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Fisher Consoles 1945-1958

Discussion in 'Fisher Forum Stickies' started by TheRed1, Mar 16, 2008.

  1. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

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    It's a later '58 model. Definitely mono, so it's not a '59, but it had a GE VRII cartridge on the Garrard, so it was sometime past the start of '58. The faceplate says "stereo" instead of "TV" like the Medalist II that showed up here several weeks ago, but it doesn't have any sort of real provision for stereo operation unless the Contemporary was being used as the extension speaker.

    I can't imagine why they would, unless someone was sloppy with a tape measure when writing those descriptions.

    I could buy Fruitwood as the finish. It doesn't look like Mahogany or Walnut, the grain and coloration just isn't right. It's not red enough for Cherry.

    Fisher made one tube layout chart for the R-20 based consoles, then used an ink stamp to insert the basic model number. The finish code was then hand-written on the end. I wonder if mine was a special order for someone who wanted the Contemporary cabinet but different veneer? Unfortunately I don't have the sales paperwork, just the manuals, tube chart and hangtags.
     
  2. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    2,126
    Location:
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    Or they were measuring from a pre-production mock-up. Just out of curiosity, how deep is your Contemporary?

    Fruitwood was an option on the 1958 Series 51/61 consolettes and it would have been coded as "P" on that model. I think that's a distinct possibility.

    I know Fisher did custom orders but it doesn't make sense that they would use a preexisting cabinet code for a custom veneer/finish.

    Does your hang tag look like this? This one came with my 1959 510 consolette but it must have originally been on the 560 Stereo Companion Speaker since it's for a model 30-A. These are cool since they give you the approximate date that they left Long Island City, New York - in this case it would have been some time after 9-29-58.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I think it's right around 18". I'll check again tonight.

    I'll try to get a better picture of the veneer. It really doesn't look like any Walnut finish I've ever seen, and it's definitely not Mahogany.

    Maybe the Fruitwood finish was added as an option sometime in '58?

    I think that tag would have been on the power cord, and I don't have it as I don't have the original R-20 (I think you remember the Medalist II I stripped). I do have both of the hangtags that would have been on knob shafts, along with the manual, turntable manual and tube chart.
     
  4. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    2,126
    Location:
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    The Custom Sixty - Fisher's First Flagship Console 1951-1957

    The Custom Sixty debuted in late 1950 (1951 Model Year) for a mind-boggling $1330. However, that price probably represents a fully-optioned model and the prices may have started at as low as $795. The "Sixty" designation is no doubt a reference to the claimed 60 watts of "reserve power". The price inexplicably jumped to $1534 in Feb. 1951 but was back down to the bargain price of $1347.50 by the '52 model year.

    The chassis comprising this high fidelity tour de force were the 60-A amp, 60-AP power supply and the 60-R tuner. Options likely included Fisher's Dynamic Range Expander and Dynamic Noise Suppressor (the latter licensed from H. H. Scott). The Custom Sixty was available in the traditional 'Hampshire' and modern 'Allegro' cabinets although these same cabinets were used for Fisher's less expensive model series as well.

    An ad from Oct. 1950:
    I believe original 'Series 60' Custom Sixty ran through the 1954 model year after which it was replaced by the 'Series 360' shown below (from AK member Duffinator's 1955 brochure). In its last year, 1957, the model name was changed to the "Ambassador Series" and it was only available in the 'Hampshire' cabinet. The price for the '55 Custom Sixty was $1295. In '56 it dropped to $1195 which was also the price of the '57 Ambassador.

    The Series 360 still featured the chrome-plated 3-chassis ensemble of the Series 60 but there appear to be substantial differences - the most notable being the claimed 100 watts of reserve power. I believe that these chassis are designated as 360-A, 360-AP and 360-R but I haven't been able to confirm that. There is one shown on the FisherDoc's website.

    The Series 360's big moment in history was on Feb. 13, 1956 when it was supposedly featured at the Philadelphia Academy of Music's "Soundorama", where Eugene Ormandy pretended to conduct the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Paul Creston's "Fanfare for Brass," but halfway through the orchestra put down their instruments as the music continued. This stunt received wide-spread press coverage and was used in Fisher's advertising, though there are conflicting ads which indicate that the equipment used was the Fisher 80-C and 50-AZ.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2010
  5. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Red, I think I've finally figured out why some later R-20 equipped consoles have that "Stereo" marking instead of "AUX," despite the lack of any stereo circuitry. Fisher was intending the R-20 units to be used as the extension speaker for the later R-30-S equipped consoles (stereo preamp, mono amp)! It actually makes a lot of sense, considering that stereo radio broadcasting was confined to FM-FM or FM-AM simulcasts. For listening to stereo radio, you'd use the tuner in each console (say, a C800 Contemporary and a C810 Contemporary II), for listening to stereo tapes or records set the mono console to the "stereo" position, which you've already connected to the stereo output on the R-30-S equipped console with an RCA cable. Instantly, you have one really, really versatile console setup! The only thing it wouldn't be able to handle is FM Multiplex stereo broadcasts, and it probably wouldn't be too hard to add an MPX output jack if one wasn't supplied on the R-30. The only problem with an outboard multiplex decoder is the lack of a second line-level input on the R-30-S, but that could be solved with a simple outboard switchbox.

