How did you first fall in love with Fisher and what was your first model?

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by Rob Thomas, Aug 15, 2017.

  1. Rob Thomas

    Rob Thomas AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    So in my reading many threads during my short membership here, I have been curious how everyone first fell in love with Fisher. I think it's amazing how so many different people can be pulled into a common fascination. This Fisher forum is no exception.

    I discovered Fisher via my father. Dad has always had several vintage stereo setups around the house since long before I was born. He had a Pioneer SX-780 in college and until it blew one of its notorious Darlington packs in the early 90s. About 10 years ago he got tired of using the "black plastic crap" components of the last 30 years and decided to take a plunge back into tubes. His father always used Sherwood receivers but Dad had always found the Fisher design beautiful. He found a very neglected TA-800 of which many of you have seen the restoration thread by Dave. He clearly never got it quite right. Several years later he bought both a pristine 500c and 400 and he has been hooked ever since pulling me along for the ride. Since his new hobby started to take shape I was overwhelmed by the sound of his 500 and showed enough interest that he gifted the TA to me. I have had the 800 limping along for about 3 years now and after its much needed attention this year I am truly seeing what an amazing performer it is.

    That's my story (sorry it's so long) and I'd love to hear yours. What got you started on this journey?
     
  2. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    I picked up a Fisher Philharmonic chassis for small coin and was impressed by how it sounded for the low power and relatively low pedigree that it had. I was especially impressed by the tuner and multiplex performance, given that most of my previous tube tuner experience was rather underwhelming. The only other Fisher I own is my TA-600, which is also very impressive, especially given the low power output. The tuner in mono is probably better than the Philly chassis, FM not quite as stellar but thats likely the narrow band detector transformer that Dave outlined elsewhere.
     
  3. RS Steve

    RS Steve Tube Junkie Subscriber

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    I have had a love for audio equipment from an early age, mostly solid state stuff. I used to read about this infatuation with old vacuum tube equipment, and that certain guitar players would only use tube amps for their preferred sound. At first I would just shake my head and wonder why anyone would bother with such an old technology. Eventually I had someone practically give me a Fisher X101-C amplifier, after hooking it up to a pair of Cornwall's and getting a good listen, I was hooked and never looked back. There might not be many out there that have the amount of appreciation for Fisher tube gear that I do, or a collection as large. :bowdown: Fisher
     
  4. dcgillespie

    dcgillespie Fisher SA-100 Clone Subscriber

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    Just due to the timing of life, likely most of us saw and heard our first Fisher from a parent or grandparent even. For me, it was my dad as well. He started his hifi run with a Grommes "Little Jewel" amplifier (which is mono), and was able to get a second one to create his first stereo. Mounted them one above the other in a cabinet, installed a small pulley on the volume control shaft of each one, drilled two small holes in the shelf that the upper unit sat on, and then strung the two pulleys together. With enough shaft to put the knob back on the volume control shaft of the top unit, he had a ganged volume control! Goofy to be sure, but darned if it didn't work -- But it only lasted for a week or two. It wasn't long after that, and I'll never forget the day, that I came home from grade school and there was an X-101ST and KM-60 MPX tuner. I was 10 at the time, and had already built some small amplifiers (1 or 2 tubers), but I was just blown away by the Fishers from the first time I saw them. And blown away by so many aspects of them -- the engineering, the look, the sound, and all that they could do. But the thing that struck me the most, and still does today, is that operating properly, they do what they do so darn well. No muss, no fuss. They just perform day in and day out. It left a lasting impression with me that I still carry to this today..........

    Dave
     
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  5. AlTinkster92

    AlTinkster92 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    3,069
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    NC
    Yep, growing up in Indiana till age 9 I watched my Dad build a set of EV Georgians in the basement. Don't remember the amp he had then but we then moved to McLean Va. ( He worked for the FAA) He brought the Georgians and went out and bought a FM1000 tuner. Still undecided on what new amp he bought at the same time. Anyway..I was hooked! Al
     
  6. fred soop

    fred soop Super Member

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    1,778
    For me, it was browsing Allied Radio catalogs. The Fishers had the best appearance compared to any of the major competitors. When looking to upgrade from the Knight Kit units, I also compared power amplifier schematics of Fisher, Scott, and Harman-Kardon. Back in those days, especially with transistor amplifiers being new, various magazines would actually publish technical information, including schematics. Don't remember details of the H-K but the Scott had a single power supply and capacitor coupled output. Even then, I realized that a twin supply was more logical.
     
  7. Justcuz

    Justcuz New Member

    Messages:
    45
    Location:
    East tenessee
    I got my first fisher rs1022 in a pkg deal with two other receivers a zenith mc1030 and pioneer sx750..zenith plays in bdrm and the fisher plays front and center with a pair of xp55b and rega ela on the inside with Polk sub if I need..not often.pioneer sits in the closet.the zenith to me had a smoother note easy on the ears.the zenith suprised me.I'm really digging the smaller system..the sansui room has been dark lately..but that is my favorite room.for me ill take one of everything:jump:



    .
     
