Fisher 400

Aug 26th, 2016 Posted in 400, Fisher | No Comments »

Fisher 400 Front

 

If you're into vintage tube receivers then you know this unit is the iconic Fisher 400. Some claim that the 400 is one of the finest tube receivers ever made. Fisher produced them from 1964 up until 1968.

 

Fisher 400 Left

 

Aesthetically the Fisher 400 looks similar to the 500 and 800 models. Here you can see the Fisher logo of a bird with a musical note in its beak. the face plate is brushed metal and the knobs are brass faced.

 

Fisher 400 right

 

There is a head phone jack at the center of the receiver and the infamous Magic Eye tube which indicates the signal strength. If you're interested in how the Magic Eye tube works you should check out the article at AntiqueRadio.org.

 

Fisher 400 Lamps

 

Avery Fisher founded Fisher in 1945 and was the dominant producer of hi fi tube gear up through the 1960's. He actually had founded a company before that, in 1938, called Philharmonic Radio. he sold that company in 1945 and started Fisher Radio Company.

 

Fisher 400 Tubes

 

Around 1964 Fisher introduced the 400T which was the first all transistor receiver. But, the hi fi community wasn't really quite ready to make the transition to all solid state so Fisher kept the 400 available until 1968. In 1969 Fisher sold his company to Emerson which then sold it to Sanyo. The quality of the receivers dropped significantly after that. Note the two output transformers and huge power transformer?

 

Fisher 400 Wiring

 

Lots of point to point wiring in these old tube receivers. The selenium rectifiers in these units should be replaced if they haven't been already. Obviously the inner workings are a bit complicated and servicing should probably be left to a professional.

 

Fisher 400 Back

 

Here you can see the four power tubes in the Fisher 400. It uses 7868 tubes in a push-pull configuration while the 500 and 800 series use 8-pin 7591 tubes. Notice the heat shield between the transformers and the tubes. Nothing better to a tube enthusiast then glowing tubes. Well, other than the warm tube sound.

 

Fisher 400 7868 Tubes

 

The Fisher 400 is a beautiful receiver that was built with attention to detail and performance. It is highly collectible, as are all of the early Fishers, so they aren't cheap. They don't come close to some of the high priced solid state monsters from the 1970's but as far as tube receivers go they fetch a good price. A fully restored unit can sell for over $1000. An average unit in good working condition will sell fro around $500.

 

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Fisher 800 T

Aug 31st, 2015 Posted in 800 T, Fisher | No Comments »

Fisher 800T Faceplate

 

Vintage Fisher tube receivers are some of the most popular receivers among collectors and audio enthusiasts. Receivers such as the Fisher 500 and 800 fall into that category. During the transition from tube to solid state electronics in the late 60's Fisher produced the Fisher 800 T which is the solid state version, figuratively more than literally, of the Fisher 800. It is actually very similar to the Fisher 500TX except that it has a dual voltage transformer and a different colored face plate. It was made by Fisher in the United States from around 1968 to 1972. I've read that the 800T is possibly the export version of the 500TX, hence the dual voltage capability.

 

Fisher 800T Cabinet

 

The Fisher 800-T puts out 65 watts per channel. An interesting aspect of this receiver is that it has four ways to adjust the tuning. First is a wired remote, the RK-30, which nowadays, is very hard to find. Of there is a manual tuning knob as well. In addition to that is the Auto-Scan Touch Tuning and the Tune-O-Matic push button memory tuning.

 

Fisher 800T Left

 

The TUNE-O-MATIC lets you preset four separate FM dials to your four favorite FM stations and thereafter, instantly select the desired station at the press of a button.  The AutoScan feature electronically scans a tuning dial located directly above the signal-strength meter. At the press of the AutoScan push button, the signal-strength meter converts to a frequency indicator.

 

Fisher 800T Right

 

Just below the AutoScan buttons you can see the 'Solid State' designation. In terms of engineering the Fisher 800-T featured a crystal FM-IF filter and dual-gate RF MOSFETs that had never been used before in an FM tuner of any high fidelity equipment. These provide the very highly sensitive and selective FM reception.

 

Fisher 800T vs 500T

 

Here you can see both the Fisher 800T and the Fisher 500TX for comparison.  Note that they are essentially the same aesthetically except for the face plate colors.

 

Fisher 800T Inside

 

The 800T featured an optional wood cabinet as well (90-UW). It measures 16" W x  14" D x  5" H and weighs around 30 pounds. If you're looking at purchasing an early Fisher solid state receiver keep in mind that many of the early transistors used in these units were fairly fragile and not always easily replaced. The 800T and 500TX also have the added complexity of the Auto Tuning functions in the circuitry. However, once restored these receivers have an excellent warm sound.

 

Fisher 800T Back

 

While the tube receivers from Fisher tend to garner most of the attention the solid state versions are quickly catching up in popularity. The all tube Fisher 800 sells for around $1500 while an 800T can sell for up to $1200. Just a few years back the top price for an 800T was about $500 so prices have been escalating.

 

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