FISHER all-tube receivers from 1961-66 are cheap and sound wonderful!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Steve Hoffman, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    I'm guessing if you're simply ordering a part from him there is no problem. It's sending gear to be repaired/restored where there has been issues in the past. But that's a completely different situation. Sending gear to anybody, no matter how sterling the reputation, usually involves long wait times, and of course the obvious shipping risk.

    And this certainly would make it even more difficult.
     
  2. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    I have no horse in this race.
     
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  3. Minty_fresh

    Minty_fresh Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dirty Town
    As a single parent to a special needs child, I can tell you it takes over everything. It’s a full time affair on top of both my full time and part time jobs.
     
  4. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    Consider holding on to your Fisher receiver. I don't play mine a lot, because it has nineteen tubes and I don't want to get this horse on the repair track, but is still is one of the finest receiver's built. Fisher's FM circuitry is beyond excellent!

    These baby's are gonna get to be real rare and getting another one, in top shape, is going be become real expensive.
     
  5. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    You're right. I just hate letting it sit there. But I do love the way it sounds, I like having something with a little more grunt to drive the AR 2ax's, and having a good FM tube tuner is a big plus. And, I'm finding myself swapping things in and out more and more these days.

    Damn you for enabling me:biglaugh:
     
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  6. gorangers

    gorangers Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Haven area
    It's fun swapping things in and out. I do it all the time...especially with my integrated amps/receivers and speakers. Once in a while a turntable or cartridge. At some point I may tire of it, but for now I'm enjoying it.
     
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  7. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I have to break down and get a case made for mine. I have decided on Mahogany.
     
  8. gorangers

    gorangers Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Haven area
    I'll let my 500b go when someone prys it from my cold dead hands...:bone:
     
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  9. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I like swapping gear out. It changes the entire sound signature. By the time that you accumulate a bunch of gear, swapping gear can have many variations. And since I already have it, it doesn't cost me anything but my time.
     
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  10. russk

    russk Forum Resident

    Location:
    Syracuse NY
    I swap my Fisher in for the Holidays usually just before Halloween then take it out of the rotation sometime in January. It just sounds right with all the mono and old Christmas LPs I have and looks great. Definitely fun to mix it up a bit.
     
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  11. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    I have a nice case for the 500C but I like it without. Not so much aesthetically, but for ease of getting to tubes. Today my FM was a little off, not getting stereo where I should, so I started gently reseating the MPX tubes and just like that the stereo snapped back. Plus it runs cooler.
     
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  12. gorangers

    gorangers Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Haven area
    Yes...I have the original walnut case for my 500b, but I run it topless...lol. Just the other day I had to wiggle a tube a little. And as you said, it runs cooler.
     
  13. JonathanKasper

    JonathanKasper New Member

    Location:
    Canada
    So a 1.5+ year journey to find/assemble my first hi-fi (ish) audio system finally came to an end tonight! And the journey has been an adventure, frustrating and aggravating being patient but truly exciting and rewarding in the chase now looking back. A year ago out of complete surprise my wife gifted me my first TT (best gift ever!), and the journey has been full speed ahead since, though it's taken some time to find some quality equipment on a pretty tight budget while also understanding one gets what they pay for. We're quite young and most of our disposable income is saved for a down payment for a first house one day soon, so finding a great value system on a reasonable budget was really important to get every last ounce of potential audio pleasure out of each dollar available.

    I stumbled across this thread with Steve describing the great value the early Fisher receivers offer, and this is where the magic started. I knew I wanted one of the early Fishers, particularly the 400, something just drew me to it from the descriptions and even the look... it felt like it was calling to me and pulling me in. After a few trips to the local audio store and hearing all the new stuff, nothing felt right and it was all so pricey, so decided to roll the dice and go with a Fisher basically having never heard one before.

    From there I found multiple recommendations for Klipsch horn-loaded speakers providing excellent synergy and a great match for the Fisher units, and the dream was born. A Fisher 400 and pair of Klipsch - a budget hungry guy could always dream!

    So the search began in the local ads for Klipsch and Fisher equipment. Each day I logged in, even had a program send me notifications when keywords "Klipsch" or "Fisher" were found in a new ad. A few months went by, and nothing. So I posted a wanted ad noting that I was after a vintage Fisher receiver and Klipsch speakers, ideally Cornwall or La Scala. I received an email from an awesome gentleman nearby, who actually had a whole collection of Klipsch, most of which was collecting dust - two sets of Cornwall, two La scala, KHorns and several Heresy. He invited me over to hear them all in action, and I just fell in love with the stock Cornwall II he had, and he let them go for a great price as I think he wanted to see them find a good home. It was certainly an adventure getting them home in the back of my VW golf hatchback, I think there may have been less than 1 inch clearance, it was just meant to be! They were in pretty rough shape but sounded great, so I refinished them and added some Bob Crites replacement/upgrades to bring them back to spec and preserve their life span. Plus, had to make them presnetable for me wife - these are taking center stage in our living room after all!

