Another console followed me home...

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by Naptown Rob, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Naptown Rob

    Naptown Rob Ponographer

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    A '64 Fisher Custom Electra VII :thmbsp:
    The lattice work on the grilles is different than the picture in the console thread - perhaps because it's mahogany rather than walnut?
    It does have the 481A amp. It's been in the family of a friend since it was new. Out of commission for a good twenty years, it was one of those projects we all plan on getting to. He's moving soon & decided it wasn't coming with him.

    This thing was used! None of the power tubes are original. Some of the 12AX7's were replacements, some were missing, only 2 of the original Fisher branded Telefunkens remained & tested good.

    I put all good tubes in it, brought it up on the variac, and it sounded... like...:butt2::no:
    But wait a minute. I don't like the way these original speaker wires look. What happens if I hook up my bench speakers?.....

    :banana::banana::banana:Good God, The Dead Weather rocks!

    Controls are in heavy need of Deoxit, but it is very definitely alive & singing.
    Now I have to figure out what to do with it. It ain't all that pretty - needs alot of cosmetic elbow grease. It's currently jammed in the sunroom (the living room is the domain of the '64 Executive). We'll see how the (Fisher lovin') wife feels about it's continued residence:scratch2:

    Pardon the quality of the quickly-snapped shots.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. buglegirl

    buglegirl In The Direction Of The Singularity Subscriber

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    Hiya,

    Dang .. that is the nicer cab version of the one I have. I have the early American version.

    Good score on that baby.

    Frannie
     
  3. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    I have often wondered if the sheer mass of certain Fisher consoles creates a gravitational well that draws in other consoles. There's quite a bit of documentation here at AK to back that up.

    My first thought was to congratulate you but it would probably be more appropriate to offer my condolences since it's not your first (or likely your last!). The Custom Electra VII has the distinction of being the highest level model to retain proper output tubes in '64 (which was the year Fisher began their transition to solid state). It appears that the basket weave grill cover covers were swapped between the Modern and Italian Provincial cabinets sometime after the catalogs were produced. To me, the squared-up basket weave would have been more appropriate to the square lines of the Modern cabinet than the diamond basket weave. I wonder if the Italian Provincial got the squared-up version. Though I am loathe to muck with a Fisher design, I think it would look better without the basket weave grill cover cover altogether.

    From the '64 catalog:
     
  4. buglegirl

    buglegirl In The Direction Of The Singularity Subscriber

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    Hiya,

    Not sure but I think rwjojo has a CE V11 modern with the squared up lattice work.

    Strange things they do. Like they had surplus on the weaved and people were buying the modern more ???

    Frannie
     
  5. RogerKulp

    RogerKulp Super Member

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    I was disappointed how heavily used my Fisher was when it arrived.Used but not abused.Mine had none of the original tubes,just a sorry bunch of used up,and in some cases burnt looking tubes, mostly Sylvanias. People obviously loved these things,and used them a lot.This seems to be a recurring theme here.

    No wonder the guy who's gonna work on mine has such a wait.

    I learned from TheRed1 that Fisher consoles were aimed at the wealthy for status symbols.People like JFK owned them.That's why they were so big and hulking.
     
  6. jonboy55

    jonboy55 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    After decades of buying and selling radios I've found that some families played a unit until it was near death.

    I always felt it was a leftover from the depression era when people held onto their items.

    In the past I've gone to a house and purchased 2, 3, or 4 radios and found that each one had been played to death and every tube replaced and they were a bear to restore.

    It really depended upon the family and their economic circumstances.

    Sometimes I purchased a number of items from one house that were old but had little signs of wear.

    In any event, congratulations on the Custom Electra VII! Remember is was a $645.00 console in 1964!
     
  7. Naptown Rob

    Naptown Rob Ponographer

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    Red1 - wasn't '65 the transition year? My '64 Executive (800C) has some very proper output tubes...
     
  8. rwj0j0

    rwj0j0 audio archaeologist

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    mine's diagonal too...
     
  9. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    By '65 only the lowly Philharmonic was left with clunky old output tubes. The '66 Philharmonic continued all-tube. But in 1967 all Fisher's consoles went completely solid state with the exception of a few NuVistors in the FM front end. All of the higher end '64 models - with the notable exception of the Executive - had transistorized outputs:

    1964 All-Tube Models: Philharmonic, Diplomat, Custom Electra and Executive.

    1964 Hybird Tube/Transistor Models: Futura, Ambassador, Statesman, Regent and President.

    Fisher took a decidedly conservative approach toward the adoption of the transistors which stands in stark contrast to their earlier pioneering attitude toward other new trends in technology - stereo, for instance. The reliability issues with the early transistor technology undoubtedly influenced that decision.

    The receiver-based Executive is an interesting quirk in Fisher's line-up for 1964. Perhaps it was offered to give the more conservative of Fisher's well-to-do customers a console with tried-and-true tube technology. It's curious that Fisher's move to transistors was quicker and more complete in its console line than with its components. You could still buy all-tube Fisher receivers in the very late 60s, several years after their consoles had gone completely solid state.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  10. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    Correction: The '64 Executive IX should have quite a proper set of 7591's, as Rob pointed out.
     
  11. larryderouin

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

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    Keep it going Rob. Nice cabinet that should take some minor work (from the pictures). I agree with Red about the lattice. Maybe it would look better with it squared or even gone.

    I'm still looking for a VII manual to go with my III,IV,V,VI, & VIII manuals on the laptop. It's interesting to note the similarities, differences, and improvements between them.

