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 Post subject: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Mon 13, 2019 1:25 pm 
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Joined: Apr Sat 27, 2019 3:30 am
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hey I've got a question for folks here....

Recently I went digging through junk at my sisters home(formally our mothers home, she got it after our mother passed away) and one of the things I found there, was an old hifi stereo system from the 80s, an old soundesign 5180.

It's not in the best of shape....my sister just left it to rot in the shed for like 10+ years. Surprisingly it still worked. Of course I had to clean countless dead bugs and cobwebs out, and I was only able to test the headphone jack cuz the speakers(and the record player) are in terrible shape and possibly not worth trying to repair.

My question is, does anyone know where I can get more information on this? or anything else? I googled it and the most i could find was some folks selling it on ebay, as well as learning that it wasn't exactly an expensive or good system. Still, since this was our mothers I do want to try and get everything in good shape again.

I'll have pictures up of it later.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Mon 13, 2019 8:37 pm 
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This is a tough question. Emotional attachment I can understand. However, this is a very low end unit. It really depends on "barn fresh" it is, and how far it's gone cosmetically. If the chrome is in good shape, and the unit is operational, but the case is messed up, you can actually replace the case for around $35 (currently there's one on that auction site.)

The record player is more than likely BSR, and extremely common. We would need to see a picture to get the model.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 4:29 pm 
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Most people would say it's not worth doing, since Soundesign is basic entry level and it's never going to be worth anything when you are done. However, some people bought units like that from retailers like K-Mart because they were less expensive than the national brands and were functional for the buyer's needs.

But this is a case where the sentimental value of owning something which belonged to your mom greatly overshadows the facts about quality and monetary value.

There's no doubt it could be repaired to work again. I agree that the record changer probably needs to be replaced with a similar one if it's in bad shape. If there are cabinet issues, most of those entry level brands were the cheapest particle board with a fake printed surface that's impossible to do much with once it's damaged by moisture.

The question then is, how much time and effort are you willing to put into it? You might end up spending $100 or so to get it in good working order again if it already produces sound on headphones.

You might be better off locating a similar unit in better condition which is fully functional, and swapping parts between the two to make one good unit which looks decent and works.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Wed 15, 2019 6:18 pm 
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Location: Norfolk, VA
They were all over the place in the 70s and early 80s - a product produced for the rent-to-own marketplace and for a few low-end retailers. I've not seen one on 40 years. Yours may be a sole survivor - something else to think about.

Being in a sailor town, we saw the occasional Soundesign, Electrophonic, and Yorx consoles - 99% cabinet and 1% electronics. The sellers here were all independent Rent-to-Own places with only warranty concerns. At least Soundesign supported them, mostly changer parts, knobs and speakers.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Thu 16, 2019 1:14 am 
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Findm-Keepm wrote:
...99% cabinet and 1% electronics....


Now that made me laugh out loud. I totally understand and agree!

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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Fri 17, 2019 3:16 am 
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I remember seeing an a sunday morning ad for a soundesign "rack system".

it said: "32 inch towering speakers"

inside was a 5" pincushion speaker with a dime sized magnet.

:roll:

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Fri 17, 2019 10:50 pm 
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Dutch Rabbit wrote:
I remember seeing an a sunday morning ad for a soundesign "rack system".

it said: "32 inch towering speakers"

inside was a 5" pincushion speaker with a dime sized magnet.

:roll:

steve


DR,

I actually successfully installed a single end stereo 6BQ5 amp I pulled out of a old record player in one of those Soundesign rack stereos when I was around 12. Needless to say, it was an definite improvement :?


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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Sat 18, 2019 5:43 am 
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^^^

guaranteed

steve

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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Sun 19, 2019 1:37 am 
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Does it look something like this?
Attachment:
SoundDesign5180.jpg
SoundDesign5180.jpg [ 57.1 KiB | Viewed 724 times ]


Cheaply-made controls and switches, anemic amplifier, but they look good. If it's not turned up too loudly, it should sound alright with better speakers. I've used similar low-end receivers as a tuner in my main stereo or as a garage system.

