1958 Fisher President..........real or just some myth

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by vintage cltr, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. vintage cltr

    vintage cltr Active Member

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    who are we kidding here? why is it there are no physical pictures/videos of this console? all I keep seeing is the '58 Fisher manual picture. that's it! are there none of these in existence.... anywhere?

    look it's pretty hard to restore a console with nothing to go on, but a manual picture.

    I would really love to see the rear-view, showing the amps and speaker configurations.

    Hell, at this point, I would even take a scanned in Polaroid.


    thanks
     

     

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  2. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    Manual pages are all we've got. Presidents aren't grown on trees. In the 10 years here on AK, I've seen a total of 4 and none older than a 61. The other 3 were a 63 and 2-64's. FISHER MADE SO FEW OF THEM it's a wonder these exist at all. Plus when household styles changed in the Late 60's and Solid State took a lead with component stereo that was at the time "the in thing", consoles were tossed whole, or stripped of their guts, the guts sold and the cabinets were trashed or burned. Also Presidents cost as much as a FORD Mustang with the 289-4V and the only ones that were getting them were the upwardly mobile (Dr.'s, Lawyers, Advertising Executives, CEO's with more money than brains, etc.) The average Joe Bought Custom Electra's and Futura's, Philharmonics, and Diplomats. The mid to lower 1/2 of the line was the bread and butter for FISHER. Presidents, Regents, and Executives were the icing on the cake, but as you went down the line, more units were sold.

    Look over on the Stickies sub-forum, the thread called a compendium of FISHER CONSOLES. TheRED1 Lists AK owners by Year and model. There are 2-3 Presidents in there IIRC. Click on the sub links and you'll get to the individual threads.
     
  3. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Top of the range models are more window dressing than money makers in any industry. The manufacturer knows that too. They don't expect to sell a pile of them but it looks really good to have a fancy model in the advertizing flyers.
     
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  4. walyfd

    walyfd Well-Known Member

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    Surely they were made. How many is anyone's guess and very few would have survived. Size, complexity of repair, etc play against totl items like this. Like how luxury cars lose and never regain their value. But they help sell the lower models.
     
  5. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    And Gadget does love CHEAP OLDER Lincoln's :jump:
     
  6. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    Another thing is that FISHER Console collecting is a Niche hobby(consoles) within in a Niche Hobby(Fisher tube gear from the 50's and 60's) within a Niche Hobby (Vintage Tube gear collecting and restoration). How many 1948 Tuckers have you actually seen. According to sources 49-50 were built and there are a good dozen left existing in the world last I heard. Or for that matter a 1958 Chevy DELRAY Business wagon. Not too many of those left either. I've seen 2 in my 62 years. There may be a few more but Chevy didn't make too many of them. And the people who have them keep them under lock and key for the most part and rarely bring them out. But consoles were and always have been considered furniture 1st, and audio gear 2nd. How many times before you were 21 did your parents get new furniture to "keep up with the Jones". The old stuff was either sold at a garage sale or given to Salvation Army or Goodwill. And that included consoles, if they weren't stripped and broken up for firewood. I saw my 1st and only LaSalle (1939 4dr with the BIG STRAIGHT 8) about 10 years ago. I'd seen pictures of them, but had never seen one. This one had been restored from 3 different cars that the guy had spent 25 years looking for. And '39 was the last year for LaSalle's so he had a hell of a time finding parts.

    It may take you years to reconstruct this cabinet to 1958 spec's. But at least you know what chassis' are in it, and have a Front pic of what it's supposed to look like.
     

     

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  7. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Nothing more expensive than a cheap car you know. Actually when new only my Towncar would have been a cheap one, and purely because it had almost no options. Probably a $20k car in 1986 which is still like 45K now. The Mark VII was around 31K in 1991, so 57K now. The Continental I'm not sure, base price says 22K, but I don't know what the diesel would have added to that. 22K in '84 is a 52K car today.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  8. vintage cltr

    vintage cltr Active Member

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    Larry,

    Although you comment makes sense, you seem to be missing the point. what I mean is, (using your example) google a '39 LaSalle... a few examples pop up.

