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

The 'Hitachi' Fishers

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by Kingfisher, Mar 19, 2017.

  1. Kingfisher

    Kingfisher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    Western MI
    Hello AKer's,
    I am creating this thread to see if the Fisher receivers made by Hitachi can be positively identified. Old threads only reveal that we've been learning more and more over the years, but information still seems to be shaky as to what models were made for Fisher by Hitachi in Japan during the Emerson era. If any of you have information to contribute to this subject, please do. I'm 90% sure that Hitachi made the Fisher 170, 180, 190, 195, 201, 202, 203, 205, 213, 215, and 295. I am not so sure about the later Emerson era models such as: the 132, 232, 332, 432, 122, 222 or 234 from the mid-'70's. If there were other Japanese contractors for Emerson that you know of please feel free to elaborate. Emerson was known to build some 4-channel Fisher's in Hong Kong, but they were not Hitachi. If you have any of the above listed models, look inside your receiver and examine the markings on transformers, transistors, capacitors, pc boards, etc. If it screams HITACHI! and there company logos everywhere, feel free to contribute to this thread. Hitachi's company logo looks like this:
     

    Attached Files:

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  2. Kingfisher

    Kingfisher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    Western MI
    My own Fisher 205:
     

    Attached Files:

  3. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,902
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    They may have been built by Hitachi, but the circuitry was designed by the "Dutchmen". They had a hand in practically everything from about 1957 thru 1980 when they started retiring. And within the financial constraints set by either Emerson or Sanyo, I think they did a pretty good job.
     
  4. txturbo

    txturbo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    924
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    I think Hitachi must have done lots of contract manufacturing. I know that several of the 70's era Radio Shack receivers were built by Hitachi. Every piece of silicon in the receiver is marked Hitachi. I also found schematic of Hitachi branded receivers that have identical sections to the Realistic STA-180. Now that I can see the pictures of the Fisher 205 I can see that it has a similar look under the hood.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Kingfisher

    Kingfisher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    Western MI
    I have seen some physical evidence that Emerson started cost-cutting right after the 1969 purchase as Fisher was getting into a serious onslaught of Japanese competition around that time especially in materials (i.e. plywood casings becoming pressboard, wood veneer becoming vinyl, etc) rather than design or engineering. I have to wonder how many of those Dutchmen stuck around after Sanyo made the move to Chatsworth. IIRC from other AK threads, Avery himself no longer had an affiliation with the Fisher brand by about 1978.
     
  6. Kingfisher

    Kingfisher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    Western MI
    That brown-colored PC board should have the Hitachi logo on it also. Hitachi did lots of OEM work, but also had their own brand...in some ways competing against themselves for market share. They did make their own electrolytic capacitors too, but the Fisher 205 only has Nippon Chemicon's.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  7. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

    Messages:
    21,902
    Location:
    Glen Burnie Md.
    My understanding is most if not all of the "Dutchmen" hung around to clooect full pensions (about 1979 or so). Mr. Fisher stayed on with Sanyo as a consultant until about 1980 or so. The Japanese onslaught hurt ALL of the US manufacturers in 1969-70, as the price of the yen was favorable compared to the US Dollar and we just couldn't compete economically. A lot of industries dried up about then also so it wasn't just an Audio thing. And yes Hitachi did a lot of OEM work for Ratshack, FISHER, and others. The problem was they were late to the game and couldn't get a good toehold in the market and was relegated to 2nd tier. Most of their stuff was as good as or better in some cases to the 1st tier manufacturers, but with their late start, they couldn't catch up. Same with Toshiba in the audio arena.
     
  8. Kingfisher

    Kingfisher Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    801
    Location:
    Western MI
    Hitachi (and Toshiba) kinda reminds me of Zenith, a radio and TV maker that expanded in to stereo components and was late to the party. Zenith had console and portable record players before the '70's but never delved into components before then. It would have been cool to see Zenith do something like RCA's MX-7, but it never happened and they never captured the youth market with their '70's stereos. Buying Heathkit for their PC kits was their last attempt to stay relevant.
     
