EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

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SCOTT PHILHARMONIC MODEL XXX - Serial No. D-751 = MUST TEAR DOWN TO FRAME TO RE-CHROME CHASSIS

am the proud new owner of a Scott Philharmonic Model XXX, Serial Number D-751 on main chassis. Bought this chassis and its companion power supply (came with NO speaker or cabinet) on eBay from a seller in California (who knows nothing about old radios other than that they're interesting old items worth selling on his eBay site). I opened up the main receiver chassis, which arrived by FedEx today, Saturday, February 17, 2018, and it appears NEVER to have been worked on! NO replacement parts in it whatsoever, nor ANY evidence of work done. The chrome on the main receiver chassis is "ROUGH" at best - well past the "clean it up with chrome polish" stage - so this chassis is going to have to be completely re-chromed, including all the tube shields and coil covers, some of which have quite badly pitted chrome plating, but none are missing or dented.
I am faced with no less a task than to completely disassemble this radio down to the bare frame and START OVER, salvaging and thoroughly cleaning every good part for re-use. After I get the main and power chassis back from my chrome plating shop, I will have to basically reassemble this complex radio from scratch, treating it as I would, a "kit," using of course all new wiring and resistors and capacitors. I will have to meticulously follow Scott's original factory layout and workmanship, so I'll be photographing every section of the underside of this as-of-now UNTOUCHED radio BEFORE I take it apart and then later on, VERY carefully put everything back as closely as possible to as the factory did it. It is the ONLY way I can get at the main and power chassis to free them up to have them re-chromed. IF I can take this radio apart without damaging any of its precious and irreplaceable component parts and reassemble it CORRECTLY, according to the E. H. Scott Radio Laboratories' Schematic, I will be very intrigued to see just how well this radio can be made to work, if it's supplied with all good tubes, and I am able to align it according to Scott's own servicing instructions, which I got together with the complete schematic (for the Model Philharmonic XXX, which is a non-FM, non-Beam of Light set); those arrived on the scene later, around 1939 or 1940 / 1941. I think my radio dates from 1937, if its serial number can be traced to a factory listing.

I will be very much interested to hear from anyone else of you in this E.- H. Scott group who have had to rebuild your set from the ground up, as I am about to do with mine, in order to strip the chassis bare to be re-chromed. It's not enough simply to re-chrome the easily removable parts - I have no choice but to do this to both my power and main radio receiver chassis, to make this radio right again.

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I'm adding three photos so you can see what I've gotten.

Attachments:

Jos:

Several collectors have gone to the effort to rechrome Philharmonic chassis.  I have not but have restored Scott AW-23, Quaranta, and Special Communications Receivers including rechroming the chassis.  Your Philharmonic has been repaired.  The dividohm resistor, orange Sprague tubular capacitors, and I believe one control are all replacements.

Norman 

I am doing a similar thing with a Scott 16.  I have the amp/power supply chassis in to a re-chrome shop now and am waiting.  Have to be a little careful with the shields as they may be aluminum.  Removing the old chrome may be a tricky process.  I know Russ at Russ' Old Radios had a problem.  His re-chrome shop destroyed 2 shields.  Check out his Scott 16 restoration:  https://www.russoldradios.com/blog/77-chrome-plated-rivets.  Good luck on your project!

You do indeed have a first version "pointer dial" Philharmonic introduced Spring 1937 and  produced well into 1938. A light travels with the dial pointer, indicating which band you have selected. You appear to have the "West Coast" dial with the station call letters starting with "K" across the top of the broadcast band. (I have the Chicago" dial.) As you tune to those stations, a light shows through that little circle next to the call letters.

The standard speaker is a special 15 inch pedestal  field coil speaker by Magnavox. Has a 38 ohm voice coil. The output transformer is inside the speaker pedestal. The optional pair of Scott labeled permanent magnet tweeters extend the frequency response to about 16,000 cycles for true high fidelity audio. 