    Considering the volume and sound quality level my C800 is capable of with its 6BQ5 outputs, two of them in the same room would be pretty amazing.

    Despite appearances, the R-20 output transformer has 8 and 16 ohm taps. Instead of the familiar multi-position terminal strip, it uses a weird little round plug with the 8 ohm tap connected to one terminal and the 16 ohm connected to another. The C800 only uses the 16 ohm tap, but both are available. It's not like some of the 30A OPTs that only had one oddball-impedance speaker tap.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  6. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

    Messages:
    2,126
    Location:
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    You're right, Sam, that makes perfect sense. It also fits with Fisher's extraordinary efforts to obsolence-proof their products. I have read Fisher kept a mailing list of all their customers to keep them apraised of new technology Fisher's technicians could install to upgrade their existing radio-phonographs. I'm not sure how long this practice continued and have yet to see such a letter. I would be surprised, however, if owners of Fisher's mono consoles didn't receive advice on how to get aboard the stereo bandwagon.

    Now you've got me contemplating a living room with a pair of Contemporaries. I can even envision using a pair of FM transmitters tuned to different frequencies to transmit stereo. It would be easy - I have one transmitter all ready. I could do it with my existing living room set-up sending the left signal to both channels of the TA-600 in the Premiere and the right to both channels of the 400. I wonder what that would sound like.
     
  7. Sam Cogley

    Sam Cogley Last of the Time Lords Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    I know Fisher made 30A-equipped extension speakers to match their R-30S-equipped consoles, but that setup wouldn't allow the purchaser to get stereo radio broadcasts. Now I'm wondering if the R-20 consoles with the "Stereo" marking weren't produced simultaneously with the R-30S consoles.

    As I mentioned earlier, it should be easy to tap into the FM circuitry to install a MPX output jack, then you could run an MPX-100 either sitting on top of the Contemporary II in a walnut cabinet or hidden somewhere. A small input switch box would allow the preservation of AUX input capability while still inputting the stereo FM signal.

    I'm thinking the same thing you are. It's a good thing that: 1) I doubt a C810 is going to drop into my lap anytime soon, and 2) I would need three times the living room I have now to house two Contemporary cabinets. :lmao: Outside of having the additional mono turntable, there isn't much advantage to running a C800 instead of the Contemporary-styled extension speaker. I really doubt that anyone is going to play around with simulcast stereo anytime soon.
     
  8. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    I don't know how I missed this but, in the 1959 Fisher Radio-Phonograph catalog (see below), is confirmation that the President was released in 1956. Add that to Enewcomb's post about his Uncle's President and I feel pretty confident in stating unequivocally that Fisher was the first out with a stereo radio-phonograph in 1956.

    Mr. Newcomb, if you still out there - I sure would be interested to see photos of what's left of your Uncle's President and the documents you mentioned.

    [​IMG]

     
  9. analog addict

    analog addict Glory or Death! Subscriber

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    As long promised.....


    My Series 560 Stereo Companion brochure....

    Best I could do as far as finding you a stereo companion.... :D

    Note the lack of Fisher Emblem on the unit depicted on the brochure

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. jonboy55

    jonboy55 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
  11. analog addict

    analog addict Glory or Death! Subscriber

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    Old news I guess....:dunno:
     
  12. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    The Distinguished Roster of Fisher Owners

    [​IMG]

    Here are some of the results of many hours spent in AK's dusty archives attempting to compile a complete listing of all the Fisher consoles that have passed through these hallowed forums in the last decade. There were quite a few pre-sticky Fishers - many of which have not yet been moved to the Fisher forum. Plus there is the natural tendency to start a new thread with any major new find such as a these Fishers tend to be.

    All my earlier attempts at one big list resulted in a high percentage of entries mysteriously vanishing when I hit the preview button. So I split up the list so as not to overwhelm AK's html processing abilities. The 1945-58 list is, by far, the shorter part; encompassing primarily Fisher's mono high fidelity masterpieces with a few notable, very early stereo exceptions.

    I will endeavor to keep this list updated but please feel free to link to any 1945-58 Fisher console post I may have omitted. I will add a link in post #1 referencing this post to aid future Fisher fans in finding this resource once it becomes buried in the middle of this sticky. I plan on doing the same for the 1959-65 (and beyond) Fisher Consoles sticky as well. It may take me some time, however, since that list contains almost 10 times as many entries.

