Author Topic: Vintage Console Stereo Cabinets  (Read 16270 times)

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Offline Bingo Jed

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I found this on craigslist yesterday and am going to pick it up tomorrow.

http://wilmington.craigslist.org/ele/859724730.html

Anyone else ever have these? My grandparents had two of them and I always thought they were the coolest things. The guy said it has a transistor amplifier, a tube tuner, and is made of solid wood. It measures 55"x25"x16", with the lid taking up 28" of the surface space. That leaves just enough space on top for my LCD TV.

I was hoping it would have a tube amplifier already in it, but this would be a great way to make use of a tube amp I already have sitting around (dynaco stereo 70).  The dynaco could use a rebuild, but there's still plenty of parts and upgrade kits available for it. The cabinet has 2 speakers on each side, so I will most likely be upgrading them as well.

Guess I'll find out tomorrow!

 ;D

Offline BLKZUKI

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dude that thing is awsome ;D

Offline redidbull

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We just threw one away from the in laws house. Couldn't give it away. Sound was awesome. My parents still have theirs. Jim

Offline samurota

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  I think my mom has one ,I'd like to have one with a phono and a 8-track :P Yeah I still have 8-tracks

Offline Bingo Jed

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ugh... That's such a shame you had to throw it away. I'm really surprised there isn't more interest in these cabinet. I've been trying to do some research about them, and there's really very little information available. Even though they're a "hi-fi" unit, they were never considered to be audiophile quality. Too little space between the speakers for "proper" stereo separation, and most were limited to an open-air baffle. Still... I'm sure I can rework some things and get a much nicer sound out of it.

Offline R/T

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Being a tube system, they have a nice "warm" sound to them. I love the old cabinets, I just don't have anywhere to put one
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Offline bcrewcaptain

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I have 2 of those console magnavox styles(one I replaced the woofers in already) I have a grundig tube(one of the tombstone style) and another german tube style from the 40's...

as well as a few other vintage electronics in the manroom

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Offline Bingo Jed

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I have 2 of those console magnavox styles(one I replaced the woofers in already) I have a grundig tube(one of the tombstone style) and another german tube style from the 40's...

as well as a few other vintage electronics in the manroom


:o :o :o

Would that happen to be a reel to reel I see in the back?

And a couple zenith radio's on the bottom shelf?

That's an awesome collection. [thumbsup]
I'm sure once I settle down somewhere and buy a house, I'll start my collection.

And R/T, I completely agree about tube amps. That's the main reason I want to get that dynaco hooked up in there. Love that warm sound and the smell that a tube amp puts out is just as warm.

Offline redidbull

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I just don't have anywhere to put one

That is the reason we didn't keep it. Jim


Offline argogirb67

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My parents still have a 60s rca victor black and white tv(24 inch or so)and tube am,fm,sw,turntable unit,2 way speakers.TV tube is shot but the rest still works,takes about 3 min .to warm up but that thing cranked when i was a teen(unhooked the phono input and hooked in cassete deck).still a near perfect finish on it!anyone else remember black and white TV? [smiley=headscratch.gif]
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Offline Bingo Jed

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I told my girlfriend I was on the lookout for a one of the older console TV's too. I want to gut it, line it with plexiglass and make it into a fish tank.

That got vetoed immediately, unless I keep it in my studio.  ;D

Offline bcrewcaptain

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:o :o :o

Would that happen to be a reel to reel I see in the back?

And a couple zenith radio's on the bottom shelf?

That's an awesome collection. [thumbsup]
I'm sure once I settle down somewhere and buy a house, I'll start my collection.

And R/T, I completely agree about tube amps. That's the main reason I want to get that dynaco hooked up in there. Love that warm sound and the smell that a tube amp puts out is just as warm.


I love my old toys....half of them I have never plugged in...one tube desktop radio I did and the tube blew out the back :o :o :o
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Offline ZUKIMON

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Tubes are how the really cool ROCK AND ROLL was made. ;) [thumbsup]  Just ask my pops what he thinks about his tube amps compared to the solid state stuff. :-X




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Offline Bingo Jed

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Tubes are how the really cool ROCK AND ROLL was made. ;) [thumbsup]  Just ask my pops what he thinks about his tube amps compared to the solid state stuff. :-X
definitely agree. I have a pretty high-end onkyo receiver and it's just not the same. It's got all kinds of bells and whistles, but... ehhh... it's just not tubes.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to just a stereo setup. 5.1 is neat, but only for movies.

Offline viking

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There's an old furnature store in Grants Pass, Oregon that has a lot of tube amps and pre-amps.  A McIntosh or two, which were the Rolls Royce of amps.   They also had a Dynaco pre-amp and amp.  Great stuff, I built a few tube amp kits when I was young, Eico kits.  I miss that stuff, it really had a warmth that solid state doesn't seem to have.
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Offline ZUKIMON

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I'm really looking forward to getting back to just a stereo setup. 5.1 is neat, but only for movies.

You know what? I can totaly relate to that statement. ;)  I have a Kenwood, model Nine G sitting here just asking to be hooked up to my old Pioneer cabinets and I'm too lazy to make the effort to do so. ::) ;D That thing is a real cooker and it's solid state as well. :o It's old skool solid state though. Not the junk like you find today.

