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Picture of Restoration of a 1965 Sylvania SC773C Stereo Console
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Hello World!

This is a guide on restoring an old stereo console! I am an Electrical Engineering student and loved this project! I figured I would write my first Instructable and hopefully help everyone trying this themselves!

Some may ask where I got this and how much I put into this, the answer is easy, my local Goodwill and $10.

If you need more help or have any questions please ask as there is a lot of knowledge and every unit is different.

Also this will be updated this summer, my girlfriend and I plan to restore the wood finish to a grayish color and re do the dated fabric speaker covers. We also plan to make the inside a little more interesting, stay tuned.

*Please remember to look at all pictures as most have comments that might help identify parts.

Step 1: Research!

This is probably the most important step! You will need to find everything about your console as possible. After searching the internet for weeks I was able to find all of the tools needed to begin this project.

First, start by discovering the issues with your particular unit. Mine made an awful HUM! (later discovered to be what is called a 60Hz hum, for AC wall outlets). Also my units record charger would not transfer sound out of the speakers, this was caused by a bad cartridge. So find your issues so you know what you will need to fix.

When powering on your unit be careful if it has not been turned on in decades as the electrical surge can harm some of the transistor tubes in your stereo. I did not know this before powering mine on but luckily none of my tubes were damaged. If paranoid about damaging your tubes use a varactor (slow increases voltage to your stereo) if possible. This is not necessary though.

Second, find all documentation possible on your stereo as possible; schematics, wiring diagrams, parts lists, anything and everything. Attached are two PDFs for my specific console and record changer. I was able to get these by calling my local library and asking for them. If your library does not have your specific documents, search the internet they might be out there for free. Otherwise you can use https://www.samswebsite.com/ to find yours, they do cost about $20+.

Third, learn the types of components you're about to restore. In my unit I only needed to replace the electrolytic capacitors and some old wax/paper capacitors. All other components in my unit were operating normally. The best sites for this are http://www.antiqueradio.org/recap.htm and http://www.wjoe.com/capacitorinfo.htm.

Both of these will teach you about the vast differences between old components and new.

I also found these beginners guides to vinyl that were very helpful:
https://www.reddit.com/r/vinyl/comments/1t1zw1/new...

https://www.reddit.com/r/vinyl/comments/fiedy/my_...

bclaytor141 month ago
Wonderful job! Thanks for all the helpful information. I have a very similar unit and all the components seem to be in good working order but I have a similar 60 Hz hum which completely distracts from the listening experience. How exactly did you find the source and rid your unit of the awful humming noise?
11jwolfe2 (author)  bclaytor141 month ago
So all the reading I did behind this said to start by replacing all of the capacitors. Most caps in these older units are wax film caps that dry out overtime. Also there are electrolytic caps that leak and no longer work. Id start there. Also be sure to look at the big electrolytic can caps on the input as they filter the 115VAC in. If that doesn't fix it its would be another electrical component and I can try and help trouble shoot as much as possible.

Start by finding a repair manual like stated in this instructable, make a list of the caps needed, buy the caps, and replace them.

I am pretty sure once you do this your problem will be solved and you will have a beautiful working machine!
nurse215 months ago
I know this is an instructional website, but may I ask how long it took to restore the stereo? My 1965 GE console is being repaired, but the people that are repairing it have had it for a year. I've taken it to him before, and he did an amazing job, returned it to me in about 6 weeks. He is a lot busier than he used to be though. I check in with him every few months. Took him 6 months to finally tell me they would be able to fix the arm and restore the amps. (A friend broke the automatic arm to the record player). He said he had to wait for parts though, which he said could take a while to come in. I'm just wondering if this is a normal amount of time for an antique stereo?
11jwolfe2 (author)  nurse215 months ago
It took me maybe about 3 months total. That includes research, waiting for parts, and repair. It honestly only took this long because I was full time in college. If I was to do it all again maybe a month, giving two weeks for parts to be shipped, and two weeks for restoration. Sounds like he isn't putting his all into this repair.
ShylaFay6 months ago
I recently found one of these bad boys at goodwill for 7.99. I've searched, and searched the model number on my unit, and i keep getting a manual for one that looks NOTHING like what I have. It looks exactly like yours. Did you run into any problems like that?
11jwolfe2 (author)  ShylaFay6 months ago
What's the make and model number? Add a 0hoto too please and I'll do my best to help you find the manual.
wold6303 years ago

Can't wait to see the exterior makeover!

11jwolfe2 (author)  wold6301 year ago

I finally got around to publishing the instructable for the makeover.

https://www.instructables.com/id/1965-Sylvania-Stereo-Make-Over/

Johnboiy3 years ago

Thank you! I will be looking at this very carefully. I acquired from Goodwill, an SC774K, which is similar to yours here. Here's some photos of mine. Unfortunately, someone removed some tubes, which will cost me alot to replace. Here's my unit :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/philbarry2/17929818112/in/album-72157650874614144/

Your instructable here will be extremely helpful. I hope this hybrid Sylvania will sound great. I may upgrade the turntable to a Dual. Thanks again.

11jwolfe2 (author)  Johnboiy3 years ago

Hello Johnboiy, sorry i missed this comment. Your unit is a very similar model, I hope this helps you and you are able to find new tubes. If you need help, I am more than happy as they are very similar. Good Luck!

PhilipH573 years ago

I was born in 1966. This console was in the living room of my house from my first living memory through the early 80s. In the early 80s it went to the rec room in the basement and continued to perform. If memory serves, this console sounds very good! Thanks for the memories the pictures are delightful.

rbusch3 years ago

i got an old console stereo record player I've been contemplating restoring. I'd have to recap it like you have but i think mine needs a lot of wires replaced as its got those old crusty cloth wires and some are dry rotted... seems like kinda a fun project though. and i even have a box full of vacuum tubes and a tube tester.

I've never seen anyone 3D print new capacitor cans. that's kinda cool.

Glpcv3 years ago
You kept saying 'the components I need to replace' How did you get to the conclusion of the exact parts to replace ???
11jwolfe2 (author)  Glpcv3 years ago
I only replaced the electrolytic, paper, and wax capacitors inside my unit. I also replaced my cartridge. I replaced these because after talking with an "expert" and reading a lot online I can to a conclusion the the best thing to replace first is capacitors as they are always bad in old units like mine. I hope this helps if you have any more questions please let me know.