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Vintage 1967 Built In High End Home Hi Fi

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by Flashback67, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Well it has been a month, so I thought I would provide an update on the Frazier home sound system project.

    All the drivers are out of the cabinets and the new diaphragms and re cone kits are in. The fellow rebuilding the drivers is picking them up today.

    Pulling the drivers from the cabinets yielded a few surprises. There are actually three different models of speaker cabinets used in the home s installation.

    Outside there are four units I have yet to disassemble. They have an 8" woofer and a 3" diameter cone tweeter. Strangely the cones are still intact even after being outside for 50 years. Must not be normal paper cones.

    Inside there are six sealed cabinet design speakers as shown in the attached drawing I made.

    Finally in the houses two bedrooms there are four ported cabinet speakers. These speakers are the same dimensions as the sealed cabinets except for being a inch deeper. The two slotted ports don't exit the front of the speakers however, they exit the top and bottom. This means they exit into the ceiling joists. At first I thought that the drywall had been installed over the port. But probing with some stiff wire revealed they exited into the ceiling.

    I finally found the answer on an old AK post. It seems the ported model came in two parts, the speaker cabinet and a port kit that fit on top. They didn't install the port kit and left the opening in covered. My plan is to cover the ports and make the cabinets sealed.

    One final surprise was that in one of the cabinets a 4" X 10" tweeter horn was used instead of a 3" X 7" (see photo).

    This cabinet was a bear to remove the drivers from. All the others had the tweeters held in by front removable screws. The large tweeter was fastened in from the back. With the small tweeter removed I could reach in to remove the woofer fasteners. With the large tweeter I need to work through the woofer basket holes.

    I will be trading the large tweeter for a small one with an adapter plate.

    More in a couple weeks.
     

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  2. markkb

    markkb Active Member

    Messages:
    116
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    This is a great restoration story, thanks for keeping it updated!
     
  3. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Sorry for the four month hiatus project updates. But technical delays which are to be expected dealing with 50 year old hardware combined with family and work responsibilities have a tendency to do that.

    Independent of the Frazier speakers, the rest of the system had major issues. While the wiring runs behind the plaster luckily turned out to be good, that was about all that was good.
    Where the wiring connected to the amplifier was a rats nest.

    Originally the system was powered by Fisher receiver capable of running multiple speaker pairs. I know this from the warranty card I found in the entertainment cabinet. When we bought the house the Fisher unit was long gone. In it's place was a Sony receiver incapable of multi channel operation. But no problem for Larry the Cable Guy of Hi Fi. Just bundle all those wires together and "Get er done!"
    See photo below.

    After wringing out the wiring to sort out all the reversed polarity, shorts, and hums from AC power wiring it now looks like the second photo.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  4. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    After the amplifier wiring came the L-pads for the room speaker volume control. Again, 50 year old hardware was shot. Trouble was the modern replacement did not fit the boxes in the walls. But to replace the boxes required cutting out the old metal box and pulling out the pieces through the hole without damaging the plaster. See photo for difference in size.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  5. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

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    27
    I wish I could tell you that I replaced the cheap Sony receiver with a Mac tube amp. But a the best I could afford was a nice Yamaha S-700 receiver with phono inputs and pre amp outputs to a 16 channel Russound home system amp rated at 50 watts/channel. With the Frazier speakers rated at 17 watts/channel this Russound amp is more than enough power. The Yamaha units 100 watts/channel are used topower the two 15" EV Wolverine units in the media room. See photo below.

    The speakers are back from getting reconed and new diaphragms. More tomorrow.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  6. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Well the 10 woofers are back from re conning. It turned out the Frazier woofers were a variation of Altec 403A 8" units minor differences. The photos below show you the before and after.

    The 10 woofer baskets inside the house were in pretty good shape and were worth rebuilding. If I wanted to sell the restored woofers I could actually make some money after the cost of re conning. Turns out guitar players love these old ALNICO Altec units.

    Since the Frazier speakers have a tweeter, we decided to go with a larger (Harmonica player preferred) domed cap over the voice coil. The new 2-way crossovers will be filtering out above 3,500 Hz anyway.