    The List: Fisher Consoles 1945-58 And Their Owners

    1947-8 Anniversary Series 24B (Georgian cabinet) - Fisherdude
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=495928

    1950 Coronet R-1 (Georgian cabinet) - Jonboy55
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=462214

    1950 Coronet R-2 (Allegro cabinet) - cooljjay
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=291326

    1950 Coronet R-3 (Georgian cabinet) - buglegirl
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=5172289#post5172289

    1951 Coronet R-3 (Warwick cabinet) - larryderouin
    http://audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=398119

    1951 Coronet R-3 (Hampshire cabinet) - victor3d
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=5362569#post5362569

    1951 Coronet R-3 (Allegro cabinet) - wrigley
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=4306508#post4306508

    1952 Custom Sixty (Hampshire cabinet) - joel27
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=354241

    1954 Series 101 Consolette - Audiomagnate
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=6349146#post6349146

    1955 Custom Sixty (Hampshire cabinet) - Ttryon
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=409636

    1955 Custom Electra (Normandy cabinet) - radioterry
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=471818

    1955 Custom Electra (Normandy cabinet) - Duffinator
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1167416#post1167416
    http://www.videokarma.org/showthread.php?t=47032

    1955-56 Custom Electra (Gotham cabinet) - electracoupe
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=4953331

    1955 Series 202 Consolette - zephedone
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=6267724#post6267724

    1955 Series 202 Consolette - Jonboy55
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=443513

    1955 Series 101 Consolette - madwing
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=167663

    1956 Fisher President (No cabinet) - enewcomb
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=4183104#post4183104

    1956 Custom Futura (Covington cabinet) - relaximus via sobr1
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=285615

    1956 Custom Futura (Brittany cabinet) - jaynemo
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1208169#post1208169

    1956 Series 60 Consolette - Westy56
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=3972777#post3972777

    1956 Series 60 Consolette - elduce
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1221210

    1956 Series 50 Consolette - cooljjay
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=307819

    1957 Custom Electra (Gotham? cabinet) - Rybeam
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=70417

    1957 Medalist II (Provence cabinet) - derekva
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=468974

    1957 Medalist II? - R-20 - vendo81
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=1218354

    1957 Medalist II (Unknown cabinet) - mkaras
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=180773

    1957 Conteomporary - Craterranch
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=472975

    1957 Series 61 Consolette - Thespeakerdude8
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=4903931#post4903931

    1957 Series 61 Consolette - jonboy55
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=3238442#post3238442

    1957 Series 61 Consolette - tomcza11
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=301605

    1958 Custom Electra II (Normandy cabinet) - jonboy55
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=3151319#post3151319

    1958 Custom Electra II (Normandy cabinet) - jonboy55
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?p=2370315#post2370315

    1958 Medalist II(Provence cabinet) - Jered
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=323249

    1958 Contemporary - frankolombo
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=494699

    1958 Contemporary - Sam Cogley
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=305958

    1958 Contemporary - kUngdrew
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=127266

    1958 Contemporary - jonboy55
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=355797

    1958 Contemporary - relaximus
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=443343
    http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=486573
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2013
  13. Fisherdude

    Fisherdude Regular Dude - Super Mod Super Mod Subscriber

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    Your secondary goal is to find more work for me to do, isn't it?
     
  14. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

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    I thought long and hard about how to word that to make it just the gentlest nudge. I can't believe how quickly you picked up on that!

    Only 150 or so more entries to go with the 1959-65 (and beyond) part of the list. I must remember to add my own recent addition and buglegirl's prospective Fisher console acquisition. No rest for the Fisher-obsessed.
     
  15. jonboy55

    jonboy55 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    509
    Location:
    Long Island, New York
    Red -

    Excellent listing.

    Thank you for the hard work!!
     
  16. Fisherdude

    Fisherdude Regular Dude - Super Mod Super Mod Subscriber

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    Lucky for you I like this stuff as much as you do. I'll get started after American Idol is over.:D
     
  17. joel27

    joel27 Super Member

    Messages:
    2,296
    Location:
    Utah
    Now that's dedication. Thanks for the time and effort. It's cool just to be on the list.
     
  18. TheRed1

    TheRed1 Console Conservationist

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Dedication or maybe obsession or even addiction. Of the two lists, 1945-58 and 1959-65 (and beyond), this is the cool list to be on - much more exclusive. And I'm not even on it, darn it! I actually have an opportunity to be on that list right now but I can't justify the expense or the even idea of yet another console . . . but I am tempted . . . mostly because I think it's a model not represented yet.
     
  19. Fisherdude

    Fisherdude Regular Dude - Super Mod Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    27,606
    Location:
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    Carter, we may have a glitch here. I'll have to double check with Ernie and see if there's a way around it.

    I can move these individual threads to the Fisher Forum, but there doesn't seem to be a way to move them into a specific thread, meaning the correct console thread. So, if I actually moved them, they would just "float" in the Fisher Forum as a whole. Plus, then your links won't be correct. Rather than that, it appears that leaving the links in the posts you've created is a better solution.

    I'll see if there's a way to move a link from one place inside a forum to another place inside the same forum.
     
  20. Fisherdude

    Fisherdude Regular Dude - Super Mod Super Mod Subscriber

    Messages:
    27,606
    Location:
    Out West.
    Unfortunately, it appears that leaving the above links in this thread is the best solution.

    I could move those threads to the Fisher Forum, but then I wouldn't be able to move them into another thread.

    I could merge those threads with the correct "Console" thread, but then every individual post in the moved thread would no longer be in its own thread, but would be jumbled up with every other post in the Console thread, in overall chronological order.

    No way around it, I'm afraid.:sigh:
     

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