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Now then, what do I do with...

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The_Lhc's picture
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...this?

It's a Ferguson Radiogram, the amp/radio section is

The model number says it's a 658RG, at the front there is the power supply transformer (right), on the left is the speaker output, there's a couple of valves behind it. At the back, the top circuit board is the Reverberator, which has a date written on it (presumably the date it was tested) of 6/12/60 (my birthday, give or take 13 years or so...), below that is (I think) the VHF circuit.

Moving to the front again, behind the doors is:

the radio controls (I've fixed the buttons now) and a Garrard Model 210 (also now "floating" correctly on its suspension):

The needle is knackered but that's easily fixed, it's a full autochanger, but allows manual operation, 4 speed and has a removable headshell. It's cleaner now as well!

Can't tell much about the speakers:

The main driver is a Goodmans (that wasn't a bad thing back then necessarily) but I couldn't see a model number, the number on the left of the chassis there doesn't bring anything up in Google, I did notice the 15 Ohm figure on the other side though! Don't fancy trying to drive them with a modern amp! Out of shot above this is the tweeter, which is an EMI unit, I couldn't read much else on the back of it. I'd guess this is an infinite baffle arrangement (no idea, I've heard the phrase and it seems to fit!), the back of the cabinets is flimsy at best and there's no floor to the speaker cabinets, so they're effectively open to the elements.

One thing I don't know is if any of it works! We found it at a recycling centre yesterday and they'd cut the power cord off, although they said it didn't function. The tuning button on the radio doesn't turn, so I guess that's shot, the turntable looks ok, although on its power supply there appears to be a blown capacitor, although it looks a simple enough soldering job to replace it.

So the question is what to do with it? The space where the amp section is (picture 2) is exactly the right size for a Sonos Connect:Amp to sit, if I removed the amp. As the speaker cabinets are open to the floor I could cut down some homemade wooden speaker stands I've got to sit a pair of speakers behind the holes left once I remove the original speakers. That's the easiest route (maybe...).

Alternative ideas are replace the existing drivers with new ones and wire those to the Connect:AMP but I don't know much about the DIY speaker market, so I wouldn't know what to go for, any ideas?

An additional idea to go with that might be to replace the existing amp with a new one, I quite like the idea of putting another valve amp in there, nothing ridiculous but again, I've never looked at them, so I wouldn't know where to start. Couple of inputs would be good, I'd put a Sonos Connect in there to go with it if I replaced the amp.

It might be nice to get the turntable going again, it takes a 240 feed from the power supply, so should be difficult to wire that to a separate power supply that could sit in the back. I've identified the L+R output channels from it, I presume they'll be a fairly standard low-level output that could go straight into a phone stage if I got some RCA plugs attached to the cables? I'm not expecting anything extraordinary from the TT but the cartridge looks like a standard twin screw fitment, so I guess I could get a more modern cartridge fitted in there (at the moment it's one of those old ones where the needle flips over to give you a 78 needle on one side and microgroove needle on the other).

Of course the other option is to get the whole thing refurbished but I wouldn't know where to begin to find someone that could do that. Not entirely sure I trust 50 year old electrics not to go up in smoke and take the rest of the house with it either...

CnoEvil's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

State of the Art 1960.....I love it.

The TT is not unlike my father's old Garrard Type A70, which was connected to an Armstrong A10 Mk11 amp.

I would try and restore it, but it will take some doing.

Good luck with it.

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MajorFubar's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

Wow that's amazing if you actually have somewhere to store it.

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The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

MajorFubar wrote:

Wow that's amazing if you actually have somewhere to store it.

It's not that big!  Smile It's sitting quite happily in the dining room at the moment, with the doors shut it just looks like small sideboard really.

floyd droid's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

Stick a plug on it and try it out *. Guy who works up my local dump told me many moons ago that folk cut the plug off as if to say 'its knackered',more often than not it isnt. Well anyways tis fifty fifty chance isnt it. 

 

* outdoors via an extension lead. 

Haden Boardman @ audioclassics may be worth contacting just for a chat  Wink.

The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

Yeah, at some point someone connected a new cord with a block connector, so it wouldn't take much to try it out. With a fire extinguisher handy...

Aha, a late edit, cool, I'll look him up, cheers!

floyd droid's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

I've edited my post , worth a look regarding restoration.

 

Edit. You type too fast..

 

Or more than likely I type too slow.

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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

The_Lhc wrote:

MajorFubar wrote:

Wow that's amazing if you actually have somewhere to store it.

