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 Post subject: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 11:38 am 
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Victor Jr
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Joined: Sat Sep 02, 2017 5:49 pm
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Location: Lexington, KY
I was curious to see if any here on the forum collect Capehart machines? I know of a few here that do! While I would say Victor Electrola was just about the finest electric record player one could by back in the 1920's, I would say Capehart took over that title by the early 1930's. Some of the finest record changer machines I have ever serviced electrically as well as restored were Capehart units.

Pictured below is one of Capehart's finest I will be starting on soon. Sold for a price of $2,500 to $5,000 and beyond (for custom installations), the Capehart model 500/501 manufactured between 1937 and 1941 were some of the finest automatic record changers money could buy. I will spare you the radio information as we all love records and those players we utilize to play records on. I do want to mention the audio system. Tri-amplification, three amplifiers, 8x 6V6 output tubes, and three speakers total should make for a killer record playback experience!

This very unit was saved from destruction back in the 1980's. Thru the efforts of several veteran collectors back then, this machine was put back together and restored inside and out. This unit originally resided near Pebble Beach Golf Course on the West Coast and pulled from the original estate in the early 1980's. Sadly, I do not have an exact address where this machine originally resided.

Time has come again for another servicing due to age of electronics. If enough interest is garnished, I would like to document this machines restoration here on the forum!

The machine currently plays, although has several major electrical issues with all chassis and remote control unit that need to be addressed.

Below is a pre-restoration glimpse of what we will be working on!

Comments welcome!

Jon


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Capehart

"The finest in music plus radio entertainment"
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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:16 pm 
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Victor IV
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Location: Plover, WI
WOW!! That is one impressive machine and cabinet. Please keep posting your restoration efforts.


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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 4:47 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Sat Jan 17, 2009 5:17 pm
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All three Capeharts are lovely and I know moving one involves more than one strong back . Has the mania for stripping out the speakers on these fine instruments and selling them in Japan/China stopped at long last??

I have a few friends in the Baltimore area that all seem to own a Capehart, they have been encouraging me to get one. I don't have the skills to work on such a fantastic bit of equipment, seems like if there are tubes or transformers I'm just lost in the wilderness. They are fascinating machines to watch as they change records, and I always fear that a 12-inch symphony disc will get folded into two, but it never happens.

For now, I'll get my exercise by getting out of the chair every 3 minutes to turn the record over.....


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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 8:48 pm 
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Victor II
Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2013 9:37 pm
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Location: Stillman Valley, IL
That is one gorgeous Gothic oak cabinet. I never dreamed that such a custom oak cabinet would exist from the late 1930’s. Sort of like a more modern version of one of the Victrola art cabinets.

I have friends who own the baby Capeharts with the similar of what I like to call the “amusement park “ changer, as the records go on a wild ride! Amazing engineering went into those devices.

Look forward to your updates.

Glenn


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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:31 am 
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Victor Jr
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Phono-Phan wrote:
WOW!! That is one impressive machine and cabinet. Please keep posting your restoration efforts.



Thank you for your comments! Will continue to update this restoration as more work is completed!


Jon
Capehart

"The finest in music plus radio entertainment"


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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:38 am 
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Victor Jr
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Location: Lexington, KY
Kirkwood wrote:
All three Capeharts are lovely and I know moving one involves more than one strong back . Has the mania for stripping out the speakers on these fine instruments and selling them in Japan/China stopped at long last??

I have a few friends in the Baltimore area that all seem to own a Capehart, they have been encouraging me to get one. I don't have the skills to work on such a fantastic bit of equipment, seems like if there are tubes or transformers I'm just lost in the wilderness. They are fascinating machines to watch as they change records, and I always fear that a 12-inch symphony disc will get folded into two, but it never happens.

For now, I'll get my exercise by getting out of the chair every 3 minutes to turn the record over.....


Kirkwood,

Thank you for your comments. To my knowledge the Asian market still has a desire for these large Jensen speakers. Prices seem to have slightly gone down within the last several years. 18 inch Jensen speakers still command a rather large sum. No Capehart will be parted out on my watch! Aside from collecting these magnificent machines, I greatly value their history. Preservation is my number one objective!

Properly tuned, the 16-E changers handle records better than human hands! They are very kind on records if properly tuned up and in perfect working order. Best to play pre-war shellac records on the 16-E machines. Post war 41-E changers are perfect for post war 78 RPM records. Lighter tracking weight serves many benefits to those post war records with lesser shellac!

As much as I like the Victor Electrola's and have worked on quite a few from that era, I specialize in Capehart and enjoy these machines best!

Jon
Capehart

"The finest in music plus radio entertainment"


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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 11:42 am 
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Victor Jr
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Damfino59 wrote:
That is one gorgeous Gothic oak cabinet. I never dreamed that such a custom oak cabinet would exist from the late 1930’s. Sort of like a more modern version of one of the Victrola art cabinets.

I have friends who own the baby Capeharts with the similar of what I like to call the “amusement park “ changer, as the records go on a wild ride! Amazing engineering went into those devices.

Look forward to your updates.

Glenn


Glenn,

Thank you for your comments. Very few of this cabinet style were ever made. This cabinet was called the "Spanish Revival Style" by Capehart. It is a grand cabinet indeed! The record does indeed look as though it rides a roller coaster as they change sides! Nice analogy! I will continue to update progress made on this machine.

Jon
Capehart

"The finest in music plus radio entertainment"


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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:26 pm 
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Victor V
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:55 am
Posts: 2234
Location: Eugene/ Springfield Oregon USA
Enjoy seeing there. I am losing my Capehart virginity later today when the Jerry B Express drops off a Capehart that Peter F helped me to get and have overhauled. I'm such a novice with these that I don't even know exactly what model it is. :lol: All I know is that I have been coveting one since God was a child, it seems.


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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 9:02 am 
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Victor Jr
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Location: Lexington, KY
gramophone-georg wrote:
Enjoy seeing there. I am losing my Capehart virginity later today when the Jerry B Express drops off a Capehart that Peter F helped me to get and have overhauled. I'm such a novice with these that I don't even know exactly what model it is. :lol: All I know is that I have been coveting one since God was a child, it seems.


Hello, thank you for your comments. Congratulations on acquiring a Capehart. I trust the first day with the machine was pleasurable! You will have to share the model and series number. I could pinpoint a year and cabinet style for your set if needed!



Jon
Capehart

"The finest in music plus radio entertainment"


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 Post subject: Re: Capeharts Anyone? Capehart Model 501H
PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2019 7:59 pm 
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Victor IV
Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:44 pm
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Way way back I had an experience with a Capehart. I got it from a dealer but for the longest time I tried to get it to run again. Several dealers had it for upwards of six months and claimed they couldn't make it work.. When I went to the last repair shop to bring it back home I had a 16 year old school mate who came along to help load it.. On the way home he said why don't you bring it by my house and I will take a look at it. In about 15 minutes he had the turntable functioning just as it should have. The radio and sound system was already working the turntable which was what I was interested in wouldn't. Turned out it had mercury switch that controlled some of the mechanical functions and he freed it up and it worked. That was after months of trying to get professional shops to make it run. Tunny how some people just have a knack for knowing things and others don't.

Sadly I eventually put the turntable out for the junk man when I moved and figured I didn't really need it. For one thing it was prone to breaking some records and I didn't care for that feature of it.

Larry


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