    Here, if you go looking for information on a 1958 Magnavox Concert Grand, you will find it. When I restored my Bell and Howell 866 (from '58) I found information.

    Now I know both examples given listed out for about $1100 each, while the Fisher was double that. Add this to the fact that average family incomes were around $3800 at year..

    I get the rarity part and this may be pretty damn rare, but I figured if I were to ask the question, why not come a very reputable source? (AK)

    If anything, I'm just a bit frustrated by the lack of information, but I see that this console is going to be a huge undertaking.

    The other thing that makes me nuts, is once I get going on this project, I know there's going to somebody telling me, "oh, that's not factory"

    It's all good.... haters goin to hate!

    Thanks for the info though
     
  9. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    Magnavox sold all over the Country, and had their own stores in the 50's and 60's. FISHER was a regional manufacturer/Dealer and mainly sold in the N.E and Mid-Atlantic up thru about 1960. Then they expanded some into the mid west and west coast but not like Magnavox did. Magnavox was practically everywhere, and their stores were dedicated Magnavox stores. They usually had at least every model in stock for that year. I remember back in the late 60's that in the Bay Area (San Fran Bay) there were Magnavox Stores in San Jose, Vallejo, Sacramento, and On the East side of the Bay but don't remember the name of the Town, it might have been Hayward. There was one Music Store (Piano Store if you Will) that sold FISHER and that was in SAN Francisco. FISHER catered more to the upper crust by mainly selling their equipment in Music Stores(Piano/Musical Instrument Stores)calling their specific FISHER Areas, FISHER SALONS, rather than places like Pacific Stereo, etc until very late in the 60's/Early 70's. And it was usually in LARGE CITIES (NYC, Philly, Wash D.C., etc.). If you look at the ad's for a lot of late 50's/Early 60's stuff they charged extra for units sold west of the Rockies. Maggie Concert Grands were comparatively a dime a dozen compare to a FISHER President or Executive (or the two combined along with a couple other models) and the Maggie was 1/3 to 1/2 of the price. Mid Level Blue collar guys could comfortably afford a Maggie Concert Grand. But like I said earlier, FISHER was more of a Custom Shop and catered to the Elite (Dr.'s, Lawyers, CEO's with more $$ than Brains, etc.) The quantity just wasn't there for the FISHER's being regional at the time.
     
  10. Snow

    Snow AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    You have to realize that information pictures etc of most stuff gets harder to find as the item/s are older the internet was not around in 1958 so the only ones adding info online are of the very few that survived which may only be 5 or less now out of those 5 three are likely to be in someones garage or basement long forgotten so no chance of seeing them unless they get discovered at an estate sale or the like and then they may never get put online by the new owners.

    Also there are very few audiophiles and even less Fisher tube collectors and even far fewer Fisher tube console collectors compared to car collectors or 1939 LaSalle collectors I hate to say it but you may have the only one out there and you may never find what you are looking for. Even Western Electric branded items which have a world wide collector group can be near impossible to find out about online.


    Regards Snow
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  11. vintage cltr

    vintage cltr Active Member

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    Location:
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    since it has warmed up briefly, I had a chance to pull the Ampex reel to reel.

    can anyone date code this? the serial # shows 10576.

    this might help with dating this unit.

    I thought it might be: 10 week, 57 year, 6 day?
     

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  12. walyfd

    walyfd Well-Known Member

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    Not positive but I think that Apex was first used in the president in 1961. Prior to that, both the executive and president used the same Sony dk-555. Also, it seems like the '61 president used the Garrard type A where the executive used the 88 series... Fisher did some strange things...

    Post pictures of the inside and outside of the cabinet so we can see where everything was mounted.
     
  13. vintage cltr

    vintage cltr Active Member

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    [​IMG]

    look pretty stock to me.
     
  14. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Date code on the transformer or that original looking capacitor would help confirm if week 10 '57 makes sense. I'd be more inclined to think October of '57 if this is a 1958 model.
     
  15. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    Look for a written in date on the Yellow tag strip on the motor. Otherwise a rubber stamp date on the motor. The lack of a 2nd channel amp where the ID TAG IS says that this is an earlier model than a 950, possibly a 900 series (902). There is no mention of what R2R FISHER used on the 57 model, although FISHER was supplying 80-T tuners to AMPEX for their consoles for a couple of years. FISHER DID use an AMPEX in the 1958 President although we don't know for sure which model. The 950 for 1958 sounds reasonable.

