner.  Not to mention, this was in my Father in Law's family for many years (until this week actually) so I have some interest in keeping it original.  I go pick it up tomorrow, so I'm pretty excited.
1947 Magnavox 148B - CR-197D chassis, 1961 1ST611 Concerto Far Eastern Contemporary.

Burnsy949

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Re: Hello from Orange County, CA - Magnavox 148B - CR-197D
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2019, 10:45:52 PM »
One thing to add--in that era Magnavox used a chassis pan underneath the chassis that it sits on.  Remove the rear two screws, pull the chassis aft, and the front hooks disengage from the pan. Slide in, slide out. It was a remarkably thoughtful design, making for easy service removal and also providing a shield underneath.  I've always admired little damn-the-economics touches that reflect a dedication to doing it right. 

Chris Campbell

Thank you Chris.  Having worked on a few tube guitar amps in my day, that easy access will be very welcome!  Most guitar amps require a fair amount of disassembly to get inside the chassis, and are typically a pain to get back to get together.  I can't wait to get a look inside this chassis, and I am sure I will appreciate this design!

Regards,
Arthur
1947 Magnavox 148B - CR-197D chassis, 1961 1ST611 Concerto Far Eastern Contemporary.