Thread Number: 75469  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
1966 Magnavox Astro Sonic restoration help
[Down to Last]'s exclusive eBay Watch:
scroll >>> for more items
Post# 993061   5/4/2018 at 10:19 by brianmcdonell (Texas)        

Hello all!

I am new to this site and this is my first post as well. I found this site from doing a ton of Google searching while I am trying to research restoration ideas for a new piece I just picked up. I am a woodworker by trade and am always on the lookout for unique furniture pieces to work on. My wife is also a very classy chick and just LOVES vinyl records so this 1966 (I think) Magnavox Astro-Sonic was an awesome find from an estate sale a few weeks ago.

I want to do a complete restore on the stereo cabinet back to as close to original as possible. I have seen some people take these and gut them to make cabinets or dressers out of them, seriously depressing. I aim for this to be a focal conversation piece in our home with complete functionality.

It DOES work to a degree. Only one speaker works at the moment, but it does pick up radio stations and play audio. The turntable does spin but I'm sure needs a complete overhaul before throwing a good record on it. I haven't opened up the back yet because I am getting ready to move back up to Tennessee around the Nashville area so I don't want to get to involved before shipping it. As you can see in the pics, some of the knobs are broken so I will need to find replacements. I have toyed with the idea of making new knobs out of wood on my lathe and then making a new wooden faceplate for the tuner.... Structurally it looks to be in pretty good shape. It has only had one owner up until I bought it recently and has only gone through one move from the New Jersey area down to Texas several years ago.

I am looking for advice and maybe where to start and some good resources on where to find parts and possibly service. Also, if there any experts that can tell me for sure what year this is or how to find out that would be great. I bought it from the daughter of the gentleman that owned it and she doesn't know exactly what year it is.

I hope to get cracking on this piece really soon. Please feel free to follow along on my Facebook page for my woodworking business, Projects820. I have the URL linked below. I truly welcome any and all feedback!!

CLICK HERE TO GO TO brianmcdonell's LINK

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 10         View Full Size

Post# 993085 , Reply# 1   5/4/2018 at 14:51 by RP2813 (The Big Blue Bubble)        

rp2813's profile picture

We have a number of members here who are into vintage audio and video.  Give them some time to check in and advise.


The Antique Radios Forum and Audiokarma are two good resources for you if you haven't already visited them.  Here's a link to the ARF:


Post# 993086 , Reply# 2   5/4/2018 at 15:08 by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

yogitunes's profile picture
I have a slightly smaller one that I am about to toss.....

if anything, you might want parts, or at least the knobs......

I found one before that another member has, a really long cabinet, the plus was the reel to reel player on the left side....and the red indicator light on the front...

console stereos were great sounding back then......

Post# 993087 , Reply# 3   5/4/2018 at 15:21 by Brianmcdonell (Texas)        

@Yogitunes, yes I may very well be interested in some parts of you are seriously about to dump it. I just saw your email so I will get back with you on it. Thanks in advance.


Post# 993120 , Reply# 4   5/4/2018 at 23:08 by Spacedogb (Lafayette, LA)        

I had a 1965 Astrosonic that I was going to repair. Spent the last year trying to find parts and someone willing to repair. Both are like needles in a haystack. I ended up throwing mine in a dumpster. I wish you the best of luck with repair of the unit.

Post# 993168 , Reply# 5   5/5/2018 at 11:24 by Brianmcdonell (Texas)        

My first pics from opening up the back of the cabinet.....soooooo much work to do identifying parts and upgrading what I can.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 16         View Full Size
Post# 993298 , Reply# 6   5/6/2018 at 14:27 by rickr (.)        

rickr's profile picture
Be sure to clean the control pots and switches well. Usually the problems with only one channel working are because of dirty controls, switches. I have restored several Magnavox consoles over the years. They really sound great with a little "tune up"

Post# 993377 , Reply# 7   5/7/2018 at 07:27 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
"Made in England"

rolls_rapide's profile picture
There's something you don't often see these days!

Post# 993475 , Reply# 8   5/8/2018 at 00:38 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

"Made in England"---Hi-fi equipment is STILL made there.If you have 2 mil to spare you can buy a pair of Palladium speakers--the amps come with them.There are beautiful but that price!!!And after all how fun would it be to connect that Magnavox/Colloro TT to them!!!If you do pull the trigger on the Palladiums they will be personally delivered and installed at your home!!!How's THAT for service-they use tubed and SS amps-the woofer amps are 1200W per channel!-and stand about 6 ft tall.

Post# 993495 , Reply# 9   5/8/2018 at 08:34 by panthera (Rocky Mountains)        
The turntable and cabinet are really well made.

panthera's profile picture

The Astro-Sonic SS amp had several limitations, the complex crossover network and the choice of extraordinarily efficient tweeter is a clue as to one of them: Their high end was weak. If you restore the crossover network and pay careful attention to the values in any necessary work on the amp, the high end will sound good. There are several youtube videos (shango066 has done a few with clear explanations) about working on these.

There are several very well explained articles and videos on servicing that particular turntable. Most of them begin with: If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Some parts of the mechanism will need cleaning and lubrication after disassembly, others should really, really not be taken apart, just cleaned and lubed. The cartridge and stylus aren't hard to get and should definitely be replaced.

