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Vintage Stereo Console Resto-Mod

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  • Vintage Stereo Console Resto-Mod

    As I listen to Acoustic Alchemy gently breaking in my new system I feel content and wish you all could hear it. Second best, I will describe one of the most balanced tone speaker systems I have heard. The drivers are 12" Dayton Classic woofer, La Voce 4" for mid and a Dayton soft dome tweeter combined with 500/4000 Dayton 3 way crossover. For a flat response from 28hz the woofer would like 130 liters of space. Half of the inside of the cabinet is 55 liters so by my calculations the tuning point is 42hz with about a 3db boost in the lowest octave. The inside of the cabinet is a big open space that originally both woofers shared. The Fisher came with a 400hz crossover and designed for mainly mono (stereo was new in '62). I used polystyrene foam sheet in four layers to split the cavity. I drilled a 3" hole in the bottom of each woofer space and inserted a tapered tube 8" long. I used 1/2 " sonic barrier on the inside panels and 5 lbs. of Acousta-stuf. At first I hooked up the drivers in phase but found the midrange to be shouty. I reversed the polarity on the La Voce and OMG I love it. The bass response is way deeper and fatter in tone than I would have guessed. The whole system with EL84 tube amp and classic cartridges plus Bluetooth is so perfect. For a console it has tone and imaging far beyond what I had hoped for.

  • #2


    • #3
      Looks great, glad you like the sound.
      I see the TT, but what did you use for the receiver, the original one?


      • #4
        How did you isolate the turntable from the bass vibrations, please?

        The old "radiogram" all in one systems from the 50s and 60s used turntables which had very heavy tonearms (steel?!) and I remember 'improving' the tracking by sticky-taping coins to the headshell..

        But they look cool, like yours and it would be great to refurbish one so it could sound as good as it looks

        Well done on your project!



        • wogg
          wogg commented
          Editing a comment
          The original one my grandmother had also had a hell of a suspension under the turntable. Probably wouldn't have been a match for a modern sub, but was quite effective against those old vintage 12" or so drivers.

      • #5
        Thanks for the questions: The amplifier and the tuner are the original units. The previous owner put very few hours on it. What I have done is unplug the original MPX-70 FM decoder and use that stereo jack for a Bluetooth stereo input. The FM works fine but just in mono. Vibration, howl, feedback are the enemies of a turntable mounted in a speaker! I have tried a bunch of different ideas to reduce the rumble. What works for me is a combination of items. Firstly I have increased the bracing and stiffness of the whole cabinet. Below the turntable is a sandwich of birch ply, cork and a sorbothane turntable mat. I tried 4 different slip pads; felt, rubber, sorbothane and cork. With the material below and the cork slip mat on top, this set up sounds pretty darn good. The original cartridge was designed for this environment a Pickering 380 which is a heavy cartridge that likes 4-5 grams of tracking force. Some feedback might be neutralized by the style of the cartridge? Finally to wogg's comment the rich smooth sound associated with el84 amps and with all new inputs in my opinion this beauty sounds better than ever! No hollow claim that my Grandmother bought this new in '62 at Penny-Owsley in Los Angeles and I have had enjoyed it's sound since new. Thank you all for asking.