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A Fisher 400 followed me home.

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by Gypsy Jim, Aug 29, 2018.

  1. Gypsy Jim

    Gypsy Jim New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Kensington, Maryland
    Hello,
    My name is Jimmy and my intro thread is here:
    http://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/hello-from-maryland.835645/

    I have the little old lady story. A good friend's Mom passed. She was 93 and was a violinist. This receiver was hers. My friend was going to chuck it so I said I'd take it. He told me that many years ago it acted up so he got her a newer receiver and a set of bookshelf speakers. He gave me the speakers too. ( B&W from England ?) I took it home, blew off some dust, hooked up the speakers with antenna and gave it a try. It played through both speakers but sounded muddy. All tubes (the ones I could see) and face lights were lit. So I thought a forum will provide a wealth of info. (and hopefully not a new obsession/hobby) I've been poking around and obviously you guys like Fisher. I appreciate the warmer sound of old gear as I play guitar and have a tubed Blackface Fender Deluxe Reverb. I read on one thread where they were asking for serial numbers on 400s and other info which I did not understand. This unit's number is 56660. I see that when the units are restored many parts are required (I saw part kits on line, restoration services etc.) This type of restoration is WAY beyond my technical understanding or abilities. To be honest, I am hesitant about putting too many dollars into something I don't need and so many projects around my house need attention. But somehow I hate to just put it back on a shelf so I've come to you guys for advise. Maybe there are different levels of restoration like cars, on body or frame off. I saw where you guys discussed which rebuild kit was the best. Also there are many upgrades that you guys like and I saw a sticky on that subject. There is a old time radio repair shop in my town. The owner has tons of table top and transistor radios lining his shop. From wood to bakelite. Radios stacked to the ceiling like cord wood. I'm hesitant to give it to him. I do promise to go and take pics of this place and post them here.
    I'll wrap this up with a couple questions:
    What would a good restoration cost?
    Can you recommend a vendor here? (if allowed. and hopefully someone close to the DC area)
    What is the unit's approximate "as is" worth?
    Fully restored what is its value?
    Thanks in advance. I threw in a pic of my tube tester. I got it just because I love knobs and switches. Every time I've ever been in any kind of industrial control room I just want to start pushing buttons and throwing switches. :) I saw where you might use a Variac to test equipment. I think mine is old. (like me) DSCN5202.JPG DSCN5203.JPG DSCN5194.JPG DSCN5195.JPG
     

     

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  2. Lo-Fidelity

    Lo-Fidelity AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    996
    Location:
    Houston
    Well you are at the right place to get advice and assistance.

    There are quite a few first time restorers here on the forum who have restored units with help from this forum.

    Great save on the 400! I just finished my 500 with tons of help from the experts here. I love the sound and the fact that I did the work.

    I am sure you will get some recommendations on techs in your area.
     
  3. nickdinatale

    nickdinatale AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    148
    Location:
    North Shore, Massachusetts
    Give it a few hours and you'll have some of the best people coming along with advice. My first major restoration was a Fisher 500C which I still love very much. If you like your Fender Deluxe, I feel as though you'd love how a Fisher will make your music sound. Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
     
  4. rufleruf

    rufleruf AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,122
    Before you off it... Playing on both channels but muddy using the tuner... I assume it's a station that's usually strong? Did you try the old iphone into aux jacks test? That's usually where I start since I know what to expect. Is it evenly muddy between both channels? Did you keep an eye on the output tubes? When they redplate they distort.

    I'll send you a PM about cost/value questions...

    Nice receiver BTW - the 400 can sound amazing when dialed in. I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand.
     
  5. smccrary

    smccrary Low-Budget Collector

    Messages:
    625
    Location:
    Hilliard, Ohio
    Go slow. Take your time and do it right. You can expect plenty of really solid advice on this forum.
     
  6. bhamham

    bhamham AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,016
    Location:
    Austin
    Jimmy, that is a beautiful 400. It could be a made into a family heirloom that would last a few generations at least.
    Sounds to me that you've got your plate full with projects. You might think about having it professionally restored. In the DC area you could ask Larry Derouin (hope it's OK to recommend someone). Not sure if he's still doing restorations as I've been out of the loop for awhile, but a few of his excellent restorations are threads right here in the Fisher section. Anyway, all the best with it!
     

     

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  7. playittwice

    playittwice Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    677
    Location:
    Dubuque Iowa
    Wow, nice find, I've been on the hunt for one of those for quite awhile. Good luck with it.
     
  8. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,906
    Location:
    New Jersey
    It could do with a restore (read that as needs).
    That said there are a few in the DC area that probably could do it for you. Short term you might try cleaning all the controls , switches, jacks.
    It might surprise you how much that should improve it.
    Enjoy your Fisher (I am sorry about the addiction , it just comes like the tide:D)
     
  9. nj pheonix

    nj pheonix AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,906
    Location:
    New Jersey
    Oh for the record, old tube gear that has sat unused for sometime, should be brought up slowly on a variac or at least a dbt.
    You didn't seem to have issue. Just advice when the next piece follows you home.
     
