New to Fisher - 800B To Be Restored

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by DolphnSmooth, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    Hello everyone,

    This marks my first foray into both tubed and Fisher audio. Presented in the pictures below are a Champagne faceplate version of the 800B which I had picked up this summer in early July. I travelled all the way to Rochester to pick it up, along with what appears to be some NOS tubes, lots of original documentation, and a Bell RP320B tubed reel-to-reel.

    The reasons why I've waited to post we're that I wanted to learn more about it to be able to ask the right questions, as well as waiting shortly before I was able to take on the financial burden of getting it restored.

    As for information about the unit itself. All of the circuitry appears to be original, including the original Fisher branded 7591 output tubes. Cosmetically the unit is rather dusty with only a little rust on the transformers. A couple caps from the knobs are missing as usual, and there seems to be only one small gash on the face plate. Also, the serial # on the rear appears to be listed as 24493E.

    As far as I know, the unit was purchased in 1962 by the original owner. It was then past onto the latest owner who bought the house of the previously deceased owner, finding this Fisher left inside. According to the man I bought it from, he turned it on four years ago when he bought the house, and managed to get the thing to light up. It has not been plugged in since.


    --What I am hoping to learn from some of you here is what my best options would be for restoration of this receiver. I have heard that the power switches on these units are prone to failure, and that there are precautions to be taken to prevent future failure as well.

    I'd like to learn from all of you what other modifications could be made, as well as their purposes, beyond the normal recapping and replacing of circuitry. I'd also hope to learn where best to obtain to the tubes for the circuit, and which variants may prove the best for each section. I think that I'd like to keep the four original 7591 if they test good, as well as using the 5 Ribbed Telefunken Diamond (<>) bottom 12ax7 I have if they are any good as well.

    In the very least, I'd like to re-tube to unit myself, and have to circuit modifications and respirations done by a professional. Any input would be greatly appreciated, and I'm looking forward to getting started.

    Thanks,
    DolphnSmooth
     

    Attached Files:

    turnitdown likes this.
  2. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    Also, if anyone would like to see any more from these pamphlets and manuals that I got as well, let me know.
     

    Attached Files:

  3. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,492
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    The 800b was my first Fisher rebuild! I used the Metalbone kit online, and I also used some JJ can capacitors and installed a Thermistor. When I turn it on, I use a surge protector to keep the original switch in working condition.

    I also have a 400, and a 500c, and a couple different integrated Fishers as well as a couple consoles. The 800b is my favorite!
     
  4. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

    Messages:
    3,492
    Location:
    Northern Colorado
    I would like to strongly urge you to try doing the work yourself. I stress this, because owning a piece like this, is like owning a 1962 car, it might/will require some maintenance.
    It will give you confidence when trouble shooting the unit when 5 years from now, a resistor (?) fails.
    As far as tubes are concerned, use the originals if you can. Replace them as they fail, that is the way the piece is/was designed.
     
  5. ncwalz

    ncwalz AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    74
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    Agree with purchasing the Metalbone upgrade kit. If you purchase the deluxe kit, you’ll have an illustrated guide as to how to proceed. Also consider purchasing the can electrolytics from Hayseed Hamfest which they will make specifically for your 800b. Check out relevant topics and you will learn everything you need to adjust the phase inverters, add protection features, and build your own IBAM. Ask questions from the many experts here and when you have your 800b singing again by your own hands, you will have learned a fair bit and gained a sense of accomplishment.

    Just my own observations.
     
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  6. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    664
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    Welcome aboard. Help is on the way. You'll find the resident experts wonderfully supportive.

    I recently did a KX-100 amp and the help was wonderful. I'm currently working on a pair of KS-2 Fisher kit speakers. After that I've got a KM-60 tuner that is up next and followed by a 500B in the queue. I'll be following your journey because we all benefit. Good luck!
     
  7. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    Well this is just the encouragement that I was hoping to hear. I've been considering doing the work myself considering the wiring layout compared to the more modern circuitry, and it seems a lot easier. I really am eager to learn a deal more about my unit and doing it myself sounds like a lot of fun. My biggest hang up will be trying to find a place I can get my tubes tested, to know how much of what I've got left is alright to use. I can think of a few local guys who may be close enough to ask.

    I will be checking out the suggested kits and resources tonight and tomorrow to try to educate and prepare myself for what lies ahead. I'll definitely make time for this project, but it'll be slow going at first with the finishing semester. Thanks for the encouragement, as I'm starting now to lean towards doing it myself!
     
