1961 Fisher President VI Restoration

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by zarek, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Spent a few hours documenting the disassembly of the console in pictures yesterday. I want a very clear record so that reassembly will be easy and accurate.Some interesting discoveries while opening it up were that it has never been apart. It was all original with the exception of a few of the power amp tubes. Also the right speakers appear to have been hooked up wrong from the factory, the leads were connected to both the 8 and 16 ohm outputs at the same time. The left speakers were only hooked to the 8 ohm output. The preamp was missing rubber feet on one side, and some of the screws had washers and some didn't. Here are pics of the unit as found and before being opened up.

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  2. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Here are pics of the unit as I opened it up and removed the major components for cleaning and refurbishment.

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
  3. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Pics of the first amp. It was missing screws on the hidden side which made me think it had been apart previously. but upon opening I found no evidence that it had ever been touched. Perhaps they rattled out during the trip home to Wisconsin, as it was transported on its back. The legs were not sturdy enough for it to be transported upright. Something I wasn't expecting was the amp chassis's are constructed of heavy gauge copper, wow!

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2017
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  4. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Pics of the second amp, this amp had never been opened either and it had blown its fuse. Like the other amp the original EL37 tubes had been replaced with 6L6GC's.

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  5. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Pics of the CX400 preamp as found, all original and untouched. The tubes were all Telefunken's or Mullard's. The rectifier was a GE labeled Mullard.

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  6. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Pics of the 4000R tuner.

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  7. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Pics of the remote control unit. It looks to be in near perfect condition.

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  8. walyfd

    walyfd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    631
    Location:
    Northeastern PA
    Simply beautiful... I like the drawer.
     
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  9. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,992
    Location:
    NC
    Very very nice!
     
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  10. Sam08861

    Sam08861 Active Member

    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    Northwestern NJ
    I imagine that ought to be a great performer with all those discrete components, each of which looks like a beast in their own right. Looking forward to seeing it all restored. Keep it going!
     
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  11. larryderouin

    larryderouin You can be sure if it's Westinghouse??????? Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,127
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    I guess this means I'm gonna have to try and keep up with the jones' now if his restoration goes like I have a feeling it will. Besides the'63 Executive's 800c needs a little preventive maintenance. Another coat of light Howards, and feed and wax. GAWD I hated PM'ing gear when I was in the Navy.
     
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  12. vendo81

    vendo81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,508
    Location:
    California
    Very nice! I bet it will sound wonderful when you get it restored.
     
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  13. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    I would appreciate some help with the 400-CX preamp. Specifically, how far would you go into this unit? Looking at it I can tell you it is super nice and all original. I want to know that is safe for use and well preserved, but I don't want to over restore it. I'm concerned about hurting its value and originality. What do you think?

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  14. larryderouin

    larryderouin You can be sure if it's Westinghouse??????? Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,127
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    aesthetically the only thing you HAVE to do is clean and buff up the Faceplate. The Can caps May or May not be on the way out. I would replace them just for the comfort level when you fire it up. There are some Electrolytics in there (Orange axials circled in blue-green) that must be replaced. The rubber seals on them dry out and then they bulge out of the end. FRAKO IS BRAND NAME, they are German. There are 5 that I marked and saw. Check for others. Nichicon TVX series work well here. As long as you replace them and they are set exactly as installed you aren't messing with the historic fabric of it (sound wise). The Brown Drops that are coupling caps check for electrical leakage (cap tester)and replace as needed with your choice of cap. It's 55 years old and is tired. So anything you do will boost the sound towards the original sound of the 400cx. Plenty of restoration threads on the 400cx series. I think Dave has a Multi page resto thread on the 400cx. I'd give that a look. Anything you do to increase safety and reliability of the 400 should not diminish it's viability in the market.

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    Last edited: Apr 16, 2017
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  15. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    Hi all, it took me a while to find the correct replacement legs for the President. I finally found a place in California that custom makes them and I was able to obtain a set http://www.ferroushardware.com/. The legs are a perfect match for the President and I dare say they are nicer than the original as these are real brass. I had thought the original were made of aluminum, but after really looking at them I think they were actually die cast zinc (pot-metal). Of note is that what looks like a brass cradle supporting the console in the Fisher catalog pictures is simply a brass "L" angle and eight separate legs. attached to the bottom of the console.

