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 Post subject: Motorola SH12N Wow!
PostPosted: Sep Mon 08, 2008 10:08 pm 
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Location: SW Ohio
What do you guys know about this model? I've never seen one -- got it at a fleamarket this weekend. It's very clean. It plays great and has a big sound (two 6BQ5s, two 12AX7s an a 5Y3), the auto changer is sticky, other than that it near perfect -- must weigh 60 lbs. Not bad for $20 ?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2008 12:00 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Berkley, Michigan
Not bad at all for $20. Motorola made some impressive audio equipment in the late '50s and early '60s. The VM automatic record changer will be as good as new after it's cleaned and lubed. They weren't afraid to make large portables with big sound. If I found one in good shape for $20, I would snap it up in a heartbeat.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2008 1:45 pm 
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Location: SW Ohio
Doug VanCleave wrote:
They weren't afraid to make large portables with big sound.

This model would certainly fit into that category for sure!

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2008 1:52 pm 
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Not bad at all for a Motorola.... Very nice..
Very impressive......
Bill Cahill

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2008 1:53 pm 
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Believe it or not, that's not the biggest portable that Motorola made :shock:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2008 2:08 pm 
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I know. But, don't go by size alone,as they made some humungous sized early ones that had low grade amplifiers.
Three channel.
Two main channels for highs, and, middle channel for bass.
Bill Cahill :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Tue 09, 2008 10:26 pm 
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Joined: Jun Thu 12, 2008 3:24 am
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Location: shorewood illinois
i have a 1962 or 63 motorola portable with vibrasonic.
it looks bigger than the one pictured and it weighs about
30lbs i would say.work great even after all these years.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Wed 10, 2008 1:19 pm 
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Location: Berkley, Michigan
chompo7 wrote:
i have a 1962 or 63 motorola portable with vibrasonic.
it looks bigger than the one pictured and it weighs about
30lbs i would say.work great even after all these years.


That's the one. I think it was the biggest heaviest portable that Motorola ever made. It has the center bass channel with an 8-inch woofer. Lower frequencies are not as directional as the upper so using a separate bass channel allows the right and left channels to reproduce the mids and highs more cleanly.

Motorola made some big monaural portables too. In 1957 they built a heavy portable that used the same amplifier as their biggest hi-fi console. The large size of the power and output transformers added a lot of weight.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Thu 11, 2008 11:02 pm 
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Joined: Jun Thu 12, 2008 3:24 am
Posts: 221
Location: shorewood illinois
yes you explained it absolutely right.until i got this i had never heard a stereo with vibrasonic.it does give mono records
a bit of a spatialness.doesnt do much when used with stereo
records though.im curious to know what such a heavy huge
"portable" like this cost when it was sold?

That's the one. I think it was the biggest heaviest portable that Motorola ever made. It has the center bass channel with an 8-inch woofer. Lower frequencies are not as directional as the upper so using a separate bass channel allows the right and left channels to reproduce the mids and highs more cleanly.

Motorola made some big monaural portables too. In 1957 they built a heavy portable that used the same amplifier as their biggest hi-fi console. The large size of the power and output transformers added a lot of weight.[/quote]


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 Post subject: Motorola SH12 & SH17
PostPosted: Sep Tue 16, 2008 1:07 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 57
Location: Ithaca, NY USA
These are great phonos...Motorola built 'em like tanks and they have LOTS of power. The speaker cases have rudimentary bass reflex ports (the three holes you can see through the grilles). Not exactly hi-fi but they got maximum efficiency out of single-ended EL84 outputs, 6" woofers and 4" tweeters. The teenyboppers must have loved them. They were so conservatively designed that you usually find 'em with the original tubes and filter cap. I'm guessing they were the portable to have for sock hops and frat parties back in those days. The SH12 was introduced in 1958 for the 1959 model year. The following year, the SH17 was introduced for the 1960 model year:


Image

It appears to be an "improved" or "deluxe" version with the following changes:
--a mono/stereo switch
--a nice brushed aluminum control panel
--loudness compensation
--a 6CA4/EZ81 rectifier instead of a 5Y3 and lower B+ so the amp runs cooler
--use of mylar caps in the volume/tone control section
--available in 4 colors: London Brown, Gold, Black Alligator, and Irish Linen.

Biggest drawback with 'em is that the Astatic 13T cartridge, though sturdy, doesn't track that well, even by the standards of the late 50's, and you get a fair amount of record wear. You can swap out the cartridge for a better ceramic rated at 500mV/channel, but the tonal balance is altered and you don't get that unique "sock it to me" Motorola sound.

I love mine for playing Elvis, doo-wop 45's, ping-pong stereo records, and Connie Francis :P

Doug E.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sep Tue 16, 2008 2:02 am 
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Location: Berkley, Michigan
Doug,

Nice, nice, nice.

That 13t was used only for convenience. Try a Sonotone 8T, the cartridge Motorola used on their consoles. It's still not exactly easy on the records but it's better than the Astatic Power Point and it still has that juke box kick with almost a magnetic cartridge sparkle.