    More later on crossovers and tweeters.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 24, 2017
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  7. schen

    schen Member

    Messages:
    75
    Location:
    Forney, Texas
    I just got back on to AK and found your posts. They are very interested which touch on a couple of my personal interest in audio, vintage audio as well as architecture. I really love the mid-century modern of your home and just lament that they aren't particularly practical here in the intense heat of Texas!

    More to the point, regarding your speakers is this. I'm not certain that I'd replace them either given their excellent condition and vintage pedigree, however I do have a thought on them. Some years ago, while working for an Audio/Home Theater store in the Panhandle, I came to know an older gentleman who was one of our regulars. He was quite into high-end audio, so his basement theater/listening room equipment was definitely late-90's "state of the art", but he had an interesting project that he was working on.

    One day he brought in an old Bozak speaker; the B-199A, with the B-200X tweeters on the bridge mount. What he had found was that these readily available speakers were excellent as surround unit either as side or rear. I was able to hear them for myself some time later after he had built boxes and mounted them. They handled a full range rather effortlessly and never called attention to themselves.

    Of course, your Fraziers my very well be substantially different especially given the coaxially mounted horn tweeters, and I certainly don't have an idea of where in your room they're situated, but it's a thought.
     
  8. markkb

    markkb Active Member

    Messages:
    116
    Location:
    Mountain View, CA
    Cool, thanks for the detailed update. Looking forward to next steps. I think your stereo choice is a solid decision.

    Fun stuff when your playing a favorite tune throughout the house.
    Here's a question, what genre or song lends itself to playing throughout the house? I'll start with Vivaldi Four Seasons. Plain old radio programs is another.
    Mark
     
  9. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Our music selections are rather eclectic, but classical and jazz predominate. Possibly because we have both a great classical music station (WRR) and a great jazz station (KNTU) in the area. Both should sound great on the high sensitivity design Frazier room speakers.

    The big 15" coaxial units in the media room are EV Wolverines, which sound ok as they are. But I plan to modify the cabinet to increase the volume to the recommended 9.0 cuft and add a tuned port. I have all the design information required from an EV manual. These modifications can be made without changing the external appearance of the cabinets. We just watched a movie tonight and they worked well. So with the proper cabinets they should be amazing. If I can find the money I may also swap the Wolverines for some Great Plains 604-8A-IIIs. They require the same 9.0 cuft cabinets.

    To fund this restoration project I needed to sell my Cornwall IIs I had owned for 35 years. With all the windows in the house there was no good place for them anyway. Now I will have speakers with even bigger cabinets in the media room, an they will be almost invisible.

    When we purchased the house we thought the North Texas heat would cause us to keep the AC running through the summer. But the 40 odd oak trees surrounding the house and its unique design construction allows for open window living on all but the hottest days.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  10. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    The custom 2-way crossovers are done and ready to install, see photo. Originally there was just a wax capacitor to filter the lows from the tweeters with an L-pad to adjust tweeter volume. The original L-pads were installed on the cabinet backs, impossible to adjust after speaker installation, see photo. New units are being installed on the cabinet faces to allow adjustments after installation.

    To have room to mount the 8" woofers and L-pads on the cabinet fronts required opening up the ceiling plaster board holes as much as possible, but still leaving enough plaster area to mount the original grills. Easier said than done. I needed to buy a special saw to normally used to cut door jam trim when installing flooring. The saw works amazingly well cutting just the plaster and not the speakers underneath. Also allows clean square corner, see photo. But while while the blades are designed for minimal dust, it is still necessary to drop cloth every thing in the room when cutting.

    Each room takes about 4 hours to cut. Would never be able to justify paying someone to do this work. See before and after photos. In the photos you can also see the two little Mickey Mouse ear holes I needed to cut for speaker removal. These will be plugged before woofer installation.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
  11. MarZutra

    MarZutra Super Member

    Messages:
    4,191
    Location:
    New Scotland, Canada
    Just popped in and wanted to say what a lovely project. My uncle purchased a similar home in the 60s outside of Toronto. It also had a built in stereo/audio system/room though I do not believe he actually used it. Just memory here.
    Fabulous job and project. Kudos!
     
