Author Topic: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?  (Read 2714 times)

revolverone

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
    • View Profile
Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« on: March 08, 2015, 10:53:21 AM »
So I kinda gather from people's opinions and various sources on the web, RCA and Magnavox made the best console back in the day.  So did any other brands compare to them and manufacture some good consoles i.e. Silvertone, Zenith etc.?

Larry H

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2701
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2015, 11:07:24 AM »
Motorola, Fisher and Zenith made some quality high end consoles.  Most other brands were just run of the mill sets.  I don't think any Philco or Silvertone can compare to a Magnavox Imperial or an RCA Mark I and II.
--Larry

Harbourmaster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2286
  • Long Beach, CA 90808
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2015, 11:22:49 AM »
Stromberg Carlson, Pilot, Bell and Howell, Curtis Mathes,  and Packard - Bell,  All made some nice consoles as well. 
-- Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!

Larry H

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2701
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2015, 12:13:40 PM »
Are we talking about sound quality here, or just nice looking consoles?  A lot of manufacturers made nice looking console cabinets.

I had forgotten about Curtis Mathes... its Royal Dane likely rivals our Imperials in sound quality.  Pat should know since he has one.
--Larry

Pat L

  • Founder of the Board
  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1430
  • Southeastern Wisconsin
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2015, 01:05:53 PM »
The Curtis Mathes was all about style and quality. It's electrical components were equivalent with a mid-range Magnavox in power output. The speakers were traditional cone style with capacitor crossovers. They certainly sound good, but not as good as the Magnavox bi-amp units with horns. My brother loves his and intends to leave it to someone in his will. Pat

revolverone

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2015, 01:10:29 PM »
I guess I'm thinking more of sound quality and aesthetics.   

Harbourmaster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2286
  • Long Beach, CA 90808
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2015, 02:55:46 PM »
Oh I forgot Voice of Music!


For pure sound quality the Magnavox is hard to beat. IMO The TOTL units from Stromberg Carlson, Fisher, and a couple of the others are in the same league.


The couple of early 60's Packard Bell units that I have worked on both had fabulous sound from what appears to be rather run of the mill components.


As far as Cabinetry no one comes close to the quality of Magnavox. 
-- Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!

AstroSonic100

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 241
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2015, 06:31:21 PM »
Hoffman was a company out of Los Angeles that made very good TVs, radios and stereos.  There TVs had hi-fi sound.  We owned a '57 Hoffman TV that had two 8" speakers and a small tweeter.  The set had separate bass and treble and the amp section had push pull 6BQ5s.  It was the most reliable tube TV our family ever had.

They also made a small line of stereo consoles that featured amps with 6BQ5s.  The speakers were advertised as floating sound and the speaker chamber floated on springs.  They used Garrard RC121 and RC88 record changers.

They also had a matching TV and stereo system called the Duet.  The TV featured a quality amp and speakers for the left channel and a console that matched it with identical amp and speakers plus tuner and changer.

The company stopped making consumer electronics by the mid-60s and concentrated on making military electronic equipment.

I have attached pictures from eBay (no longer for sale) of a two piece stereo that looked very similar to a Fisher console.
Ray

Larry H

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2701
  • Little Rock, Arkansas
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2015, 06:48:48 PM »
Those Hoffman cabinets are fine examples of extremely dirty grill cloth.
--Larry

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1236
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2015, 07:05:38 PM »
There was also E.H. Scott, (not H.H. Scott, the company that made the chrome plated Allwave sets in the 1930s and continued to make good stuff until they got bought up in the early '50s.  They sold consoles through selected vendors, putting their electronics in cabinetry made by others.  I've got the electronics of one, a huge mono console.  It used a Jensen coaxial speaker and had a Lincoln record-flipping changer.  The Lincoln was a complex device with a vacuum pump to grasp the records and operate things.  There's an AM-FM preamp chassis and a power supply/power amp chassis that uses 6L6 tubes in the output.  Mine is a post-purchase model, lower in quality than the original cost-no-object line but still better than most of the consoles of the day.

Chris Campbell

Harbourmaster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2286
  • Long Beach, CA 90808
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2015, 07:42:20 PM »
Here is my Hoffman, a Model 500 from 1943.
-- Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!

charlief64

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Best Consoles Non-RCA/Magnavox?
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2015, 11:59:19 PM »
Interesting (I hope) story about Hoffman.  Growing up as a second generation LA kid, I just assumed that Hoffman was the biggest brand in the world.  Our house, my grand parents, and six households of aunts/uncles/cousins, all had Hoffman TV's
radios and later, Hi Fi's and stereos.  I do remember my beat generation uncle (my dad's youngest brother) had this weird Hi Fi from Germany called a Grundig.

About my grandmother's Hoffman TV.  She bought it in 1948.  She passed away in 1965.  I latched on to it and put it in my bedroom.  It went into the garage in 1970 (still working perfectly).  My dad must have thrown it out.
charlie