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bhart

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Everything posted by bhart

  1. Here's an interesting concept bt Panasonic from the '70s...
  2. Permission has been granted - the speaker is in the living room and it sounds fantastic. I have a fair bit of background and history to make this statement, even though my hearing is not what it once was. I enjoy the sound of this thing more than my JBL 4410s (yes, studio monitors - very flat) and the frequency range is quite wide with the help of the whizzer cone and the folded horn design - mellow and clear. Surprisingly efficient too - I substituted the Pickering for one of the Boston Acoustics A40s in the room and the sound of the 180L is at least 9db louder. With it's small footprint and pleasing sound it may be in use for quite a while.
  3. Noticed an unusual speaker at an antique market so I searched the make & model - Pickering 180L. Turns out there's a couple on Ebay for 10x the asking price - working or not, it's worth a shot. Google searched and found a small amount of history on it and I was intrigued and happy to carry on with sprucing this one up. First thing, connect and see if it works. Ohm meter shows 7 ohms +- so that's good. Connect to amp and it's producing sound... not too bad with low-res satellite radio as a source. Time to open it up. Whole lotta wood screws holding in the rear panel (with variable bass port mechanism - type of folded horn enclosure with an adjustable port) and once it's off it reveals a properly old Electro Voice SP-8-B driver and what looks like untouched wiring, including the paint seals on the + & - terminals. Removing the speaker I find a production date on the front pads of the speaker showing Oct 24, 1950 - fairly early model, with a whizzer cone driver. The back is also tagged with a 'Pickering' stencil so it looks like it's all original. At this point I decide it's probably worth cleaning up the cabinet which has the look of 60+ years of cigarette smoke tinting the colour. There's also a horrible stain on the front of the speaker cloth - most worrying thing to deal with since that cloth probably impossible to replace. Some patient work with a clean toothbrush and the most gentle cleaner I could find to start with - water. It worked like a charm, leading me to suspect it was probably a coffee stain. Sanded down the surfaces, carefully pulled the trim and then started to removed at least one very rough layer of random brush strokes (shellac?) to make it more difficult. There were also some dents, scratches and what looks like evidence of this being used a sawhorse at one time, on the top. All came together nicely when the mahogany stain was applied. Even the saw cut has been minimised to a point where it's not too noticeable. Just wanted to keep the look close to original. Satin varnish finished it off properly. It's all together now and I'm merely waiting for the right moment to present it for admission to the living room.
  4. Thanks JKent, Yes, your's was one of the postings I found early on in my searches. Painting was in the back of my mind if the polishing did not turn out. Plastic surface finish is quite sensitive to heat, especially from a 8" polishing wheel. I have owned a number of black cars over the years to help me perfect my technique. I did end up with a bit shinier surface on the receiver than the speaker, with the speaker being closer to original. If I have to service the amp, I'll try and re-sand with 1600 and then go a bit easier on the polishing to get the correct look. Right now, it's fine for me. Had the speaker apart while cleaning up and the cone suspension is fine. No whizzer cone and the speaker is original and a 'made in Canada' unit. I flipped the blackout paper to the better side, pushed out a small dent in the grill and cleaned up the rubber surround with automotive rubber protector to get a clean look. All the internal stiffening Masonite bits are still firmly attached and the foam is 100%. Very well built unit.
  5. I decided we needed to change up to a better radio in the kitchen and I had the Advent 400 powered receiver but still needed to find the matching speaker. Now the unit I have has been in storage almost 20 years and the white plastic casing has yellowed like an early Apple computer - pretty nasty. I have read that some people have had luck with re-finishing so I went at it slowly with sandpaper - 600, 1000 and then 1600 grit wet sanding and then two steps of polishing with my automotive polisher, clamped in the vise so I could manage the delicate plastic. It came out nice but if you look closely at the pic of the back, you can see the yellowed colour of the un-restored back panel. I found a speaker nearby (yay!) on line and had it sent up and, since this was also yellowed, I proceeded with the same sanding and polishing process to get a matching look. It looks great and sounds even better. Thanks to this Forum I also feel confident that there is still communication and support for older electronics, including some good info on changing components, like capacitors if the volume falls off or if a speaker needs new suspension. Analogue is always fix-able.
  6. I decided we needed to change up to a better radio in the kitchen and I had the Advent 400 powered receiver but still needed to find the matching speaker. Now the unit I have has been in storage almost 20 years and the white plastic casing has yellowed like an early Apple computer - pretty nasty. I have read that some people have had luck with re-finishing so I went at it slowly with sandpaper - 600, 1000 and then 1600 grit wet sanding and then two steps of polishing with my automotive polisher, clamped in the vise so I could manage the delicate plastic. It came out nice but if you look closely at the pic of the back, you can see the yellowed colour of the un-restored back panel. I found a speaker nearby (yay!) on line and had it sent up and, since this was also yellowed, I proceeded with the same sanding and polishing process to get a matching look. It looks great and sounds even better. Thanks to this page I also feel confident that there is still communication and support for older electronics, including some good info on changing components, like capacitors if the volume falls off or if a speaker needs new suspension. Analogue is always fix-able.
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