Thread Number: 40756  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
general electric console stereo
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Post# 433042   10/4/2020 at 01:06 by automaticg (butte montana)        

there is a ge stereo on my local Craigslist for $20 it has manuals and it is in good shape but makes a loud noise when plugged in should i buy it and try to fix it

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Post# 433043 , Reply# 1   10/4/2020 at 02:30 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
If you have the space

for it and think you can fix it, I'd go for it. $20 is nothing. I don't know if it's solid state, vacuum tube or a combination of both but those old stereos had a great sound to them. You can finish out the cabinet to just about anything you like if your good with sanding and stains and clear finishes. Could be a fun project.

See if there's a way to turn off the speakers before turning the stereo on. Maybe an "aux" setting on the dial, and then with volume on lowest setting and the bass at it's lowest setting, bass boost off, then turn on the speakers, see if any different, that being the loud noise you speak of. I'd definitely blow it out and spray some contact cleaner where needed, and also your volume mech and your pots and the like in there. Hopefully the speakers have survived all the loud noise at atart-up. Hope you will keep us posted if you buy the stereo and what you discovered as the problem.

Post# 433083 , Reply# 2   10/4/2020 at 23:07 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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I hate to be the guy who says it, but: just replace all the capacitors!

Really, the buzzing sound is likely a bad filter capacitor. You could probably start by replacing only those. Do not keep it plugged in for more than a few seconds to verify the concern!

I have a GE console stereo as well, it's one of the few large item trash picks I got when I was young. The cabinet of mine is a little different - more modern styling, though probably of roughly the same vintage. Mine worked fine straight out of the garbage, but that was over 10 years ago, when even older radios from garage sales and such seemed to work right off the bat. Nowadays, they're so old that there's always something wrong with them, just due to age. And even though the (more professional) vintage repair guys will try to tell you to pinpoint the problem rather than using the shotgun method (replacing ALL the capacitors), the caps are all old. We're talking 70s, right? That's 50 years ago. 50 years is a long time for those little wax paper pieces of crap.

Tubes are actually pretty robust technology, and very rarely go bad... other than being worn out with use. However, running a set that has bad caps, or any other components really, for more than a minute or two could easily damage the tubes.

Not sure if that's a solid state set or not, anyway.

I use digikey for caps and any other electronic parts.

Post# 433107 , Reply# 3   10/5/2020 at 18:06 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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Nice! Hope you get it, madman is right,as usual!

Post# 433134 , Reply# 4   10/6/2020 at 03:02 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Post# 433239 , Reply# 5   10/8/2020 at 15:20 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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Yep, it's got bad capacitors, what you are hearing is the ground loop being picked up by the speakers. This is very common with old radios, as they used wax or cardboard caps and over time they leak out and go bad. I forget his name but there is a radio repair guy from Canada on YouTube that does tons of long radio repair videos and they are highly detailed and easy to follow.

Do not touch the finish, leave it as it is. Refinishing will destroy any value the radio has, and the type of wood used is often laminated and not possible to refinish,

My Restore has these for about $10 all the time, I don;t have a big house, so I can't get them. If I knew radio repair I'd love to restore and re-sell them, but I do not :(

They had a ginormous 1930s tube radio in there once for $5 and by the time I emptied the car's trunk out of groceries and went back to buy it within 30 mins....gone.

Post# 433572 , Reply# 6   10/15/2020 at 14:22 by anthony (leeds uk)        
here in the Uk

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we call them radiograms .This one was bought new in 1968 by my parents .It was suffering from bad caps so i replaced a lot of them last year and now its working perfectly .The sound is fantastic .Hacker were one of our top luxury brands back in the 60s/70s .Their transistor radios are highly sought after even today

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Post# 433587 , Reply# 7   10/15/2020 at 21:26 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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That is a really good looking radiogram.

Post# 433618 , Reply# 8   10/16/2020 at 20:11 by kirbyklekter (Concord,Ca.)        
That is nice

The speakers look like they can be detached for better positioning.Magnavox,Zenith,RCA,GE,Philips,they were everywhere! Our neighbors bought the biggest I had ever seen. It was billed as an 'entertainment console'. Curtis Mathis 9ft. long. Had a mini-bar, Gerard turntable,AM/FM Stereo,Color TV,12"woofers 2 mids and 2 horn tweeters on each end and record storage. Took four delivery guys to bring this baby in.

@huskyvacs/MadMan, you're right about leaving the finishes alone, I forgot that most were veneer or other. You could special order solid wood cabinets from a few companies and I've seen a couple of these done in the home workshop that were really stunning.

Post# 433643 , Reply# 9   10/17/2020 at 02:01 by tolivac (Greenville,NC)        

For me "Radiogram" ment the a type of short wave broadcast that contained graphics and pictures.Was used experimentally here at VOA-was run from a standard SW transmitter.The broadcast used the program from a CD-then the listener connected his receiver to his computer to decode the broadcast.No longer used-Now use DRM-Digital Radio Mondial-again broadcast from a compatible transmitter to a DRM equipped receiver.Higher quality sound-and graphics.

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