  8. Dadbar

    Dadbar Super Member

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    1,808
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    Waltham & Gloucester MA
    When I was 12, my best friend Michael's father had a Fisher 400 receiver, Dual 1019 changer and Jensen TF4 speakers. This was in 1966. I thought it was the coolest gear I'd ever seen.

    Now, some 50 years later, I have my own Fisher 400 receiver and my own Dual (a 1229) to go along with it. I still love it. It is simply amazing how those Fisher receivers are so bulletproof. I got mine in 2003 and recapped it.....still using it daily with no problems.
     
  9. audmod01

    audmod01 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Tioga, TX
    I became interested in good audio while in high school. I began to put together a stereo system by 1960. It consisted of a Silvertone changer with mono amplifier and an outboard Heathkit EA-3 12W mono kit I put together plus speakers from Olson Radio. I subscribed to catalogs from Allied Radio, Burstine-Applebee, Lafayette, Heathkit, and Olson Radio. I would spend hours looking through them every time one arrived in the mail. Later while in college, I worked for Berkman's Hi-Fi in Austin, TX in their audio equipment repair area. I had the opportunity to listen to Fisher, Harman-Kardon, McIntosh, H H Scott, Sherwood, Pilot and many others while there. Fisher and H-K were my favorites. I wound up buying a H-K A300 and F-50-XK FM tuner kit which I still have. Later I bought Dynaco PAS-3X, Stereo-70 and FM-3 kits which I still have. I had college friends who had Fisher tuners and amplifiers that I had the opportunity to hear. In recent years I have acquired a Fisher 500-C and now the Fisher 202-R. My exposure to Fisher equipment never failed to favorably impress me. I have had Kenwood, Marantz and Pioneer products too, but the solid state pieces eventually will become non-repairable due to lack of suitable parts. Tube equipment appears to be repairable for some time to come and seldom develops a fatal failure mode. As long as I am still around I will be keeping my tube audio equipment and my Fishers going. I am in the process of restoring a Fisher Electra IV/VI combination for my oldest granddaughter.

    Joe
     
  10. larryderouin

    larryderouin Do I get Food, Med's, or more gear this Month? Subscriber

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    A 1965 Custom Electra (HyBrid) started it all off. The wife ended up with that one, then a '65 Futura (Hybrid), a 400 from Audiodon, a '60 Coronet Cabinet, '51 Coronet WR-11, 800c from Buglegirl, The Red1 and Buglegirl passed on a 510 consolette and a 560 companion, then Buglegirl added a 610 head unit via Audiodon, a '64 Custom Electra from NaptownRob, '63 Executive (Buglegirl), a bunch of 1967-70 S.S. Receivers (160-T, 250-TX,400-T, 500-T, 550-T, 700-T, 500-TX), Tube Tuners (FM-50, KM-60, 80-T) and finally a '58 Contemporary, and last but never the least, X-101-B. All in under 10 years along with some Sansui and Pioneer Gear, Akai and TEAC R2R and Cassettes, KLH-20 (2), Sony TC-230's (2) and a Sears Audio by FISHER Model 9765 Quad Receiver (1976-77) the equivalent Fisher model is the 634 quad..
     
  11. MikeRam

    MikeRam AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    I've been tweaking tube guitar amps since the 70's and loving them for the smooth distortion they give. Since I always equated tubes with distortion, it never crossed my mind that they would sound good for Hifi. Fast forward 35 years and I found a klipsch La Scala sitting in an abandoned kitchen at the University I worked at. I was able to snag it and started looking for info on how to fix it up. Many people on this forum told me that Klipsch love tubes. That got me thinking that I had stored away a tube stereo that my friends dad gave me way back in the 70's. I took it because I thought I'd make a guitar amp out of it but the power tubes ended up not being anything I was familiar with. Long story short, I dug it out of the closet and did some research on what I had. Darnd if it wasn't a Fisher 500C in great condition! Did a ton of research on how to rebuild it and in the end it sounded great.

    I now have one of each type of Fisher receiver from the B series on. They Rock!

    Mike
     
  12. vendo81

    vendo81 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    1,512
    Location:
    California
    I've always loved music and had collected solid state since I was a teenager. I was always trying to upgrade the sound. When I caught the tube bug real bad about 6 years back I was hooked on McIntosh. My dad always told me to "get a Fisher" as he had a Fisher mono system back in the 50's. Fisher meant quality to him and he talked with pride of his old system that he wished he had kept. I always told him "someday" not really convinced that I wanted one. I don't remember his Fisher items as he had replaced them in the mid 60's but I sure wish I had them now.
    When a KX-200 came up for sale locally a couple years back I bought it thinking about what my late dad had always told me. After a recap I quickly fell in love with the build quality and sound of this little integrated. I was hooked and have been hunting Fisher's down ever since.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2017
  13. Rockyhill

    Rockyhill 148 State Street Subscriber

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    3,152
    Location:
    Maine
    I was born during the tube era but I rode the solid state wave until I found AudioKarma about 7 years ago. Built a Dynakit ST-35 and fell in love with tube sound. Then I started stalking the Fisher forum. audiodon whetted my appetite for the Fisher sound and I decided to jump in feet first without ever hearing one (as a kid I had many neighbors with tube hifi - I just didn't pay much attention to brands. Fisher may have been in the mix).

