Author Topic: "Upgrading" my Majestic  (Read 852 times)

Offline Brinybay

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4371
"Upgrading" my Majestic
« on: March 09, 2017, 12:38:48 PM »
I'm cutting my losses on the original electronics of my Majestic.  Had it "fixed", but the reception at my place is poor, and now there seems to be a "short" of some sort in it, in that when I moved the antenna wire, the volume went way down.  Moved it again, it went way up.  Not worth throwing more money at.

So enough of that.  I want to just by-pass all that old, ancient technology and rig up a modern radio and MP3 player with a remote in the back of the cabinet.  The old stuff will just be disconnected and not used.  The space I want to put the modern device 22.5" wide, 12" deep, 10.5" tall.  It has a spot for the lone speaker in the front about 10" diameter.

I'm looking for recommendations for a decent sounding modern device that works by remote and would fit in the space I described.  If the speakers aren't in the center (most of the ones I took a quick look at aren't), I would want a plug for an external speaker that could be placed where the old speaker is.  The main body of electronics in the lower part of the cabinet would remain where it is, but not used.  Budget wise, somewhere in the $150-$200 range, not including an additional external speaker.  Here are some pics of what I'm working with.

The other motivation for doing this is that Anita has never liked the fact that the radio has no real function other than decor.  I'm ok for it just being decor, but it would be nice to have a decent sounding device to listen to the radio and still be able to get some vintage music out of it.  It would make both of us happy, so that's a win-win.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 12:44:16 PM by Brinybay »
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Row
e

Offline Doug Rose

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6652
  • Blondie & the Kid of Phone
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2017, 02:24:13 PM »
I would put a Bose Sound Station inside it. Keep it so the radio still lights and tell your friends what great sound this old timer has.
Kidphone

Offline jsowers

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1909
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2017, 04:08:32 PM »
What about using an AM transmitter and keeping the radio as is? They're not cheap, but another sound system would also not be cheap, and a transmitter would use the radio as it was meant to be used and you wouldn't have to gut the radio and make it worthless to a collector.

Here's a transmitter for $99.99 BIN with free shipping that will let you broadcast live on AM from an external source like an MP3 player or CD player. You can play your own music or OTR through any AM radio. It could be located somewhere in the room with the radio or anywhere in the house with an electrical outlet.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/302235337010

Here are the specs from the manufacturer and a short YouTube clip about them.

http://www.talkinghouse.com/iamradiotransmitter.php

There's also something called an SSTRAN, but it may come as a kit and require electronics skills to assemble, so I hesitate to mention it as an option. Good luck in whatever you do with your radio.
Jonathan

Offline Brinybay

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4371
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2017, 10:46:34 AM »
What about using an AM transmitter and keeping the radio as is? They're not cheap, but another sound system would also not be cheap, and a transmitter would use the radio as it was meant to be used and you wouldn't have to gut the radio and make it worthless to a collector.

Here's a transmitter for $99.99 BIN with free shipping that will let you broadcast live on AM from an external source like an MP3 player or CD player. You can play your own music or OTR through any AM radio. It could be located somewhere in the room with the radio or anywhere in the house with an electrical outlet.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/302235337010

Here are the specs from the manufacturer and a short YouTube clip about them.

http://www.talkinghouse.com/iamradiotransmitter.php

There's also something called an SSTRAN, but it may come as a kit and require electronics skills to assemble, so I hesitate to mention it as an option. Good luck in whatever you do with your radio.

Too late for it to be of much value to a collector.  The main electronic chassis (which was fried and beyond repair) was replaced with a different model, hence the humongous power supply box is not there.  I find these things for cheap now and then at radio swap meets.  I bought another one a couple years ago for $20 and sold it to my sister for cost (she didn't mind it being strictly decor).  From what I understand, they weren't that great when they were new, they were only ok. 

That being said, it wouldn't be "gutted", the main chassis (which is in a separate space below the speaker) would stay where it's at because the knobs in front need something to be attached to.  All I would do is remove the speaker and put the modern unit inside that space.

The unit you linked to wouldn't quite be what we want (the Youtube clip didn't work).  We want AM/FM, digital audio playback with a remote, and yes, it needs to be plug & play, no electronic work.  From what I've seen so far, may cost more for a good unit than we're willing to spend at  this time, but that gives us some time to shop around and think about it.
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Row
e

Offline Dan/Panther

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5349
  • Kaw-Liga, I will NEVER forget you. 8/4/98--9/20/10
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2017, 11:34:23 AM »
These old radios need along wire antenna to get good reception. And remember at night you will get fade out and fade in all night long.

D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

unbeldi

  • Guest
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2017, 11:59:20 AM »
Isn't it the case that with many antiques, the price tag is largely determined from the outside design, look, and condition, rather than from the internal state of the technology?
A parallel is that of old candlesticks.  It's the age, look, and condition, not whether those old terrible transmitters still work.  Rarely is anyone asking, is the transmitter still working ?

Surely, a radio is not a candlestick,  and an iPhone docking port in an unobtrusive spot might actually enhance its value quite a bit.
 

Offline rdelius

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1843
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2017, 02:52:22 PM »
Some of the sets of this vintage had an ext phono input.another is to add a jack to the vol control input.I have a talking house AM transmitter that is excess to my needs

Offline Dan/Panther

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5349
  • Kaw-Liga, I will NEVER forget you. 8/4/98--9/20/10
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2017, 12:35:01 AM »
I have a Philco 1929 Neutrodyne console. It plays but needs to be Neutralized, it either plays very low or Full volume.

D/P

The More People I meet, The More I Love, and MISS My Dog.  Dan Robinson

Offline compubit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 686
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2017, 09:46:12 PM »
I'll throw out SONOS as a "speaker". As long as you have Internet access, Wi-Fi,  and some sort of device to control, you can stream nearly any radio station under the sun, plus any music you have on the device.  I picked up a $99 iPad Mini a couple of years ago after Thanksgiving, and it "drives" my system perfectly.  I enjoy having the ability to set "Favorite" radio stations.  Right now, I'm partial to Bayerische Rundfunk Heimat (Bavarian Radio "Home" music) - traditional Bavarian Folk music (I'm studying German in the evenings), as well as WRR (classical) in Dallas, WAMU (local NPR), KCBS (San Francisco All-News) and BBC1.  I haven't found a country station that I prefer, yet...

Jim
A phone phanatic since I was less than 2 (thanks to Fisher Price); collector since a teenager; now able to afford to play!
Favorite Phone: Western Electric Trimline - it just feels right holding it up to my face!

Offline Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 594
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 12:02:06 PM »
If the new unit has an infrared remote, and you put it inside the Majestic's case, isn't that going to be a problem?

Bill
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 12:04:34 PM by Bill »

Offline Brinybay

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4371
Re: "Upgrading" my Majestic
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2017, 12:54:19 PM »
If the new unit has an infrared remote, and you put it inside the Majestic's case, isn't that going to be a problem?

Bill

That thought crossed my mind.  First I wanted to find a unit that would fit my wants, then determine if that particular detail would be a problem and figure out a way around it.
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Row
e