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 Post subject: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Please.
PostPosted: Feb Thu 09, 2012 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 09, 2012 9:57 pm
Posts: 3
Hi everyone.
I've just joined, this is my first post and I hope I am putting it in the right place. If I did'nt I promise to learn with future posts. :)

I was just given this Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. The turntable has Cobra written on it. I know absolutely nothing about this except that i think it is a beautiful piece!

I am hoping someone can give me an idea as to it's age? Also where would I find the Model # or any other identifying information on it? And last question, what is a good site to research this radio?

Any help at all will be much appreciated!

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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Thu 09, 2012 11:23 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 29021
Location: Detroit, MI USA
1946 Zenith model 12H090, the model number should be stamped onto the wood in the back, usually near the top of the cabinet.

I have one just like it, which has been in the family since new.

These work very well once restored but please DO NOT plug it in now. These sets are well known for having deteriorated rubber wiring which is a very serious fire hazard and all of those wires need to be inspected and replaced if found to be a problem. The set's capacitors will also need to be replaced, those fail due to age.

Someone has placed an LP 33RPM record on the changer........won't work, that unit will only play 78's.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Thu 09, 2012 11:36 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 09, 2012 9:57 pm
Posts: 3
Quote:
These work very well once restored but please DO NOT plug it in now. These sets are well known for having deteriorated rubber wiring which is a very serious fire hazard and all of those wires need to be inspected and replaced if found to be a problem. The set's capacitors will also need to be replaced, those fail due to age.


Thank you so much for this information. I had no clue about any of it. The record was on it when he gave it to me. I have to admit that I did'nt know what size it played though. :oops:

Now I'll have to see about restoring it. I'm so unsure about this because I have no idea even where, or how to begin. I do think it is worth it (I hope) it's so gorgeous.

Thank you again Dennis, you've helped so much. :)


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Thu 09, 2012 11:49 pm 
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Location: Dayton Ohio
These are absolutely wonderful sounding radios when properly restored!

It will blow your socks off! :D

Good luck!

-Steve

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Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Fri 10, 2012 3:22 am 
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Location: Pro Tech, Philadelphia Pa.
I just finished up a restoration on a similar Zenith like that, but had the "twin cobra" changer.
They're nice pieces but as stated, not safe to plug in until a full restoration is done.
The one I worked on had a fried power transformer and melted rectifier.
In addition to many crumbling wires.

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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Fri 10, 2012 3:43 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 09, 2012 9:57 pm
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I apologize for not replying sooner. First it was dinner, then the dishes...and, the dogs wanted to be fed again! Geez...it's every day with them. :lol:

Quote:
These are absolutely wonderful sounding radios when properly restored!

It will blow your socks off! :D

Good luck!

-Steve


Thanks Steve! If it sounds as good as it looks.....



Quote:
I just finished up a restoration on a similar Zenith like that, but had the "twin cobra" changer.
They're nice pieces but as stated, not safe to plug in until a full restoration is done.
The one I worked on had a fried power transformer and melted rectifier.
In addition to many crumbling wires.


Hi RepairTech.

I will not plug it in. I am so glad I joined and y'all were nice enough to help me.

Thank you!

Mimi


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Fri 10, 2012 4:52 am 
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Location: 56401
That is one gorgeous looking Zenith. Uncovering that dial produced a huge "wow" reaction in me.
That could not have been a cheap unit when new.

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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Fri 10, 2012 4:54 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 29021
Location: Detroit, MI USA
They were pretty expensive radios for the time, the exact retail price depending on the dealer. I saw the original sales receipt for the one I have and IIRC it was well over $400.

Here's a link to an original ad for the 12H090 and it shows the price at $375.
http://www.vintageadsandstuff.com/viewradio79.jpeg

There are also at least three other cabinet variations using the same radio chassis and changer, including one chairside model where the radio controls faced up.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Fri 10, 2012 11:01 pm 
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Joined: Feb Thu 09, 2012 4:48 pm
Posts: 115
Location: D-Town PA
Along these lines, I am looking at a Zenith 7S682 combo radio and phongrapgh. Are these also 78 RPM only? When did 33rpm become the norm?


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Fri 10, 2012 11:30 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: Detroit, MI USA
7S682 is even older, from 1942, and will also be 78 only.

LP records at 33 RPM did not come on the market until 1948 and the 45 speed in 1949 so you will start to see units capable of playing all three speeds after that time. But they are limited to playing mono records unless you change the cartridge to one capable of playing stereo records, which is not always an easy task.

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Dennis

Experience is what you gain when the results aren't what you were expecting.


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Fri 10, 2012 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 18, 2010 2:13 am
Posts: 23219
Location: Dayton Ohio
A Zenith 7S682 is a 1942 model and 78 only. Unless someone has replaced the changer with a more modern one.

33 1/3 RPM LP or Long Play didn't appear until 1948.

The 7S682 is a fine radio/phonograph, however it does have plenty of the old rubber covered wire that is often crumbling. Especially to the two tone control panels. Zenith really packed that chassis with an RF amp and push-pull audio output. Unusual for a 7 tuber. :D

Here is the one I just picked up off ebay in December.

