mcintosh: cosmetic restoration tips wanted?

Discussion in 'McIntosh Audio' started by zobsky, Aug 29, 2003.

  1. zobsky

    zobsky fringe lunatic

    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    DFW, TX, USA
    Many of our beloved mc's have seem better days. while the electronics are another story, there seem to be an awful number of mcintoshes with pitted chrome, some more than others. the paint on the transformers may also be scratched or chipped.

    I'd Like to poll for opinions on how best to cosmeticically restore these pieces.

    for example, my mc-2100 has really bad pitting in some areas of the chrome. i could use some metal polish to get the brown stuff off, but it would probably reappear in a few weeks. is there an alternative to re-chroming (not really keen on removing all components in order to bare the chassis). or is there an easier way to denude the chassis.

    if rechroming is an option, where would one have a chassis rechromed and how much does it typically cost?

    as far as restoring transformer covers go, are they easily removable? is is best to spray paint them or just take to them with an artists brush.

    the bottom black painted part of the chassis is also pretty rough. do i sand it clean, apply primer and spray paint, ..or what.

    i know this is beginning to sound like an automobile restoration thread, but just looking for any previous experiences / ideas which might be useful to everyone.

    thanks :uzi:
     

     

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  2. Thatch_Ear

    Thatch_Ear Addicted Member

    Messages:
    7,735
    Rust never sleeps. I would get it all off and protect the chrome with car wax. Mother's Chrome and Alum polish is great for cleaning pitted chrome and nickel plate. NuFinish car wax is good for protection as well as cleaning areas where there is lettering that you want to protect. It won't wear the decals off when you use it like Mother's or other mild abrassives might.
     
  3. zobsky

    zobsky fringe lunatic

    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    DFW, TX, USA
    resourceful as ever, David, ....
    thanks
     
  4. Wardsweb

    Wardsweb Behind The Curtain Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    7,171
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    Most everyone here knows I swear by Happich SimiChrome.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. zobsky

    zobsky fringe lunatic

    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    DFW, TX, USA
    yes, i saw your commendable work with it on your foreplay and paramour setup.

    however, wouldn't it be a bit harsh on the battleweary chrome of an old mcintosh, ..or will it work on the rust and shine up the chrome a bit?

    thanks
     
  6. Wardsweb

    Wardsweb Behind The Curtain Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    7,171
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    Not at all. Simichrome is a cream metal polish and if anything, may not be harsh enough to revive the worse cases. I typically use it last when polishing to bring out he real brilliance. Although on things like mine and ProAc's Harman Kardon A500 faceplates, I used only it and a soft cloth to remove years of grime and oxidation without disturbing the silk screen lettering.

    Realize this will not remove your pitting, as pitting is the destruction of the actual metal. You can bring back what is not there.
     

     

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  7. Response34

    Response34 AK Member and then some

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Upstate NY, Binghamton area
    My recommendation on restoring McIntosh gear would be to contact Audio Classics of Vestal NY. They are the top service facility for new and old Mac and carry a lot of original Mac parts. They usually have face plates and other hard to come by parts in stock. I live only a few miles down the road from them and have picked up a few parts to bring back a few Mac pieces I have come across.
    They may also be able to help with suggestions on how to cosmetically restore your pieces.
    I do not carry or run Mac gear and have no affiliation with this company but highly recommend their service and/or parts.
     
  8. Don C

    Don C Super Member

    Messages:
    1,585
    Location:
    Santa Rosa CA
    Nothing against Audio Classics, but I have found that I saved money by getting parts from my local Mc dealer instead of ordering from them.
     
  9. Response34

    Response34 AK Member and then some

    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    Upstate NY, Binghamton area
    HI Don,
    I agree 100% in supporting a local shop/dealer. I just wanted to throw another option out there as they are the largest Mac dealer in the world and may be able to pull through on some of the hard to find stuff.
     
