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Fisher Custom Electra IV

Discussion in 'Fisher' started by audiodogster, May 13, 2018.

  1. audiodogster

    audiodogster Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Just picked up a 1960 model E-44. I'll get some pictures of the whole piece once I've got a spot to stage it but couldn't resist posting it. It happened to come with all of the original documentation. The inside is nice and clean and looks to have been barely used. That Garrard table is a real looker. The top has some scratches and the side has some sun damage so I plan to see if the original finish is salvageable but if not I'll refinish the outside. The grille fabric needs some attention but I should be able to save it. I was going to bring it up on the variac but alas I couldn't find my variac, must've taken it to my shop. I assume I'll probably need to replace all of the caps and disassemble the turntable to get rid of the Garrard glue. I am planning on keeping this thing together, it's in too good of shape to part out.

    Anything I should know about this piece? What sort of power will I get out of the amp (440 chassis) if I want to connect up my Klipsch Forte?


    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Dave451

    Dave451 AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Wow, beautiful condition! I'm sure the console experts will weigh in, but looks well worth the effort.
     
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  3. buglegirl

    buglegirl In The Direction Of The Singularity Subscriber

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    Hiya,

    Nice looking. If I am not mistaken I think that amplifier is 2.5 ohm which might be a bit weak to drive those Fortes.

    EDIT: Got mixed up with the III its 8 ohms. PP EL84's which should be good for 18 to 20 watts. So decent enough to drive the Fortes.

    Frannie
     
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  4. thornev

    thornev Active Member

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    Location:
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    Oh Man that is a gorgeous piece ! I can almost hear it playing "The Banana Boat Song (Day-Oh)".
     
  5. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    Audiodogster. BTW Yours is a 1961 model not 1960.

    Agree with BugleGirl. It'll run the Forte's. The 440 uses 7247 tubes for drivers vs. 12ax7's in the later 460/480/481/490A amps of 1963 and 64.Should be very little problem recapping this amp and the tuner/preamp. Once you get the parts, you shoud be able to recap the amp and the preamp in an evening. There's like 5-6 caps in the Preamp/tuner (not counting the Can cap) and about 8-10 in the 440A (Not including the Can cap). Matched EL-84's are highly recommended as there is no real way to bias these individually with the factory setup. There is a "BIAS" pot on the amp where you set Pin 2 on the EL-84's for 33v. You can install a Test Pin Jack on the chassis connecting it to any of the tubes on pin 2 so you plug in your meter, warm up the unit, set your meter for DC Volts, then set the BIAS for 32-33V. NO Higher.

    The 440A, 460A, 480,481,490A amps are all very popular as standalone amps. They take very little in the way of modification to get to standalone status.

    The E44 is NOT Equipped with an ONBOARD FM Multiplex board. So an external Multiplexer is required for FM STEREO. Any Brand multiplex can be used as they are compatible with the GE/ZENITH format. There may be the odd Crosby Format Multiplexer out there but are very few and far between. Be prepared to pay at least $100-$150 for one. The FISHERS are highly sought after and command prices accordingly. SHERWOOD makes a good mittle Multiplexer in the M3AX and it'll fit inside the cabinet with no problem. Keep the RCA Cables as short as possible. 3ft or less. The shorter the better.

    The Custom Electra's from 1961 to 1964 are very good consoles for their size and punch above their weight group. With Very efficient speakers you'd think you've got a 7591 fixed bias unit (500B/C or 800B/C) under the hood. Tuners are basic but pull in station like honey to flies. A good alignment will make it pull quite a few more in and also help give you the best FM Multiplex as a Tuner alignment send the correct signal (frequency wise) to the mpx. The old adage GI-GO applies here. If you send in a good signal and the mpx is close to aligned you'll get decent stereo. If the Multiplex is aligned and used with a tuner that's been aligned, you'll get the best signal and great sounding FM stereo.