-Steve

EDIT: JStell, I just noticed that it is a coincidence that you happen to be looking at a couple of radios with rubber insulated wire. Most 1941 and 1942 Zeniths have this affliction. Though earlier ones typically have cloth covered wire.
Its not an insurmountable problem, but it does add to the restoration efforts to make a radio operable.


Attachments:
zenith7-s-682.jpg
zenith7-s-682.jpg [ 66.66 KiB | Viewed 12008 times ]

_________________
Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!
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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Sat 11, 2012 6:12 am 
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Joined: Feb Thu 09, 2012 8:26 am
Posts: 40
Location: Orlando, FL
wow absolutly beautiful! i have the tabletop model with the am radio and dual cobra arms, one green one red. mine is in terrible condition though. one day ill probubly restore it.


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Sat 11, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
Posts: 783
Location: Kansas City
Mimimimi,
Your cabinet is probably the best preserved example of the 12H090/12H990 that I have ever seen. Most of the finish on the front of the cabinet is lacquer-veneer, commonly dubbed 'foto-finish'.

I have seen too often where someone will attempt to strip this finish off because of any flaw, as minor as a few scratches--only to then realize, too late, that the finish was a photograph of wood grain, printed on very large lacquer decals applied over a bland, closed-grain wood such as basswood or poplar. The resulting 'refinishing' would never approach the original finish from the factory.

That is a fabulous set you have there.

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Martin

Collecting ALL Zenith: radios; plant, employee, & dealer memorabilia for 34 years.


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Feb Sat 11, 2012 9:18 pm 
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Posts: 783
Location: Kansas City
The 12H090 was sold from 1946 thru late 1948, when it was replaced with the model 12H990LP, which had both 78 and 33 rpm Cobra tone arms. That model sold through 1949.

The model number should be ink-stamped, somewhere along the top brace along the rear of the cabinet. There may also be a black ink-stamp on the top of the chassis as viewed from the rear of the set. On that note, I am always gathering serial numbers for my Zenith production research, so if you can locate the steel plate riveted to the back edge of the chassis, I would like that information. The serial number should start with a letter followed by five or six numbers.

I am sure that the cabinet was designed by Jack DeYoung, a cabinet designer/consultant for the Zenith Radio Corporation, who worked and lived at Grand Rapids, Michigan.

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Martin

Collecting ALL Zenith: radios; plant, employee, & dealer memorabilia for 34 years.


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Apr Fri 27, 2012 9:07 pm 
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Location: 10025
Does anyone happen to know the dimensions of the 12H090 cabinet?


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: Apr Sat 28, 2012 1:11 am 
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Posts: 23219
Location: Dayton Ohio
41 inches long
36 inches tall
18 inches deep

-Steve

_________________
Radio Interests
-Zenith
-Sparton
-Pre-War FM
Consoles and floor models, the bigger, the better!


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: May Sat 05, 2012 3:20 am 
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Joined: May Sat 05, 2012 3:17 am
Posts: 5
I have one of these radios! I moved and my friends somehow scratched the top. The top is also starting to seperate from the base. Otherwise its in really good condition. As far as the looks..

I live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.. It's important to me because when I was a kid I talked my mom into buying it. Then I told her one day it would be mine. =)

Now I am 32.. And I want to restore the finish.. I was dumb and set my plasma on top. Even though it had pads the weight caused the seperation.. Its halfway to the Zenith logo in the middle.

Any advice????????? I will post a picture soon. My radio is like the Original Poster's radio... =) The sound still works. Doesn't switch from am to fm well.

My mom knows some guys who are really good at refinishing furniture but I cant really get a good feel for the wood or fake wood on the top???? Plus my cousin watched my house one week and left some drinks on top of it.. Argggg.


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: May Sat 05, 2012 9:18 am 
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Joined: May Sat 05, 2012 3:17 am
Posts: 5
Image

Image

Image

There is a nut at the base of the TV that did this. Figure it out today.. After I moved the TV. TV is so heavy it flexes the base. Is this a veneer? Anyone know anyone that could help???? I dont want to take it to someone so they can make it worse.


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: May Sat 05, 2012 9:46 am 
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Joined: May Sat 05, 2012 3:17 am
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Am I SOL? If I replace the veneer the grain wont line up?? Any advice? I feel like I could cry. Is this fixable? If I found someone who is good at refinishing wood, could I give him some advice? I have never refinished anything before.

I just read about the foto-finish and the lacquer veneer.. What would you guys do???? Cry????


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 Post subject: Re: My First Zenith Console Radio & Turntable. Need Help Ple
PostPosted: May Sat 05, 2012 9:56 am 
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Joined: May Sat 05, 2012 3:17 am
Posts: 5
Okay.. trying to calm down.. Perhaps take off the TV (tomorrow after b-day party to hide it)

Resand just the top and then refinish? Anyone know what type of stain this is?????


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