EH Scott Radio Enthusiasts

The Fine Things are Always Hand Made

Photos and questions re; Scott 800-B Auction Find

Hi ,

I picked up a Scott 800-B at an auction yesterday for $20.00 (I was the only bidder). My previous two aquisitions are the 23AW in a Tasman and 23 AW in a Stafford. I furnished photos to ask if any one sees any glaring trouble spots from previous repairs. I would also like to know if the Garrard RC-90 is original. I have found reference to two other Garrard models but not the 90. Since it is a Garrard my hunch would be that it is original. There is also a University Model N-3 3-way crossover box attached with knobs to control "Brilliance" and "Presence". An after market, owner installed option? I did not include any cabinetry pics but the wood itself is in excellent condition. The finish has some extreme sun damage and will have to be redone. I have done cabinet refinishing but I would like to get some input from the group regarding products and processes you use (or reference material) to bring back a close to showroom quality finish. The cabinet would probably need to be stripped.


Thanks for taking some time to read my post and view the pictures.

" Well, I am not sure how to link the photos. Looks like a 3MB limit and my photos are about 2.5 MB JPG's. What am I not seeing here? How can I attach multiple images"



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Comment by Norman S Braithwaite on October 19, 2011 at 11:16am


It is good to know that you have someone familiar with electronics to help.  The Scotts are not what most beginning collectors would start with.  Nevertheless, with care and patience, they can be restored by anyone willing to take the time and effort.  The circuits and construction of the 800B and AW-23 are very different from each other and from the typical contemporary offerings that I cannot recommend starting on one over the other.  With the exception of the motor tuning mechanism on the 800B, it is more like its contemporaries and therefore maybe the best place to start.  Below are some initial precautions of which you may or may not be aware.

1) Resist the temptation to plug the set in and turn it on without a variac or testing of the transformer, rectifier tubes, and filter capacitors at a minimum.

2) A metered variac may be used to apply line voltage slowly while monitoring for excessive current.  If excessive current is being drawn, find the source of current draw and remedy it.

3) The Scott 800B uses a relay in the AC line circuit therefore use of a variac will not avoid damage to the set unless the power relay is forced closed or the voltage from the variac is introduced to the receiver after the set power relay.

4) Based on experience, all filter capacitors will need to be replaced in the power supply of the 800B, especially the 4-mfd, 600-volt one even if it tests OK (it has a capability and history of exploding).

Of course if you anticipate a full rebuild consisting of replacing all wax-paper capacitors (including all those housed in bathtub enclosures) and resistors that have changed in value, this work can be conducted in advance of the precautions above.  Otherwise, restoration of the electronics is service as usual... figure out what is not working, why, and replace or repair the offending components one at a time until the set performs to expectations (and probably half the capacitors plus 10% of the resistors are replaced).


Comment by Robert Jackson on October 18, 2011 at 11:38pm
Thank you your time in reply and for validating my hunch that the Garrard was not original to this set. I am happy to have the 90 since I could possibly play all of my vinyl recordings. Before I would do that though I would need to research the tone arm weight, needle type,etc. The speaker info you provided is appreciated. I like knowing how much of this is original. I will be removing the network device. I dont want to "junk up" my unit with someone else' "cool" idea.

Your reply regarding the originality of the circuitry is what I was hoping to hear. I am a novice at radio restoration. I started less than a year ago and it has become my favorite hobbie. I meet once a month with a retired electronic engineer/librarian who is "coaching" me along. Any and all suggestions are the original reasons for my joining this group. I have already stumbled upon your Tone Modification schematics, and will also be employing your documented process for AW23 restoration which I have not begun. From your perspective knowing my limited experience, would beginning with the 800B then moving to the AW23 7-knob, be the proper sequence? Take care.

Comment by Norman S Braithwaite on October 18, 2011 at 11:34am


I forgot to mention that the circuits appear completely original.  I presume you have some experience bringing old radios back to life and will therefore skip the usual warnings.  Contrary to what many believe, the bathtub capacitors are of wax-paper construction rather than mineral oil types and are likely to be leaky.  At a minimum, these capacitors should be tested before operating the receiver for the first time if it has sat unused for a long time or before operating for any length of time if it has been operated on an occassional basis over the years.  It is especially important to check the capacitors and resistors around the output tubes.  If, after up and operating, you are discontent with the tone range of the receiver, you may want to consider the tone control modification identified in my 800B photo album.


Comment by Norman S Braithwaite on October 18, 2011 at 11:25am


The Garrard RC-90 was introduced after 1951 and therefore is not likely original to the Scott 800B.  The RC-80 and RC-90 were drop in replacements for earlier models such as the RC-60 78-rpm only changer that was original to the Scott 800B.  The Thorens CD-40 was also offered with the Scott 800B but the cutout on the phono shelf of your set supports the original use of the Garrard.

The speaker that you have is a Magnavox version used in the earlier Scott 800B sets.  The date code of 637 on your speaker indicates manufacture during the 37th week of 1946 which is consistent with production of the Scott 800B.  The adjustible network, however, is added and appears to be from the late 1950s.  I believe the network was designed for a three way speaker system so I'm not sure how it is applied to the original two way speaker system.


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