    Gotta Love that All WHITE Type A Mk II turntable. EDIT 18MAY18 The Player is a 210. Btwn the old RC121 and the Type A. Decent player at that too. Get it cleaned up and relubed, put a new idler wheel on it, Motor Mount grommets (see the Voice of Music site) and if it has a pickering ATE or V15 variant a new stylus, and you'll be Golden. The Pickering ATE/V-15 type is a good match for the system. Get a Changer stylus and keep on getting down. If you play 78's get a separate stylus. Don't forget the caps on the crossover networks for the speakers. Dayton Makes a good Electrolytic for these or you can use films but they tend to be large and expensive.

    Keep us in the loop with regards to rehab of the amp and tuner/preamp. Ask questions if you get hung up or question yourself.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  6. audiodogster

    audiodogster Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Must be like car model years then as this one was purchased 10/29/1960 according to the documents I got with it.

    I am not entirely familiar with tube servicing as this and a Voice of Music 1448/1465 tuner (which does have the FM multiplex) and integrated amp set but I haven't had time to order the caps for the VoM stuff. Since I only have room for one tube setup (out of like 6 setups of course), I admittedly didn't really need this cabinet but it was a heck of a deal. I have a variac and am planning to build a dim bulb tester for both units along with complete recaps. Is it necessary to replace the original tubes? I admittedly don't know much about tubes and biasing so I guess some research is in order. I don't really spend much time listening to the radio so adding a multiplex unit isn't really a huge concern but I'll keep an eye out.

    I wish I hadn't sold my La Scala before I got into tubes. Alas, they didn't work with the room I had and I wasn't particularly fond of the tweeters. I think 18wpc is probably pretty good for my Klipsch Forte or KSP-400 or my KLH 6s or 17s.

    I love the Garrard as well. I know it won't probably be the best sounding thing but I have a Yamaha PF-800 for critical listening. I also have a Garrard SL-95 that I bought to put with the VoM stuff, I thought that looked cool but the all white 210 is just sexy. Since I rehabbed the SL-95 I'm probably good to go on the 210. I've got a ton of ceramic cartridge needles so I probably have at least one for this thing.

    Thanks for all of the info, it's really helpful. I'm not sure what I'll do with this cabinet, keep it, sell it, or gift it, but until then I'll fix it up and enjoy it.
     

     

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  7. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    Fisher used Sept as the turnover Month for Model years. So Yes your's would be a '61.
    1.) Replace tubes only if not working or very weak on a tube tester. There is a thread in the Tube Forum called "Schematic Links, Tube Retailer links, Local Tube Testers". Take a look see and see if thereis someone fairly local to you that can test the tubes in your Fisher and VOM. If you have bad one's you can get NOS tubes from www.abcvacuumtubes.com in Tampa/St. Pete. Most of the tubes are under $10, with the majority of those running $3 to $5 ea. The output tubes if weak or bad I would seriously recommend Jim McShane ( http://www.mcshanedesign.net/tubes.htm ) for the Sovtek EL-84M tubes. These are argueably the toughest EL-84 types out there with the Tung_sol ReIssues coming in a close 2nd and both brands take all the abuse I give them on 5 different consoles for multiple years. If one is bad, ask for a matched pair and put them in on one side. If two bad, just get a quad. $79. for the Sovteks, and $65 for the Tung-Sol's.

    2.) The amp will do well with any of your speakers. I think you'll find as good as the VOM sounds the FISHER is that much better. The cartridge is a MM cart not a ceramic. The Custom Electra from '61 on was the lowest model FISHEr made with a MM cart.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  8. audiodogster

    audiodogster Active Member

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    243
    Ahh, I would have assumed ceramic at this age. MM is nice as I assume that means I could hook up my Yamaha to hear it through the tubes, my VoM 1448 doesn't have a phono preamp as it was designed with ceramic in mind, had to have the fancier 1428 for that feature. I did find it is a Shure M8DM cartridge on the table, which looks to be worth more than I paid for the table, assuming it works. It looks basically unused.