I would like to take one of those and try a Pickering NP/AC with a solid state stereo pre-amp. I'll bet that would raise a few eyebrows and save a few LPs.

Simple Ohms law: lower B+ equals lower power output.


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 Post subject: Re: Motorola SH12 & SH17
PostPosted: Jan Sat 01, 2011 6:05 pm 
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Joined: Dec Tue 09, 2008 9:54 pm
Posts: 197
Location: Richmond, Virginia
dme3 wrote:
--available in 4 colors: London Brown, Gold, Black Alligator, and Irish Linen.



Does anyone know if the SH12 was available covered in a dark gray color?

I am trying to figure out whether the record player of my youth, the family's first stereo, was and SH12 or SH17, in hopes of finding a similar one. From Doug's info above, it does not look like the SH17 came in gray.

I can't recall if our unit had 4 knobs or 5, which would help narrow it down.

Any insight appreciated,

RWood


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Sat 01, 2011 9:12 pm 
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Location: The Twilight Zone
Doug VanCleave wrote:
Believe it or not, that's not the biggest portable that Motorola made :shock:



You've piqued my interest!
What did that Vibrasonic Motorola weigh,and what were the speaker and amp specs?


Last edited by Hi-Fi in Fiberglass on Jan Sat 01, 2011 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Sat 01, 2011 9:16 pm 
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Doug VanCleave wrote:
chompo7 wrote:
i have a 1962 or 63 motorola portable with vibrasonic.
it looks bigger than the one pictured and it weighs about
30lbs i would say.work great even after all these years.


That's the one. I think it was the biggest heaviest portable that Motorola ever made. It has the center bass channel with an 8-inch woofer. Lower frequencies are not as directional as the upper so using a separate bass channel allows the right and left channels to reproduce the mids and highs more cleanly.

Motorola made some big monaural portables too. In 1957 they built a heavy portable that used the same amplifier as their biggest hi-fi console. The large size of the power and output transformers added a lot of weight.



Do you have a photo of that model?,if so Id love to see it.

Did it have a pretty powerful amp?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Sat 01, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Location: Mission Viejo, southern California
Wow, that is an excellent find. Thanks for sharing the photo of it. Such systems were before my time, so I don't remember seeing of them as a child.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Sat 01, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Doug VanCleave wrote:
Doug,

Nice, nice, nice.

That 13t was used only for convenience. Try a Sonotone 8T, the cartridge Motorola used on their consoles. It's still not exactly easy on the records but it's better than the Astatic Power Point and it still has that juke box kick with almost a magnetic cartridge sparkle.

I would like to take one of those and try a Pickering NP/AC with a solid state stereo pre-amp. I'll bet that would raise a few eyebrows and save a few LPs.

Simple Ohms law: lower B+ equals lower power output.



Doug,could a sonotone 8t be used in the Calypsos to make them stereo friendly and produce better sound than the Astatic 93tx?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Sat 01, 2011 9:29 pm 
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Joined: Sep Thu 16, 2010 5:56 pm
Posts: 213
Location: Parkville, MD
You got yourself a GREAT stereo there. I paid $20 in 2005 for my Motorola SH-17S (which is identical to yours except a different color) and today on 1 January 2011 it plays beautifully still, and I did not do anything except plug it in and play it. My uncle bought his new in 1959 or 1960 and I remember as a kid I always wanted one just like it. I used to dream about it when I was a child in the 60's. In 2005 that dream came true. I would not part with mine for anything.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Sat 01, 2011 10:40 pm 
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"vmguy",
That's great you were finally able to find one of your dream record players for a great price!

I feel the same way about my Calypsos,I would never sell them.

How is the sound quality on your Motorola?

Those Vibrasonic models mentioned here sound really neat,I wouldn't mind finding one someday.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Sun 02, 2011 1:35 am 
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Location: Meridian, MS 39307
That model is on my "wish list" and I think you did great for $20. The only place I see these are on greedbay and they usually go for a lot more than $20.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jan Sun 02, 2011 2:03 am 
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Hi-Fi In Fiberglass, The sound quality on my Motorola SH-17S is really good. My uncle told me years ago when he had his that you could hear it a mile away, and he was not kidding. If I play it on 2 I have to turn it down. It has really good Bass. The highs are pretty extreme but not painfully so, but I cut the Treble back a couple of notches. I forget how many tubes is in this player (4 or 6 ?). I did take out the cartridge which was a stereo Powerpoint and replaced it with a Varco ceramic stereo cartridge which sounds really good. The only other change I made was I adjusted the spring weight adjustment to its' lightest setting and it is just perfect as far as lightweight tracking is concerned. It will stack and play 7 LP's and 16 45's and play them all with no problems. Incidentally, I did get this on Ebay from a person in Texas, so there was a shipping and handling charge which brought it to about 35 to 40 dollars, but Radiotvnut, it was worth every penny. And when I hooked my Bose 301's to it just for laughs, I was amazed at the deep rich Hi-Fi sound I got from this Motorola. And it is portable, too. I only got one Hernia from carrying it. Any Motorola SH Series portable is worth saving and restoring and enjoying in my opinion.


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