Mathes HiFi console dilemma...

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by Mortega64, Oct 11, 2017 at 7:33 PM.

  1. Mortega64

    Mortega64 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    Hi all,

    Last weekend I was browsing around a local estate auction when I stumbled across a Mathes HiFi console.

    I usually ignore consoles, even the tube ones, but when I looked at the chassis I saw Amperex EL84 'Bugle-Boys' looking back at me...as well as long black-plate RCA 12ax7's and 7025's.

    I thought "Eureka, parts set!" It also had a nice looking power transformer too...I was able to purchase the set for $17 and carted it home.

    Now my issue...the set is in pretty good shape. The more I look at it, the more I don't have the heart to gut it and toss the cabinet.

    Are these consoles worth keeping? I have not been able to identify this model, and it seems pretty basic and compact.

    The console itself isn't all too big (4' long x 1.5' deep x 2.5' tall) and only has an integrated stereo amp and a TT. They did manage to stuff 6 speakers into the unit: 2x12" woofers, 2x8" mids, and 2x5" tweeters.

    Pics posted below:
    IMG_0408[1].JPG IMG_0409[1].JPG IMG_0418[1].JPG IMG_0419[1].JPG IMG_0420[1].JPG IMG_0422[1].JPG

    I have never put much value to consoles but this one seems very nice and is well built...my question is is it worth more as parts or is there value in preserving it?

    I have found consoles that look similar, but not the same as this one. I also only find 'Curtis Mathis' info and not 'Mathis HiFi'. If anyone has any info for this model, I would be very appreciative.

    Thanks
     
  2. Tom Bavis

    Tom Bavis Audiophool Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,082
    Location:
    Macedon NY
    I don't see a model number on the back, but there might be a chassis number - failing that, transformer numbers will give the year, and I can look at the Sams folders for Curtis Mathes for that year.
     
  3. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    32,775
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    all things considered that could be one of their better performers. A lot of CM gear had an all in one chassis receiver with a single ended output, probably ~4 watts of output vs ~12 for what you have.
     
  4. Mortega64

    Mortega64 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    The only numbers I see on the transformer are '12A2A 606824', those look more like transformer manufacturer part #'s (Stancor, UTC, etc...) than Curtis Mathes date codes.

    I pulled the back panel off to inspect the chassis and the unit seems devoid of any manufacturer model/date codes. Is there a special place to look for model #'s and manufacture date information?
     
  5. larryderouin

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

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    Location:
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    606824 is the EIA Manufacturer's coding with a date (year and week). 606 is Woodward-Schumacher, Chicago. 824 is most likely 1958 24th week (May or June). This is probably a late 1958 model or an Early 1959 model. Some of the larger caps may have an EIA coding on them also. Figure a few months for shipping logistics from Chitown to the Texas plant's production line. The Main Filter caps usually have an EIA code too. So if you get all the date codes from parts, you may be able to lock down the manufacture date down to a couple months.
     
  6. Dot Heton

    Dot Heton Active Member

    Messages:
    254
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    The speakers have a date code too. It would be cool to see who made them.
     
  7. Tom Bavis

    Tom Bavis Audiophool Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,082
    Location:
    Macedon NY
    Looks like it's chassis number 9, covered by Sams folder 485-7. Same tubes, power transformer part number is 12A2A. It shows a different cabinet, but six models are listed with this chassis. I'll scan the six pages in the next few days.
     
  8. Mortega64

    Mortega64 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    I have a few more EIA codes.

    12" speakers: 12J8-38A model #, 465-844 left, 465-843 right

    Can filter capacitor: 235837

    Output transformers: 606840, 606839

    I could not find any model/eia #'s on the smaller speakers, but they had identical manufacturing markings as the 12" speakers.
     
  9. frankiebull

    frankiebull Active Member

    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
    I found one very similar a few years back. It was my first try at tube amps. It even had the same tubes plus a bonus 5U4. I kept the amp and speakers. I wish I could have kept the cabinet but I just couldn't make room. Re-capped it and replaced some of the resistors and it sounds pretty good. Apparently that is not a very common console. I have only seen a few threads about it. DSCF3051.JPG DSCF3044.JPG 005.JPG 006.JPG DSCF3040.JPG
     
  10. Champco

    Champco Active Member

    Messages:
    363
    If you are not hurting for the space it may well be a prize. Being a Mathes is that before Curtis Mathes or was his first name Curtis? See what can be done for the TT. That thing is screaming 1960 to me. They have never come back into popularity but you never know. I guess i spent too much time bent over those types of units. Have a fondness.
     
  11. Champco

    Champco Active Member

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    danrclem likes this.
  12. danrclem

    danrclem Super Member

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    1,206
    I would keep it complete if possible. There are so many being parted out that I hardly ever see a tube unit on Craigslist anymore and when I do they're usually overpriced.
     
    RogerKulp likes this.
  13. Champco

    Champco Active Member

    Messages:
    363
    Check over the web site I posted. I already found out the transformers are hand wound by Mathes. The speakers are made in Texas
     
  14. slow_jazz

    slow_jazz Lunatic Member

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  15. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    32,775
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    606 says Woodward-Shumaker, so they aren't in-house C-M parts. The speakers are Oxford, no idea where they were actually produced.
     
  16. Tom Bavis

    Tom Bavis Audiophool Subscriber

    Messages:
    9,082
    Location:
    Macedon NY
    Here's the schematic - email for a readable copy and the rest - tbavis(at)rochester(dot)rr(dot)com
     

    Attached Files:

  17. larryderouin

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

    Messages:
    19,960
    Location:
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    The turntable is a Voice Of Music 1200 series. Good basic turntable. All the EIA codes point to a late 1958 or Early 1959 build. So it's Stereo from the schematic. Looks to be a ceramic cart.
     
  18. Mortega64

    Mortega64 New Member

    Messages:
    13
    Location:
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    Thanks you guys! Is the VM turntable a good one? I have a Garrard RC88/4 TT that I was thinking of throwing in there in place of it.
     
  19. RWood

    RWood The future is not what it used to be Subscriber

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    My opinion - the Garrard is better from a torque standpoint, which is important for a record changer that relies on torque to do its job. I’ve restored many VoMs and found them to be just adequate after having been serviced. Add a fly to the ointment, anything that might impede the mechanism, and it fails. Needs more work.

    BUT before throwing in the Garrard make sure you have enough space, not just to mount the changer but that it has enough room for the arm too. The VoM has a very small footprint, and I can tell you that, for instance, an Elac 10 won’t have enough room in a typical Motorola space. So measure thrice.
     
  20. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    32,775
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    The VM is ok, the Garrard might have a slight edge on it. Is your RC88/4 a stereo unit? Mine is mono, so its very much unsuited to that kind of thing. I run it as a 78 changer. The 1200 is probably easier to overhaul though if that is a consideration.

    Agreed on checking fitment, the 88 is bigger than a 1200 VM. A Garrard AT6 family should drop in there though.
     

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