Updated Old Stereo Consoles ?

Discussion in 'DIY' started by JohnnyS, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. JohnnyS

    JohnnyS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Anyone here repurposed a vintage stereo console? I have been looking at Craigslist and Offer up for one, Thought if I found the right one for me on the cheap it would be fun to put newer speakers and stereo components it. Show off your creations here.
     
  2. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    I rebuilt the amps in mine and upgraded the speakers. Not sure if that quite counts. The amps were relatively decent to start with, but the tone controls were crap so I bypassed them. Mine is a late 1950s Hoffman with a pair of tube amps.
     
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  3. JohnnyS

    JohnnyS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    That counts! I am thinking of redoing the space in my small living room. I want to clear up the clutter and steam line the space with just a cool console and flat screen TV. Is it too much to ask if I can put all this stuff in one. MY AV receiver, analog receiver, turntable, DVD/CD player with out looking crafty? 20171008_080551.jpg
     
  4. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    Uhhh.... Yea...

    Does "restoring" count as updating? Installing new electronic components in for reliability, like caps, resistors, diodes, and the like.
    I have restored 4 Fishers, 1 Ampex, 1 Blaupunkt, 2 VOM, 1 Nordmende, 1 Telefunken, 4 Magnavox, 1 Packard Bell, 2 Philcos, 1 Zenith and 3 Motorolas. All were/are Tube.
    As of today, I only own 8 of these. I have had to sell some...

    I have been tempted to buy a few solid state units because of their cosmetics/aesthetics and put something else in there... but I would rather find a piece with beauty, and restore it back to original. This is kind of a "stock" vs "rod" type thing. I have pictures of all of them somewhere on AK.

    Good luck with your search, it is a worthy thing to do IMO.
     
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  5. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    If its big enough sure. You'd need a front loader though. Mine is a top lid type so you can't put anything on top of it and actually make use of the thing. Front load cabinets I honestly think are far more useful even if you weren't going to change the internals because it doubles as a tv stand.
     
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  6. JohnnyS

    JohnnyS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    Restoring Counts! Console owners Please show off what you have here.
     
  7. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    If you are going to gut and cut... please make it a post 1968 console of lower quality.
    My personal opinion : Why would you gut a great tube console and put in some tri-path crap with Bluetooth. There are a few guys doing this on Etsy, pulling out the great old stuff, and then putting in junk. It might speak to the hipsters, but those hipsters need to be educated on what was originally installed. A good tube console with AUX inputs can still utilize Bluetooth and streaming.

    There is a guy one town away from me who gets some great stuff, pulls the tube amps from them, sells them on ebay, and then puts in a Lepai or whatever and sells them on Etsy. I congratulate him on his enterprise, but I think these actions lend more to consumerism, than recycling.
     
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  8. Omegaman

    Omegaman Ultra Super Member Subscriber

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    Its a phase that a lot of vintage audio NGSCBIB's go through

    Non-Gender-Specific, Carbon Based, Incipient Being

    Some nice examples out there, but typically it leads to just restoration of some cool vintage console with original gear

    One guy out here in the old west turns consoles into bars of all things
     
  9. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    All that said, there are some nice cabinets with crap internals that are perfect for a repurpose. Or something that has already had it's tube guts removed for standalone and the cabinet is just an empty box. No reason not to do something with one of those.
     
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  10. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    We have a dozen or more "flea markets" in NOCO that have those "rent-a-booths" in them. I always see old radio/console cabinets that have the guts pulled and speaker fabric out, then repainted with one or two colors and the edges sanded.... knick-knacks on display in the cavities and a $300 price tag on the piece. I don't know who buys them, but they must sell, because I am always seeing different ones... I once saw a Capehart that was originally a beautiful cherry console, that was turned into some mono-chrome, hinges and pulls painted atrocity. too bad. I don't understand painting wood... I guess it is just easy, a thing any person can do. Moan- groan- opine...
     
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  11. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    You're right.
     
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  12. JohnnyS

    JohnnyS AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    How are the turntables in the higher end consoles any good? Are they worth fixing? There are still nice affordable pieces out there with turntables and real to reels in them. Some come with an Aux switch built into the receiver that is desirable to me. I like to sit door and listen to all kinds of music.
     
  13. biscuithead

    biscuithead Me likes the eargasm retroplasm... Subscriber

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    My favorite console turntables are:
    Duals ( ** 1019s )
    Elacs
    VOM 1200 series

    Least favorite :

    Garrard
    BSR
    Plastic shelled plastic crap with plastic filling.
     
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  14. gadget73

    gadget73 junk junkie Subscriber

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    Depends on the console. Some had mediocre tables, some were outright awful, and some had a right decent machine. I'm not so down on Garrards, but they sure did make some crap models along with their more decent ones. The junk ones are just that, but if you get something with say a Type A or a Lab 80 its not bad. Packard-Bell had custom painted Lab 80 changers in some model they made. Quite a nice looking machine too, all cream and gold colors rather than the usual green. Garrards are prone to bad lube issues, but once you get it cleaned up they usually work pretty well.

    I'm not much on VM changers myself. They can be made to work acceptably but plastic tonearms and no counterweight isn't my thing.

    plastic platter Garrards and BSR models can go straight in the bin though.
     
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  15. JWinTN

    JWinTN AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I turned an old Motorola into a bar and it worked out nicely. I do have a few others that I would never do that to, though.
     
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  16. HypnoToad

    HypnoToad Ms Puss Puss Subscriber

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    I always wanted to get one and do it up, my dad had a nice one but put it out on the kerb when it stopped working, wish he had told me, still in the back of my mind to pick up an old Grundig they were fantastic back in the day and were up market for their time.
     
  17. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    Then there's also the trick of getting a nice looking hall table and making it into a console... I can see something like this with a turntable and some speakers and maybe a cool tube amp built into it.

    [​IMG]

    Kind of a copy of this, but without the crazy price tag.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Almost There

    Almost There AK Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'm sure that some will consider it sacrilege, however I'm in the process of re-purposing a Magnavox Danish Imperial (1958).

    I've taken the original 15" woofers and incorporated them into an Econowave system (the original horn tweeters were blown). I'm re-purposing the Tube Amp for stand-alone use (re-cap, power switch, speaker posts, new RCA, etc), and I've replaced the fake wood grain, sliding glass top panels with some Bird's Eye Maple Veneer.

    I've just completed the E-waves and the sealed speaker system sounds fantastic. Very impressive with the original 15" as the bass foundation. I've refinished and re-shellacked the entire piece and the birds-eye really glows, especially against the original walnut. I've just started working on the amp and I'm looking forward to bringing it all together over the next few weeks. The Garrad turntable and the original tuner/pre-amp are still in place and maybe some day I'll recondition those and get them connected, but in the meantime this is a beautiful piece of furniture with an outstanding sounding speaker system.

    20170906_154024.jpg 20170917_200105.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017 at 1:55 PM
  19. MannyE

    MannyE Exterminate! Subscriber

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    Outstanding. I would love to hear it.

    I don't really think resto-modding is that much of a sin, if at all. 99% of these consoles were are barrel full of compromise at best and at worst, an eyesore that sounded as bad as it looked.
     
  20. HypnoToad

    HypnoToad Ms Puss Puss Subscriber

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    I agree, imagine the neighbors back in the day if we had this console in the house, LOL.
     

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