  9. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    25,969
    Location:
    Athens, TN
    Zenith didn't capture the youth market, since they were about quality in what they built and good conservative engineering in what they sold. Zenith tended to be more expensive than average in their class. And they were slow to separates. Consoles and compacts they excelled in, far superior than 99% of RCA anything not to be from or related to RCA Broadcast. Hitachi and Toshiba were more component part manufacture and OEM focused than they were on retail marketing in the USA. And they got into the market a bit too late to have real presence, though these two brands have built some awesome gear, more than competitive on engineering, build quality, and sonics.
     
  10. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    You can also add the Fisher Model 290 to the Hitachi list as well. I believe it was produced somewhere around 1972-74. The couple ICs it does have on the boards are Hitachi branded. Just picked this up last night, cleaned the switches. It sounds lush, warm with creamy mids and lots of bass presence and articulation. High-end extension is somewhat muted. The sound is very hard to beat right through the upper-mid sectrum. Hoping to breathe new life into this with a full recap.

    20180408_091239.jpg 20180408_091059.jpg 20180408_091331.jpg
     
  11. txturbo

    txturbo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    924
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Hitachi made the vast majority of the early tuner IC's so you can't really use that as a bench mark. Take a look at the output transistors and elsewhere. You should see the logo stamped on many parts, they were not shy about it.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  12. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    My 290 has 5 ICs. All 5 start with the letter "H" for Hitachi.
     
  13. Catmanboo

    Catmanboo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Atwater, ohio
    I pulled my 170 out of storage for a look. Nippon chemicon 'lytics throughout, Hitachi transistors,ic's, pcb's & pwr.transformer . Pwr supply/ amp board has a handful of u.s.made carbon resistors. The heatsink was repurposed from something else, its stamped for 4 to-3's, but has 5 2sc1061's on it, one of which may be a voltage regulator. Question answered. .. so, might as well fire it up for a functional check flight! :)
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
  14. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    Does anyone know if there's a way to set DC bias voltage on these receivers for L/R channels? Cannot find any service info on my 290. I wonder if some of these older models within the same series use a specified procedure that someone can share or is that non-adjustable on these models?
     
  15. Catmanboo

    Catmanboo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Atwater, ohio
    ...and the little Hitachi 170 works, at least with headphones. Am, fm very good rx, but for lack of fm stereo. Can't have it all, considering the long-term storage & quick wake-up on the variac. Now, to find a job for it.
     
  16. onanysunday

    onanysunday AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    481
    Location:
    Minneapolis
    See how it sounds through a stereo input of high quality. You might be surprised how good it sounds after you give your switches a good cleaning/lubing. My FM reception was horrible in the basement and I did not have an antenna, but it sounded almost crystal clear when first connected to a modded Akai-52 and then a Denon DCD-700 after all switches had been cleaned, rca barrels and headphone jack inside and out.
     

     

    Please register to disable this ad.

  17. Catmanboo

    Catmanboo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Atwater, ohio
    A future project. Hosed the volume & balance pots, hooked up a terk amplified antenna for fm. Tuning meter is either very optimistic, or out of adjustment. It's almost pegged on all stations. Just happy it's not dead &/or smoking!
     
  18. drjohnnyfeva

    drjohnnyfeva Member

    Messages:
    60
    I bought a Fisher 170 back in February, I think. Love it. "Fisher Audio, NY, NY. Made in Japan." I don't care where it's made. It sounds wonderful. I run everything thru it into a couple of good Polks and a center Polk. Sounds better than any stereo I've had. Grew up with a Kenwood and an Elektra tube table top. The Fisher brings the best of both. It has enough power for a small room, probably for a much bigger room than I use it in. I'd be interested in a more powerful model, but I'm still novice level, yet sold on Fisher SS and Jap builds.
     
  19. Catmanboo

    Catmanboo AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Atwater, ohio
    Who cares if it's made on the moon or wherever, if it works, if you like it, run it! They make good bedroom or garage units, or whatever. They're happiest when in use, so enjoy! Beats the cheap junk on the market today, at any rate. :rockon:
     
    drjohnnyfeva likes this.

Share This Page