1. Time for some upgrades in server hardware and software to enhance security and take AK to the next level. Please contribute what you can to sales@audiokarma.org at PayPal.com - Thanks from the AK Team
    Dismiss Notice

Steelman console worth picking up?

Discussion in 'Tube Audio' started by KeithD, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    Local guy is clearing out his Mother's house and has a Steelman console stereo. Says it's model 604 with serial number 69594, and thinks it's from 1959. Has a record player, and he says it's should have a radio, but he can't find the controls? So, I assume it either does not have a radio, or the controls are somehow hidden. Here's the picture from CL:

    Steelman.jpg
    Can anyone shed light on this unit? Is this worth picking up? At this point he is giving it away to get it out of the house.

    He also has a Curtis Mathes console he says is from 1954 with a model number 4519 that he might be parting with unless his son can move it out. No picture, but this pic shows part of the back of both consoles behind the sofa:

    2 Consols.jpg
    Can't seem to find anything about either of these models on the web, so any help would be great! Don't want to bring home a boat anchor, but I'd be interested if either one of these is considered a quality stereo.
     
    Leland47 likes this.

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. century tek

    century tek Super Member

    Messages:
    3,281
    Location:
    The Evergreen State
    Maybe ask the guy for pics under the hood. It's virtually impossible to tell what it is inside unless a member here has the exact same cabinet.
     
  3. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    It's only about 15 minutes from me, so I'll be looking at it/them tomorrow morning. Any suggestions of what to look for? Plan to test record player/changer with some old records, radio if it has one, and AUX inputs if present.

    Seller claims both work, though sounds like he could not get the 45 stacker to work, and he could not find radio controls for the Steelman.
     
  4. Patrice B

    Patrice B AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,222
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    Just be sure that it has a power transformer. Sometimes, obscure brands made "hot chassis" ( tubes voltages gives around 110 volts).
     
  5. wlhd1610

    wlhd1610 Penny and her new friend Sponsor Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,462
    Location:
    Catskill NY
  6. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

    Messages:
    36,583
    Location:
    Southern NJ
    Might be a phono-only console. They didn't tend to hide anything on consoles. If it has a tube lineup on the back, look for stuff like a 35C5, 50C5, or other tubes with first numbers larger than a 12. That usually indicates series string stuff, which is low power and not real suited for standalone amp use if that is your goal. Tubes like 6V6, 6BQ5, 6AQ5 are what you want to see.


    I'll have a gander at the Sams when I get home. I quite possibly have it.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. mashaffer

    mashaffer Super Member

    Messages:
    3,341
    Location:
    North Central Indiana
    Might not want to turn it on until you get a chance to recap it. It isn't the kind of thing you just buy and start using without some freshening.

    A tube lineup should give you some idea of the quality. In 59 the radio would be mono if it has one unless someone added a demux later.
     
  8. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    Saw that service manual also. Maybe the 604 was the style pictured and the 704 has the stick legs?

    OK, so no transformer = bad? My only experience with tube electronics is Hammond organs (I've had 2), so tube stereos are new to me. I have mostly had stereo equipment from the 70s.

    My thoughts too on the radio. From what I can gather on the web, Steelman made quite a few phono-only consoles. That's ok for me if it has stereo AUX jacks. Just interested in this as a tube stereo and using it as-is.

    If I do pick it up (he's giving it away free), I'll post the tube setup for advice on what to do/idea of quality.

    He's already had the thing on to see if it works, and he says it is working. Not really interested in it if it is not working as I am a novice at these kind of stereos, though I have done some service on the Hammond M-3 organ I used to own.
     
  9. mashaffer

    mashaffer Super Member

    Messages:
    3,341
    Location:
    North Central Indiana
    No power tranny is not a deal breaker as you can always add an isolation tranny.
     
  10. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    Picked up the Steelman 604 this morning. Phono only console, but has stereo input jacks. Normal set of controls with position for Tuner stereo and Tuner mono:

    Controls.JPG

    Turntable is has no name on it, so not sure manufacturer:

    Turntable.JPG

    Tube diagram for amplifier:

    Tube diagram.JPG

    Preamp/amp all in one:

    Amplifier.JPG

    Three speakers on each side. Anyone decipher the codes for date/manufacturer?

    Speakers.JPG

    Input/output panel on back:

    Input.JPG

    RCA jacks running from each woofer. I assume this is to connect external speakers?

    Out jacks.JPG

    And finally, the label on the back:

    Label.JPG
     
    Leland47 likes this.
  11. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    Speaker codes on woofer are: 409005 and 371936. Midrange: 406002 and 371941. Tweeter(?): 404022, and 518=9=33.

    Any suggestions on what to do with it? Just want to play records and connect external tuner. So far I have tested every thing and all seems to be working. Volume and other pots could use a cleaning/deoxit, but other than that?
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. Patrice B

    Patrice B AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,222
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    External tuner in tape/aux inputs.

    Records: verify the needle and even, simply replace it... and don't put valuable albums!
     
  13. Patrice B

    Patrice B AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,222
    Location:
    Montréal, Canada
    Oh, and maybe a recap job before...
     
  14. EastPoint

    EastPoint Factory Code No. 4200 Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,550
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Speakers were made by Best Manufacturing Co in 1959. Don’t think I’ve ever seen a console using push-pull 12L6. Definitely interesting. Who are the 12AX7s made by?
     
  15. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    Thanks for the info on the speakers. All tubes are marked CBS in a diamond.
     
  16. century tek

    century tek Super Member

    Messages:
    3,281
    Location:
    The Evergreen State
    Does that amp have a power transformer? It looks like a series string design so its best to use in its cabinet for safety. Isolation transformer isn't really necessary unless you wanted to use it as a console pull or stand alone amplifier.

    EDIT: I think I see a black transformer which may be the power transformer. If so, that is one interesting design in where the tubes are all using 12.6 volts instead of the standard 6.3 volts for the heaters.

    Very interesting! :cool:
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    Yes, there is a pretty good sized black transformer on the upper right of the amp box. I made sure to look for that before agreeing to take it. Is that a small transformer on the lower left above the lineup of 12L6 tubes?

    Wanted to Deoxit the volume pot, but it's inside the amp box. Not sure how to get at that. It's going to take a bit of work to get that box unmounted to get at the pots.
     
  18. artsybob

    artsybob Member

    Messages:
    92
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    In your photo I see a large black power transformer and one output transformer (I wonder if there's another one on the chassis hiding. It says "stereo" on the console). As for the record player/turntable I'm 99.9% certain it's a Voice of Music 1200 series record changer. More information on those can be found here: https://www.thevoiceofmusic.com/
     
  19. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    Thanks for that information on the record player. After looking at that website, I did find the ID ink stamped on the bottom of the player. Date code is 34th week of 1959, and it is a 1200 series record changer (could not quite make out all the numbers.)

    Will need to un-mount the amp from the case to get at the pots for cleaning. Will post some pics when I do that. Will be interested to see what caps are under there.
     
  20. KeithD

    KeithD AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    576
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    It's also apparent there was a name badge on the upper left side of the left speaker grill. There are two bolt sized holes that go through the grill and backing wood there. Probably not much hope of finding one of those.
     

Share This Page