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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Pioneer SX-580

Aug 26th, 2016 Posted in Pioneer, SX-580 | 2 Comments »

Pioneer SX-580 Faceplate

 

This little Pioneer SX-580 was the bottom of the line from Pioneer around 1979. It only produces 20 watts per channel and has minimal features. Still, it's a good little receiver for an entry level unit. It's not going to be enough to power large speakers but for a garage or small room it could work well.  I believe they retailed for about $250 when new.

 

Pioneer SX-580 Knobs

 

As you can see they have the stereotypical look of late 70's Pioneer receivers with the silver face and white dial. Pioneer also produced the SX-590 which was essentially the same receiver only with a black dial face.

 

Pioneer SX-580 Dial

 

The SX-580is fairly small at 17.5" x 12.5" x 5.25" and weighs in at just over 18 pounds. If you need a service manual you can find it at HiFiEngine.

 

Pioneer SX-580 Lamps

 

Looks good with the lights off and the dial lit doesn't it? The white dial face and amber lighting give it a sophisticated look.

 

Pioneer SX-580 Inside

 

The Pioneer SX-580 came out just near the end of the hi fi boom in the late 1970's. The build quality for these units was still good and their performance excellent. During the following years cost cutting measures resulted in lesser quality units.

 

Pioneer SX-580 Inputs

 

Purchasing an SX-580 isn't going to break the bank. A lot of them were made and collectors tend to avoid entry level units so prices are pretty reasonable. If you just need a small receiver with a little power then the SX-580 might work for you. A nice and clean,m serviced unit will run about $150 with average working units running about $100.

 

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