  10. zobsky

    zobsky fringe lunatic

    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    DFW, TX, USA
    ....i must note, however, that some parts are curiously hard to come by. i have been looking for a replacement chrome mcintosh logo to replace one that is is missing on mine and neither audioclassics or mcintosh labs themselves have any idea how / when / where to obtain such an item.

    it's funny how abused some vintage mcintoshes seem to be. either they attract bad owners , or they are simply tough enough to survive batterings that lesser built brands might not.
     
  11. Wardsweb

    Wardsweb Behind The Curtain Staff Member Admin

    Messages:
    7,171
    Location:
    San Antonio, Texas
    Zobsky do you have one of the logos you need? If so you can use it to cast another for your other amp. Just do a search for a casting kit. I use to use a home casting kit to do small emblems and trim pieces for cars during my auto restoration phase. I find restoring old gear to be a lot easier than cars.
     

     

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  12. CarlV

    CarlV AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    22,200
    Location:
    SF east bay
    zobsky, Have you got pics of your amp? I forgot I have a dead
    MC2100 in my garage. It has some cosmetic issues but rust is not one of them. No cage, blows a fuse big time if you put one in,other items.
    PM me if you want to discuss if you like. Found a nice L-54 cabinet,
    a brand new MX113 faceplate ,and a new TR 6 top too, this is bad!
    Carl
     
  13. Celt

    Celt Peanut Head Staff Member Super Mod

    Messages:
    38,030
    Location:
    Paragould, Arkansas
    Zobsky wrote: "It's funny how abused some vintage McIntoshes seem to be. Either they attract bad owners , or they are simply tough enough to survive batterings that lesser built brands might not."

    You know, that very thing has always amazed me. I occasionally do restoration work on valve-based guitar amps and am always around musicians. I have seen several of them over the years pinch pennies, save and eventually buy some rare vintage guitar or amplifier, only to abuse and destroy the very thing they coveted once it's in their possession! I have witnessed the same thing with audio gear too. Expensive McIntosh, Altec, etc. gear beat to Hell and back. I think alot of this stuff happens when the gear changes owners. As the used stuff becomes more affordable, the types of people who buy them tend to be more abusive. The "I don't care, I only paid $20. for it" type of mentality. Personally, I don't care what I pay for an item, I will do my best to keep it in like-new condition or bring it back to as close as new as humanly possible. BTW, I restored a 1956 Fender Bassman tweed combo amp several years ago. Got an original Victoria cover for it, NOS GE tubes and Alnico drivers. It was perfect. The kid that eventually bought it from me lost the cover, fried the drivers and destroyed the amp in less than a year. :uzi:
     
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mac and Roundie TV lover

    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    How come you didn't sell it to me? :(
     
  15. zobsky

    zobsky fringe lunatic

    Messages:
    218
    Location:
    DFW, TX, USA
    rotten luck, ... i don't have an emblem i can use as a template,

    not sure if i was looking for the right thing but most casting kits seem targeted towards various human parts :confused:
     
  16. Number 9

    Number 9 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    921
    Location:
    Blame Canada!
    I am waiting for my "new" MR-67 tuner to arrive, so I have not tried this product out, but quite a few people on AudioAsylum spoke very positively of Boeshield T-9 for chrome.

    http://www.kanza.com/boeshield/

    Supposedly developed by Boeing engineers to prevent corosion on aircraft. Will hope to try this stuff out soon.
     

     

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  17. escorial

    escorial AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    166
    The

    I have both NuFinish and Mothers Chrome polish here,my big question is????
    Are they both %100 safe on my 225 amps lettering??

    Years ago I helped a friend clean his 240 with some type of car polish and it took the lettering right off... Huge mistake!
     
  18. escorial

    escorial AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    166
    Update,
    Went ahead and used never dull followed up with nufinish.

    Wow both worked great but zi really think that Nufinish was the only product needed.

    Also only used Nufinish on all the lettering with zero problems. When done lightly

    sprayed some Maguire's quick detailer on a microfiber cloth and gave the whole thing a wipedown.

    Now it looks great and smells.just as good.

    Thanks for the tip

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2019

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