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Fisher console - would like to modernize with updated speakers/crossovers

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  • Fisher console - would like to modernize with updated speakers/crossovers

    So I acquired a Fisher Coronet console from a local thrift store for $20. The bones are good but the console was mostly gutted (see pics). I would like to outfit it with some new hardware, but I have to confess I am a complete novice when it comes to assembling speakers, and I don't even know where to start. I can tell you that it appears to have had 12" bass drivers based on the cutout at the bottom, 6.5" mids and 3.5" tweets (I haven't removed the old drivers yet to confirm). I would like to update all speakers and install new crossovers to match, but I am overwhelmed by all of the technical aspects (like imepdance and whether or not all speakers should be the same [4/8/16 ohm] and if I should build a crossover or purchase one that is already assembled for starters). I am having a hard time finding a replacement to the original Fisher receiver/amp that was installed, and may go with a more modern (70s/80s) solid state device like the Pioneer my dad had when I was a kid.

    My apologies if this is covered in another (or several other) thread. I would appreciate any advice I can get from this forum.

  • #2
    So, where are you coming from? Do you want to play LPs on a turntable and listen to FM radio, or go more modern?

    You want to be able to play and control your media with the console doors closed. I would anyway.

    Can you get that awesome grill cloth off without damage? If so, I'd trash that original baffle and put a pair of Le Singe Sarcophages in, big cheap 3 ways. If you want to spend a bunch of money, the sky's the limit. Others here can help with all the modern media available.

    $20, what a deal.

    Comment


    • #3
      djg, I am open to suggestions. Originally i was hoping to find a receiver that would fit in the space where the original Fisher was (top of cabinet) but the opening is smaller than most of the solid state equipment that followed in the 60s and beyond. It's possible I could remove the shroud from a newer receiver and slide it in through the front and let the faceplate sit against the wood (which is probably how the original was set in anyway). I'm still limited in options and may end up having to rout out the opening anyway. I am not opposed to putting the receiver on top of the cabinet, but I like the aesthetic of this unit and would like to mount as much as I can internally.

      I was hoping to pair that with the Garrard 88 turntable that it came with (if I can refurb it) or a suitable replacement that could fit on the slide out shelf. Additionally, I was going to get a bluetooth receiver and connect it to the aux-in to allow me access to my modern library. I don't need to blow out the windows of my home, so my focus is on quality pure sound. The right speakers paired with a quality receiver ought to do fine.

      Comment


      • #4
        The speaker baffles look removeable. If they are, and you don't really want to get into the nitty-gritty of DIY speaker building, you could just take the baffles out, put in new ones that basically speaker grille cloth on open frame, then buy two commercial speakers that have the right dimensions to fit inside the enclosures and place them in there.
        Brian Steele
        www.diysubwoofers.org

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Brian Steele View Post
          The speaker baffles look removeable. If they are, and you don't really want to get into the nitty-gritty of DIY speaker building, you could just take the baffles out, put in new ones that basically speaker grille cloth on open frame, then buy two commercial speakers that have the right dimensions to fit inside the enclosures and place them in there.
          +1.

          Or you can build a pair of known DIY speakers. Lots of choices there including kits with pre-cut enclosures. Just glue them together. No need to finish them as they'll sit behind the grill.

          Are the original electronics missing or dead? If so, you'll need an amp/receiver/etc.with the proper input for a turntable to use it (or an separate little box that amplifies the needle/cartridge output to line level.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jaded1776 View Post
            .

            I was hoping to pair that with the Garrard 88 turntable that it came with (if I can refurb it) or a suitable replacement that could fit on the slide out shelf. Additionally, I was going to get a bluetooth receiver and connect it to the aux-in to allow me access to my modern library. I don't need to blow out the windows of my home, so my focus is on quality pure sound. The right speakers paired with a quality receiver ought to do fine.
            Hello from Australia

            Lovely unit for $20!

            I'd be wary of using a newer turntable in that sort of installation as it will be less heavy-duty than the Garrard and may be adversely affected by the vibrations from the woofers. It looks as if it might be insulated from vibration but it's hard to tell. There are some turntables which are well insulated/isolated but may not fit your purpose.

            In the 50s/60s many people, including my family, had "radiograms", all in one sound and furniture. Even with the heavy tone-arms, miserable sound output and small speakers, records would occasionally skip. When that happened we'd tape coins to the headshell (!) to 'improve' the tracking.

            If you can give us the internal dimensions of the speaker enclosures I'm sure members can suggest some interesting options for you.

            Geoff

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            • #7
              The easiest approach would be a pair of small 2 way DIY or store bought speakers firing through the midrange hole which is higher (and thus better for sound quality) than the woofer hole. Add a separate subwoofer apart from the console. Avoid turntable vibration and messing with the console.

              How much money and work are you considering?

              Comment


              • #8
                Some of the Garrard tables were good, some not. Is the tonearm plastic? Lots of possibilities for the speakers and plenty of room for more modern electronics like chip amps, bluetooth and dsp modules, etc., if you wanted to modernize it. Does the rest of the wood look as nice as the pics?
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
                http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

                Comment


                • #9
                  In many older tables, like Dual, all the working parts are 'floated' from the housing. If the Gerrard is one of the cheap versions, or proves impossible to get parts for, maybe search for vintage tables. If the physical size is close enough, you could replace the Garrard with a newer or at least serviceable option with some diy and elbow grease.
                  http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
                  http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
                  http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Kornbread View Post
                    In many older tables, like Dual, all the working parts are 'floated' from the housing. If the Gerrard is one of the cheap versions, or proves impossible to get parts for, maybe search for vintage tables. If the physical size is close enough, you could replace the Garrard with a newer or at least serviceable option with some diy and elbow grease.
                    A nice Dual could work, if you can find one in good condition. Suspension was good, but some - like our old one - were rim drive rather than belt drive. However, they were beautifully made.