    For anyone who is lucky enough to find one of these consoles you should be aware the legs (original or replacement) are only just strong enough to hold the console up, the console cannot be pushed or slid sideways without bending them. Five of the eight original legs had failed form being stressed with side loads. To keep this from happening again and preserve my back, I researched and found the handy lift in the pics, it's called the Mighty King Desk Lift and they are made in MPLS MN. I was able to get a great deal on one from Amazon (open box) and I can now move the President with ease and without risk of damage.

    Notice the custom glass top I had made for the console, it protects the wood and looks fantastic. I have cleaned the wood and polished it with Howard's and at this point the console looks really great. Soon I will begin the electronic restoration and post pics of the recapped and serviced components p13.jpg p8.jpg p12.jpg p3.jpg p4.jpg p5.jpg
     
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  16. larryderouin

    larryderouin You can be sure if it's Westinghouse??????? Subscriber

    Messages:
    20,127
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    That's one way to do it, I guess. You could get some furniture dollies @ Harbor freight and tie them together with a couple of 4x4 pieces that would support the president.
     
  17. zarek

    zarek Active Member

    Messages:
    105
    Location:
    Kenosha, Wisconsin
    The President has reached a critical milestone, the preamplifier, tuner, and both power amps have been completely overhauled and are working beautifully. The unit is fully functional with the exception of the RTR and record changer (saved them for when I have more time). I have it playing through a set of Klipsh RP-280F towers instead of the internal speakers as the room placement isn't ideal for the console (the towers are properly located in the room but are out of view). The present sources of music are a Denon DP-300F with an Ortofon 2M Red cartridge (top left of console), an Amazon Echo Dot that streams Amazon Unlimited to aux1, a second digital input to aux 2 for hooking up other digital sources, and of course the tuner.

    The Amazon Echo Dot is a very interesting device, not only can it stream every song ever recorded for $3.99 a month, it's also a very effective voice operated remote control. I am using it to turn the President on and off via a smart outlet. All I have to do is say "Alexa, turn the President on or off" and it does so. This will preserve the original preamp power switch which is still working perfectly. I'm also using the Echo Dot to control my living room Hue lighting which is pretty cool, I highly recommend this $50 device.

    I have not posted detail pics of the restoration as I've been limited on free time. All the electrolytics were replaced with new Hayseed Hamfest units except one in the preamp which was replaced with an F&T 50/50 and two Nichicon 10's (the Hayseed cap was too large for the factory clamp and I didn't want to alter the unit). The tubes are all original Telefunkens throughout except for the four outputs which are new Gold Lion KT66's and two NOS RCA's RV4 power amp rectifiers (ST bottles).

    The 100 power amps had cooked some of the original wiring attached to their huge multistep resistors, which I replaced. The 400CX pre had a blown fuse which had prevented damage from the failed electrolytics in it, but was all original and in great condition cosmetically. After recapping, cleaning all the pots, and changing the bulbs it is working perfectly. The tuner had numerous weak tubes and was dirty, but otherwise excellent. I was able to remove and wash the dial glass successfully which now looks like new and both of the original Fisher dial lights still work. The signal strength indicator tubes in the tuner are both serviceable, the FM is a little dimmer but not worth replacing.

    I'm now officially music ready for the upcoming party and holiday season. I'm wondering if anyone will point out the "Easter Egg". When I have time I will be doing a YouTube video of this beast.
    Pat







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  18. dcgillespie

    dcgillespie Fisher SA-100 Clone Subscriber

    Messages:
    8,985
    Location:
    Ball Ground, GA
    Absolutely beautiful!! Now you need to find a MPX unit for it!

    Dave
     
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  19. Rob Thomas

    Rob Thomas AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    245
    Location:
    Boone, NC
    Wow! Absolutely stunning console! As stated above, each component is just beautiful and a performer in their own right. What a special piece to own. Congrats and looking forward to more pics of the restoration as you have time.
     
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  20. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,568
    Location:
    Lexington, Massachusetts
    Dang, that's a real statement piece, to be treasured.

    Are you sure it's from '61? I thought the script font for "stereophonic" was only used in '59 and '60.
     
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