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 Post subject: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 2:03 am 
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Not sure if this has been discussed (probably has), but being a "purist" of sorts, it bothers me to see classic stereo receiver lights replaced with colored LEDs. Just saw one on a Facebook page that replaced the original lamps with blue LEDs, and then the meter lamps with pale yellow LEDs. And I've seen worse. Am I the only one bothered by that? I guess it's just a "cool" factor, kind of like cars with the pointless "ground effect lighting" under the chassis. Maybe it's just that I'm an old grouch.
RW

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 2:06 am 
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Such lighting is just bad taste. The original designers could have used many colors, but had the taste and skill to avoid doing so.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 2:10 am 
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Most designers of the vintage gear had a choice of white incandescent lamps of various sizes.

If they wanted color, they used a tinted screen or lens in front of the clear lamp.
Colored lamps were seen infrequently.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 2:29 pm 
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If the bulbs were not available then you would need to do something different. However all or almost all the bulbs have modern replacements. I also do not like to mod the vintage equipment as much as possible. The one drawback is the old bulbs took more power than the LEDs. A small price to pay though.

Changing capacitors is a different issue. Also out of spec resistors as well. Many of the cap and resistor modern replacements can be purchased to look the same or similar to the originals.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 4:18 pm 
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Sometimes, it's tough to know the original colors. The paint on the lamps would fade, or the elastomer caps covering the lamp would become brittle, crack apart, and fall off. Further, previous replacements weren't often faithful to the originals either.

We used to have owners upset at the fading of lamp color - and wanting the original color lamp restored. Onkyo laughed at us once - they had deleted the lamps from inventory, and couldn't tell us the original color. One look in an old copy of Audio Review got us close enough with a paint job.

GC made the dial lamp paint kit - but the paints were thin, and several coats needed to fully tint some lamps. One bottle left open would dry out in mere minutes.

Their stereos, their choice of colors, I say. I don't go around criticizing paint jobs on houses, cars, or motorcycles either.....

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 4:41 pm 
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I had a Marantz that had fuse style lamps. Found a source for them, so it was easy to pop them in. Not sure what kind of circuit it takes to change to LEDs. Not my baliwick.
RW

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 5:14 pm 
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radiowizard wrote:
I had a Marantz that had fuse style lamps. Found a source for them, so it was easy to pop them in. Not sure what kind of circuit it takes to change to LEDs. Not my baliwick.
RW

In most situations LED's can be plug&play. There are several vendors on Ebay that sell replacement LED bulbs custom assembled to fit specific vintage hi-fi or stereo models. I have a set of LED "fuse" style bulbs (actually called "festoon") in my 1958 Fisher C-810 Contemporary II console, for instance.

Attachment:
fisher c-810-97-dial lamps---.jpg
fisher c-810-97-dial lamps---.jpg [ 183.02 KiB | Viewed 2830 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 6:00 pm 
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Now that LED lamps are available in many colors and styles I see no reason to avoid them.

Old-style incandescent dial lamps burn out every 2-5 years and can be difficult and tedious to replace. LED bulbs run cool and won’t cause the plastic dials to discolor, warp and crack.

My general observation is that the LED is the best thing that ever happened in the technology of lighting.

-EB

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 9:22 pm 
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FStephenMasek wrote:
Such lighting is just bad taste. The original designers could have used many colors, but had the taste and skill to avoid doing so.

+1

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 10:12 pm 
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AuroraOldRadios wrote:
FStephenMasek wrote:
Such lighting is just bad taste. The original designers could have used many colors, but had the taste and skill to avoid doing so.

+1

You guys are aware that many mfgs used color lights for their dials, right? Pioneer used blue, Sansui used green, Some Sony models used green, etc. Not everyone used all white all the time.

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 22, 2019 11:39 pm 
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rocketeer wrote:
AuroraOldRadios wrote:
FStephenMasek wrote:
Such lighting is just bad taste. The original designers could have used many colors, but had the taste and skill to avoid doing so.

+1

You guys are aware that many mfgs used color lights for their dials, right? Pioneer used blue, Sansui used green, Some Sony models used green, etc. Not everyone used all white all the time.
Larry

I've owned dozens and dozens of such equipment. The point is this: some of us think the original lighting scheme should be retained, whatever it is. The designers were paid to use color and lighting schemes in some coherent manner. Many of the custom lighting schemes are hideous, if not garish.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Wed 23, 2019 12:04 am 
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AuroraOldRadios wrote:
rocketeer wrote:
You guys are aware that many mfgs used color lights for their dials, right? Pioneer used blue, Sansui used green, Some Sony models used green, etc. Not everyone used all white all the time.
Larry

I've owned dozens and dozens of such equipment. The point is this: some of us think the original lighting scheme should be retained, whatever it is. The designers were paid to use color and lighting schemes in some coherent manner. Many of the custom lighting schemes are hideous, if not garish.

