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 Post subject: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console
PostPosted: Nov Sun 27, 2016 11:23 pm 
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I found this fabulous, mint condition, Zenith J880R console today at a nearby antique mall, and it followed me home. Somebody really cared for this console... it's the nicest example of original mahogany wood that I'ver seen. It looks like it just came out of the box in 1951. The AM/FM tuner face is in perfect condition, and so is the fabulous Cobra-matic changer. I'm really loving these Zeniths now days.


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Last edited by Larry H on Dec Sun 11, 2016 2:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Nov Mon 28, 2016 12:14 am 
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Wonder if you may have just bought yourself a stolen Museum piece! Holy smokes that's clean. Wonder if it'll still fire up. Obviously changing the caps would be a good idea, but I've had an unbelievable amount of luck with un-restored zenith sets running just fine unmolested, continuously too. Fantastic performer! Did it weigh as much as a church? Sometime's I look in the back and make sure Zenith didn't just pile bricks in for fun. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Nov Mon 28, 2016 1:01 am 
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I haven't fired it up yet...been spending time just looking at it and admiring it....lol. The seller indicated on the tag that the radio worked, and so did the changer, but sound was weak playing records. May just need a new Radionic cartridge/needle.

I plan on pulling the radio and recapping it, and will also pull the changer and get all the old grease off, inspect and replace the idlers if necessary, and service the motor.

The console isn't bad heavy. Two of us moved it easily.


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Nov Mon 28, 2016 1:10 am 
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Great find, Larry.
Beautiful cabinet finish.
That Cobra is hungry by now !
Make sure you feed it before your work on it.

Hotwax


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Nov Mon 28, 2016 1:24 am 
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Hotwax wrote:
Great find, Larry.
That Cobra is hungry by now !
Make sure you feed it before your work on it.

Hotwax

Do I need a couple of mice? LOL


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Nov Mon 28, 2016 1:37 am 
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Hotwax, I've gotten hooked on Zenith Cobra-matics recently. Last week I bought this highly desirable bakelite model on eBay. It hasn't shipped yet, but I gave the seller specific instructions to double box it for safe shipping. I hope it doesn't arrive in pieces.


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Nov Mon 28, 2016 1:44 am 
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Quote:
Sometimes I look in the back and make sure Zenith didn't just pile bricks in for fun. :lol:
That would not surprise me as pulling the changer forward would change the center of gravity... There is a block of concrete in the portable dishwasher...

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Nov Mon 28, 2016 3:35 am 
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Chas wrote:
Quote:
Sometimes I look in the back and make sure Zenith didn't just pile bricks in for fun. :lol:
That would not surprise me as pulling the changer forward would change the center of gravity... There is a block of concrete in the portable dishwasher...

Chas

I always look into the back of consoles to be sure everything is there. Zenith wouldn't pile bricks in it... but a seller might to scam you. That's why I always look...........


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Wed 07, 2016 5:33 am 
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The bakelite set arrived on Monday, surviving shipping without anything getting broken. It is dirty, filthy inside the record playing compartment, the radio dial doesn't move (figure dial string is broken....), but she's repairable. Tonight I pulled the changer and cleaned it up on top. Unfortunately there are a bunch of rust spots on the metal motorboard behind the platter/tonearm mount area and it looks horrible there. Flocking is also coming off the flocked platter.


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Last edited by Larry H on Dec Thu 08, 2016 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Wed 07, 2016 5:37 am 
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I also cleaned up the top of the console's Cobra-matic tonight. Polished the chrome record support arm with Brasso. This changer is as close to perfect as any changer I've ever seen. Isn't she beautiful?


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Wed 07, 2016 4:05 pm 
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Nice, Larry. I'm curious to see the underside when you start on the mechanism.

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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Thu 08, 2016 7:48 am 
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Today I completed servicing both Cobra-matic changers, including the motors, and I was able to refurbish the large drive wheel in each changer with my cordless drill and 400 grit sandpaper backed by an old credit card. Both changers need the little drive wheel that runs vertically, so I ordered two of them from Gary at VM.

This photo of the bakelite set's changer shows the rust spots on the gold metal motorboard behind the platter, and the deteriorating flocking on the platter. I'm going to remove the platter, mask the plastic parts off, cover the top of the changer with a garbage bag, sand down the rust spots and spray paint the part of the motorboard you can see. I am also going to get a reflocking kit and reflock that ugly platter. I've never reflocked a platter before, so now's a good time to learn how.


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Thu 08, 2016 6:25 pm 
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Larry H wrote:
I am also going to get a reflocking kit and reflock that ugly platter. I've never reflocked a platter before, so now's a good time to learn how.

Where do you get reflocking kits? I have a platter that should be reflocked.

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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Thu 08, 2016 8:50 pm 
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Here's a video on how easy it is to do it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ge6cghQJp6Y

You can get the flocking, applicator and adhesives here.

http://www.flockit.com/index.php/


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Fri 09, 2016 2:14 am 
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You can do a decent job with a flocking gun, but it won't look as good as original without the an electrostatic charge.


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Fri 09, 2016 1:06 pm 
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Thanks Larry.

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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Fri 09, 2016 9:14 pm 
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Larry H wrote:
I haven't fired it up yet...been spending time just looking at it and admiring it....lol. The seller indicated on the tag that the radio worked, and so did the changer, but sound was weak playing records. May just need a new Radionic cartridge/needle.

I plan on pulling the radio and recapping it, and will also pull the changer and get all the old grease off, inspect and replace the idlers if necessary, and service the motor.

The console isn't bad heavy. Two of us moved it easily.



Larry,

That indeed is in beautiful condition. It reminds me styling and function wise of my grandfather's Truetone in the attached thread where I found it's twin for resto parts.

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=219329

Thanks,

Mike

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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Sun 11, 2016 1:57 pm 
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I got the bakelite cabinet all cleaned up and polished with Turtle Wax liquid car polish. This cabinet inside was the nastiest thing I've seen. It must have been stored in someone's shed for years. I also got the wax caps replaced in the amp/tuner yesterday.


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console Found Today
PostPosted: Dec Sun 11, 2016 2:00 pm 
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Rust spots on the Cobra-matic changer for the bakelite set have been sanded, in some places to the bare metal, in prep for painting the back third of the motorboard.


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 Post subject: Re: Fabulous Mint Zenith Console
PostPosted: Dec Sun 11, 2016 3:13 pm 
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I found good new Cobra Cartridges to the biggest challenge to these--I always liked the sound, I had the 52 or so console in my office for years, single 25l6 output and 10'' single cone speaker..nice fm, pretty mahogany with pinkish cloth---I had a red one for 78, green for all else, never seemed to hurt my vinyl, lightweight arm....I recapped it and it was a great performer...I have fond memories of a stack of Christmas 78's playin for hours!! I always liked the variable speed control--


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