Thread Number: 72535  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
It's Alive! 1962 Delmonico Stereo Hi-Fi
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Post# 958400   9/21/2017 at 02:25 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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It was way back in May of 2016 that I picked up this kitschy little Delmonico (made by JVC) AM/FM/Phonograph set from a CL listing.  I wasn't even looking for anything of the kind, but the ad apparently contained my search term.  For $30, I went for it.


The original record changer was a Japanese Voice of Music knock-off, and it was toast.  Parts are nearly impossible to find, and it was a crap shoot that they'd be the right ones.  The whole thing sat in the garage shop -- until just this week.


I decided to find a vintage VOM changer that would pop in to replace the original.  What appears to be a NOS -- or barely used -- VOM model 1287 from 1971 showed up on ebay for BIN, and I nabbed it.  Trying to find a more age-appropriate and salvageable changer with stereo capability was an exercise in futility.  Installation was a cinch, requiring one hole to be drilled (for a locking pin) and one opening to be blocked (where a spring needed to rest).


Having sat for over 45 years, none of the automated changer components work.  The turntable revolves though, and records sound remarkably good, considering the capacitors and tubes are all original.   It seems that even back then, the Japanese were already ahead of the U.S.A. with the quality of their electronic components.   Shout out to Allan Sherman!


I've contacted Gary from the VOM site and will be getting the service manual for the changer.  He said it's likely just gummed up and needs to have its problem areas cleaned and re-lubed.  For now, it's 100% manual but I'm having fun with it for a while before I tear into it.


The pictures below include the vintage TV lamp that inspired me to get this thing working and into its designated corner of the living room.  Due to the lighting and/or flash, it appears the cabinet has an entirely ebony finish, but under the lid and inside the speaker flaps on each side, it's a rich red classic Victor mahogany, which can be seen in one of the shots with the lid up.   The lid is not warped.  The camera lens distorts it.


Now the hunt to add to my exotica music collection begins!  Preferably stereo recordings!

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Post# 958408 , Reply# 1   9/21/2017 at 05:27 by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

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Nice hi-fi! Hope you're able to get the automatic changer working with a minimum of fuss. Great panther TV lamp, as well!

What are some examples of the exotica in your music collections?

Post# 958411 , Reply# 2   9/21/2017 at 05:51 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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Sweet Hi-Fi Ralph! How about a vid of it playing some Doris Day?

Post# 958414 , Reply# 3   9/21/2017 at 06:32 by turquoisedude (Ogden & St-Liboire (where??), QC, Canada)        

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Love it Ralph!  I had no idea JVC was in the audio market that long ago.  Congratulations on getting the turntable going again; you'll have it running automatically in no time I'm sure!  Gary at VOM is a great guy - very helpful and seems to be able to find just about any vintage part or needle.  


Now as for tunes, I think this unit is begging for the stereo version of "Jet" by the Three Suns (from the 1960 album Twilight Memories)...  just sayin'.... 

Post# 958418 , Reply# 4   9/21/2017 at 07:31 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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that is just a beautiful unit.....that back light a very nice touch....

Post# 958439 , Reply# 5   9/21/2017 at 12:05 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
It's Little, It's Lovely, It Lights (well, sort of)

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I thought I had more exotica than I actually do.  I hadn't gone through my two banker's boxes of LPs for many years and had forgotten what was in them.  Currently I have some Martin Denny and Les Baxter, and am looking to build on that.   It's time to hit Streetlight Records and see what they might have.


I have a decent collection of cocktail jazz albums from the likes of George Shearing, Ahmad Jamal,  Vince Guaraldi, Dave Brubeck, Stan Getz and Cal Tjader, so those will have to do for now.  I was listening to them when everybody else my age was into groups like Grand Funk Railroad.


I'm open to suggestions for exotica artists and any particular albums that would make good additions to my collection.

Post# 958453 , Reply# 6   9/21/2017 at 13:36 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        
Now I Have a Question

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When I launched a thread about this hi-fi last year, I was told that it uses a "hot chassis" arrangement.  What this appears to mean is that the phonograph always has power, but not amplification until the entire system is switched on.


Today I noticed that it was warm inside the cabinet, and the top surface of the changer was also warm.  I don't know what's causing this, but assume it's associated with the "hot chassis" design.  Even if it's no big deal I'm going to be unplugging it while not in use.  It may not be using enough power to turn the meter, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.

Post# 958463 , Reply# 7   9/21/2017 at 14:47 by ken (Ulster Hgts, NY)        

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What a beautiful compact design. I have that same panther lamp.

Post# 958507 , Reply# 8   9/21/2017 at 18:24 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        
hot chassis

in a "hot chassis"design,one side of the line cord connects to the metal chassis and chassis is "hot"if that side of cord ends up with plug in "hot"slot of wall outlet-this presents a shock hazard if device becomes wet or metal knobs replace original plastic."Hot chassis"common with late '30s-mid'60s "series string"radios and TVs The warmth is probably the motor running on or stalled out if changer mechanism jams or sticks.BTW,congrats on getting the JVC in working order :)

Post# 958512 , Reply# 9   9/21/2017 at 19:03 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Interesting.  So if I reverse the way I plug it in, this warmth will stop? 


The changer itself also has a power plug (taken off the old one and spliced onto the new one), but it's blades are smaller than normal and it plugs into a special receptacle that's part of the unit.  Could I just reverse that plug?


It's also very possible that the changer mechanism is stuck some way that it shouldn't be, but there is no motor hum whatsoever.

Post# 958528 , Reply# 10   9/21/2017 at 23:14 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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That's a very attractive little stereo. Gotta love that tuning dial. Looks like a power indicator light on the front too like my Magnavox units. I like those. I've often thought that a collection of TV lamps would be a nice thing to have...not too big but not too small. Many years ago I remember seeing a display window in an antique store that was in some small town up in California's Gold Country. The large widow was all 50's TV lamps, top to bottom. It looked great. Your panther is very cool.

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Post# 958663 , Reply# 11   9/22/2017 at 23:52 by cfz2882 (Belle Fourche,SD)        

warmth is either the motor or tubes staying on,most likely motor-sound might be very faint.Plug polarity will only affect potential shock hazard.

Post# 958672 , Reply# 12   9/23/2017 at 00:57 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Ahh, 1962, when electricity was so cheap that nobody cared about this sort of thing (OK, except for legions of male breadwinners across the nation who lived through the Great Depression).  Perhaps the amount of juice consumed if left plugged in isn't even enough to turn the meter.


Joe, that's quite an assortment of TV lamps.  I can't say I remember ever seeing one as small as all of  those are.  Gee, if not for the cable box (used only for remote on/off) and digital converter unit on top of my little '50 Admiral consolette TV, one of those would be just the right size for it, though not a single one appeals to me.

Post# 958701 , Reply# 13   9/23/2017 at 11:41 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

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"Not a single one appeals to me"...Not even the pink French Poodle? 


Those aren't mine of course, just a photo lifted from the Internet. 

Post# 958714 , Reply# 14   9/23/2017 at 13:13 by rp2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

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Which one?  LOL!

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