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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.