Fisher 400... Need Some Guidance, Please

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by BirdLives, Feb 7, 2019.

  1. BirdLives

    BirdLives Super Member

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    The Lou' (Baseball Heaven)
    Got a line on a Fisher 400 from the original owner and am considering buying it. I've long admired the aesthetics of these wonderful pieces and have yet to own a tube receiver but have heard a lot of great things about them.

    A couple of concerns:

    How challenging is the upkeep on this series? Is it a big task to maintain these receivers?

    I own a vintage McIntosh MA5100 now and love it but am considering replacing it with the Fisher 400. Have I lost my mind? I replace gear fairly often and am not afraid of trying new options...

    Is the "warm tube sound" all it's cracked up to be?

    I would appreciate all opinions and recommendations... thanks.
     

     

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  2. thornev

    thornev Well-Known Member

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    I LOVE my 500-C and my KX-200. My Marantz 2265B (solid state) is also wonderful. You're asking on the wrong forum if you're looking for "con" opinions. We all love our Fishers. And you can probably tell from the threads that we also do a lot of electrical work on them to keep them sounding new and from breaking down. Unless you purchase an already-restored unit, yes, there is a fair amount of upkeep. Would you expect anything different from a 50-year old device that contains parts that wear out? If you're looking for maintenance-free, go solid state (or already-restored). I do believe the tube sound is all it's cracked up to be. Read these threads and you'll get a very good idea of what you're getting yourself into. Thorne
     
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  3. notdigital

    notdigital AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    If by "upkeep" you mean maintenance after it has been adequately restored, not much. Keeping it clean, keeping it tubed and biased correctly is all you'd really have to do. Again, that is assuming it has been gone over to address the shortcomings in the original design. Reading through the receiver line of threads will give you a very good foundation of what a competent restoration would entail.

    Only your ears and the stuff between them can answer that question. I, for one, went from a fully McCormack system to Fisher and never looked back. That is not to say that the SS setup wasn't pleasing, or that I was somehow unhappy. The "warmth" that is attributed to tubes is what put me over the edge in favor of tubes, now exclusively Fisher. In my case, and because of who I am, the tactile or tinkering factor in owning a tubed unit solidified my commitment. If occasionally getting "under the hood" is beyond your interest or skill set, then staying with the Mac is really a no brainer.

    If time is on your side in terms of the 400 purchase, then read up and, if possible, give the 400 a test audition. That will give you a very good idea on what the immediate and distant future will look like.

    Good luck!
     
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  4. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    +1 on notdigitals assertions. Can't add anymore to that.
     
  5. bhamham

    bhamham AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    McCormack?
     
  6. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    George was probably HUNGRY when he wrote that and wrote McCormack instead of Macintosh. Spices. Their main plant is in Hunt Valley! Smells like a few Rail cars full of cinnamon and or Nutmeg tipped over. Can smell the plant 3-4 miles downwind!!!! YUMMY! Now I know why the percapita rate of fat people in Hunt Valley is so damned high............:naughty::naughty:
     
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  7. notdigital

    notdigital AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    LOLOLOL!!!! Yeah, Steve McCormack, formerly of http://www.mccormackaudio.com/index1.html Conrad bought him out but he still maintains a biz: https://smcaudio.com/

    Here is an interview from 2011: https://www.hifizine.com/2011/06/interview-with-steve-mccormack-of-smc-audio/

    And he is a really, really nice guy. His Micro products came with really chinzy wall warts. I recall him mentioning that dramatic improvements could be had with a beefier torroidial transformer which, of course, he offered for a several benjies more. I decided to built my own calling him for some help. Without missing a beat, he talked me through several issues on my build not hesitating a second. Is that cool or what? Here I am getting advice from the designer on how to not buy his upgrade and all he really cared about was that I was happy. Class act.

    Anyway, I still have his stuff because I can't bear the thought of selling any of it. Almost came close to selling the Micro Line Drive when an AKer was looking for one on BT. Thinking that it was time to move it, along with the other components, I fired them up. By the end of the evening I decided they ain't going anywhere! In fact, over the last few months I've been thinking of how to get them running without running afoul of the decoration police. One day ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2019
  8. BirdLives

    BirdLives Super Member

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    EXACTLY the type of information I was looking for... nicely done, Notdigital. Many, many thanks...
     
  9. notdigital

    notdigital AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    No problemo and glad to help you along. :thumbsup:
     
  10. Thom 2230

    Thom 2230 New Member

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    Location:
    Iowa, USA
    I absolutely (and yes vodka could be involved) love my Fisher 400. I had never had any experience with tube equipment before either, but one listen and I was hooked. My entire CD collection changed for the better! Take the plunge, buy it !!!
     
  11. grindfix

    grindfix Full time hobby Subscriber

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    There are several threads by @dcgillespie on improving this receiver. If you have skills and patience to start from beginning and add all of recommended modifications, you will end-up with world class performer that will no longer be a "space heater" and will sound incredible. One advice, if you decide to modify, read entire threads because I remember several updates implemented after particular mod was published. I don't remember which one.
     

     

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