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 Post subject: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Console
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 6:16 am 
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Hi i am new to this forum and thought i'd post my new Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" console. I bought it from the original owners who purchased it in 1968. I am unable to find the model number anywhere on it. Can you tell me which model this is?

I attached some photos below. I named her Mavis.

Also, the internal speakers are a little too bassy for my tastes, even with the bass potted all the way down. So i'm going to attach a set of external speakers to the jacks in the rear. The built in jacks are a strange Packard Bell 3-prong design. What is the best way to integrate normal speaker wires into these types of jacks without taking the thing apart and soldering?

Thanks for all your help!

Jon (Ogden, UT)


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 4:10 pm 
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Very nice - what a great look from the era when consoles ruled the living room. All I can add is that yours looks to have a Garrard AT-6 record changer which is a good one. KLH used these in the 1960s in their high quality modular systems. Parts for these changers are plentiful and affordable. Adjusted to specs., your console should have a crisper less bass like sound.....though the sound of the day was bass full audio.


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 4:25 pm 
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Thanks Drew. Can you elaborate on "adjusted to specs"? How do i go about adjusting the system? It's not just the turntable that is too bassy. This unit has an RCA input so even playing a CD through it (or listening to the radio) is too bassy.


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Can you take photos of the speaker jacks?

If they are uncommon types, you could possibly use another type of plug by cutting the pins loose and inserting them into the holes. If the plug has plenty of grip on the pins, it should work fine.
If your skilled and/or adventerous, you can fabricate an entire plug assembly out of epoxy or by machining plastic.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 4:37 pm 
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Are they the same as the picture in the other thread they asked about this?

viewtopic.php?f=9&t=219657


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 4:47 pm 
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Thank you both. Yes, they are the same as in the other thread above. There wasn't any resolution to the conversation there, that's why i thought i'd try again in a new thread here.

I am pretty crafty, so i think i can fabricate something that will work. I am getting a set of 8 ohm speakers today to test things. I just want to be sure that i'm not going to damage anything in the process.

Here's a photo of the jacks on my unit. Looking at them up close, i see some material that may be blocking the insides. I'm not even sure if these are functional actually. I guess i won't know until i try to plug something into them. Can i do harm by trying?


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 5:37 pm 
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I suspect that you may need to replace the electrolytic capacitors and also make sure that the tweeters work properly.


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 6:10 pm 
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Tube Radio wrote:
I suspect that you may need to replace the electrolytic capacitors and also make sure that the tweeters work properly.


You're probably right on the capacitors. I am not sure if the stereo has ever been serviced. Could be the originals in there. From what i understand though, usually if they fail, they completely die...where things just stop working rather than affecting the audio signal. Or am i wrong about that?

If i am able to get another set of speakers connected, i'll know right away based on their performance.


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 7:10 pm 
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Depends on the particular electrolytic capacitor. Some short some go open and some fail somewhere in between.


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 10:11 pm 
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mayberry97 wrote:
Tube Radio wrote:
I suspect that you may need to replace the electrolytic capacitors and also make sure that the tweeters work properly.


You're probably right on the capacitors. I am not sure if the stereo has ever been serviced. Could be the originals in there. From what i understand though, usually if they fail, they completely die...where things just stop working rather than affecting the audio signal. Or am i wrong about that?


If the electrolytic capacitor in question is the one that is the crossover network for the tweeter, you'd lose the tweeter but keep the woofer, thus affecting the tone while still providing audio.

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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 10:35 pm 
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Thanks for the responses. I have audio from both tweeters. Perhaps not as high fidelity as i should. But my real gut feeling is that these things were maybe just designed to be bassy. Because music back then wasn't produced with as much bass as music today. I think because it sits almost on the floor that the acoustics of it is just making it sound like this. I mean the tweeters are knee-high.

It's not terribly muddy or anything. I'm probably just fussy. But yeah, the electronics would certainly benefit from a thorough servicing i'm sure. I will look to see if i can find anyone who knows how to do this stuff properly in my area. I really value this stereo...alot...so i want to keep it going for as long as possible.


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2013 11:01 pm 
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Many console stereos of that vintage were designed to be somewhat bassy because that is what customers wanted. As others have noted, you would really need to go through the electronics paying particular attention to capacitors.

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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: May Thu 16, 2013 12:35 am 
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There is a chance that you might improve the tweeters sound by replacing the capacitors for the tweeters with film capacitors. Also aging electrolytic capacitors in the audio circuitry can affect sound as well


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2013 5:42 am 
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I can't answer any of your questions, but i went 35 years back in time when i saw the pic of your console. my parents had the television version of it. no turntable or radio, just a color television with the thickest, greenest glass screen i've ever seen. exact same carving, exact same red fabric behind the speaker protecting dowel-things. the two panels in the center with what i always assumed were stylized poppies were doors with little handles. you opened the doors and then slid them into the console along the sides of the TV set. it broke in the late 70's and we used it as a TV stand for a crappy magnavox black and white for about 10 years after that. Thanks for posting the pic.


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 Post subject: Re: Identify My 1960's Packard Bell "Space Age Stereo" Conso
PostPosted: Nov Fri 15, 2013 12:45 pm 
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The crossover capacitors on the tweeters have probably changed value, which has changed the sound. A common problem. Even component speakers from a few years later can suffer from it. They are usually non-polarized electrolytics.

And no, caps don't always fail all at once. Many times they fail slowly recreating stress on other components.


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