That will be one daunting project dismantling and reassembling this radio. How experienced are you with vintage electronics?

I have not undertaken a strip and re-chrome project, but a couple friends who have advise freeing up and removing whole sections of the circutry intact.  This reduces the work and the risk of reassembly and rewiring errors.

Agree on replacing all the paper/foil/wax capacitors.  Many of the resistors may be ok.

One of those metal soldered boxes on the left inside side near the big voltage divider is actually a container for 7 caps at .05 MFD - do rebuild it with new caps too. And the topside rectangular chromed box rear left between the 6L7 pair and the 6J5 pair is a tone reactor assembly with 4 caps inside to be replaced..

You may encounter mixed success rechroming the tube shields, but others have succeeded mostly.

There are a couple past threads on this site going into great detail on Philharmonic restoration and include information not in Scott documentation.

Good luck.

Hi, Norman - VERY INTERESTING COMMENTARY on your part about the dividohm resistor and those orange tubular Sprague caps - what makes you think those AREN'T originals? 

I have to say the main reason I THINK this set hasn't ever been "tampered with" is the professionalism and neatness of everything, which would suggest ORIGINAL FACTORY WORKMANSHIP.  (Too many repairs I've seen, look hastily and clumsily made, like the common one where ppl put black electrical tape over crumbling insulation, cold solder joints, and other signs of mediocre repair (I'm NOT crediting good radio repair shop work, however).  

It's input by others more knowledgeable than I, like yourself, which makes belonging to this forum so valuable and worthwhile.

Norman S Braithwaite said:

Jos:

Several collectors have gone to the effort to rechrome Philharmonic chassis.  I have not but have restored Scott AW-23, Quaranta, and Special Communications Receivers including rechroming the chassis.  Your Philharmonic has been repaired.  The dividohm resistor, orange Sprague tubular capacitors, and I believe one control are all replacements.

Norman 

First of all, Norman, thank you for your input!  When one stops to think, it was probably a very rare radio of this complexity and vintage that didn't need SOME attention at some time in its working life. My set looks like it hasn't been touched, operated, in years! Furthermore, neat as it looks underneath, I'd never dare to try to power this set up today!  Those old wax caps are probably every last one life-expired and would cause nothing but trouble, so even if the chrome were perfect, at the very least, I'd recap the entire set before risking powering it up.

Jos Callinet said:

Hi, Norman - VERY INTERESTING COMMENTARY on your part about the dividohm resistor and those orange tubular Sprague caps - what makes you think those AREN'T originals? 

I have to say the main reason I THINK this set hasn't ever been "tampered with" is the professionalism and neatness of everything, which would suggest ORIGINAL FACTORY WORKMANSHIP.  (Too many repairs I've seen, look hastily and clumsily made, like the common one where ppl put black electrical tape over crumbling insulation, cold solder joints, and other signs of mediocre repair (I'm NOT crediting good radio repair shop work, however).  

It's input by others more knowledgeable than I, like yourself, which makes belonging to this forum so valuable and worthwhile.

Norman S Braithwaite said:

Jos:

Several collectors have gone to the effort to rechrome Philharmonic chassis.  I have not but have restored Scott AW-23, Quaranta, and Special Communications Receivers including rechroming the chassis.  Your Philharmonic has been repaired.  The dividohm resistor, orange Sprague tubular capacitors, and I believe one control are all replacements.

Norman 

Thank you, David - I greatly appreciate your comments - in reply to your question about my experience working with vintage electronics, I'm proud to say that I have completely torn down and rebuilt a McMurdo-Silver Masterpiece V, including having all the chrome redone and rewiring it with all-new wiring, resistors and caps - and providing it with a complete set of tested-as-good NOS metal tubes. It was a wreck when I got it, but with the help of other experienced people I was able to get it up and running again - and it's a performer on all bands, which is a credit not only to whatever I did, but to the help I got along the way, not to mention the excellent design of the radio itself!  I feel I know enough about what to do now to tackle this very interesting high-end radio and bring it back to life. I'll be glad to share with you a few photos I have taken of this radio, if you're interested in seeing them.

