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Fisher 500B

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Today I and my family went to New York. As we were driving down the street, I caught sight of something that looked like it had tubes and caps and stuff sticking out of the top. I instructed my dad to stop the car, then I jumped out and went to look at it. At first it looked like the Fisher 400 I had seen at Hirschs June meet, but looking closer it was a Fisher 500B. I read some about it, apparently it does not have a headphone jack, but is it still useful? Either for speakers or as an amp for high powered headphones like the K1000?

I am hoping mkmelt could provide some enlightenment for me, since he was helpful identifing my other trashpicked vintage gear in June and seems pretty knowledgeable about stuff like this.
post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 
Pictures of the beast...

After going over it with a toothbrush to get most of the dirt off.

The metal has a bronze tint to it, this was found in the trash, and he person who threw it away was not an audiophile. Looked like it spent a lot of time in a basement, or an attic, or unused in a cabinet.

This is a view from the front of it, showing the knobs and dials and the bronze colored front. It appears to be missing three of the metal circles at the ends of the knobs

And a view from the top, a little blurry, showing the tubes.
post #3 of 9
here is a 500-c for sale(not mine).... dunno the difference
post #4 of 9
You just struck gold! That's a very good speaker amplifier.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Whoa, that 500C was $250 for not working. Another nice catch from the trash.

I'm going to track down some speakers and see if it works.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
I am now listening to distorted Pink Floyd through it.

There seems to be a lot of bass, all the distortion is at low frequencies and the woofers on my test speakers are moving a lot.

Now to start the fun part... troubleshooting!
post #7 of 9
Nice vintage find! That is the best treasure saved from the trash story I've heard in a long time. The 500B is a very desirable vintage Fisher tube receiver. Some Fisher fans think the early 500B receivers sound superior to the 500C.

To properly enjoy your unit, it will need restoration. There is information on where to purchase restoration kits and parts online. Since you do live in the same geographic area as the Fisher Doctor (Staten Island) I would suggest contacting him first. Al has designed restoration kits that include parts and schematics and instructions for refurbing the vintage Fisher receivers.

Al has sometimes taken a bad rap for not responding to people when then call him, or evening finishing repairs he has agreed to do. People do not seem to understand that the man has a full time job and a family outside of his Fisher business. If you can be a little patient, waiting perhaps up to 4 weeks, I am confident that he would be able to fill your order for a restoration pak for the Fisher 500B.

Installing the needed restoration parts is not difficult, but you must be able to follow a schematic and have good solderings skills. Also, tube equipment will hold a high voltage charge for many days even after being unplugged. You must understand that there is a real risk of a serious electric shock from poking around inside a chassis with up to 450 volts inside if you do not follow all safety precautions and drain any remaining charge from the many large and small electrolytic capacitors. If you are unsure if you can do this work yourself, consider purchasing the kit and finding a friend or a local technician to install the parts for you. I would estimate it would take an experienced technician about 4 or 5 hours to install the needed parts.

As far as headphone listening, as noted, the Fisher 500B lacks a headphone jack. You should have no problem driving AKG K1000 phones from the speaker taps without a coupler box. If you want to use standard 1/4" headphone plug wired headphones, you can wire up a simple adapter with a 1/4" headphone jack, and a pair of 1/2 watt 100~150 ohm resistors in series with the left and right channel audio signal.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
About how much money is one of the restoration kits?

How can I contact the Fisher Doctor?

I'm not too far away from Staten Island, maybe 100-125 miles.

I also noticed the picture from your avatar, not quite sure what it means but I would guess it has to do with tubes warming up?

Good find on the trash? I've picked up more equipment from the curb (or really cheap at a yard sale) than I have bought.
post #9 of 9
You can find some information on the Fisher Doctor by searching this forum.

The website is located at:

Please note that I have no affiliation with the man or the company. My experience with ordering Resto-Paks upgrade kits from them has been good. Your experience with their responsiveness and service may be different than my own. Good luck with your Fisher 500B whatever you decide. It is a very good vintage receiver and worth restoring and enjoying.
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