If the speaker cabinets are alright, you can install new drivers. Even White Van Speakers are probably better than what was used in the Sound Design speakers. :lol: Quite a selection of drivers here: https://www.newark.com/c/audio-video/sp ... on=speaker
Attachment:
woofer.jpg
woofer.jpg [ 8.11 KiB | Viewed 724 times ]


Here's an 8-inch full range that is very efficient, to make the most of the under-powered amplifier:
https://www.newark.com/quam-nichols/8c1 ... dp/98Y0230
Attachment:
8inchFullRange.jpg
8inchFullRange.jpg [ 10.68 KiB | Viewed 724 times ]


I rebuilt a pair of White Vans with some of Newark's low-cost drivers into a robust and nice sounding three-way system.
Attachment:
WhiteVanTrashed.jpg
WhiteVanTrashed.jpg [ 21.3 KiB | Viewed 724 times ]
Attachment:
WhiteVanRebuilt.jpg
WhiteVanRebuilt.jpg [ 21.63 KiB | Viewed 724 times ]


If there's nothing of the speakers or cabinets worth saving, I'd shop local Goodwill or thrifts. Sometimes some pretty decent vintage speakers show up. I made several good scores for around $20 to $30 per pair.
-Ed

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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Sun 19, 2019 3:12 am 
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sorry for not responding for awhile and not having the pics up, this last week has been hell for me.

I actually cleaned up the radio receiver case fairly well. the hardest part has been trying to get nicotine stains off(mother was a heavy smoker unfortunately), the dead bugs and cobwebs inside, and general caked on dirt on the front from being in the shed for so long.

The original cabinet everything was stacked in is a lost cause, the cheap particle board with the laminate on the top was smashed in half, the glass door on the front has all the pieces of trim on it falling off, and is misaligned so it won't shut properly, and one of the caster wheels is missing. Everything about the old cabinet is beyond repair. I might attempt to see if the speakers are still salvageable though on my next day off.

The tape deck still needs to get thoroughly cleaned, mostly inside, like the receiver, so I might do that this next day off as well.


anyway here's an image of the receiver after cleaning it up, and of the front of tape deck after just a quick wipe down

Image
Image


EDIT: also forgive me if this is a bit of a dumb question, but on both the bass and treble slides, it seems to cut off on them when you turn them all the way up, or all the way down, as if they were back in the center. Is this just due to the cheap quality of the unit? or are they still just in heavy need of cleaning there? They don't have any issues until they're all the way to max, or down to min.


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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Sun 19, 2019 4:34 pm 
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The only dumb question is the one not asked. Most likely shooting some tuner cleaner or WD 40 into the sliders and moving them back and forth a bit should get them operating correctly again.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Mon 20, 2019 2:48 am 
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Joined: Feb Wed 04, 2015 12:26 am
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Keeta-

Have you seen this?

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Sounde ... SwWz5cP1G3

Gotta admit, at least Soundesign made an effort with this one :?

On the cassette player, depending on your level of expertise, it might be better to send it off to be repaired if it's not working. Cassette decks can tricky.

(I'm actually putting off rebelting a Sony from the 80's that's part of my living room system, so yeah :D It sort of works. :shock: )


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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Sun 26, 2019 4:23 pm 
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The catch is with the typical old cheap stereo stuff is, does it work or is it easily repairable, and do you have an actual plan to use it for anything as it has zero value resale, more or less. Like, some people will use them for sound in a basement, garage, workshop, etc. They are usually not what you want front and center in the living room. For instance, I have my grandmothers one and only color TV, a 19 inch RCA 1974 solid state job. I even used it some before HD took over. Now it sets in a corner with plastic bags over it, has absolutely no value whatsoever to anyone else and the only thing is that as it gets older and older, it may become a collectible, some day, or not. But I don't see a bright future for it.

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 Post subject: Re: Old Soundesign Stereo Console -Worth Restoring?
PostPosted: May Tue 28, 2019 12:35 am 
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wazz wrote:
The catch is with the typical old cheap stereo stuff is, does it work or is it easily repairable, and do you have an actual plan to use it for anything as it has zero value resale, more or less. Like, some people will use them for sound in a basement, garage, workshop, etc. They are usually not what you want front and center in the living room. For instance, I have my grandmothers one and only color TV, a 19 inch RCA 1974 solid state job. I even used it some before HD took over. Now it sets in a corner with plastic bags over it, has absolutely no value whatsoever to anyone else and the only thing is that as it gets older and older, it may become a collectible, some day, or not. But I don't see a bright future for it.



wazz,

It has sentimental value for the OP, belonged to his mother.


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