I'd keep it and restore it, however, you're going to have to do a lot of the work yourself. It's not that hard, just detailed.

Post# 993521 , Reply# 10   5/8/2018 at 12:34 by Charles (Charlotte N.C. )        

I don't have any help to offer but I do have a 1965 Zenith Console turntable that looks very similar to it.

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 3         View Full Size
Post# 993532 , Reply# 11   5/8/2018 at 14:26 by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        

twintubdexter's profile picture

I am always looking at console stereos for sale, especially Magnavox. Oddly enough, when I was given the TV/Stereo Department to buy for the Emporium, I hated consoles and couldn't wait to reduce their inventory to zero. They were slated for oblivion anyway, people wanted components. Now they're one of my favorite things with asking prices going higher and higher.


The mid-line stereo you have should be easy to find various parts for. I've seen lots of those units for sale at sometimes cheap prices ( I mean the interior components, not the cabinet style). You might be able to get an entire unit that's got a shabby cabinet and use it for parts. Your stereo makes for a nice project. When finished you'll have something you can really enjoy.


I have absolutely no room for another console-type my living room, in my bedroom or in the garage. Yet I still look. It's a sickness. This nice RCA Victor early true stereo is currently on ebay. It's in remarkable shape for it's age and the BIN price is $225...very reasonable. Worse is that's it's a 40 minute drive from my house. I'm so tempted. Not too big and the cabinet's very nice.


Update...Well, it's too late. I just bought it. I need professional help.



  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 2         View Full Size

This post was last edited 05/08/2018 at 23:18
Post# 993588 , Reply# 12   5/9/2018 at 06:31 by Rolls_rapide (Scotland, UK)        
Palladium speakers...

rolls_rapide's profile picture
Post# 994596 , Reply# 13   5/19/2018 at 02:56 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

The Palladium speakers I was referring to are made in Britan-The Living Voice Palladium speaker systems-again 2 mil for the pair-you do get the tubed amps the system is 4 way on the main speakers-and a pair of subwoofer columns driven by their own 1200W amps.The Subwoofers are similar to what cinemas use.
That klipsh system is very nice-mine is similar but older.I am happy with mine.

Post# 994941 , Reply# 14   5/22/2018 at 13:49 by rinso (Meridian Idaho)        

rinso's profile picture
When Magnavox first went to solid state amps, they probably saved a lot on production costs, but lost the full, rich sound of their tube-type amps. The result was boomy bass and dull treble. The unique crossover network performed two functions: Not only did it deliver the high frequency sounds to the highly efficient horns, but one side of the coil and capacitor is grounded. Doing a little math, it appears that it's purpose was also to suck out a lot of mid-range, in which solid state amps at the time had way too much response. One still had to say goodbye to hearing things like finger cymbals, brushes on drumsticks, or even the click of stroking of a guitar with a pick.

Having said that, most other manufacturer's solid state consoles sounded much worse. Magnavox at least had a good, mellow sound.

Post# 995212 , Reply# 15   5/25/2018 at 20:30 by Artcurus (Odessa)        

Late to the party here, but these old Maggies need a complete going through before they can be completely functional. Capacitors changed, turntables cleaned out and relubed.

The horns are actually a weak point on these, and at least half are bad.


Early SS was actually Germanium transistors. Germnaium produce a much more tube like sound . The device you are is called a crossover, it's designed to the bass out of the highs/mids speakers. As an FYI, the bass on systems like this is generally mono, the stereo seperation happening with the horns. The cabinets are tuned specifically for those speakers.

Packard Bell's high end three way system from roughly 1962, using an 18 + 18 watt stereo tube amp,with 12, 6 x 9, and a horn, beat Maggie seven ways to Sunday on sound quality.

Post# 995227 , Reply# 16   5/26/2018 at 00:54 by tolivac (greenville nc)        

To put it bluntly----early SS amps sounded like @#$%^!!!!!Replace the early SS amps with TUBED ones esp if it is driving horn speakers.Loved the tube Biamp power amps the Magnavox Concert Grand Hi-fis used!!!!The crossover was in the amp-not the speaker system.Bi amps are used today in many High end Hi-fi systems.And tubes at that.Germanium transsisters suffered from BAD sound quality and unstable operation.If you get replacement Germanium devices----guess what they are age sensitive.An old one is going to be bad.You don't have this issue with silicone semiconductor devices.And crossover caps go bad over time since they are AC type electrolytics-REPLACE THEM!!!The amp and sound to you will thank you.If you can use oil or film caps of the same values-so much the better and those will last longer,too.

Forum Index:       Other Forums:                      

Comes to the Rescue!

The Discuss-o-Mat has stopped, buzzer is sounding!!!
If you would like to reply to this thread please log-in...

Discuss-O-MAT Log-In

New Members
Click Here To Sign Up.

Discuss-o-Mat Forums
Vintage Brochures, Service and Owners Manuals
Fun Vintage Washer Ephemera
See It Wash!
Video Downloads
Audio Downloads
Picture of the Day
Patent of the Day
Photos of our Collections
The Old Aberdeen Farm
Vintage Service Manuals
Vintage washer/dryer/dishwasher to sell?
Technical/service questions?
Looking for Parts?
Website related questions?
Digital Millennium Copyright Act Policy
Our Privacy Policy