Monday, May 20, 2013

Stereophonic High Fidelity

I'd been pestering the Mrs. about getting one of those old-fangled console stereos for a while now.  I've got a bunch of vinyl in the basement that probably hasn't been played since I was in high school, since that's the last time I can recall having a functional turntable.  And I thought a console would fit well in our 1951 house with its mid-century modern thing going on.  She was not nearly as excited about this idea as you might expect.

Last week when taking daughter to her violin lesson I noticed a house with a Sold sign and various pieces of furniture on the lawn.  I gave it a quick gander (old habits from Moorhead fix up/clean up week die hard) but didn't notice anything special.  After the lesson, I took a closer look and then told daughter "We're going back."  Mixed in among the end tables and whatnot was this beauty of a Magnavox.

Daughter and I wrestled it into the back of the Roadmaster (Estate Wagon for the win!) and drove it home.  There it sat for nearly a week, as we were making a road trip to see Willie Nelson and I didn't have time to monkey with it.  Last night we wheeled it in to the location seen above.

It has a record player and an AM/FM radio.  And it actually works.  Sort of.  I believe I can fix it.  The pots are really scratchy, and the needle is shot.  But the turntable does work and I was able to eke out a little volume from the vinyl.  
It even had the owners manual! The records are some of mine, just for show.
 The contents of the envelope:
Yes, those are punch cards.  Kids, ask your parents if you don't understand.

Close ups:
Assuming I haven't out kicked my coverage and can actually get it working, this is going to be sweet.


The Old Bag said...

This is so cool! Have you gotten it working?

Pete Saunders said...

Progress has been made. I did get the pots cleaned, so the scratchiness is gone from the controls. I made a trip to Vintage Music, but they didn't have the needle I needed. So the work will continue...

Anonymous said...

Did you ever find the needle for this? Or what type of needle it is. Recently got the same record player, but need to replace the needle and have no idea what to get or where to find it. Would love any info. you have!!

Pete Saunders said...

I did find a needle, and it plays records just fine about 80% of the time. The other 20% it runs slow, so everything sounds off pitch-wise. Just enough to be annoying.

The needle case says its a Pfanstiehl 359-DS77. The folks at Vintage Music Company were super helpful in figuring out which one I needed. I highly recommend them.