    If the Fisher does sound better, I might have to hold onto it. I love the look of the VoM stuff, it fits with the style of what I have in my Mid Century Modern room (I would have done the whole house as MCM if I had the money, it is a MC home) but I can make anything work.
     
  9. audiodogster

    audiodogster Active Member

    Messages:
    243
    Hooked up dim bulb tester and brought it up slowly on my variac. It's got a few bulbs out but otherwise seems fine. Caps definitely need to be done but it doesn't sound half bad. The turntable mostly works except it seems stuck in automatic and the 7" size. I think I'm keeping this thing.
     
  10. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Sounds like typical Garrard lube issues. The grease turns to glue and it does whatever it feels like mostly. basically if you take it apart, use some sort of solvent to clean the old grease off and replace it with new it will most likely work fine again. Looks like an RC-210.
     
  11. audiodogster

    audiodogster Active Member

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    Here's some beauty shots:
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

     

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  12. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    Where the Hell is the DROOOOOOOL Emoticon?!?!?!?!!?!?:D
     
  13. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Nice piece. I like attractive but not enormous consoles.
     
  14. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    Hubba hubba
     
  15. audmod01

    audmod01 Super Member

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    That is a really great looking Electra! For the sun damaged area, if the finish is not badly crazed, you can treat it with some GoJo waterless hand cleaner and it may restore the original color. Hand rub with a soft cloth and the GoJo and give it a try. This is a favorite trick of antique radio restorers. You can allow a week or so for it to dry out, then apply Johnson's paste wax or a good quality carnuba wax without any abrasives. I recently restored the finish of a 1946 Philco console radio cabinet this way and the owner was very pleased with the result. It took a couple of applications of GoJo over a period of several weeks. Then the Johnson's paste wax for a final protective coat.

    Joe
     
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  16. audiodogster

    audiodogster Active Member

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    Which version of GoJo, smooth or pumice?

    Any recommendations for scratches? None of them seem to penetrate down to the wood.
     

     

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  17. larryderouin

    larryderouin Turn it UP, POP? PLLUUEEEZZZZZEE Subscriber

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    SMOOTH! Pumice will eat right thru the finish. Smooth will soak in and hydrate the lacquer and wood. For scratches use HOWARDS Restore a Finish. Choices are Walnut and Mahogany. Walnut is probably the best choice for yours. Get some 0000 steel wool and apply the Howards with the grain. It may soak it up, that's ok. Buff to shine afterwards. Then Either Feed and Wax or a Hard carnauba wax, such as Johnsons Paste Wax or Butchers Bowling alley wax.

    For scratches that dent the wood, use a STEAM IRON and a Wet Washcloth or Hand Towel. You don't want the towel sopping wet. Wet it and wring out so it's Damp wet. Then set the towel over the dent and apply the steam iron (Highest setting and full steam) moving it all the time for about 10 seconds. The Wood in the dent should swell up and fill the divot. Repeat a couple times if it doesn't work completely the 1st time. Then Howards and wax.
     
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  18. audmod01

    audmod01 Super Member

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    Smooth only, the same for Carnuba wax - absolutely no abrasive content! There are a number of scratch products including the pre-tinted furniture wax sticks available at places like Rockler woodworking stores.
    Joe
     
  19. audmod01

    audmod01 Super Member

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    I would add that I used Larry's dent removal method on a Fisher receiver walnut cabinet and it did work quite well. I followed that with some Johnson's paste wax and it looked great.

    Joe
     
  20. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    One thing you can use the gritty Gojo for is heavy duty corrosion removal on chrome or other metal stuff. I used some as the first polishing stage when I tore apart the wheels on my Continental. The center caps were so bad that I chucked them in the lathe and went at it with the pumice. I guess sandpaper would have worked too but the hand cleaner was closer.
     
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