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Intro

Having a nice sound system has always been a priority on my life since I was a teenager in the 1970's. My tastes in music have changed over the years but I still insist on listening to good quality audio equipment. These days I find myself seldom playing CD's anymore, instead I either stream music from the internet, play music ripped to my laptop via iTunes or listen to my local FM radio station. So my audio equipment has dwindled down to just an integrated amp , a tuner, and speakers.

I've always been fascinated with those old radio consoles from the 1930's and 1940's and decided it would be neat to retrofit one of these old cabinets with my audio equipment. So begins my next project and first posting on Lumberjocks.

I came across this 1940's Philco cabinet on ebay which I bought for $40 which I found the art deco design very appealing to match my 1930's built house…. and most important, my wife agrees
Furniture Table Wood Wood stain Flooring


It has a lift up panel where the original tuner went which is a perfect size for the tuner I wish to use. It also has a pull panel that housed a turntable which would be perfect for housing my integrated amp.
Table Wood Flooring Floor Hardwood


The project begins with repairs to the cabinet's framing…
This will be interesting to follow along and see how it turns out. Looking forward to it.
 

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4,477 Posts
Intro

Having a nice sound system has always been a priority on my life since I was a teenager in the 1970's. My tastes in music have changed over the years but I still insist on listening to good quality audio equipment. These days I find myself seldom playing CD's anymore, instead I either stream music from the internet, play music ripped to my laptop via iTunes or listen to my local FM radio station. So my audio equipment has dwindled down to just an integrated amp , a tuner, and speakers.

I've always been fascinated with those old radio consoles from the 1930's and 1940's and decided it would be neat to retrofit one of these old cabinets with my audio equipment. So begins my next project and first posting on Lumberjocks.

I came across this 1940's Philco cabinet on ebay which I bought for $40 which I found the art deco design very appealing to match my 1930's built house…. and most important, my wife agrees
Furniture Table Wood Wood stain Flooring


It has a lift up panel where the original tuner went which is a perfect size for the tuner I wish to use. It also has a pull panel that housed a turntable which would be perfect for housing my integrated amp.
Table Wood Flooring Floor Hardwood


The project begins with repairs to the cabinet's framing…
Oh, and …

WELCOME to LumberJocks!
 

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The Components

At the heart of this system will be my 10 year old Marantz PM7200 Integrated Amp. It operates as both a Class AB and a Class A Amp. Class A operates much like the vacuum tube amps of yesteryear.
Font Technology Electronic device Audio equipment Electric blue


It will get mounted, face-Up in the front tilt-out panel.

The tuner is a high-end European brand table radio made by Tangent Audio called the Uno. I chose it primarily for its art deco style glass bezel tuner dial. Also because it is simply controlled. It produces an exceptional sound for a table radio, pulls in the local stations (both AM and FM) nicely, has an auxiliary selection for input from Apple Airplay for streaming music, and a stereo output jack in the back to input into the amp. It will fit very nicely under the console's lid.
Output device Gadget Audio equipment Circle Musical instrument


It has a glass bezel, and the knobs have a very solid quality feel to them when you turn them and sort of match the knobs style of old radios. It also has a tuning light indicator that glows or dims indicating how well your dialed-in which was common on old radios like the famous Zenith Magic-Eye.

You can't buy the Uno anymore as Tangent Audio no longer produces them. C.Crane used to distribute them here in the USA. I found this one on eBay for $80.00. Crosley makes a look-a-like called the Solo. I don't know if its the same thing or a cheap look-a-like.

Mounted in the base of the console will be an 8" sub-woofer.

A pair of stereo speakers will be external to the radio console and will site on shelves on the wall. I plan to rebuild the speaker cabinets to match the style of the radio console.
I have an Advent tuner/amp that I bought in 1972. Have been thru 3 sets of speakers, but the Advent still works great
 

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The Components

At the heart of this system will be my 10 year old Marantz PM7200 Integrated Amp. It operates as both a Class AB and a Class A Amp. Class A operates much like the vacuum tube amps of yesteryear.
Font Technology Electronic device Audio equipment Electric blue


It will get mounted, face-Up in the front tilt-out panel.

The tuner is a high-end European brand table radio made by Tangent Audio called the Uno. I chose it primarily for its art deco style glass bezel tuner dial. Also because it is simply controlled. It produces an exceptional sound for a table radio, pulls in the local stations (both AM and FM) nicely, has an auxiliary selection for input from Apple Airplay for streaming music, and a stereo output jack in the back to input into the amp. It will fit very nicely under the console's lid.
Output device Gadget Audio equipment Circle Musical instrument


It has a glass bezel, and the knobs have a very solid quality feel to them when you turn them and sort of match the knobs style of old radios. It also has a tuning light indicator that glows or dims indicating how well your dialed-in which was common on old radios like the famous Zenith Magic-Eye.

You can't buy the Uno anymore as Tangent Audio no longer produces them. C.Crane used to distribute them here in the USA. I found this one on eBay for $80.00. Crosley makes a look-a-like called the Solo. I don't know if its the same thing or a cheap look-a-like.

Mounted in the base of the console will be an 8" sub-woofer.

A pair of stereo speakers will be external to the radio console and will site on shelves on the wall. I plan to rebuild the speaker cabinets to match the style of the radio console.
I hear you about the audio of the late 60s and early 70s. I also have the Sansui turntable that I got at the same time.
I also bought a pair of Cerwin Vega speakers that day. They were MASSIVELY heavy! But they lasted me till 1996, when the speaker cones finally gave up the ghost. I've gone thru 2 different sets of Radio Shack speakers since then. Neither has been anywhere near as nice sounding as those Vegas
 

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Mount Sub-Woofer

Simple task last night… mounting the subwoofer. For speakers, all that will be in the console is a sub… I'll hook up an external set of speakers on wall shelves.

I just mounted a piece of scrap plywood to the bottom of the cabinet, drilled a 3½" hole for the vented down firing bass port on the bottom of the subwoofer. Then I screwed the subwoofer to the plywood from the bottom-up.

Hopefully I'll have no vibration issues… if so I'll deal with it then.

Wood Gas Door Machine Fixture


Automotive tire Shelf Wheel Tire Wood


Fixture Gas Machine Composite material Metal
When finished, this thing will be a wolf in sheep's clothing…
 

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Pilot Light

One last task to attend to for the console base before I start refinishing it. There was an existing hole drilled for a pilot light. I decided to install a new LED pilot light in its place.
Vehicle Trunk Wood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior


I found an appropriate one at Dig-i-Key here in MN.
Writing implement Wood Drinkware Automotive tire Gas


In order to install it properly I needed make a flat countersink as the wood surface is curved. The only way I knew to do that was with a forstner bit. But I needed a center point to drill on but there was an existing hole. So the only solution was to plug the hole and use the plug as a center point for drilling the countersink.
Table Wood Bumper Automotive tire Automotive exterior


With the hole plugged and the glue dry, I drilled the counter sink, then I drilled a smaller through-hole effectively drilling out the plug I just glued in.
Wood Table Wood stain Hardwood Gas


With that, the new LED pilot light fit in very nicely. I'll wire this to the switched outlet in the rear of the amp which will light the pilot light whenever the amp is turned on.
Motor vehicle Wood Handle Bumper Table
This thing is gonna be awesome when it's done!
 

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