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Wildcat's latest acquisition - drum roll please .....

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Post by Wildcat445 Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:43 pm

Thanks, Bruce. I have never been able to decipher serial numbers. I am beginning to think that the knobs are the same in 1959 and 1960, then they went to the black knobs with silver inserts and a black pointer in 1961. My CG is for certain a '59. Date codes on the remote, turntable, and speakers pretty much have that nailed down. My Imperial appears to actually be a 1960, not a 1961, per date codes on speakers. Magnavox did not designate model years per se, but built the different series for several years. I'm not sure how much that matters, really.

WC

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Post by TubeDaddy Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:38 pm

That's one of only about four Magnavox radio-record players that I'd love to own. The later stuff with sliding doors on top and cheap looking cabinets all look alike............ Crying or Very sad 
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Post by Wildcat445 Sat Jun 28, 2014 9:48 pm

I actually own one of each of the Magnavox series of instruments with push-pull audio available in the 1961 catalog. Although not all of my instruments are from the 1961 model year, that is the year I have the documentation for. Concerto, Symphony, Imperial and Concert Grand. The first two have sliding lids, the latter two have sliding doors in front. They are all good performers and I get lots of compliments on mine. All mine are tube instruments, built in the days when Magnavox built their own solid hardwood cabinets.

WC

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Post by frank1956 Sat Jun 28, 2014 10:23 pm

Congratulation  cheers
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Post by TubeDaddy Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:56 am

I got to see and hear a Concert Grand exactly like the one here today.  The sound was impressive.
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Post by Resistance is Futile Fri Jul 04, 2014 12:57 pm

You know there are more modern electronics that will shake the walls also. I am looking for a 14 inch speaker for my newly acquired GE J105 10 tube console, and am still looking but I have run across a 15 inch speaker that will handle 1400 watts. Wow!

Do you have any Specs on your Magnavox?

You sure have a treasure, If I were you, I would insure that puppy, and in your will, donate it to the Smithsonian, seriously.
Congratulation's on your Find.
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Post by Wildcat445 Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:57 pm

Thank you for the kind words, Cliff. I'm not sure the Smithsonian would have any interest in something as mundane as a Magnavox Concert Grand stereo. I have a blanket policy on my entire hoard, so I guess you could say it is insured. The problem with insurance on something like that is determining value. We all know about "appraisers.

What specs are you interested in? It has five chassis, six after I figure out where the multiplex adapter goes. It has 6 rectifiers, 24 audio tubes, four power transformers, four audio output transformers. 42 tubes total, 45 with multiplex. Mine pulls 4.8 amps at 115 Volts AC from the line. It develops 40 watts per channel from the bass amplifiers and 10 wats per channel from the treble amplifiers. There are four amplifiers total. It also has three germanium transistors, in the remote control. And a 22.5 volt battery. It has two 15" front-firing woofers, one with a 50 oz magnet, one with a 35 ounce magnet. It has two 4 X 10 front firing horns. It is on casters, has a yellow pilot light that tells when the instrument is on and a green one to tell when the "Phantom Control" is on. It comes equipped with a Collaro Conquest changer with remote control capabilities. This is equipped with an Electro-Voice cartridge with a .7 mil diamond stylus for LP/45 and a .3 sapphire stylus for 78. If you want something that will "shake the walls" you might be better off to find a good Pioneer SX-1050 or similar with 120 watts per channel. My Concert Grand is competent, but I wouldn't claim that it would shake the walls. Everyone has a different interpretation of that, so my experience may be different from theirs.

WC

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Post by TubeDaddy Thu Sep 25, 2014 5:18 pm

Why does it have a 22.5 volt battery?

I suspect it would be a service nightmare to remove all these chassis', clean and recap them, test the tubes, etc., and reinstall them. You probably would need to make a blueprint as you remove each chassis so you won't get something back in the wrong place....lol.
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Post by Wildcat445 Fri Sep 26, 2014 5:05 pm

The 22.5 volt battery powers the hand-held remote control.

Actually the Concert Grand is easier to service than the smaller instruments with vertical tuner chassis. The amp chassis both just have one input wire to an RCA jack, one plastic plug from the tuner, unplug the power cord that connects to the tuner power supply and take out four bolts. The tuner and its power supply are mounted on a slide-out shelf. The Phantom Control chassis is connected with a couple plugs and four bolts. There is a printed diagram how everything connects pasted to the inside of the back cover.

WC

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Post by Dr. Radio Sat Sep 27, 2014 8:23 pm

WC,

Does your Concert Grand have a built-in Timer/Clock?
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Post by Wildcat445 Sat Sep 27, 2014 10:02 pm

No, Doc, it doesn't. That ended with the 1958 version. The 1959's were equipped with remote control (Phantom Control) and the clock and timer feature were discontinued.

WC

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Post by Ragwire Sun Sep 28, 2014 8:45 pm

I think that's got more tubes than our first color TV--a 1967 RCA CTC-28 console.
The CG is for sure my holy grail of vintage sound.
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Post by Wildcat445 Sun Sep 28, 2014 9:47 pm

A Concert Grand stereo has 42 tubes, 45 with the optional Multiplex adapter. The output of a Concert Grand is hyped way above reality. They are rated at 50 watts per channel. This is with the dual frequency compound amplifiers. My guess is that 30 or 35 watts per channel would be a much more accurate assessment of output. They are not drywall-damaging instruments by any stretch of the imagination. They were designed and built to accurately reproduce recorded information to the best of the ability of engineers in the day. This they did, in spades. They were sold to monied clientele who wanted the best and would pay the price of a cheap Chevrolet to get it. They were predominently in fine homes, with high ceilings and lots of furnishings, not trailer parks or truck stops. People who do not own one "OOOH" and "AAAAH" about all those tubes. A Concert Grand is like a fine automobile. The best for those willing to pay for it. Performance was a secondary consideration. There were stereo systems built that cost lots less and performed lots better. A Concert Grand is like a gorgeous woman. All dressed up and lonely, with no place to go. I love mine.