    Next was the Fisher - no luck via local ads or bartertown on AK, so had to resort to ebay. I was patient and really wanted to find a stock unit that had not yet been restored but was in decent cosmetic shape and in areas that are more difficult to be fixed. So basically something that had good bones that a tech friend of mine could work with. Several months of daily searching finally paid off, a unit came up and was a great deal so pulled the trigger same day of listing and got lucky that it arrived as described.

    Received the Fisher back from the tech last night, and after hooking it all up... I'm awe struck. It truly was worth it, and the music the duo creates is just amazing. sat in front of it for a few hours and it's just mesmerizing hearing my favorite albums through it all - probably because I'm such a rookie at all of this. Couldn't be happier, it's just so musical! Every song makes me want to sing along or dance or just close my eyes and pretend I'm right there. Just pure audio bliss.

    Here they are! My babies.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So to the system right now:
    - 2016 Rega Planar 3. Upgraded subplatter to Groovetracer. Everything else remains stock.
    - Klipsch Cornwall II. Installed replacement crossovers from Bob Crites. Installed upgraded titanium tweeter from Bob as well. Refinished cabinets.
    - Fisher 400 Receiver. All original tubes, recapped and updated to make it more stable and protect the unit for modern day use.

    There's more to do - tech would like to tackle some phono improvements to the Fisher, and the output tubes are nearing end of their lifespan... and need a bigger space to allow for the speakers to be placed further apart... but that's all secondary to me at this stage, just enjoying what's in front of me right now.

    Looking back now I've written a novel. Not sure where I wanted this to go. Guess just wanted to share my journey so far as I feel extremely fortunate to have stumbled upon this thread, and most importantly just wanted to thank everyone for the contribution in this thread, the insight and level of knowledge here really is special and helped this rookie find his first true audio love!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
  14. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Another thing I like about the 500C is that it can easily drive 2 pairs of 8 ohm speakers. So today decided to stack my 2ax's on top of my Cornwalls, and create a wall of sound. Voila:

    [​IMG]
     
  15. gorangers

    gorangers Well-Known Member

    Location:
    New Haven area
     
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  16. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Listened to a ‘71 take of St.Stephen on it before going to bed last night. Aahhh...
     
  17. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Congratulations! Great story and great gear. As they say, you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, but it’s a fun ride. Keeps getting better, too. Maybe not to the wallet but that’s life.

    I used to have a 400, and it’s a great receiver. As all the Fisher tube receivers that I’ve had are, quite responsive to tube rolling the pre, and phono pre tubes. You can really dial in your flavor. And the Cornies look great. I love mine.

    Enjoy!
     
  18. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    You've done really well!

    The question is... why? :)

    I would expect that the larger and more efficient Cornwalls would overwhelm the AR2x's, volume-wise.
     
  19. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Because I can, and it's fun.

    You might indeed:whistle:
     
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  20. action pact

    action pact ^^ Sandy Warner, "The Exotica Girl"

    Yer a wildman, Sam!
     
  21. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    About as wild as it gets in my life these days

    In all honesty, it's simply a matter that I have the speakers and like them both, and the 500C can drive them both, so why not?
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
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  22. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I'm all about unusual audio. Because I can too!
     
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  23. bluesaddict

    bluesaddict High Tech Welder

    Location:
    Loveland, Colorado
    Welcome to the Fisher, Klipsch world. What a wonderful story and journey you have had. I have a Fisher 500c it is out being restored and checked with my tech last week to see how it coming. He hopes maybe by this coming Friday I can bring it home (fingers crossed). I have, new to me a pair of Klipsch Quartet speakers that I can't wait to here. Now that you have the system your house hunting is going to be a lot more fun. Contras!
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2017
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  24. AlmanacZinger

    AlmanacZinger Resident Forum Jerk

    Location:
    East Coast, US
    I think I've decided to look for a fisher with less tubes since I don't need tuners or headphones. BUT. My fixed up 400 should be on its way back to me next week, so I'll at least spend the winter with it.
     
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  25. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    Location:
    US
    Has anyone ever found a good replacement for the on off switch/volume control? Mine is shot.
     

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