                    From the photos, that looks like an old 60s Garrard record changer with a heavy tonearm which wouldn't do your LPs much good.

                    Geoff

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Could an I-pad, or tablet, be mounted where the receiver part used to be and used as the control center/preamp? As long as the pad has an input, it could do the RIAA eq'ing internally for the table and also have wifi for spotify, or whatever modern services you use. Then analog or digital out of the pad to the amps or processor then on to the speakers.
                      I would like to try a project like this ... after all my other builds are finished ... sigh
                      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...khanspires-but
                      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...pico-neo-build
                      http://techtalk.parts-express.com/fo...ensation-build

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Well I have a few more details. It appears the mid is a Jensen P8R and the tweet is a P35. Based on another photo I found the woofer was probably a P12PL. Armed with those details, would it make sense to try and source the same or similar and just restore the cabinet?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If you tell us the INternal dims of each "cab", and the ID and inside length of that port tube, I/we can tell you what freq. the box is tuned to.
                          THEN, if a DIYer lived near (and wished to help) they might be able tomeasure your existing tweeter and mid?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Geoff Millar View Post

                            Hello from Australia

                            Lovely unit for $20!

                            I'd be wary of using a newer turntable in that sort of installation as it will be less heavy-duty than the Garrard and may be adversely affected by the vibrations from the woofers. It looks as if it might be insulated from vibration but it's hard to tell. There are some turntables which are well insulated/isolated but may not fit your purpose.

                            In the 50s/60s many people, including my family, had "radiograms", all in one sound and furniture. Even with the heavy tone-arms, miserable sound output and small speakers, records would occasionally skip. When that happened we'd tape coins to the headshell (!) to 'improve' the tracking.

                            If you can give us the internal dimensions of the speaker enclosures I'm sure members can suggest some interesting options for you.

                            Geoff
                            I kind of keep a lookout for any old console stereos, specifically those with tube amplification. I'd love to salvage, reuse some old iron and maybe chassis.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nice looking antique. Great conversation piece.
                              The mids appear to have ALNICO magnets. Expensive high quality old school.
                              Finding replacement drivers (woofers, mids, tweeters) shouldn't be difficult. You're definitely at the right place at PE. Most importantly, measure the cutouts for each driver, as old audio systems might employ odd sized units. 11 inch woofers for example. You may have to adjust the holes, or add a spacer for proper fit. Most old hi-fi also installed drivers from behind the baffle (speaker mounting board) . Personally, I prefer mounting drivers in front, flush with baffle. If you do mount new drivers in front, make certain they will not interfere with the speaker grilles. If you decide to mount in front of the baffle, buy a roll of 1/4 inch self adhesive indoor/outdoor foam stripping. Typically used for insulating windows and doors. Apply the foam stripping to the rear of the woofer and midrange before mounting. This will ensure an airtight fit and eliminate unwanted vibrations/rattling. You may wish to eliminate the bass-reflex port/duct (the carboard tubes). They are designed for a much inferior old woofer with a much higher resonant frequency as compared to new woofers. Your best bet, in my opinion, seal off the tube. Stuff it with any material to close it off. Your new speakers will then be acoustic suspension. They will deliver tight accurate bass. Do not place any tape over the front or back of tube. It will vibrate and only cause you to reopen the cabinets. Honestly, shoving an old sock or two into each tube from behind will do the trick. Buy a pair of 3-way crossover networks. PE can suggest appropriate crossovers once you have found replacement drivers. The crossovers should match your drivers. So pick drivers which fit and are within your budget, first. If budget is an issue, simply buy two non-polar capacitors for each speaker (left & right). A 10uF NP for midrange. And a 3.3uF NP for tweeter. Your woofer, being around 12 inches, doesn't have to be crossed over. Its response will be limited to bass and lower midrange most likely. If you wish to include a turntable, you definitely should buy insulating feet or padding made to suppress vibrations from reaching the turntable. PE sells such items. That is due to this cabinet being an all-in-one design. Modern woofers deliver much more bass and much lower frequencies than the woofers used in those old consoles. They will rattle your turntable and/or damge your vinyl collection if you do not use some sort of acoustic suppression for the turntable. If you intend to use the original amplifier, first look at the back of each original driver, especially the woofers and midranges. If you see 16 ohms, then you may want to buy 8 ohm ceramic resistors for each new driver. That is because many old electronics were designed for 16 ohm loads. If you use 8 ohm replacement speakers, you may overdrive/blow-out the original amplifier. On the other hand, if you are installing a new amp, I would suggest an inexpensive mini amp with bluetooth capability. Again, check PE. . 15-20 watts per channel will easily power your new speakers. With 12 inch woofers you will not need a lot of power to play loudly in your living room or wherever. With bluetooth, you can stream high fidelity without wires or worry of unwanted vibrations. Unless you wish to build a highend system, I'd go cheap. Many closeout and driver specials may fit your needs. Buy a couple cheap caps as I suggested above. And you'll have a converational piece of furniture with a modern functionality. And those inexpensive drivers and caps will most likely outperform the original components. Have fun!

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