  12. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Thank you Markkb, Schen and MarZutra for your encouraging words. It will help me in sprit to finish cutting the last four holes in the plaster today. Not my favorite part of the restoration.
     
  13. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    I have read this thread through in fascination. Congrats on having the patience to bring this classics back to life. In the wrong hands these would have been binned or thrift stored. or perhaps sold off on the bay. Great to see them staying in the house, that is a very neat setup. The black Yamaha looks good there and fits in the cabinet well.
     
  14. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Thank you Lucky.

    The receiver selection was difficult. With the advent of home theater audio systems, the choices for simple quality hi fi receiver are very limited. Especially with phono inputs and dual zone control. I had a Yamaha CR-620 receiver for almost 40 years (see photo). I bought while in college with my money earned working for GM in Flint MI. I just sold if last year to help fund this project.

    The new Yamaha R-700 has great specs and sounds great powering the 15" Wolverines. But I miss the old quality feel of the 620 machined aluminum knobs.

    Fitting the R-700 into the built in cabinet was tight in all dimensions. There was also damage to the blonde oak veneer to repair from the previous owner jamming in the Sony unit.

    The opening for the receiver had a fan built into the back wall which had long ago died. While the fan was a standard 5" X 5" X 1" size, it was installed from the back before the cabinets were installed. To cool the16 channel home audio system amp, I cut a square hole for a second fan which also provided me access to replace the original fan. Both are thermostatically controlled.

    While cutting the fan hole I found the warranty card for the original house receiver. Turns out it was a Fisher 700T (see stock photo).

    Using the wood cut from the back of the cabinet I was able to salvage veneer to repair the damage around the receiver. Then fabricating some shorter feet the R-700 just barely fit.

    Above the receiver is a 50 year old Dual 1009SK turntable. With a few minor adjustments it works great! The reviews said it was a "Tank", and they were not kidding. The machine is built to last. See photo added.
     

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    Last edited: Jul 6, 2017
  15. Quadman2

    Quadman2 Super Member

    Messages:
    2,309
    Thanks also for taking the time to share with your intensive work project that I've followed with avid interest. I've some minor alterations to make as well, but will have my wife read the colossal effort that you've gone through that will make mine seem like a pittance!:D

    Also glad to know that that "light at the end of the tunnel" is almost overwhelming for you now.

    Q
     
  16. likebike23

    likebike23 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    787
    Location:
    Western MA
    Cool thread, thanks for sharing.
     
  17. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

    Messages:
    27
    Thanks Quadman and Likebike. Attached is a good photo of the Dual 1009 SK tank of a turntable. I downloaded the operating and maintenance manuals. The Germans really built these to last.
     

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  18. Luckyorleans

    Luckyorleans AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
    72
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Great table, I have a 1009SK2. Pretty common for these to be bogged down by the 50 year grease and lubricants in them . If you do some service or lubing, matching the original lubes shown in the manual is a bit of a challenge though the info and disinfo is all over the net! Here is what I worked out:

    Shell Alvania - replacement Shell Gadus S2 V220. I got a tube cheap from Napa auto parts.
    Sticky oil - chainsaw bar oil - minute amount needed so good to get a thimble from someone
    General light machine oil - sewing machine or turnbine oil

    Lots of qtips and 91% or better alcohol for cleaning it up.
     
  19. ilusndweller

    ilusndweller Super Member

    Messages:
    4,609
    Welcome aboard flashback! Lookin good!
     
  20. Flashback67

    Flashback67 New Member

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    27
    Thanks Lucky. The alternative lubricant information will be very helpful.

    I downloaded the manual from Vinyl Engine and was amazed at it's detail and thoroughness. Especially the page on lubrication. It reminds me of the maintenance manual for my First car, a 1956 VW bug.

    The table has a light rumble and I need to clean the contacts for the tone arm switch that blocks the signal from the cartridge until after it contacts the record. Will refresh all the lubricants at that time.
     

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