  8. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    For both kits for both places, at less than $250, I'm totally in!
     
  9. Tim D

    Tim D AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    664
    Location:
    Melbourne, FL
    I did my amp without a kit and it went fine. Lots of sources of parts including some very nice people here on AK for some vintage items. I took the path of re-stuffing the power supply caps myself. While I didn't find it difficult, it might not be for everyone. I'm thinking that the usual suggestions are to get yourself a variac (adjustable AC power supply), a good multi-meter, and a good soldering iron. The real resident experts will chime in soon. It's fun. For me though it was just as much about the journey as it was the destination - if you know what I mean.

    In terms of testing the tubes, you probably have some time to deal with that. I see your avatar shows you are in PA. I have to believe you are within an hour drive of a major city that should have another AK'er or an old timer electronics supply house or a music store that restores old guitar amps. Keep your eyes open and do some checking. You may find a tube checker in your area. Alternatively, an occasional AK resident may chime in and offer to test them for the cost of shipping. Let's see what happens.
     
  10. MATT0404

    MATT0404 AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    318
    Location:
    NW PA
    Very nice Fisher 800B! I'm looking forward to following along with your progress. I recently picked up a 400 that's had some basic work done (PS caps) and fully functional, but I've been considering doing a full recap on it.

    If I remember correctly, you're in Erie, right? I'm about an hour south in Franklin. I happen to know a guy in Youngstown that just might have a tube tester, or two, or three (ahem... @rudedogg ).
     
  11. mrphilco

    mrphilco AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    419
    Location:
    Ferdinand, IN
    Welcome!

    I hope to eventually own an 800-B. I currently have a 500-B, 400, TA-600 and a recently acquired 500-S project, plus several tube tuners.

    If you have the ability to scan documents, I would encourage you to scan those items and then upload them to AK's Digital Docs.
     
  12. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    So as It seems to me, I've got two options for can capacitors.

    1) Re-stuff them myself by getting the current one and filling them with individual capacitors of the correct value. ( Is this the general idea?)

    2) Just buy the drop in replacement from Hayseed Hamfest and avoid the trouble of Re-stuff.
     
  13. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    Correct, I am in Erie. I have seen you around and have come across your equipped posts on BT and Craigslist before, but have never had the chance to say hello. Hello!

    I'd have to send @rudedogg a message then, and see for myself if he, or anyone else around here for that matter, would provide tube testing services.
     
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  14. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    I've got access to a scanner, though I'd have to make time to figure out how to use it too! I'll make sure to get to uploading those documents as well.
     
  15. Rockyhill

    Rockyhill 148 State Street Subscriber

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    Last edited: Nov 4, 2017
  16. rudedogg

    rudedogg AK Member Subscriber

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    Boardman Ohio
    I can surely test your tubes for you. Do you ever get to, or near the Y-town Ohio area?
     
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  17. larryderouin

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

    Messages:
    20,140
    Location:
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    Dolphnsmooth; With regards to Hayseed Hamfest cap kits. I'd recommend the kit with the drop in replacement for the Bias cap. The other kit with the individual bias caps are really for those of us who remove the clip underneath and modify the unit with Individual Balance/bias Adjustment (IBBA) or Individual Bias Adjustment Modification (IBAM) boards, plus other Mods. You can do the IBAM and IBBA boards with the Drop in replacement, but placement gets to be an issue if your board is large (IBBA and IBAM are DIY builds). If this is your 1st foray into tubes and Fisher I'd recommend making it easier on yourself and get the drop in.

    Larry
     
  18. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    Thanks for the tip Larry, I notice the difference between the two kits, but didn't understand what it meant. At the moment, biasing is beyond me, and I would have to read up on other threads to even understand what it means.

    Currently then, the goal is the second kit from Hayseed with the single drop in replacement, as well as going with the Metalbone. Now I've just got to get the money together!
     
  19. DolphnSmooth

    DolphnSmooth AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    93
    Location:
    Lake City, PA
    I do in fact get near Youngstown whenever I head home from College. I'll likely be coming that way mid December at the end of this semester.
     
  20. rudedogg

    rudedogg AK Member Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,521
    Location:
    Boardman Ohio
    Well then, if you still need some tubes tested look me up. Or just stop by for a listening session!
     

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