Resurrecting A Hi-Fi Cabinet

[VintagePC] pulled this old stereo out of a barn. It was in pretty shabby shape, but he managed get it running again and make it look great as well.

While it had been protected from the elements, it had not been protected from the rodents. Mice had chewed their way through the fiberboard backing and made a nice home inside. He mentions that they chewed the string which operates the tuning dial, and we’re sure they were the cause of other problems as well. He gives the wise advice of not powering on an old set like this until you have a chance to assess the situation.

The insides of the amplifier were about as disorderly as the last radio repair we looked at. But after carefully working his way through the circuits, replacing capacitors and resistors as needed, he started to make some progress. The receiver coil needed to be rewound and he used wire from an old CRT monitor for this purpose. The loop antenna was remounted and the record player arm was given a new cartridge and balanced using a clever LEGO apparatus. Some veneer work and wood finishing brought the case itself back to its original beauty. We’d say the hard work was well worth it. He’s got a big piece of furniture he can always be proud of!

25 thoughts on “Resurrecting A Hi-Fi Cabinet

  1. That is an awesome rebuild. I’m rather shocked that a system from 1961 still used tubes. Transistors were pretty much in full swing here in the U.S. at the time. But then that is a Canadian set – it may have taken longer for the technology to spread there.

    1. we (Canadians) used to LOVE the extra warmth from a vaccume tube amp giving off 5 – 10 w per tube extra heat.

      but now that we pretty much do not get snow for christmas these past few years its less of a selling point. PS: yesterday was hotter here then florida. keep that in mind!

      PPS: we used to have at least a half foot of snow or much more, weeks before christmas. now we just get an inch or so until january. almost like florida!

      1. that post had absoloutely NOTHING to do with ANY political party. this was NOT an endorsement for ANYthing political and im sorry for the people that will still believe that was politically motivated. they need help and fast.

        its starting to feel like back in the days where science had to be approuved (by the gov./courts) before it was considered fact.

        maybe i read yahoo too much

      2. Yeah – you have to love the climate change deniers out there.

        And looking at the plate on that set – 117V times 75 Amps is 8.7kW! Of course I think a decimal is missing, 117 times 7.5 is 877.5W – much more within the realm of reality.

  2. I have a 1960s or 70s hi-fi set I got from a flea market that also needs resurrection. It’s the kind that mounts on the wall and speakers are built into the doors that cover a fold-out record player. I’m concerned what it will cost to replace the needle, so I’ll see when I get to that point.

    1. Nothing cheap about internet ” radio” if you have to maintain decent internet service to receive the “broadcasts” :) I could see adding mp3 play capability after a FM broadcast reception capability is added.

  3. As much as I appreciate Hackaday covering one of my favorite pasttimes–restoring old electronics–I’m a little torn about the selection of contributions. People out there are performing miracles of restoration. These last two are worthy, but middling efforts at best. I’m not blowing my own horn. Mine come out about like these; okay, but nothing amazing. Check a few of the projects on this page:
    or some of members’ workspaces here:

    1. I could be wrong but someone has to contribute these links to be picked by HaD. If it doesn’t show up in their inbox, it doesn’t appear on the page. I believe this was addressed by HaD previously.

  4. Unfortunately for the purists I would have parted out a find as these. I have no place in my living room for it. Unless I modified the cabinet to hold my current HiFi components, ans put the TV on top, but that would end up looking like crap anyway. I’d like to look at the full details of the restore but the link takes me to web hosting service sign up page

    1. Weird, perhaps a temporary outage, as the link works fine for me.

      You can try going from the root of my site, ( and hitting “Stuff” -> “Radio Rebuild”.

      If that fails, try the non-redirected URL,

  5. Cool but ceramic carts don’t get to play quality vinyl. Needed an upgrade then, but still good for other sources. Nothing like playing vintage music on the gear just don’t mpee on it.

    1. what about mpeeing on a transmitter and using the existing (restored) unit as intended?

      and those mpeee’s could be from the 60’s or 70’s…
      classic rock!

    2. The issue there is that magnetic carts would require a preamplifier… and thus not a drop-in replacement.

      I could go that route and build a separate box with a tube-based preamp, but I usually just pipe something to the external input anyway. (Got an FM tuner for FM radio)

      1. Worse yet, there’s not a magnetic cartridge available that this tone arm would handle. I suspect you’re more interested in ‘having’ a restored turntable, than actually using it. However, be aware that the ceramic inputs are heavily equalized for record playing, and probably pretty hot for your mp3 player. It’s possible to build a passive ‘reverse RIAA filter’ to use phono inputs for line sources. This would have the additional advantage of cutting the gain somewhat.

    3. jakdedert:

      It’s not actually a ceramic input, it’s orginally a crystal (Rochelle) input. As such, there doesn’t seem to be any sort of equalization going on (the inputs go straight to the selector to toggle between radio/phono). Sounds great either way!

  6. got ma dancin’ boots on, got much dancing flave,
    goin’ to the barn dance toniiight!

    lolz havin a party in the barn you found this thing in?

    couldnt help it! XD

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