But that's not what you were agreeing to with your +1. You were agreeing with Masek's insinuation that original designers avoided using color because it was in bad taste and I'm pointing out that they did not avoid using color. I never said originality shouldn't be retained. You can't have your cake and eat it too, either you agree with Masek or you don't.

Larry

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Wed 23, 2019 2:51 am 
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radiowizard wrote:
Not sure if this has been discussed (probably has), but being a "purist" of sorts, it bothers me to see classic stereo receiver lights replaced with colored LEDs. Just saw one on a Facebook page that replaced the original lamps with blue LEDs, and then the meter lamps with pale yellow LEDs. And I've seen worse. Am I the only one bothered by that? I guess it's just a "cool" factor, kind of like cars with the pointless "ground effect lighting" under the chassis. Maybe it's just that I'm an old grouch.
RW


A lot of the original incandescent lamps are no longer available, so there are limited options. Stark white LEDs look just as bad as the blue, and just as "Not original". I have some "warm white" LEDs that kind of look OK - but they won't fit in a Pioneer meter.

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Mon 28, 2019 4:28 pm 
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This isn't a simple discussion of LED's bad, incandescent good. I've restored a number of older Fisher tube receivers using the LED festoon substitutes available on Ebay, and the results were fantastic. Color rendition of the edge illuminated dial glass was accurate, but the numbers just looked clearer and with sharper definition. I'd bet Avery would have approved. The small LED's are getting better too, with 2700k types now becoming more commonly available. As for hideous looking...a lot of the original lighting schemes were pretty hideous themselves. Anyone ever see a Superscope receiver? It lit up in bright pink.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Mon 28, 2019 5:29 pm 
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jmsent wrote:
This isn't a simple discussion of LED's bad, incandescent good. I've restored a number of older Fisher tube receivers using the LED festoon substitutes available on Ebay, and the results were fantastic. Color rendition of the edge illuminated dial glass was accurate, but the numbers just looked clearer and with sharper definition. I'd bet Avery would have approved. The small LED's are getting better too, with 2700k types now becoming more commonly available. As for hideous looking...a lot of the original lighting schemes were pretty hideous themselves. Anyone ever see a Superscope receiver? It lit up in bright pink.


The originals usually had no more thought put into them than "which festoon or fuse lamp can I buy that will fit in the space I have"? There is an actual practical purpose to them - making it so you could see the reading in dark room. I would guess at most, they thought about how much current to run to not make them too bright for your typical "hi-fi den", beyond that, there was very little consideration for the aesthetics of it. Or they use #47 lamps because they were cheap!

Brett


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Mon 28, 2019 10:23 pm 
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radiowizard wrote:
Not sure if this has been discussed (probably has), but being a "purist" of sorts, it bothers me to see classic stereo receiver lights replaced with colored LEDs. Just saw one on a Facebook page that replaced the original lamps with blue LEDs, and then the meter lamps with pale yellow LEDs. And I've seen worse. Am I the only one bothered by that? I guess it's just a "cool" factor, kind of like cars with the pointless "ground effect lighting" under the chassis. Maybe it's just that I'm an old grouch.
RW

I don't like "rat rods" myself, same idea, but after all, it's the owners choice to do as he wants with his gear AFA modifications go.

I've used warm white LED's in several of my consoles and table top sets, and although not historically exact, practically speaking they illuminate the dials much better than the original incandescent #47's did, and to my eyes at least, just look better. Sort of like replacing bias ply tires on a vintage car with steel belted radials; it's the practicality now available.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Oct Tue 29, 2019 2:39 am 
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120° Warm white LEDs
viewtopic.php?p=2787049#p2787049

As mentioned, incandescent lamps have relatively short lifespans.
Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 12:58 am 
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jmsent wrote:
As for hideous looking...a lot of the original lighting schemes were pretty hideous themselves. .


Such as the Fisher 202 Futura Series receiver which uses a blue lit dial, blue and red indicators for the source selection, red lights for stereo indication and a back lit tuning meter which is lit up WHITE.

Messed up the whole look so I used green LEDs for the meter.

Looks much better.

Attachment:
Original.jpg
Original.jpg [ 74.35 KiB | Viewed 2509 times ]


Attachment:
LEDs.jpg
LEDs.jpg [ 75.55 KiB | Viewed 2509 times ]


To be fair, the originals should have been 250mA fuse lamps but were only 150mA fuse lamps so the dial was dim.


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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 7:29 am 
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I don't like LED replacements for incandescent lamps. So, if I need/want some color lighting in a piece of equipment, I generally use transparent glass paint stain. It's comes in several different colors, it's cheap, dries fast, applies with a brush, and doesn't burn off. Available in most arts and craft stores.

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 Post subject: Re: Upgrading Vintage Stereo Lights
PostPosted: Nov Sat 09, 2019 8:45 am 
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I tend to agree, but LEDs are becoming so advanced that often its hard to tell if the light is incandescent or LED.

I have an LED bulb that if you didn't know it you'd think it was a 60 watt incandescent.


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