Hey viking, I remember helping one of my uncles put together a Heath Kit tube amp. for a CB when I was really young. I don't remember what size that sucker was, but he had to have another one inline with it just to be able for it to work. You know, one driving it to get enough input for it to work. :o  We could take a flourescent bulb about 10 or so feet away from the antenna and light it up when he would key down the mic. ;D  Good times, good times I say. ;D




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Offline catfishblues

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I've worked on enough consoles and tube amps to never want to work on them again!  :-X Most of the consoles you'll come across were substandard stuff, the Audiovox of their day. Cheap and pretty, and the construction reflected that. The turntables have no real mass to them, and I would be scared to put any of my good wax on them. Cheap needles and they'd rarely hold a tune. I didn't mind working on the really old ones. The big, massive-armed Magnavox stuff. You know, with the 78 rpm setting.  ;) But by the time the cheaper stuff came out, everything in them was cheapened to the point it was hardly worth working on them. I've passed up several and keep seeing them come up for free. I actually gutted a B&W console TV for a customer once. All tube chassis for the amp and tuner, too. Even had the early clicker style remote. We had intentions of upgrading the electronics to newer stuff, but they never followed through. I hung onto that tube chassis and speakers until the space became more valuable to me than the electronics. They're in the landfill now.  :-[

The tube stuff is fun, but I came to the realization that it wasn't all "good stuff." Just like today's market, there were different levels of quality. Just because it has some 6l6s in the back doesn't mean it's going to sound good. I had a Harmon/Kardon Lute for a while. Replaced all the caps and got it back up and running. It was cute and fun, and sounded pretty good, but I gave it to my cousin. It was one of HK's first attempts at an integrated amp in a small package. It looked really cool. I miss it occasionally. I still have a couple of pieces of tube stuff rolling around, but I'm scared to put power to them. I don't have a variac, and I have no clue how long it's been since these things were plugged in. I'll get around to playing with them someday, though.

And don't get me started on reel-to-reel decks! Talk about an excercise in patience and dexterity!

Geoff, I had the same idea as you for a long time, to make a TV or console aquarium. That's another hobby I've grown past. Not before I accumulated enough glass to start a small fish store, though! Know anybody that wants it?  ;D
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Offline Nebey

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I have one of these out at my cottage, it was my parents when I was growing up.  When I got older I gave it a good cleaning, got the electronics going again, it still works great to this day.
Been trying to decide if I should keep it, or toss it.  Takes up a lot of room.

Offline Bingo Jed

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I've worked on enough consoles and tube amps to never want to work on them again!  :-X Most of the consoles you'll come across were substandard stuff, the Audiovox of their day. Cheap and pretty, and the construction reflected that.
To some extent... There are ones that are made of plywood and have cheap plastic trim. But then again, compared to what TV stands go for today and the quality of materials they're made out of it's even more horrible. I completely agree about the components being substandard. I probably will gut most of the electronics.
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The turntables have no real mass to them, and I would be scared to put any of my good wax on them. Cheap needles and they'd rarely hold a tune. I didn't mind working on the really old ones. The big, massive-armed Magnavox stuff. You know, with the 78 rpm setting.  ;)
I definitely won't be playing any vinyl on this one! I've got two technics 1200 turntables I use for djing, so anything I wanna play... I'll play through that. Most of the vinyl I have is geared towards djing anyway, so there's only one or two tracks on each side. I do have some old motown and soul stuff, but that's going to be ripped to my harddrive and encoded as a .FLAC file.
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But by the time the cheaper stuff came out, everything in them was cheapened to the point it was hardly worth working on them. I've passed up several and keep seeing them come up for free. I actually gutted a B&W console TV for a customer once. All tube chassis for the amp and tuner, too. Even had the early clicker style remote. We had intentions of upgrading the electronics to newer stuff, but they never followed through. I hung onto that tube chassis and speakers until the space became more valuable to me than the electronics. They're in the landfill now.  :-[
That's a shame. The main reason I like this stuff is for sentimental purposes. Like I said before, my grandparents had a couple of these console units and it's one of the earliest memories I have with them. It always impressed me, even from an early age. But it's also such a distinct piece of furniture, and can still be very functional. Even though it wasn't a high end piece, it was still a common item for its time and I feel represents a distinct era. The design and patterns in the wood, the large bold knobs, and the font type used on the radio and fascia. To me, it's comparable to people who restore classic cars. I also think it's a shame that they end up in scrapyards. :(

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The tube stuff is fun, but I came to the realization that it wasn't all "good stuff." Just like today's market, there were different levels of quality. Just because it has some 6l6s in the back doesn't mean it's going to sound good. I had a Harmon/Kardon Lute for a while. Replaced all the caps and got it back up and running. It was cute and fun, and sounded pretty good, but I gave it to my cousin. It was one of HK's first attempts at an integrated amp in a small package. It looked really cool. I miss it occasionally. I still have a couple of pieces of tube stuff rolling around, but I'm scared to put power to them. I don't have a variac, and I have no clue how long it's been since these things were plugged in. I'll get around to playing with them someday, though.

I hope you do! Sounds like you had / have some cool stuff.

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And don't get me started on reel-to-reel decks! Talk about an excercise in patience and dexterity!


Sadly, I was never fortunate enough to use these first hand. My uncle still has one though, and I remember him using it to record with when I was a kid.

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Geoff, I had the same idea as you for a long time, to make a TV or console aquarium. That's another hobby I've grown past. Not before I accumulated enough glass to start a small fish store, though! Know anybody that wants it?  ;D
Yeah... me! Hold onto it though intil I get my next console!  ;D

I have one of these out at my cottage, it was my parents when I was growing up.  When I got older I gave it a good cleaning, got the electronics going again, it still works great to this day.
Been trying to decide if I should keep it, or toss it.  Takes up a lot of room.
KEEP IT! Show it to your kids so they appreciate it too. Then you can pass the burden onto them!  ;D

Offline bearingman

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my parents still have one that "we" got for Christmas one year-still works, at least 35 years old, close to 40.  Mom uses it to sit pictures on.  6 to 7 foot long.