WC

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Post by Dr. Radio Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:34 pm

Wildcat445 wrote:A Concert Grand stereo has 42 tubes, 45 with the optional Multiplex adapter.  The output of a Concert Grand is hyped way above reality.  They are rated at 50 watts per channel.  This is with the dual frequency compound amplifiers.  My guess is that 30 or 35 watts per channel would be a much more accurate assessment of output.  They are not drywall-damaging instruments by any stretch of the imagination.  They were designed and built to accurately reproduce recorded information to the best of the ability of engineers in the day.  This they did, in spades.  They were sold to monied clientele who wanted the best and would pay the price of a cheap Chevrolet to get it.  They were predominently in fine homes, with high ceilings and lots of furnishings, not trailer parks or truck stops.  People who do not own one "OOOH" and "AAAAH" about all those tubes.  A Concert Grand is like a fine automobile.  The best for those willing to pay for it.  Performance was a secondary consideration.  There were stereo systems built that cost lots less and performed lots better.  A Concert Grand is like a gorgeous woman.  All dressed up and lonely, with no place to go.  I love mine.

WC


Interesting, sobering, and well put. Good to know.






Wildcat445 wrote:No, Doc, it doesn't.  That ended with the 1958 version.  The 1959's were equipped with remote control (Phantom Control) and the clock and timer feature were discontinued.  

WC

So is it like the old Zenith TVs with Space Command? In other words, is part of the chassis "lit" all the time waiting for commands from the remote? Or is it physically off till you go up to it?
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Post by Wildcat445 Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:38 pm

There is a five-tube Phantom Control chassis that remains hot whenever it is switched on.  The switch for this chassis is located in the changer compartment.  It must be switched on in order for the Phantom Control to operate.  You can turn the Phantom Control off and operate the instrument like any other.  Actually, in historical prospective, the Space Command works like the Phantom Control, since the PC was first.  It was introduced in 1959 on the Concert Grand stereo and on one model of console TV.  I am assuming color TV, but may have been available on a monochrome set as well.  I am not certain whether Phantom Control was available on a TV/stereo combination or not.  Magnavox TV sets were basically Zenith clones, as Magnavox concentrated its efforts on audio.  It would follow that Magnavox loaned Zenith its remote control setup.  Zenith, Magnavox, Motorola and GE collaborated on FM stereo and worked closely in these efforts.  Magnavox advertised Phantom Control as the first commercially available wireless remote control system, period.   On the Concert Grand, Phantom Control operates the volume, tuner, and will reject the changer, and will turn the system on and off.  On a TV, it would control volume, the tuner, and turn the TV on and off.  All other controls are manually operated from the instrument contol panel.  I have not tinkered with my Phantom Control.  I need a battery for the remote, and Everyready and Ray-O-Vac have discontinued making them.  I understand that Amazon and Batteries Plus have them.  I promised myself I would not use my Concert Grand until I went thru it properly, so it sits in the family room, serving as a plant stand and cat perch until I get it gone thru next Spring.  

Lest there be an misunderstanding about my comments, let me say this.  I am thrilled to own my Concert Grand.  It's like having a V-12 Senior Series Packard sitting in the garage.  EVERYBODY who sees it is in awe that something like that was made "in the olden days."  It simply oozes panache and class.  But it is not the performer you would think it might be.  It is an almost 60 year old stereo, and it operates like a 60 year old stereo.  My Pioneer SX-1050 has more bass with the bass contol and the loudness control and the tone control switches all off than this Concert Grand does on its best day.  It is not, nor was it designed to be, a boomer.  But for accurate reproduction of recorded music and the sweetest tube sound on the planet, it simply has no peer.

I read a post on another forum where some knothead connected an equalizer onto a Concert Grand, and "it really thumped" until he blew a speaker.  That would be like putting a turbocharger on a Packard V-12 and taking it to a drag race and breaking the rear end.  Or taking a bottle of 60 year old wine and drinking it at a tailgate party.  Or having a date with Lauren Bacall and taking her to a demolition derby.  All knothead activity.  You must savor the entire Concert Grand experience.  Savor the cabinet made entirely of Midwestern hardwood, all work done by hand, completed by finishing the cabinet inside and out, top and bottom.  No bare wood.  No particle board, no veneer.  Nine coats of finish, hand rubbed on the outside.  The inside was not buffed.  You can clean and polish the chassis until it looks like a Scott.  The grille cloth on my Cherrywood finished model is a pastel peachy/pink type of color, very subtle.  There is a brass colored metal mesh on the outside of the grille cloth that keeps the cats from scratching the grille cloth.  The cabinet is not stapled and glued together, but uses tenon and mortise joints with pocket screws.  You can take the cabinet apart and put it back together, simply by using the screws.  The majority of the cost on a Concert Grand and big Imperial models is in the woodwork.  The electronics are basically remakes and remodels of chassis that were introduced immediately after WW2.  

WC


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