David C. Poland said:

You do indeed have a first version "pointer dial" Philharmonic introduced Spring 1937 and  produced well into 1938. A light travels with the dial pointer, indicating which band you have selected. You appear to have the "West Coast" dial with the station call letters starting with "K" across the top of the broadcast band. (I have the Chicago" dial.) As you tune to those stations, a light shows through that little circle next to the call letters.

The standard speaker is a special 15 inch pedestal  field coil speaker by Magnavox. Has a 38 ohm voice coil. The output transformer is inside the speaker pedestal. The optional pair of Scott labeled permanent magnet tweeters extend the frequency response to about 16,000 cycles for true high fidelity audio. 

That will be one daunting project dismantling and reassembling this radio. How experienced are you with vintage electronics?

I have not undertaken a strip and re-chrome project, but a couple friends who have advise freeing up and removing whole sections of the circutry intact.  This reduces the work and the risk of reassembly and rewiring errors.

Agree on replacing all the paper/foil/wax capacitors.  Many of the resistors may be ok.

One of those metal soldered boxes on the left inside side near the big voltage divider is actually a container for 7 caps at .05 MFD - do rebuild it with new caps too. And the topside rectangular chromed box rear left between the 6L7 pair and the 6J5 pair is a tone reactor assembly with 4 caps inside to be replaced..

You may encounter mixed success rechroming the tube shields, but others have succeeded mostly.

There are a couple past threads on this site going into great detail on Philharmonic restoration and include information not in Scott documentation.

Good luck.

David, here's a close-up view of the dial, confirming your observation that this is, as you described it, a "West Coast" dial.

Attachments:

Jos:

Scott used a tapped vitrious enamel resistor for the voltage divider rather than a dividohm resistor.  Replacement of the original voltage divider with the dividohm resistor is not uncommon.  Both are the same length.  Scott did not use Sprague "Hi-Line" capacitors in any of their products.  The Scott authorised service shops were very professional and would not have been selected if their repair practices were anything less than the best.  Sloppy repairs in Scott chassis are found after 1950 when Scott Authorised" was no longer meaningful.

Rechroming the Philharmonic should require less effort than the Mcmurdo Silver because you will not have to remove each tube socket individually.

Correction to Dave's post...  The rectangular metal can contains 0.5-mfd capacitors, not .05-mfd.

Correction to Russ' blog...  The rivets are nickel plated, not chrome (chrome would separate from brass when setting the rivet).

Norman 

Incidentally, the gold version of the dial is very uncommon.

Norman 

Thank you, Norman, for letting me know about this interesting fact about the unusualness of the gold dial - I wonder if anyone knows why and for whom, perhaps, Scott might have reserved their gold dials?  Maybe Scott just gave gold a try and then decided against using it on their dials, the majority of which I assume are green?  Do you have any more information about the gold dials versus their green counterparts?

As for removing the tube sockets, in my Philharmonic, the tube sockets are inserted from above the chassis and held in place by metal spring clips to the underside of the top of the chassis, in exactly the same way my McMurdo-Silver Masterpiece V ones were, so I AM going to have to disconnect all the wiring from each tube socket individually before I can remove them.  I came up with a good system for keeping track of all that work, which I'll use here.

Jos:

Several of the gold dial sets have turned up but not many.  All that I know about them is that they have the same green phenolic backplate but painted gold.  When I was only aware of one, I thought that the backplate had been painted gold at sometime after the set had been purchased but a few more have turned up including one that I have.  You are correct about the tube sockets.  I recalled that the RF, oscillator, and mixer tubes use the ceramic Amphenol sockets held by spring clips and thought that the remainder were Phenolic wafer sockets as used in the AW-23 and Special Communications Receivers but that is not the case.  That will make the Philharmonic project more complicated than the McMurdo Silver one.

Norman

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