Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

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Leroy
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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

Post by Leroy »

riot's

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pioneer98
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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

Post by pioneer98 »

heyzeus wrote:
January 4 21, 9:34 am
I feel like that's the exact cabinet set my parents had when I was a kid, Pioneer. My favorite records were both 7" singles - Neil Diamond's "We're Coming to America" and Quiet Riot's "Come On Feel The Noize." There's little wonder how I became a weird kid.
We had Michael Jackson's Thriller on vinyl and played the crap out of it.

I saw another Magnavox cabinet stereo at a consignment shop over the weekend. It may have been in slightly better shape than the one I got. It had an 8-track player which mine does not have. The receiver and record player were identical to mine though, but the record player on/off knob seemed to be working OK. The cabinet was slightly different, but not by much. The shop was asking $299 for it. I got mine for $15.88.

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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

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pioneer98 wrote:
January 7 21, 8:51 pm
heyzeus wrote:
January 4 21, 9:34 am
I feel like that's the exact cabinet set my parents had when I was a kid, Pioneer. My favorite records were both 7" singles - Neil Diamond's "We're Coming to America" and Quiet Riot's "Come On Feel The Noize." There's little wonder how I became a weird kid.
We had Michael Jackson's Thriller on vinyl and played the crap out of it.

I saw another Magnavox cabinet stereo at a consignment shop over the weekend. It may have been in slightly better shape than the one I got. It had an 8-track player which mine does not have. The receiver and record player were identical to mine though, but the record player on/off knob seemed to be working OK. The cabinet was slightly different, but not by much. The shop was asking $299 for it. I got mine for $15.88.
We did too. Along with Huey Lewis and the News - "Sports"

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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

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Remembering my PC can play Grand Theft Auto Online, and still being bad at the races.

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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

Post by pioneer98 »

This old Magnavox has been more work than I expected. I bought a small bearing puller and I was able to get the two metal pieces apart that were stuck. I got them cleaned up and put everything back together and it worked! For a whole 3 days, everything seemed to be working perfectly. Then a new problem emerged. The turntable would start out really slow for a good minute or two, before speeding up. And while it would speed up, it never quite got up to full speed. It was at maybe 95% speed. Just a tad slow. I read up on this issue on the turntable forum, and it sounded like the culprit was a gummed up motor. So I took the motor apart and cleaned it up and put some 3 in 1 oil in it, as they suggested. After I put it back together, you'll never guess, but it wasn't quite working right. The turntable was really erratic speed-wise. I got it running though and just let it run without a record on it for like half an hour. Finally, I got it back to where it would spin at the correct speed. But yet another new problem popped up. When in auto mode, it would do everything right, but when it dropped the record onto the platter, that small jolt was enough to stop the turntable spinning. If I gave it a slight nudge, it would start spinning again and get to the right speed. I think the whole issue was I got a little oil on the spindle of the motor, and so it was slipping against the rubber idler wheel that turns the turntable. I got everything as dry as possible and now it's working again....for now.

When it's working, it has a really nice sound. Fingers crossed it stays fixed for longer than 3 days this time

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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

Post by pioneer98 »

I did a lot more work on that cabinet stereo since that post above. After I got the turntable working I listened to it a lot more I realized it did not sound right. There was not much bass and some mid-range sounds seemed muffled. High frequencies always sounded good though. The guys on an antique stereo forum helped me along. I replaced all the electrolytic capacitors on the boards of this thing using my soldering skills I have not used since college. It sounds great now. I was surprised by how much the sound improved.

The biggest issue left is the volume. It gets too loud too fast. Turning the knob to just 50% gets so loud I'm afraid I'll blow the speakers. There is a "Loudness" button that was not working before. It seems to kind of work now, but it obviously makes the volume issue even worse. Then there a few cosmetic things like the backlight intermittently flickering on/off, and the dial indicator for the radio is messed up. If I can figure out this volume issue, I think I can probably get this thing just about fully refurbished.

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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

Post by pioneer98 »

I got that Magnavox cabinet stereo as good as I can get it. I found and fixed the loose connection that was causing the backlight to cut in and out. The only problem left is with the radio tuner. I can't get any stations below about 93 on the FM dial. Unfortunately, I may not have the tools to fix that. Otherwise the turntable works pretty good and the speakers sound really good. It has a full sound. I connect my phone to it and play Spotify too.

I already started working on another one. I got a Fisher "all-in-one" at Goodwill for $13.50. I believe it's from 1980. It has a cassette player, a graphic equalizer and a record changer. It's definitely not as cool or valuable as that Magnavox, but it's decent. I had to get a replacement part to get the record player working right which I found on Ebay for $29. So the turntable works but has a very light background noise you can notice in what is supposed to be silence between songs. Not sure if I'll be able to fix that. This one doesn't have built-in speakers, so it will only sound as good as the speakers you connect to it. I replaced the capacitors on the main circuit board but I have not worked on the cassette player at all yet. This is what this one looks like. The ends of 3 of the graphic equalizer levers are broken off, though, but they still work. I have all the knobs, I just didn't put all of them back on since I'll be taking it apart again soon.
[SHOW]
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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

Post by Famous Mortimer »

I bought a nice looking old stereo system, and it just kept not being quite right, and eventually I got bored of removing parts and cleaning them and buying belts and all that and just bought a brand new system, which is half the size and has ten times the functionality. I love vintage stuff but sometimes it's too much effort.

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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

Post by pioneer98 »

This thing is basically 100% refurbished. All the issues left are cosmetic issues. Everything works, and it even sounds good. It was hard to figure out why the record player sounded like crap, but I got it figured out. Basically there was a nick on the idler wheel that caused a sound every time it contacted the platter. And then the cartridge needed to be cleaned up with some deoxidizing spray. After those two things were fixed, it sounds good.

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Famous Mortimer wrote:
March 15 21, 8:12 am
I bought a nice looking old stereo system, and it just kept not being quite right, and eventually I got bored of removing parts and cleaning them and buying belts and all that and just bought a brand new system, which is half the size and has ten times the functionality. I love vintage stuff but sometimes it's too much effort.
I just like the challenge. I'm a nerd, an engineer. So far I am 2 for 2 in being able to refurbish these old things. I think this 70s to early 80s era is the sweet spot though. If you go back earlier than that, you're dealing with tube systems. Move forward a few years into the 80s and everything is too miniature to work on. In this era everything is still big enough to be able to work on it, but also modern enough that they use modern components you can get cheaply.

There is just something about the vintage that I like. This thing is not that special. It's not valuable now that I've got it working (that Magnavox cabinet system may be though). This Fisher was a mass market type of stereo, but it's from the era when mass market items were still pretty darn good. Today, there are two types of record players - the mass-produced plastic ones from China, and the top of the line audiophile stuff which can get really expensive. There is nothing in between really. You can argue about whether spending $120 on an Audio Technica turntable is really "a lot" of money. That's the low end - what the audiophiles call a "starter" turntable - and it doesn't come with an amp. You have to buy that separately. Anyway, I probably spent about half that refurbishing this old beast, and it has an amp, cassette deck, radio, and graphic equalizer in addition to the record player. It's not audiophile-level quality but it ain't bad and it won't tear up records like those plastic record players from China do sometimes. This Fisher and the Magnavox both track at around 2 grams. In other words, these old systems exist somewhere in that middle ground between the cheap plastic ones and the extremely high end ones. They simply don't make this type of thing any more.

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Re: Pandemic - What is keeping you busy?

Post by Famous Mortimer »

If you live in St Louis and want my MCS kit, it's just taking up space in my basement at the moment.

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