  10. Gypsy Jim

    Gypsy Jim New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Location:
    Kensington, Maryland
    Thanks for the responses so far. I appreciate the fact that a few of you were able to DIY with help from the forum. First, my soldering skills really suck plus my electrical expertise ends at wiring something in series. This is best left to a pro which is why, after I confirmed the unit wasn't totally trashed, I turned it off and began some research. I don't even trust myself with the most rudimentary pot or socket cleaning for fear I'd F something up.
    I also think my list of questions is unfair. I shouldn't ask for restored value because I'm not interested in a fix and flip. If repaired it would be for me. Plus I could always check completed auctions. I was just being lazy. What would be great would be any suggestions on repair guys as suggested bhamham. (Larry Derouin if you read this and are willing to help please PM me.)
    Just PM me with any suggestions for anyone reasonably close to DC. Of course a member here would be a plus. I'm willing to do some driving to save the piece because I'm sure shipping this with insurance is expensive on its own.
    If I decide to not attempt this adventure I will offer it up to you guys and I'll worry about a fair "as is" price at that point.

    Thanks again for any advise.
     
  11. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,829
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    Unfortunately I'm not doing any more restorations. The 400 I got FEB 2017 is still sitting on the bench untouched since March 2017 when late wife had a downturn. I don't know if I'll finish it or not. There are more than a few AK'er's in the D.C. Area that are knowledgable with FISHER's.

    I just got back from a week of RV camping OFF THE GRID! FUN! No TV. No Phone, just a laptop with a shitload of music to stream to the Pioneer SX-434 and Minimus 7's in the Trailer. Read 3 books during the week.
     

     

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  12. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,346
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    Larry,

    I’m feeling jealousy here.
     
  13. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,829
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    Go ahead and feel jealous. I had to get away from the house for a week. You don't have one of your kids and his partner moving in with more stuff and furniture than I accumulated in 35+years of Married life. He's getting the house next year, so I don't feel too bad about my stuff being squeezed out. My Girlfriend is being quite good about my moving a few of my consoles into her storage unit and her condo. The Executive is probably going into her dining room. The 64 Custom electra is in the bedroom already and she loves it. The '65 Futura will probably go in the living room or vice versa with the Exec.
    I've got the late 400 in the living room with the Zero 100 and KLH-17's right now. The X-101B has crackling and hum on startup then it quiets down after a couple minutes so the 400 took it's place. I may sell the X-202 and the 101B eventually. The contemporary and the 610/560 are in Storage. Both need veneer work. The '51 Coronet will end up in the Condo somewhere (it's a great room type with plenty of wall space) so I won't be totally lost. I'll have to move a lot of my parts units into storage, etc. There are a few components that will not go into storage tho. Have to get or build some kind of Rack for my receivers (15 total). That may go over like a fart in Church tho. Plus the speakers, R2R Tape decks, Turntables, etc. Gonna keep the KG-2 and Heresy's. The KLH-17's will be a backup set along with the Pioneer RG-66's.

    Now back to your regularly scheduled Thread.........
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  14. bhamham

    bhamham AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,016
    Location:
    Austin
    Whoa, Nellie! That's a serious collection of gear, Larry. Wow! Good on your son's girlfriend to be a good sport about taking some of it.

    Keep me in mind if you decide to sell the X-202. I'd like a nice 7189 amp. Got all the transformers and choke for Dave's clone but geez don't know if I've got the energy, plus would have to deal with a preamp.

    I hope Jimmy's found someone in the area to take on his 400. That's a keeper for sure!
     
  15. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,829
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    Bruce; My Girlfriend, not son's. I had to take 3rd look at post. I can see how you might have come to that conclusion. edited in corrections

    Larry
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2018
  16. bhamham

    bhamham AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,016
    Location:
    Austin
    Sorry, Larry! Seems to be happening more and more to me the older I get. Lucky girl and lucky guy - all the best!
     

     

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  17. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,829
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    No Problem Bruce. I sometimes forget where I live after 36 years and end up at my parents old house in Severna Park, (about 8 miles away) and wonder how the hell I ended up there. But i can get to my Girlfriends house in Bel Air (about 40 miles one way) 5 or 6 different ways in my sleep. Go Figure.
     
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  18. Fairlane

    Fairlane AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,749
    Location:
    West San Jose CA
    Love will do that to a guy Larry. :hug:
     
  19. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,829
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    It's the Canned peaches, Jellies and Jams. She makes a Killer PEACH CAKE. GUARANTEED to make your teeth fall out, and you enjoy it to boot! Plus she's feeding me better than I've eaten in the last 5 years, and I've lost 10# in the last 2 months. Cut down on smoking from 1/5 pls a day to a little under a 1/2 pack a day. The N.J. and N.Y. drivers on I-95 still are a trigger, but having that BIG CLASS 5 Equalizer Hitch on the back of the truck painted flourescent ORANGE kicking up in their faces when i hit the brakes tends to discourage tailgaters.........especially when it's a Big BENZ, Porsche, AUDI, or CADDY! Just the thought of that 90# SOLID piece of FORGED Steel punching thru a Radiator, or even an Aluminum block, fills my little ol, pea pickin heart full of GLEE!
     

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