Thursday, June 7, 2012

I Know Ladies..."Stereos, Whateve". But You Like Music, Right? You're Reading Mr. Modtomic So You Must Love The Vintage Mod. Might As Well Combine The Two And Find Yourself A Nice Hi-Fi! Status: C'mon, Machined Aluminum And Walnut!


I know, the stereo stuff is - for some reason - a guy thing. ::shrugg:: Dunno why. Any theories? I - as a guy - have given up trying to figure out women a while back...and been happier for it! So tell us...why don't the ladies like the stereos...vintage or otherwise?


It's not that I myself am super into stereos or electronics for real. I kinda know what some really

high end units are and I have a bit of a thing for these '80s and earlier "silver face" units. This one

grabbed my attention at the St. Charles Salvation Army thrift store because of it's early "digital"



The Digital tuner is SO old school! It doesn't circle back to 88.1 after topping out at 107.9! You

have to go BACK DOWN! Fun! There's a push button above the up and down buttons to select

between manual or search and there are 8 (count them 8!!!) memory locations for you favorite

stations! Since I only listen to NPR, KDHX community radio and a couple of local college

stations, 8 is more than enough!


When it's quiet you can hear a tiny ticking sound inside the case when you change the tuner! I'm

not making this any cooler am I? Anyway, I dig it! The amplifier section is rated at 50 watts per

each of the two channels (right and left) or 25 if four speakers are used. A little research on the

web revealed that it may be under rated from the factory.


The power consumption on this receiver is a whopping 480 watts. From what I've read that

power basically divided by two and distributed to the two or four channels being used making

this actually a monster 120 watts per channel (2 speaker operation). Way way more than I'll

ever need!  I was hoping to install this into the GE Granville console that I bought a while back

since it wasn't working when I got it, but now I'm not so sure I want to do that.


Not a lot of lights or twinkly bits but lots of buttons, switches and knobs to get a sound you can

live with! It's somewhat rare to find a midrange knob on a stereo like this and there are all sorts

of filters to further shape your output.  Microprocessor Controlled?  Like in Tron?  Scary!  I

hope this receiver doesn't try to take over the world!


  1. Wow. That brings back memories. I think my boyfriend had one just like it. And I'm not sure about the Ladies and the Stereo thing, but I do know that when you started talking about the watts and channels my eyes started to roll back in my head. Sorry. Looks like you found a nice receiver though.

    1. Hi Maureen. I know just how you feel with the eyes rolling into the back of the head thing, same thing happens to me when people start talking about their jobs or work. The Girlfriend has learned to fake listening when I get on a tech or mech jag just as I have for when she has to unload about work.

  2. Super cool! And hey, some of us ladies love stereo equipment (maybe a lot more than you think)! I love how those old knobs and buttons feel in the hand.

    1. Hi Eartha K. Ha! I knew I could get a few ladies to show some love for the tech.! You fell right into my trap! Oh, and I know what you mean about the nice switch gear feel. Nothing like a nicely weighted tuner knob on a roller bearing!

  3. A freind of mines mother passed away back in the mid 70's and he inherited her estate. With some of the proceeds he bought a huge 250 watt/channel Marantz system with ginormous floor stand speakers. You could hear it from blocks away and it almost blew the windows out of the house when turned up all the way! Many fond memories and probably some hearing loss!

    1. Hi A Mod. Ah... (::sigh::) the reckless abandon of our misspent youths. Please tell me you cranked up some Van Halen back in the day.

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    3. VH came a little later, but yeah, I've abused my eardrums with those boys too! Mostly Pink Floyd, Ted Nugent, Jeff Beck, Nazareth, Hendrix and the list goes on. I think I'm having a flashback writing this 8-/ ...

  4. Well, I am thrilled to pieces with the FREE (off Craigslist; just wanted it out of their basement! Hubby and I were happy to oblige) mid-60s, gorgeous walnut Danish Modern cabinet, Zenith stereo console I scored back in February...even though it meant driving 65 miles through a scary snowstorm. The huge speakers, set into the fine wood cabinet, give our old LPs a very rich, period appropriate tone. I had to go online and learn a lot about proper stylus replacements--still need to replace the old capacitators, some day--and then had to get up the nerve to disassemble parts turntable and work on its "guts" while lying on the floor, reaching up inside the console and tinkering, cleaning, and lubricating various parts. The extremely high quality--for the time--"Microtouch 2g" tone arm was stuck, and the platter wasn't spinning. I got the tone arm loosened up, the platter is great, and all I need,now, is to figure out why the reject knob is stuck, so the records will "reject" at the end or let a new one drop..

    The cabinet I cleaned with Minwax Antique Furniture Restore, and then finished up with several applications of Howards' Feed and Wax. It looks gorgeous! I'm proud of myself, as a "girl", that I tackled the job. :-)

    If anyone out there knows how to finish the turntable repair, I'd appreciate your advice. Here's a very shaky video of the final results:

    1. Hi Becky. Ooooh, sounds like you got you a real live project going over there! It's so satisfying to bring something like that back to life. Your Zenith looks just like the one I sold a while back except for the electronic components.

  5. I enjoy music low in the background but have never been a "stereophile". I do love the the older Bakelite radios especially the bright colored ones. Three fav Bakelite radios are the "FADA 1000" "FADA 260RG" "PHILCO 49-501", I would love to find one them cheap then remove and shelve the inner components then replace with new inner workings.

    1. Hi David. I often just forget to listen to music anymore! I mostly listen to National Public Radio in the car and even though I could be listening to some good tunes here as I write didn't occur to me to cue it up! I love those old Bakelite radios too.