    I bought a 500B and thanks to the excellent tutelage here it's been restored by me. It's singing as I type.
     
  14. walyfd

    walyfd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    647
    Location:
    Northeastern PA
    First tube radio I had was a Delco AM wonderbar in the '57 Cadillac. I was amazed by the quality of sound. Later, I found an RCA 6HF1 console from 1956 that I had to have... that came with a magnecord r2r which hooked me on that format.

    Then PBS broadcast "live from lincoln center" and Avery Fisher Hall was always mentioned. Passed by it many times and wondered how do you get a hall named after you... I remembered the Fisher/ Sanyo stuff. Finally learned who Avery Fisher was and his contributions to hifi. So I had to get one... someday.

    A friend was cleaning out his warehouse where neighbors had things stored. One had an old radio he was told to get rid of. Turned out to be a 500B. It's the one Dave worked on.

    Then came the '61 Executive which is my pride and joy.

    No other hifi manufacturer had the scope of products Fisher did while maintaining the level of quality they had.
     
  15. smccrary

    smccrary Low-Budget Collector Subscriber

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    706
    Location:
    Hilliard, Ohio
    1976 favorite model was Carrie Fisher. :)
     
  16. larryderouin

    larryderouin Do I get Food, Med's, or more gear this Month? Subscriber

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    Why isn't there a "puking" emoticon anymore:biggrin:. Besides, she was a '56 model and '56 wasn't too hot a year.
     
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  17. nfafan

    nfafan Active Member

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    435
    Location:
    East Coast
    Can't call it "love", but was basically gifted an entire one-owner "Studio Standard" set; rack with glass door, phono, dual cassette deck, 5-CD changer, tuner, and 100W/ch CA869 amp, plus two pairs of huge STV-coffin-sized floorstanders. Kept all but the two pairs of speakers.

    All but the turntable will eventually be put into service as a 2.0 system after learning that Japanese-made Sanyo-era Fisher is worthy of a bit more "props" than the typical audio forums offer up, but that is typical of how Fisher is viewed in general.
     
  18. ivan100000

    ivan100000 Active Member

    Messages:
    376
    Location:
    California
    As a little kid in the 1970s, I was mesmerized by the dial glass of my parents' 440-T as I would color in their album covers with crayons. When I was scouring the I-94 corridor through the Upper Midwest for flippable old guitar amps in the dead of winter back in 1989, a 440-T caught my eye in the back of a second-hand electronics store on Lake Street in Minneapolis. As I was pulling out my wallet to pay the $20 for the nostalgic receiver of my youth, the guy directed me to a less-interesting-looking piece of Fisher audio gear (i.e., no dial glass) that could also be mine for an additional $20. Money was tight at that point, but I went for the nondescript Fisher component on a whim anyway. I had the distinct feeling that the store owner was thinking, "Heh heh...so long and thanks for your cash, sucker!"

    The 440-T is long gone, but the real prize of the day--that 400cx2 preamp--is the heart of my main hi-fi system. Restored to better-than-new specs a few years back by our own Dave Gillespie!
     
  19. red 111

    red 111 Active Member

    Messages:
    193
    Location:
    nyc
    love the Fisher sound...all my Fisher gear came from trash in the basement of ritzy buildings....X-100.....X-100B...FM-50B...Mono R-90 tuner with multiplexer 100...also a Scott type 299 intergrated IMG_1310.JPG
     
  20. kcline

    kcline Tube Audio Collector Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,606
    Location:
    Triad NC
    My first Fisher I bought in the mid 1980,s, at that time I was a serous audiophile and owned ARC Sota, and other high end gear. I have always gone to auctions looking for whatever I needed, at one sale for a UNC-G professor they had a 500-C in its cabinet with spare tubes like 20 + 7591 NOS and at least one of every tube used in the 500-C, price!! this is not D&S so I will not state price but even then very low. I took 500-C to Audio Advice in Raleigh NC, where I had and was buying gear, there the tech restored the unit and matched up at very good set of 7591's, for it. I gave the 500-C to my sister to use until she no longer needed it. That 500-C was played into the 1990's and never had any problems except for her friends touching the screen above the output tubes and burning there fingers. As my sister was a teenager at the time I am sure the unit more then likely played for 24HRS at a time I sold it around 1995 still working well. Since then here in NC I have found quite a few more Fisher tubed units. All of my Fishers were bought here in NC in person, I never buy online vintage gear, I only buy what I find myself local.
     

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