    Reading Jonboy55's post brought back some deja vu. My parents bought their 1st and only Color TV in 1969. Sears 19" ("Portable"????). As Dad is a retired Radarman/ET, he worked on TV's in the 50's and 60's, so he figured he can keep it alive. He has and it still is playing. Same with the "stereo" they have in the "loom" or weaving room. 1970 Westinghouse (all of 5-7watts per). It's hooked up to a Technic's SL-1400 he bought new in the 70's. I offered him a KLH 20 setup, but they like the Westinghouse. Go Figure. But this all ties in with Jonboy55's recollection of Depression era people, and holding on to stuff. Also that Generation went thru WWII and a lot of them got technical training in the military that they wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. (Look at the ad's in Popular Mechanics, etc. for all the kits, etc.) Those ad's have all but died out in the last twenty years. WHY? because it's now a throwaway society, and almost no-one can repair current (within the last ten years or so) electronics. It's designed to last 5-7 years and get thrown out.

    I'll take a beat to hell, but restorable piece of gear, make it presentable, and give it another 20-30 years. Can't do that with the plastic, chipped crap they're putting out today.


    Larry

    Larry
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  12. Naptown Rob

    Naptown Rob Ponographer

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    Amen, Larry.

    My friend Bud, who has had this console since he was a little kid, talked lovingly of the role it played in his home - including it's ability to rock the house at parties during his teenage years! Bud knows a thing or 2 and even built a Heathkit TV in his younger days which is probably why he hung on to this console as long as he did.

    But my wife (who helps me to avoid becoming the audio equivalent of Crazy Cat Lady) & I have discussed this latest addition to the family, and as much as I'd like to take this project on, it's time to find a foster home for her. At least I saved her from the dump.

    Eight tube amps is enough, and two consoles is one too many...
    I'll work up a posting in Barter Town for those interested.
     
  13. EddyFranner

    EddyFranner Super Member

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    I am loving all this priceless Fisher console info, thanks! Chiming back out.
     
  14. larryderouin

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

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    Well I'm a SUCKER for a CUSTOM ELECTRA! Rob put it up on Barter town and not 15 minutes later I was PM'ing him. Showed it to the wife. "That's CUTE"!!!!! (When she's say's that I have NO PROBLEMS getting another FISHER. So I made a deal with Rob for the VII and the russian outputs.

    Within the hour, the details had been hammered out, and I was at Rob's getting it in the S-10 with his help. Got it home in one piece(It just barely fit in the bed of the quad cab S-10 with about an inch to spare). Rummaged thru my tube stash and managed to find enough 12AX7's (everything from a Fisher branded to a Silvertone) to fill it up for now, put the russian tubes in it and fired it up. No Left Channel. Started wiggling tubes. Dirty tube sockets. Pulled the tuner out and gave all the pots and the sockets a De-Oxit Bath. The Amp tubes I sprayedthe pins and put them in the sockets and wiggled around. NOW I have both channels. The problem with the speakers was the volume and balance controls. Cleaned the faceplate and the tuning dial glass, and put some light oil on the spindle bearing of the TT. The rim, idler and motor spindle got 91% alcohol. It's turning about 1/2 rpm slow, but it's ok otherwise. The idler is clean and supple no hard spots, and not gummy.

    Found my Beach Boys and Jan & Dean LP's and had the kids next door all fired up. They had never heard "surfin music" from the 60's. And it was a learning experience for their parents too. :D

    As Rob said it does need some work on the cabinet but I've seen worse. It's better than the Dumont I have and not as bad as the 61 Coronet. The wife actually asked me which one of the consoles I was gonna move downstair(s). All FISHERS, but I think I'll send the Magnasonic X-100 downstairs from the bedroom. It's on my side of the room anyway. Don't know how THAT will go over but it's gonna be a while yet. I'm gonna sand the large panels and see if just oiling them will do. If not then I have to stain and oil.

    It DO SOUND GOOD!!!!!

    Big question of the Week. BIAS ADJUSTMENT? Schematic says 33V on Pin 3. How hot does everyone run theirs. These are the 6n14p (I think that's the number) russian tubes.


    Thanks Rob.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  15. perchdog

    perchdog AudioDouchebag

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    Hi Larry.
    Congrates on your new aquisition. I run 30ma on my X-202 amp, same tubes. This is per Kegger's recommendation
     
  16. buglegirl

    buglegirl In The Direction Of The Singularity Subscriber

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    Hiya,

    Nice Larry .. now we can have that three way shootout with me and you and rwjojo .. call it the Mid Atlantic CE VII throw down. Its gonna be EPIC!!!

    No word on Bias with that tube. I am using 7189's and they are dialed back a bit from 33V.

    Frannie
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  17. larryderouin

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

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    LOL!!! CE VII Shootout! I'm In. Give me a couple of months to recap this amp.

    Actually I was looking at the wrong side of the Bias Grid. The voltage should be 21 V on Pin 2.

    When I take it out of the cabinet I'm gonna look at it, and see how it works instead of trying to twist my eye's and my mind up trying to figure out the schematic.

    Ran it for about 4 hours straight and no problems. Clean up, lube, and recap should do it electrically.

    Larry
     
  18. buglegirl

    buglegirl In The Direction Of The Singularity Subscriber

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    Hiya,

    Yep .. slaps forehead. I just knew I dialed mine back a couple tics from whatever it was saying to bias them to.

    Too many amps and too much heat.

    Frannie
     
  19. Naptown Rob

    Naptown Rob Ponographer

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    I'm so pleased that this much loved piece will continue to be appreciated. There really is quite an AK Mid-Atlantic Fisher Console Gang!
     
  20. marloubow

    marloubow Best Day Ever Subscriber

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    Way to go Rob & Larry. Sorta keeping it in the family.
    I can see why people get attached to these tube units.
    The nostalgia aspect is one thing, but the sound is really what gets ya.

    Congrats on a mutual exchange!

    martin
     

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