The Fine Things are Always Hand Made
I had posted this at the bottom of my post for the Crossover Box, thought I'd put it in a new posting.
After a few false starts (a very long story), I ended driving out 2 weeks ago to pick up the AM FM Philharmonic. The set did not have a cabinet so it wasn't to difficult to load into the CRV. Its dirty, a lot of nicotine, some of the larger cans on the tuner have some chrome bubbling and some of the smaller square cans have some small dents, but once I get it cleaned up it will be OK, not mint, but nice.
Kent, the tuner serial # is LL-471 and inside the Amp chassis is a hand written RR-339.
2 surprises, one OK, the other disappointing. The baffle had a Tauscher board installed. Nice to look at, but akin to putting a curtain over a lighthouse. The other was that one of the tweeters has an open voice coil. I did talk to Nick Dorazio at thespeakershop.com, he does not have any more materials to redo the cone. His concern is that in removing the cone to re-coil it, the cone could get damaged. Looking for suggestions to have someone "recoil" it and hopefully be able to save the original cone and surround.
The speaker connector on the amp was replaced with an octal, and the speaker plug was replaced with a 9 pin "octal" style plug. The crossover box was long gone, so I can only guess why these plugs/sockets were changed. I'd like to get the amp back to stock, I know the speaker socket was a smaller pin circle than the one for the tuner, and the 2 large pins were opposite each other as opposed to next to each other but could I rework a 6A7 style wafer tube socket which is the small 7-pin for this? Of course if someone has a chassis they are parting out please let me know.
The filter caps were replaced at one point, will try to decipher the info on the cap to get the manufacturer and date code. But they all measure good (capacitance and dissipation). It'll be a while before I attempt to power the set up but will reform the caps first and recheck them before going further.
Lastly, I'm missing one of the round wooden knobs, could use 2 as one is in poor shape. If anyone has some please let me know.
I'll post some pics as I get it cleaned up, and I'm sure I'll have more questions as I dig into it.
Be sure the tweeter VC coil is really bad. Look for a bad solder connection.
The original large "round" speaker cable plug and corresponding socket are scarce as hens teeth. My guess is the original plug broke, maybe stepped on. Or someone tried to retro wire like the earlier pedestal speaker tweeter set up (which has the output transformer in the pedestal base).
You might try a 7 pin 6A7 tube base and a corresponding tube socket as you mentioned, but expect to drill new mounting holes in the amp. But maybe stick with what you have meanwhile.
Caution, the optional multi unit hi-fi main speaker has an 8 Ohm (impedence) voice coil and relied on the output transformer mounted on the outboard crossover. The "standard" speaker has a 38 ohm voice coil and a basket mounted output transformer and large 7 round cable plug fitting the amp's speaker socket.
I cringe at the thought someone discarded the crossover and straight wired that original 15 inch speaker direct to the amp feeding Audio B+ direct to the voice coil and and to the tweeter set, not realizing a major error. If the original output transformer was scavenged from the crossover, maybe you are ok.
By wooden knobs, do you mean the Walnut "S" knobs"?
I did check the tweeter VC right at the cone (carefully scraping away the black insulation/glue) and it is open. The woofer is good, both VC & field coil, and yes it's an 8 ohm speaker.
That was my thought too about hooking the speakers directly to the amp, but who ever did the mod was smart enough to use a 8 pin plug for the woofer and a 9 pin socket on the amp. I also got a connecting cable with a 9 pin plug on one end and a 7 pin "octal" plug on the other end. I'm surmising that the crossover box was modified or a new one made up to incorporate these plugs. But think about it - if you plugged in the cable to the amp but not into the crossover, turned the set on, you'd have B+ on one of those exposed pins! Yikes!
Yes, I could use 1 or 2 of the Walnut "S" knobs, and 1 or 2 of the 7pin 6A7 wafer sockets.
Be real careful cleaning the chrome. It scratches real easy and you will see the haze of scratches. I try to remove and rinse whatever I can under running water to get off any grit, then use a soft sponge with dish detergent.
I agree with you on he Tauscher board. I use mine to protect the cone of an extra speaker, that is all they are good for.
As for the filter caps, I personally would cut them out and replace them rather than reform them, especially if they are an off brand.
I used a bakelite 7 pin tube socket on one of my amps that had a broken socket. It worked fine and the mounting holes lined up fine.
The knobs periodically show up on Ebay. The basic knob was used on other radios also. My Truetone (Detrola) has the same knobs, but the difference is that EH Scott had the "S" added to his knobs.
Nick did my "bullet" shape Philharmonic tweeters about 8 years ago. I have not used anyone else for reconing, but here is a list of people to try. I don't endorse any of them, just do your research first. This list was copied from the Antique Radio Forum. I agree with David, just make sure it is not a solder connection.
Speaker reconing, driver repair, and speaker parts (e.g., replacement cones):
Jamac Speakers (http://jamacspeakers.com/recone.htm)
Utah Reconing (http://utrecone.com)
Speaker Repair Pros (http://www.speakerrepairpros.com)
Sound Remedy (http://www.soundremedynj.com)
Ken Gooding - The Repair Shop - tel. (208) 731-0426 (or PM "Ken G" on this forum)
Northwest Speakers and Equipment (http://www.northwest-speakers.com)
Circuit Shop (http://www.circuitshop.com)
Buford Chidester (http://www.angelfire.com/pa/conespeaker)
West Tech Services (http://www.west-techservices.com/p10.htm)
Speaker Shop (http://thespeakershop.com/speakerrepair.html)
Around the Sound - tel. (206) 782-7975
Ted Weber - Weber Speakers (http://www.tedweber.com)
R & G Speaker Service - tel. (310) 851-8116
The Walnut S knobs do show up. There is both the round version and the pinch style. I have some very convincing round repo examples in plastic with set screws if you would be interested.
