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

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

  1. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    Some entrepreneur with engineering know-how really needs to step up to the plate and start repro-ing these.
  2. ROFLnaked

    ROFLnaked Forum Resident

    I was fortunate enough to dig up a NOS example for my 400cx-2 preamp a few years back. In fear of wearing it out, however, I now turn it on/off at the power strip...which defeats the purpose of having the new switch on there. I try reasoning that being in my late 40s, if this NOS switch lasts another 50 years like the original did, then it will be someone else's problem when it too gives out. My neurosis still precludes me from using it...
    Ghostworld likes this.
  3. gorangers

    gorangers Forum Resident

    New Haven area
    I use a $2 on / off toggle switch for some of my vintage equipment.
  4. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    Not neurosis... you're just preserving the integrity of a vintage piece.

    The switch on my X-100 is still OK, but like you, I use the switched/unswitched feature on my power center to power it up and down. Why risk damaging a known weak link?
  5. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident


    I'm at the point where it's so worn out, sometimes when I do a volume adjustment, the pot will get finicky, hit a worn spot, and suddenly go wide open at full volume. Not good.
  6. Hogues

    Hogues Forum Resident

    I had an extra TP-Link plug so I use that sometimes. "Alexa, turn off the Fisher."
  7. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    I use these short range radio remote controlled outlet extenders, with three sockets to turn on and off things that are not close to me and require a manual turn on and off.

    Quite handy.
  8. ehtoo

    ehtoo Forum Resident

    Did you ever just use the 2AX's with the Fisher? I snagged a pair of 2AX2's which need some work but, I though the might not be efficient enough with my 500B.
  9. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    UPDATE( you guys were waiting for it). Put the Cornwall's back on the floor, kept the 2ax's on top(and closer to the wall to increase their bass response). Better! Here's what's happened. Bass response is improved now, but so is midrange. While the mid horn on the Cornies are a little lower then ear level, the mid on the 2ax's make up for it. Plus, running 4 speakers makes everything louder, more powerful. The two different speakers really play well with each other. I think this is the best I've heard my system in quite some time, and where just a short time ago I was contemplating getting rid of the 500C, I'm not definitely going to hold onto it.

    Funny how these things go.

    Sure. Using the 100-B with just the 2ax's now. I prefer the 2ax's, in my room, with both it, and the 500C, then I do the Cornwalls. I guess I simply prefer the more laid back presentation of the AR's, and in my room they offer a little more control over gain then the Cornwalls.

    I can't imagine you having any issues driving 2ax's with the 500B. Should sound great together.
    gorangers and SandAndGlass like this.
  10. ehtoo

    ehtoo Forum Resident

    Thanks. I'm planning on re-capping them with Solens. The original pots only had minor corrosion and cleaned up nicely. One driver appears open but, when I resolve that problem I'll look forward to hooking them up. Otherwise they're in great shape with original grills (no holes) and badges. Cabinets only a a few minor scratches which esentially disappeared with some Howards. I bought the pair for $2.00!
  11. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    Sounds great. And since you literally stole them, you can invest in them to your hearts delight and still come out way aheay.

    There are the second version with the foam surrounds?
  12. ehtoo

    ehtoo Forum Resident

    They had the cloth surrounds but, were badly disintegrated and couldn't be salvaged. I had to re-foam them. The only problem, when I connected the speakers to a receiver I have hanging around in my studio, one of the drivers literally smoked. It will undoubtedly need replacing but, as you stated, I have lots of room to invest in these speakers.
  13. I've been reading up on the X100 series and I'm getting different info on their watt outputs. Got myself a 400 now but I don't need the tuner so I'm looking for a unit with similar sound and watt output without so many tubes to look after. Anyone know for sure which units offer comparable watt output? I've got pretty efficient speakers. 88. Will be looking to bump up to speakers that do 90 but still want watt output 16-25ish, cuz I like to crank it.
  14. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    X-100-B. 7868 output tubes, about 24 watts per. Easily drives my AR 2ax's.


  15. geoffr

    geoffr Forum Resident

    Pittsburgh, PA
    very nice!
  16. Anyone use Fishers overseas? Thoughts on adapters?
  17. RadioheadMario

    RadioheadMario Forum Resident

    I have a chance to acquire a fully serviced Fisher 500 S for a not so prohibitive amount. I know nothing about this particular model. How does this compare to a 500 C or 800 C? I was originally set on getting either of these models til this unit popped up. I'm planning to use it with vintage Rogers LS7 speakers. Any feedback would be much appreciated!
  18. Panama Hotel

    Panama Hotel Forum Resident

    Looks pretty good to me
    500-S Radio Fisher Radio; New York NY, build 1962 ??, 10 pic
  19. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    Really nice receiver. Quite rare. Production started in 1960, ended in 1961. About 20-22 watts output. Stereo phono and Aux, mono FM unless the add on MPX is used.

    Obviously it’s very old so unless you have technical electronic skills, or know somebody that does, be certain of what “fully serviced” means. If it’s a complete restoration , fully recapped, tubes checked and replaced where necessary, FM alignment, etc., that’s one thing. If it’s been simply cleaned up and gone over, with no electrical restoration completed, that’s another. Just be completely sure what you are buying.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2018
    RadioheadMario and rxcory like this.
  20. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Replace the coupling caps with K40Y-9 and these Fishers become outstanding.
    ssmith3046 likes this.
  21. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Also, tubes make a difference. Having rebuild & upgraded over 100 Fisher receivers, my experience recommends use of either Brimar CV4004 box plate or Westinghouse 12AX7 short plate tubes in the phono section. Next, use RCA 12AX7 gray or black tall plate in the preamp. Tung Sol 12AX7s work well in the phase inverters. RCA or Sylvania power tubes are best. These Fishers handily outperform modified Scott 340B receivers. I do not recommend the Fisher 500C or 800C series. The different audio transformers are uninvolving and dull sounding.
    geoffr likes this.
  22. rxcory

    rxcory Forum Resident

    Portland, Oregon
    Well my serviced/overhauled/recapped/ 500-C sounds anything but uninvolving and dull sounding to me. But to be fair I haven't compared it to any other Fisher models. Not like they sell these things in stores anymore.
    Saint Johnny likes this.
  23. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    I guess I was too harsh. 500C & 800C are more accurate sounding vs rest of Fisher models, but not as musical sounding IMO. 500C & 800CX are better for classical music whereas the other Fishers are better for other music such as rock & roll. Is this a better description sir?
    Saint Johnny likes this.
  24. sberger

    sberger Grumpy geezer who likes dirty records

    You really can't go wrong with any of the classic 400/500/800 receivers or integrateds, or stand alone amps from the prime Fisher period, meaning late 50's through mid 60's. Golden era, as they say. And they'll sound great with any music, but of course speaker choice will play a role too. As for cap/tube choices, everybody has preferences. My opinion is not to get too caught up with that, and just enjoy them. Over time once can certainly tube roll to their hearts delight. It can be a rabbit hole. But I have found in the several years that I've been using various Fishers that as long as the tubes are strong, and the amps are properly restored, they all sound good/great no matter what's in there.
    rxcory and Saint Johnny like this.
  25. allied333

    allied333 TUBE AMPLIFIER REBUILDER - inquire

    Just a note. The coupling capacitor upgrade was a 'night & day' difference.

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