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Old 10th July 2015, 06:28 PM   #1
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Default Vintage Hi Fi refurb

I'd love to hear from anyone that has done refurb/upgrade work on vintage hi fi consoles. I recently saw a great old Philips console (like the pic below) for sale locally for about $150. I was seriously tempted to just get it but I don't know what I would be getting into but it really seems like the coolest project.
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Old 17th July 2015, 06:57 PM   #2
Jsixis is offline Jsixis  United States
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Never refurbished one but I have taken a few apart. The Problem with consoles is the take up a lot of space. Lots of them available out there, quite a few have tube amps, some have decent speakers but they are usually an open baffle design.
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Old 18th July 2015, 09:58 AM   #3
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Start with something small and cheap, like an AM radio. Decide whether you are going to simply repair what is faulty, or 'upgrade'. Note that many 'upgrades' make no difference at all to sound quality, and some may degrade sound quality or reliability. In these sets the sound is set largely by the OPT, speakers and cabinet - if you change these you are in effect building a new item in an old box, not refurbing an old item.

None of these can produce hi-fi sound, but many can produce a pleasant sound if you are not too critical or prefer nostalgia.
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Old 21st July 2015, 02:35 AM   #4
kb52 is offline kb52  United States
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They are purely collectible. Most of the ones using tube amps are going to need work, but most especially that you will need to replace the dried out AC filter capacitors and depending on age, many of the WAX covered caps with more modern ones. To keep things looking vintage you can simply mount modern versions of the old caps sometimes underneath the chassis. However since few would be looking at the insides where it is a console, you could remove the can caps. Also by going (slightly) larger in both voltage and capacitance will possibly gain a little more stability and power at higher volumes, and cause much less drifiting in cases where you got an FM reciever.

Heading into the 70s era then you find the problems with those are that again power supply caps need replacing but seldom much else. But in the 70s some amps would be taxed to the point where output transistors are aging, as well as the low impedance wire wound resistors, due to too many times of the user playing the unit at high volumes.

The speakers on most of these were also somewhat marginal, especially in power handling, but dont replace them unless they are blown or distorted due to age or bad cones. And then replace them with same ohm type, but you replace them might gain a better sound even. Just dont replace them with high power speakers, as that would degrade the sound.

Now when it comes to the record player, generally going to find that needs a complete overhaul, mainly to lube it with phone lube grease and remove any old grease that typically hardens up over time. Doing so will restore new life and make the record changer once again operate smooth and quiet. Also is that you will likely need to clean the ribber idler wheel, that drives the turntable, as it usually becomes glazed.

So unless the unit was well taken care of, many of these things will need be done.

Lastly of course will be lubing and cleaning all the controls, blowing out all the dust, and cleaning and lubing all the switches.
Replacing rubber bushings, and sometimes having to re-string the dial cords.
Also of course makes sense to replace the burned out light bulbs as needed.

how far you go depends on how passionate you are. Dont expect of course top notch performance but be happy that if it does work, it is a testimonial to how well it has survived over the many years.

Truly its time consuming. But if you want this is what it would take.
Otherwise many just enjoy them for the looks.
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