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46 philco ? curious about phono stage


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I never really know what vintage gear is crap and whats a hidden treasure so I thought I would ask here. I was in my parents storage when I found a deco 1946 46-1203 Philco TT/Tuner in a little wooden cabinet. The first thing I thought was hey it has tubes with a phono stage wonder if it's any good? Is it worth stealing the phono stage from or is it more than likely crapola? The tube compliment is 7c7/50X6/7C6/7A8/7B7/35L6GT. I ws suprised when I plugged it in and it still worked.


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What a great find! For my part, I WOULD NOT tear it apart for it's little phono amplifer -- which would not really work right for a modern stylus. You might fix it up a bit to keep and appreciate as a really neat and still working example of audio history, though. It might be better to not just plug it in and start using it. If it hasn't been used in a long while, an initial inspection for both safety and operation would be in order, and a variac should be used to bring the unit up to working voltages very slowly. This will help recondition old electrolytic filter capacitors (which should probably be replaced), etc. Old-fashioned, twist-lock filter capacitors are available as replacements, too.

But this is a GREAT find!!! I have to offer the possibility that what might be 'crap' right now, could very well have been state-of-the-art at the time. It's a relative term, in other words. These old things are very special, though! If it still works, you might have a real gem of an antique! Enjoy it.

(why does this sound like something from an edition of Antique Road Show!?)


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If it was a 1946 model, the phono was fairly likely to have a crystal cartridge, whose higher gain, more bass and less treble were more equivalent to today's "line" input than a magnetic cart, which needed added gain and equalization. Something about the output depending on the distance the stylus moved, not the speed. I think that a magnetic cart and its more expensive circuitry may still have been a "high-fidelity" novelty in 1946.


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Thanks for the response the tuner works well and the turntable does work but not that well but still amazing since it has been in storage a while. It even has the original documentation. I suppose I won't shred it my eyes just got huge when I saw all those triode tubes LOL.... I did clean it up and put it on my dads shelf he was listening to a football game on it when I left. I am really hyper about getting a tube phono stage for my system but won't have the cash for what I want till spring...blast...I did however win an iPod perhaps I will find someone on audiogon to trade with when I get hmmm...

thanks again for the replies

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