PDA

View Full Version : Bogen-Presto tube amp info?



Doc Mark
10-21-2009, 04:32 PM
Hey, Friends,

I got a note from one of my stove collecting/Living History friends, today, who came into a nice old tube receiver, and is seeking some additional info on it. Here is part of what he told me:

"The equipment is a Bogen - Presto model RP-40, "Home Music Center" and was made about 1961. My friend cleaned about 1/2" of dust out of the cabinet, tested each of the 23 (!) tubes and reenstalled them. The advice he got on the internet was to gradually bring up the voltage with a variac over a 12 hour period. As fate would have it, I stumbled across a variac at a yard sale (I didn't even know the word a week before, it sounds like something out of a cheap 1950s sci-fi movie).

I brought the power up gradually to 110 volts and, shazam, the FM worked. I then plugged it into the CD player and wow: bright, very clear, very crisp sound. I connected the Bogen to a pair of Dokorder five speaker three way speakers cabinets from 1970, so they were somewhat contemporary. With all those tubes and three big transformers, the machine does get hot, and the cord is off the pulleys for the AM tuner, but the thing works.

Bogen made commercial audio systems for theaters, etc. Apparently this was a venture into the consumer market. It sold for $400 in 1961, so it was an expersive item. Bogen apparently only made the model for two years, so it's a pretty obscure item. It was in the range of the Fisher 500 tuner amp."

Is this bit of kit familiar to any of you, and if so, could you please share some more information for my friend? He's a great guy, and is very happy with his new find. Any and all info will be greatly appreciated! Thanks, very much, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

jcrobso
10-22-2009, 08:59 AM
It was a good unit, Bogen never cracked the consumer market. To this day Bogen makes commercial PA/paging systems.
Yes, with 23 tubes it would be a good unit to have in the winter time.

Doc Mark
10-22-2009, 09:15 AM
Good Morning,

Thanks, very much, for that bit of info. Good old Allied Radio! I had forgotten about them, but remember drooling over many of the neat items they offered, "back in the day"! Ahhhh, the good old days, eh?! Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc

grumpy
10-22-2009, 09:48 AM
some history
http://www.televar.com/grshome/Presto.htm

some nice pics of related "separates"
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=164550

jcrobso
10-22-2009, 10:05 AM
some history
http://www.televar.com/grshome/Presto.htm

some nice pics of related "separates"
http://www.audiokarma.org/forums/showthread.php?t=164550

The first recordings that I ever made were on a Presto K8 that my dad bought in the late 1940s. Recording on a disc is whole different experience! I remember saving up the money to by a diamond cutting stylus about $14 and getting blank disks. One false move and disk was shot!:blink:
I remember trying to talk my dad into getting it retrofitted to a K10 with microgroove, but he bought a tape recorder instead! A better decision in the long run and this really turned me on to Hi-Fi as the tape recorder had STEREO playback, this opened up a whole new world of sound for me!
When we got that first tape recorder in 1958 I would record my mothers piano students on tape then transfer to disk and sell the disk to the parents.
Even in the 1960s the output tubes where hard to get as they were a direct heated triode. I would use a vacuum cleaner to pull the chip off the disk so it would not get caught in the cutting stylus. WOW this brings back at lot of memories!!:D Thanks again!

robertbartsch
10-22-2009, 10:54 AM
....my house as a kid came with a Bogen tube amp system built-in and it was probably made in the early 60s. My recollection was it was a decent tube amp for the day. This one had only 5 or 6 tubes, however. It would take about 45 seconds to warm up and play music.

I wouldn't count on your friend's unit working flawlessly for the next ten years since the components are ancient. ...but good luck with this piece of history.

Doc Mark
10-22-2009, 11:23 AM
Hey, Grumpy,

WOW!! Outstanding information, and I'll definitely pass it along to my friend!! Many thanks for being a veritable font of great info, yet again! I know my friend will appreciate your help, as do I. Take care, and God Bless!

Every Good Wish,
Doc