April 25, 2008
| by Arlen Schweiger
The incredible advances in video technology probably won’t leave you pining for your boxy old cabinet TV. What’s cool about audio, on the other hand, is it can be a different beast—one that continues breathing for years and years.
Just look at the recent resurgence of vinyl. I got to take a nostalgic audio trip last weekend while visiting my parents. They’ve been married for 40 years. They’ve had the same hi-fi console for 40 years.
Aside from adding a Sony CD changer to the cabinet, the main listening my Sinatra-loving dad indulges in is through the main Fisher 400 receiver, along with the original turntable and speakers.
I always appreciated the system but never gave it’s history much thought until becoming more immersed in the A/V industry. After we turned on the system and plated a jazz record, letting some very old Louis Armstrong flow into the room, I was thrilled to hear that the Fisher still grooves with warm and peppy tones after 40-plus years.
It led me to do a little digging this week (does the Internet ever disappoint?), where I managed to pin down the receiver as the Fisher 400 by searching the photos on a Fisher Radio Corporation restoration site that I landed on via Wikipedia. There was another good graphic of the luminous “Stereo Beam” I can remember so vividly as it captured a strong FM signal. The web surfing led me to some other relevant pages as well, including one that mentioned the unit in high regard.
My dad’s by no means an audiophile, but he still has boxes of vinyl and prefers the old-school turntable listening to the CD changer. I told him not to let mom throw the cool vacuum-tube Fisher receiver into any garage sale. I’ll be happy to carry on the torch someday.
We’ve had other tales of vintage equipment being cherished, such as this DIYer’s affinity for his 1972 speakers. Tell us your hi-fi stories in the comments below!
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.