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 Post subject: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox-- Surround Sound!!!
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 12:18 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Today I picked up an extremely nice 1953 Columbia 360 record player, the player that started the hi-fi in a hatbox craze. According to Doug VanCleave, Webcor and other companies followed with very similar designs, but Columbia outsold them all. To look at it, you'd think it'd be a light and easy to tote around record player. Not so. This thing must weigh 40 pounds, and it is built like a tank. It has a four tube amplifier with push-pull 35L6 outputs, a 12AX7 and 35Z5 tubes. It also has a Voice of Music Model 951 Tri-O-Matic three speed record changer and side firing speakers.

The underneath edge of the lid is nicely lined with felt to create a nice sound box. I can't wait to restore it and see how she sounds. Doug has assured me it will be one player that I'll want to keep. I'll provide more photos of the ongoing restoration in this thread.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 12:22 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Even the back of the cabinet is veneered. There is a little door back there, and you remove two screws and have access to all four tubes. I really like that.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 12:51 am 
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Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2009 10:22 pm
Posts: 227
Location: Houston, Texas
I restored one of this exact model a few years back. It sounded amazing with bass response like you won't believe. I am sure Columbia set the standard for small table top hi-fi's back in the day with these 360 phonographs.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 12:56 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
What I like about it is that it's so compact. You could use it on any table in your house. The three speed record changer barely fits inside it. The bottom of the cabinet is plywood, and the feet on the bottom are missing; only the nails that held the feet on remain. I will get some new feet from the hardware store and install them on the bottom of the cabinet.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 1:58 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
BTW, Columbia called the 360 its "Mark II." Sounds very much like RCA Victor, doesn't it?


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 2:18 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2659
Location: Haledon NJ USA
Is there an actual model number on it? I believe "360" was used on quite a few models.

Ken D.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 2:27 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Ken Doyle wrote:
Is there an actual model number on it? I believe "360" was used on quite a few models.

Ken D.

I haven't found a model number or label underneath anywhere, unless it's inside the cabinet. Radio Museum says it is model 360. Other 360 Columbia models followed, but this was the very first one.

http://www.radiomuseum.org/r/cbs_columb ... rk_ii.html


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 2:52 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Here's a vintage ad.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 3:06 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 2134
Location: NorthWest TN.
And its a very stylish cabinet also.

_________________
I never loose. I either win or I learn.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 3:11 am 
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Joined: Mar Tue 04, 2014 3:29 am
Posts: 2073
Location: Long Beach, CA 90808
Beautiful cabinet :!:

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Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!
Come join us @ http://vintagehifi.net/


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 5:32 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Inside of cabinet after the changer was removed and some cleaning done. It was pretty dirty at the bottom of the cabinet.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 5:36 am 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Inside of cabinet cleaned up pretty well. I vacuumed it out and then cleaned the inside sides and bottom of the cabinet with household degreaser. The amplifier is somewhat like a VM amp in that the main amp is connected by a wiring harness to the tone/volume controls. There is also a large jack that connects to the back of the cabinet as well; not sure if that's for headphones or an external speaker. I had to unsolder the speaker wiring to get everything out. I made notes on how the wiring connects to each speaker, and labeled each speaker left or right. It's important to make notes during any restoration so you can get everything back together properly.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4127
Location: Berkley, Michigan
Nice score Larry.
I worked on one of these last year and was astounded by the clean sound and excellent bass response. The output transformer is a monster for a pair of 35L6. The amp uses inverse feedback. The remote speaker jack is isolated with an electrolytic coupling capacitor. The hatbox style cabinet is absolutely rigid and the lid has a full felt gasket to create a seal for the sound chamber.
I hated to let it go back to the owner. She owns a record store and set it up behind the counter in plain view. She would play records on it and eventually sold it for $300.

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That warm tube sound can usually be overcome by turning up the treble.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 5:08 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4276
Location: Boston, MA USA
Doug, do you recall if this unit uses a voltage-doubler power supply? If so it might be good for 7 or 8 watts.

-David


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
Doug VanCleave wrote:
The remote speaker jack is isolated with an electrolytic coupling capacitor.

I knew it wasn't a crossover capacitor. What was the purpose of this electrolytic? Would you replace it?


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 8:46 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4127
Location: Berkley, Michigan
dberman51 wrote:
Doug, do you recall if this unit uses a voltage-doubler power supply? If so it might be good for 7 or 8 watts.

-David

Not this model but a later '56 model 360 used a selenium doubler.

Image

Image

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That warm tube sound can usually be overcome by turning up the treble.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 10:07 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 4276
Location: Boston, MA USA
Thanks Doug, that 1956 model seems to have a somewhat larger cabinet, starts to look like the Webcor Musicale. I also noticed it has an additional tube, maybe a proper tone control stage?

-David


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 10:44 pm 
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Joined: Mar Wed 18, 2009 10:22 pm
Posts: 227
Location: Houston, Texas
I have one of the '56 models. It has separate bass and treble controls. I have it on legs and set up in a corner in my den. The sound is amazing.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Wed 09, 2014 11:46 pm 
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Joined: Apr Wed 09, 2008 3:37 am
Posts: 14346
Location: Little Rock, Arkansas
I managed to get the amplifier totally recapped today. Replaced all the wax caps with new 630-volt poly caps, and installed three new electrolytic capacitors on terminal strips. I also sprayed out the controls, tube sockets, and checked the tubes. One of the 35L6 output tubes tests questionable, so I'm going to have to order a new tube. Also checked the resistors for continuity and there are none open.


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 Post subject: Re: 1953 Columbia 360 Hi-Fi in a Hatbox
PostPosted: Apr Thu 10, 2014 11:05 pm 
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Joined: May Sat 06, 2006 4:03 am
Posts: 3491
Location: ZIP 23831 South of Richmond, VA 25 miles down the pike.
Here's a link to SAMS 215-5 Columbia Model 360 Series "B", SAMS 402-6 Columbia Records Model 360, and Columbia Model 360, a three-in-one. Any other known 360's?
Bill J.

https://app.box.com/s/ekuumkiz127frgapygec


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