It's not that big!  Smile It's sitting quite happily in the dining room at the moment, with the doors shut it just looks like small sideboard really.

lol I'll take your word for it, from your photo it looks the size of those massive old double wardrobes from horror films where they open the door and a stiff falls out.

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The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

MajorFubar wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

MajorFubar wrote:

Wow that's amazing if you actually have somewhere to store it.

It's not that big!  Smile It's sitting quite happily in the dining room at the moment, with the doors shut it just looks like small sideboard really.

lol I'll take your word for it, from your photo it looks the size of those massive old double wardrobes from horror films where they open the door and a stiff falls out.

Oh lord no, it's no more than waist high at the most! It went into the back of an old Vauxhall Corsa (but not my car, annoyingly)! With the seats down that is.

plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

Wonderful piece of history. They are worth more sentimental value than monetary... my sister's ex-hubby is a electronics boffin (aircraft simulators), but loves anything electronic and old.

Had a thought: Why not try, if the radiogram doesn't go up in a puff of smoke, contacting film production companies. Even if they say no, might be worth asking for some pointers. It's a long shot but who knows.

  

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chebby's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

MajorFubar wrote:
...from your photo it looks the size of those massive old double wardrobes from horror films where they open the door and a stiff falls out.

You're thinking of Lindsayt.

(His speakers and Gothic mansion, not the stiff.)

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The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

plastic penguin wrote:
Wonderful piece of history. They are worth more sentimental value than monetary...

Good job we only gave them 15 quid for it!

Quote:
my sister's ex-hubby is a electronics boffin (aircraft simulators), but loves anything electronic and old.

Doesn't like anywhere near Devon does he?

Quote:
Had a thought: Why not try, if the radiogram doesn't go up in a puff of smoke, contacting film production companies.

You mean to hire it out to them for period pieces? Interesting idea, the step-daughter has a small collection of old prams, I think she looked into that idea.

Quote:
Even if they say no, might be worth asking for some pointers. It's a long shot but who knows.

Yeah, good idea, ta.

chebby's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

Props departments are always getting this stuff wrong..They'd use your radiogram for every period between the 1940s to the 1980s.

I watched some programme the other day that was supposedly set in the early 1960s. It had lots of 1970s 'period' cars in it. (Triumph 2500 S for example) They didn't even bother to change the white/yellow number plates that only appeared (on brand new cars) from 1968 onwards.

 

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floyd droid's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

Ha ha , we appear to both watch tv with the same critique. 

 

"That light switch is wrong" etc etc. I watched some period drama thing the other day and right behind one of the actors was a P.I.R sensor !, idjuts.

plastic penguin's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

The_Lhc wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:
Wonderful piece of history. They are worth more sentimental value than monetary...

Good job we only gave them 15 quid for it!

Quote:
my sister's ex-hubby is a electronics boffin (aircraft simulators), but loves anything electronic and old.

Doesn't like anywhere near Devon does he?

Quote:
Had a thought: Why not try, if the radiogram doesn't go up in a puff of smoke, contacting film production companies.

You mean to hire it out to them for period pieces? Interesting idea, the step-daughter has a small collection of old prams, I think she looked into that idea.

Quote:
Even if they say no, might be worth asking for some pointers. It's a long shot but who knows.

Yeah, good idea, ta.

No, he moved to Cyprus after he retired.

You could ask production companies to see whether they would like to hire or buy outright. Either way, I doubt it'll make you rich.

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The_Lhc's picture
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RE: Now then, what do I do with...

plastic penguin wrote:

The_Lhc wrote:

plastic penguin wrote:
Wonderful piece of history. They are worth more sentimental value than monetary...

Good job we only gave them 15 quid for it!

Quote:
my sister's ex-hubby is a electronics boffin (aircraft simulators), but loves anything electronic and old.

Doesn't like anywhere near Devon does he?

Quote:
Had a thought: Why not try, if the radiogram doesn't go up in a puff of smoke, contacting film production companies.

You mean to hire it out to them for period pieces? Interesting idea, the step-daughter has a small collection of old prams, I think she looked into that idea.

Quote:
Even if they say no, might be worth asking for some pointers. It's a long shot but who knows.

Yeah, good idea, ta.

No, he moved to Cyprus after he retired.

You could ask production companies to see whether they would like to hire or buy outright. Either way, I doubt it'll make you rich.

I'm not interested in selling it, we want to put it to some use.