Fisher 1800

Fisher 1800 Front

 

This Fisher 1800 FM - AM Multiplex Receiver is fairly rare. It is basically the same as the Fisher 800C but with slightly different cosmetics. The front panel is two toned as opposed to the single color 800C panel. During the late 60's the first solid state gear started hitting the market and the tube gear was becoming more difficult to sell. So, the marketing brains at Fisher decided to spiff up the remaining 800C's by changing the faceplate and model number. In short, the 1800 is basically an 800C with a half black faceplate.

 

Fisher 1800 Side 

Unfortunately for Fisher they didn't actually sell very many of the 1800 receivers so that is why they are so rare these days. There are even rumors that the 500C was remodeled as well into a 1500. But, I have not seen one so I'm not sure it's true.

 

Fisher 1800 Top 

As with most Fisher receivers it's difficult to pinpoint production dates for a particular receiver. Most likely the 1800 was produced around 1968 or 1969. By 1971 the Fisher catalog had no tube gear listed whatsoever.

The Fisher 1800 puts out 30 watts per channel and has a built in MPX-65 decoder. It weighs approximately 45 pounds and measures 7.5"x 18.5" x 16".

 

Fisher 1800 Back 

Cosmetics are a big factor in the value of these units. Many times the front faceplate and chassis will have corrosion which hurts the value. Also, re-tubing these units can be expensive so if the original tubes are bad or not up to spec then factor that into any assessment of value as well.

A nice clean Fisher 1800 is a fine example of late sixties tube gear just before the major transition into solid state electronics. The color scheme incorporating earthtones and gold knob caps was pretty common back then.

 

Fisher 1800 Badge
As I mentioned above the 1800 is pretty rare and Fisher tube receivers are very popular as it is so the 1800 can sell for a high price in good working condition. The Fisher shown here sold in June 2013 for $1500 and was professionally tested, fully functional and cosmetically clean.

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Pioneer FM-R301 Audio Master

Pioneer FM-R301

 

This is a unique early Pioneer FM-R301 Audio Master monophonic receiver.  It was produced around 1959 by Fukuin electronics as they were making their transition into the Pioneer name brand.  It has very mid-century styling with pink and gold coloring and large round knobs. It also has an interesting tuning eye tube.  As you can see it has FM, MW and SW bands and I believe it was the first Pioneer receiver with an FM band covering the  80-108 frequency range.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Lit

 

The "magic eye" tuning tube is green when lit and the "gray" area at the bottom of the display grows wider as the tuning fades. The sharper the tuning the more green the display will be. You can see from the inside picture that the tube is mounted horizontally with the top facing the front panel. Very interesting. In the picture below the tuning is crisp.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Eye

 

In this picture the station is not perfectly in tune and you can see the gray area has grown wider.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Eye

 

The dial face really is nice and the bulbs light it up beautifully. This receiver is definitely a classic of late 50's early 60's design.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Dial

 

The FM-R301 has both Aux and Phono inputs with a selector knob on the front panel. Many of these units were sold along with a 8" PAX-8A coaxial speaker that was also made by Fukuin.  In fact, Fukuin started as a speaker maker and evolved into Pioneer electronics.

 

Pioneer FM-R301 Inside

 

You don't see these units come up for sale too often.  There were a few other versions of the Audio Master as well. To find one in excellent cosmetic and working condition is very difficult. In the condition pictured at the top of this post one might sell for $200.00.  However mint or close to mint condition working units can sell for a much higher premium since they are collected not only by audio enthusiasts but mid-century collectors as well.

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