Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Craigslist Finds Part II

  • Item: Regular Old Coffee Table™
  • Era: 1950's
  • Favorite part about it: Just you wait...
  • Price: $40

Just a nice looking little coffee table.


Booyah! Tricked you. This blog is just chock full of surprisy goodness. I had you all going thinking I was just going to post a regular old coffee table and I bust out with a freaking record player!!!

Item for real.. sorry guys-- I won't lie again: General Electric RC 4851 A.

Can't find out any information about this model anywhere

Unfortunately, this thing start buzzing or humming VERY loudly soon after powering it up. Maybe somebody knows what I need to replace (I've heard some stuff about electrolytic capacitor replacement but I don't know enough about electronics to even begin to venture down that road). The seller told us they had a guy who knows how to fix them or what to get to fix it so we've been trying to get that information.

Anyway, this thing is really cool because every time we have a guest I can go, "hey, check out our regular old coffee table" and BAM I make a fool of them and spin out the turntable and start jumping around and flowing to the beat about how I tricked them. It's not going to be as lame as it sounds.

Okay... it will.


Anonymous said...

That is AWESOME!!!!! -kg

"Welcome to My Humble Ablog" said...

Craiglist finds are the best!!! Next to thrift store treasures, of course.

Leah@Storybook Ranch said...

WHOA!If you get that fixed, it's going to be super rad! and If you don't get it working, it's
already rad!


Natalie said...

P.S. We are also now friends with the couple we bought the table from. Kind of fun and weird. Haha.

Kasey at Thrifty Little Blog said...

FYI, you're linked with an Honest Scrap award. I'm loving the updates on your house :).

Meg said...

Hi! I actually found a stereo console too recently. I bought it at Goodwill for $15. What a neat find! I think your console is great and adds tons of personality to your space.

This is mine:


Anonymous said...

If you're handy with a soldering pencil ($10 at radio shack, get a 30-watt), you can easily replace the capacitors yourself. There are many videos on youtube that will guide you through it, as well as dozens of experts on audiokarma.org who will help you with the restoration. New parts are easy to obtain via tubesandmore.com

The hum is indicative of a vacuum tube set -- it's important to replace these capacitors soon as running the set with the aging parts will potentially fail as a "short circuit" causing firworks and potentially taking out irreplacable coils with it. Excellent find any way you look at it!

Anonymous said...

oops one more thing on the capacitor replacement. Choosing the new parts is easy -- just look for paper/wax "tootsie roll" looking parts on the chassis. They'll have numbers on them like ".01 uF / 350V". the uF indicates the size, the V indicates the voltage rating. Just get the identical part values (both numbers should match on the replacement) from tubesandmore.com. The "hum" you hear is the large filter caps, which look like a hair roller in a metal or cardboard can (usually something like "47uF / 450V", a larger number than above). This is a common age-related problem. Don't be afraid to learn! I taught myself by reading and have restored many old radios over the years!

gnarkill333@yahoo.com said...

hey if you still have the table keep it do not destroy it its worth up to 600 dollars mine is aprasied for 400 i have 1 just the same but it just sits inside the table let me know if you find a collector

Natalie at Chadwell Chonicles said...

Oh we don't plan on getting rid of it. We love it, especially since Graham got it to work. Do you have a picture of yours online? We haven't seen another one like ours.

CG said...

Fantastic blog!! I have this exact same GE coffee table/phonograph combo, which I also acquired on CL. And I too have an AWFUL sound that intensifies as soon as it is plugged in. I would appreciate it if you could post the solution to getting yours up and running. I’m hopeful it’s a simple fix. I’m also on the hunt for an instruction book -- I’d be happy to share if I ever run across it. Good luck on your home projects!!!

Graham at Chadwell Chronicles said...

I posted a bit about the fix here: http://www.chadwellchronicles.com/2009/10/how-to-fix-your-old-radio-and-get-fat.html

Also, here is my order confirmation for the necessary parts from Antique Electronic Supply (http://tubesandmore.com)

C-SA100-350 CAPACITOR, SPRAGUE ATOM, ALUMINUM, 100 µF @ 350 V. 2 for 17.90

C-SA80-450 CAPACITOR, SPRAGUE ATOM, ALUMINUM, 80 µF @ 450 V. 1 for 7.95

Total: 25.85

Feel free to email me if you have more questions. I just kind of cracked it open and went for it-- so don't expect expert advice. :)


Jeff in Charlotte said...

My neighbor recently GAVE me this exact stereo console! He believes he bought it in 1962-63. He knew some of the speakers were shot but hadn't plugged it in for years. When I did plug it in, it buzzed so hard it was literally vibrating, and the turntable would not function. Yours appears to be in much better shape than the one I now have. I'm not good at all with electronics, and given it's condition, I've removed the components and am refinishing it to sell as a flat panel/HDTV stand. These old consoles have perfect dimensions for today's TVs and are quite a conversation piece (not to mention made of wood vs. particle board you find in Best Buy/Walmart products). The rotating piece where the turntable was on this one will hold a cable box and DVD/DVR, and the wiring will run through the existing holes occupied by the turntable wiring and out the rear of the piece. Great find - hope you enjoy yours.