I have no photo documentation of Scott supplying Walnut S knobs for a Philharmonic, but there seem to be some of the Philharmonics with them, I wonder if they are later 1941 models equipped with Jones plugs instead of the round plugs. The wood S knobs are standard for the Scott models Phantom, Masterpiece and Laureate from 1939 onward, so they do turn up.
I also found one Walnut knob missing the embossed "S" some years ago, and a local friend last week was looking for one for a TrueTone - go figure - he is happy to get it. and I learned something.
Thanks David, I'll see what pops up on eBay for the knobs, else I'll let you know. Interesting that the Philharmonics did not have these knobs, but I'm partial to them as I remember them on my Dad's Phantom.
Scott, the tweeters you had Nick do - were the cones ripped or did they need to be re-coiled, or both?
Karl, Nick reconed them only. Did a nice job. I think it was like a little over $100 to do both of them back then.
As for the wood "S" knobs, I am certain they were used on Philharmonics, especially the AM/FM set. There are way too many Philharmonics out there with them for it to be a situation where people are using knobs from other sets. My own AM/FM set was pulled out of a very tiny attic (chassis set only) where the owner had it stored since the 1950's, and it had the wooden S knobs on it. I might have a couple of extra S knobs. I would have to look.
Scott, regarding chrome cleaning, I was going to use Simichrome. The previous owner used it on parts to show how good the chrome is, I can't see any swirl or scratches from it. Thoughts?
Karl, chrome plating cannot be polished. Once it is scratched, the scratches are there forever. The chromium top layer is only a few millionths of an inch thick. The color you actually see is the nickel below the top chrome layer. The chrome is put on the nickel to provide a hard layer and protection. It also prevents oxidation of the nickel. It is the chrome overcoat that provides that bluish hue that you see in chrome.
So my point is that even if you use a polish on the chrome, what you are really doing is cleaning the chrome surface as it can't be polished. I have seen so many of these radios where someone was aggressive and there are visible scratching across the chrome. The best thing to do is to remove what you can and rinse under water to remove any grit, and for the rest, use a soft wet cloth and gently wipe away any grit rinsing the rag frequently. After any potential grit is removed, then you can become more aggressive at removing spots on the chrome. You can pretty safely use #0000 steel wool on chrome without scratching it. Stuff like "chrome polish" just helps to remove any dirt that is stuck on the chrome really good.
I got a little crazy cleaning the chrome on one of my AM/FM sets as as seen below, but removing all the covers is the only way to get down to the chassis between all the cans. I always give the chrome a couple of coats of high quality automotive paste wax after it is clean. The blue tape protects the tube sockets from dirt and the paste wax. I like the Meguiars wax, the chrome is left silky smooth and has something to help protect it. EH Scott stated in one of the manuals that a light oiling of the chrome would maintain it's condition. For chrome that is going into storage, I coat it with CRC 3-36 as it leaves a rust protective coating that is very thin. I use it in the shop on my machine tools.
Click on picture for larger image.
Thanks for the tips Scott, will try that route. BTW, really like your stand! Did you make that? I was contemplating something similar to be able to flip the chassis over without damaging things, like the glass face plate!
Yes, I did make that stand. There was a thread I posted on it back in 2011, but I made the mistake of using Photobucket for the pictures and they are all gone. I do wish Kent would make unlimited editing here as on the Antique Radio Forum. It would be really helpful to update broken links, etc.
Here is another thread on chassis stands:
I am going to make a wood one for Philharmonics like I make for other sets. I really need a second Philharmonic chassis stand....
The metal one is nice because it allows a full 360 degree rotation of the chassis of the Philharmonic and also holds the AW-23. Adapters can easily be made for smaller sets.
With the chrome covers, eye tube bracket, dial, etc it is really hard to work on these without physically damaging them. I see plenty of dented covers and broken dials that result from people just flipping these over on a workbench. It is not convenient to work on them from that angle anyway.
Sorry - the site itself (ning.com) is rather limiting and doesn't really offer things the way I'd like to. If I could find a better service and be able to move/preserve the past threads here, I'd do it in a minute...Kent
Almost a year later with an update:
I was able to find a Warrington Cabinet this summer. It's from a 7 knob Philharmonic and with some gojo and Howards it is very presentable. I'll need to drill 2 additional holes for my set's 9 controls, and transfer the escutcheons over.
I suspect the speaker board is not original to the cabinet as it had curtain material for the grille cloth (yuk), and has no cutouts for the tweeters, only the 15" cutout, and, there are numerous screw holes in the cabinet where the speaker board would mount to. Also, stamped in the speaker board is 1 2 41 533. Pic attached. Is this a date code? if so it's clearly not original to the cabinet. I'll have to cutout the holes for the tweeters.
The top of the center vertical wooden trim in front of the speaker board was wedged and nailed the tuner chassis board at the front - pic attached of the top of the trim. This cannot be factory.
Last thing - The set I got was in a Chippendale cabinet, I figured that out based on the size of the original speaker board and the face board that came with the set. It had the musical notes grill cloth which is in nice shape, wide enough for the Warrington, but not high enough. Does anyone want to sell a 6" by 23" piece of the musical notes cloth? I attached a representative pic, not from my set. I would cover the splice with a thin piece of horizontal trim. Yes, not factory, but not objectionable either. Barring that I would get the repro Aztec cloth, but I really like the musical notes cloth.