December 5, 2022 at 8:06 am #19399
I bought a vintage MCM radio and turntable console from Facebook Marketplace. I am not a vintage radio enthusiast so my interest was mainly in the console, as I am a big fan of vintage furniture (please forgive me). Since I bought it from Marketplace I do not know about the condition of any of the electronics inside, and if it ever worked. The speakers were removed and the radio was unplugged, so I suspect something didn’t work and the previous owners never bothered to figure it out. I only recently found the power cord for it (stashed in one of the speaker cavities) and plugged it in with no response, however I didn’t have any speakers attached so I can’t know for sure.
As I said I am not so much a vintage radio enthusiast as I am a vintage furniture enthusiast so I know almost nothing about any of this. I want to preserve the console but I also want it to be functional for my needs. Unfortunately I couldn’t fit both a modern A/V Receiver and the original radio so I removed the radio. I am struggling because I want to keep the beautiful aesthetic of the original radio but I also want to be able to use it with modern equipment and have a 5.1 surround system. I want to know if there is any value (both monetary and historic value) in keeping the radio with the console or if there is even any value in the radio itself. I thought about keeping the front panel and scrapping/selling the guts, but I don’t want to be shameful. I really appreciate the mechanics and quality of the radio and as a preservationist I really want to know what you think about how it should be preserved.
Alternatively I thought about keeping the front of the radio but somehow attaching it to a Raspberry Pi or something that will modernize its functionality. This would still involve removing the guts of the radio, but again I don’t even know if they work. Would it be worth it to keep all the radio parts with the console indefinitely so that they can always be restored when and if I am done with it? If I sell it in the future (no plans for that) is it better that it has, (perhaps even a non-functioning) original radio in it? or am I really just overvaluing this radio?
I cannot find anything about this radio or the console online, I think it was custom made for the console, and perhaps based off of Philips radios from the 50s and 60s. Like the Philips it was made in West Germany. I don’t know about the dates but I think it could be mid 60s to early 70s simply because the turntable looks like it is from that era.
Console: Pro Musica Limited, Toronto, ON
Radio: PearlSound – Stereophonic Custom Line
Made in West Germany
Turntable: BSR C129R
Looking for bonus tips if you could offer advice on whether or not this is worth keeping. It seems pretty cheap to me, and from what I understand BSR is midrange at best. I’m not a huge audiophile and if the sound is adequate, then I’d love advice on how to connect it to a new receiver with the existing cables (see attached images). From my research I understand that consoles with built in turntables can’t always be retrofitted because the vibrations from the speakers could cause the needle to skip (opinions?)
- This topic was modified 1 year, 2 months ago by Jesse. Reason: Posted Prematurely
Attachments:December 5, 2022 at 11:44 am #19411
I think that the problem for most people regarding Console Radios or Radio-Phono Combos, is the size of these units, along with the fact that they do not fit in with modern decor. So for most people it is a no-go. However there are those out there who take a liking to these relics of the past. Considering its age, and the great condition, it is in it could garner up some attention. It must have been stored under exceptionally good environmental conditions. I would think, that the fact that it is a thirteen tube set, would mean that it would be a high-end piece of equipment. I’m also thinking that this unit could drive a 5.1 Speaker System very well, with a high quality of Mono/Stereo sound. Heck, I have a Electrohome Radio-Phono Console from the early seventies, which I should try on my Logitech THX 5.1 Speaker System. If I find the time I just might try that. At a minimum I would have great Hi-Fi Stereo. And hopefully I won’t break any windows from the percussion.
You can also add Blue Tooth to it. Then you would not only have a piece of furniture that you like, but also a great sound system. I think it is too nice a set to rip apart. But then restoration, for me, is the way I would go. Each to his own. It probably would not take a lot to get it up and running quite well. Re-capping it with new capacitors and maybe a vacuum tube might be all you would need. You have already said you plugged it in and tried it. I would assume it never went up in flames or a cloud of smoke. Plugging it in before doing certain safety checks, is something I would not have recommended, But in your case, it seems no harm done, and that says a lot in favor of the set having a real potential.
RalphDecember 13, 2022 at 2:20 pm #19464
Thank You for your advice Ralph!
It’s encouraging to hear these things about the set. I am now more in favour of restorations especially if I can do the things you suggested above, trading dolby 5.1 mix for stereo could be worth it. You have very much piqued my interest with the bluetooth idea, I had no idea that would be possible. In the same way that you suggest bluetooth can be added, can input from a TV be added as well? Using it with my TV is my main intended use
I am not (yet) a vintage radio enthusiast but as I said I am really appreciating it, and perhaps I would try that restoration process that you recommend. Is this project easy enough for beginners? I am young and frugal and would consider paying someone to do it if it’s reasonable. Do you know where I might find someone in southern Ontario/GTA area?December 13, 2022 at 3:55 pm #19465
MCM Stereo Restoration
As for hooking up your TV set, it should easily done, possibly in a number of ways. Either through direct wiring, or through WI-FI/Blue-Tooth. I think wireless is the way to go. Or if your TV has sound output jacks, there should be ways to match the output of your TV Sound to the Phono-input on your MCM Unit. I am certain there are those out ther capable of doing it. There also may be others on this site who may be able to help guide you. As for myself I am not in a position to help you. Are there any Local Radio Clubs close to you, where you may find help. Maybe someone else on this site will have some words of wisdom for you. This Vintage Radio Restoration/Repair thing is becoming a dying art. Good to see someone who is still young be interested in this hobby of ours.
Lots of Luck as you move forward. Keep us posted as to your success.
RalphDecember 13, 2022 at 4:28 pm #19466
Hi Jesse Me again.
Your TV may already have a Blue Tooth Setup and Pairing System. Check your operating manuel on connecting. If so all you will need is a BlueTooth Receiver installed to make it work. Forget anything I said regarding Wi/Fi, although there could still be situtations where it could be necessary, even if you go the Blue Tooth route. Hooking up the 5.1 Speakers will require a bit of thought, but can be done. As for the restoration of the MCM Unit, there are lots of used speakers out there, complete with Output transformers, that may be installed inside your console. These speakers may need to be matched with the out[ut of your MCM Unit. And I am thinking that the speakers that were pulled from your unit were most likely, 8 inch, of the Permanent Magnet TYpe
RalphDecember 22, 2022 at 8:07 am #19558
Thank you for taking the time to offer your advice. I will aim to find someone in my area who is interested in taking on this project, but in the meantime I will properly store the unit, as I have already removed it and put in my new receiver. I may take on the project myself in the future if inspired, but your advice has helped me decide to keep it with the console so it can at least be preserved.
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