    I don't think this particular Tape deck is original to this cabinet, due to the lack of a 2nd channel preamp, and the single gang knobs on the front unless this is a 1957 cabinet. If your dating the unit as a '57, the Allied Radio Sticker could have been a repair tag. Without looking at any date codes, on the motor or any parts, I would date this probably from mid/late '56 to mid to late '58 As AMPEX made the 900 and 950 series from 1956 to 1960 model years. This AMPEX looks like a Model 902. A Model 950/952/954 would have dual knob pots, and a 2nd preamp where the model tag is. Both the 900 series and 950 series are listed in the 1958 AMPEX OWNERS MANUAL.

    FISHER going over to the SONY (SUPERSCOPE) R2R might have been part of the change in the President from the Ike to JFK regimes. But they probably went back to the AMPEX for the 1962 model year for reasons unknown. It's possible that the Sony repair ratio to units sold was unacceptable, or it could be other reasons. By 1962 at least the Executive and the Regent were using the 1250, and I would presume the President also did.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  16. lithography

    lithography Born to Print Subscriber

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    This President was no myth, for The Fisher was the real deal...

    A very beautiful pair of ultra rare The Fisher President preamps belong to the impressive collection of vintage audio at:
    http://theused.com/my-collectionnot-forsale/pre-amps/

    I believe these are from the late '56, '57, '58 Fisher President as pictured in the advertisements:
    http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/what-is-this.802274/page-3

    Featuring the Master Audio Control Center with Program Clock and Timer!

    I would have liked to post the photos, but the images are copyrighted, and I respect that. Check it out for yourself!
    The Used © 2018. All Rights Reserved

    cheers,

    Tom
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018

     

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  17. walyfd

    walyfd Well-Known Member

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    Just checked in on the "What is this?" Thread that I missed. The r2r seems correct. Links like the Sony was used on the '59 and '60 president. The r2r drawer flipped down so you could plug in the microphone so that'd be one telltale sign of the sony...

    Looks more and more to be right for '58.

    What's the head compliment on the Ampex? Is it 2 and 4 track or just 2 track?
     
  18. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    Wow, Tom. Thanks for that link to the pair of PRTs at Theused.com. I’d never seen that before. There were definitely a few model 2000 Presidents produced for the 1956 thru 1958 model years. A fellow named Elliot Newcomb posted here on AK a number of years ago about his uncle’s ‘56 President from which he inherited the chassis and manuals but not the cabinet. You might find his description illuminating:

    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/in...onsoles-1959-1965.146667/page-21#post-4183104

    His case is probably typical, wherein the chassis and the cabinet have become separated. Even among Fisher collectors, how many have space to devote to such a huge, (albeit pleasing,) cabinet? I’m lucky to be able to keep the two I have.

    I of know of a Fisher collector who has gutted a number of Presidents - including several early ones - for the chassis. He started doing this in the late 70s before there was much interest in tube hi-fi at all. I think most folks would be surprised how many consoles Fisher sold - including their astronomically priced flagship models - in their hayday. Sadly, most have probably been hauled to the curb or, at best, gutted for their high quality innerds by now.

    I applaud anyone who makes room for one of these amazing dinosaurs in their home. Having the ambition to repopulate a gutted early Prsident goes above and beyond. I have the service manual for the model 2000 if that would be of any help. It doesn’t have much beyond schematics and parts lists, unfortunately.
     
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  19. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    RED; I had forgotten enewcombs post. So we have a documented case of a Viking Tape Deck for 1956, Ampex Tape Deck for '57 as in the Ad. '58 and '59 was un branded. So it could be AMPEX, Sony, Tandberg.....'61 was SONY, as possibly 62, and back to AMPEX by '63 definatively.
     
  20. vintage cltr

    vintage cltr Active Member

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    Location:
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    Tom,

    I saw the pictures. I have tried contacting him via email but to no avail.

    I will get this beast put back together but ant help tracking down the tuners and preamp is MUCH appreciated.
     

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