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Thread: just got a vintage Conn vacuum tube StroboTuner as a restore project.

  1. #1
    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    just got a vintage Conn vacuum tube StroboTuner as a restore project.

    So, I was looking for some salvage in the shop basement for a particular repair I had going on, and I came across this cool little piece of gear. It was tucked away on a shelf and I saw it out of the corner of my eye. I was surprised to see that Conn (or anyone) made a tube type strobe tuner.
    I showed to my boss, and he was very quick to give it to me and tell me to take it away. I'm pretty sure he was just happy to have one less piece of equipment in the place.
    I didn't know what kind of condition the unit would be in, or what I would find when I opened up the enclosure, but I figured it was a nice panel and chassis for any number of build projects at the very least. When I took it in the garage to see what I was getting into, I could tell by the layers of dust and oxidization on the finish that it had been sitting in the basement for many years. It needs a thorough cleaning. The top of the chassis holding the transformers, can capacitors, tubes, and strobe components were in the same condition as the outside. However, the underside of the chassis which holds the circuit components, and wiring is in fantastic visual condition. So, I might take it on and restore the unit if it's worth it (I have not powered it on yet, or tested it's operation). Here are some photos:

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    I'm looking for a bit of advise on one aspect of the restore. If you see the photo of the top for the unit, where the leather strap handle is, you get a pretty good visual of it's condition. What are the best techniques and products available to remove the build up and restore the finish to it's original condition (or as close as possible)? This is an area where I don't have much experience and do not want to risk any damage.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    The big black caps with color code stripes are probably leaky by now. They are paper caps.

    Looks like an ST2 or maybe ST8

    These are compact, Conn previously made the 6T5 12-wheel strobe tuner. CHock full of tubes. A big two section unit.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Ditto on the paper caps. Looks like a good refurb project.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Except for a a curiosity why bother?... A Snark probably works better..

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    Challenge, pride, interest, experience in something new, etc.

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    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    Except for a a curiosity why bother?... A Snark probably works better..
    Yeah I have no interest in using it.
    I’d be restoring it because it’s a very cool and interesting piece of history, And all of the stuff the dude said.

    edit & correction: "...and for al the stuff Enzo said."

    While we know he certainly is a dude, he is not the dude.... so much for trying to read on my phone.

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    Last edited by SoulFetish; 01-11-2020 at 09:44 AM.
    If I have a 50% chance of guessing the right answer, I guess wrong 80% of the time.

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    ToneOholic! big_teee's Avatar
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    Great looking pictures.
    Cool Tool!
    T

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  8. #8
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    I bet there are piano tuners that still use and swear by these.
    I guess no mic included with this one?

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  9. #9
    Senior Member SoulFetish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    I bet there are piano tuners that still use and swear by these.
    I guess no mic included with this one?
    No mic. Im wondering if this at some point had a removable front cover? It looks like there was a spot for one

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  10. #10
    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's what I was wondering. The ST8 pics I saw have a removable cover with a mic in there.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    Just because they don't have tubes doesn't mean they don't have feelings! - glebert

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    Years ago at an auction I bought a Strobotuner 6T for dirt cheap. It had a 2X6L6 amplifier driving a tuning fork for the frequency standard.
    Unfortunately when I got it home I found the compartment for the microphone was empty and I realized the auction house had separated the
    mic and sold it separately. The thing was useless to me anyway. I don't remember what happened to it but it was a cool looking thing.

    https://music-electronics-forum.com/...1&d=1578793952
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  12. #12
    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    6T5

    I have several of those, one set even works. When I worked at the music store I saw tons of them, coming in from all the high school music programs.

    They are cool in that they have 12 wheels, one for each note of the octave, and all are spinning all the time. No switching, play a note and the proper wheel will sync in. Mine has four 6V6 driving the spin motor.

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    I had the ST-3, maybe an earlier version. For all I know I might still have it, stuffed away in some corner, knowing how I hate to throw anything out.

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    Neil Young had a row of strobe tuners set up on stage at one time. One doubled up for both E strings and the other four were set to ADGB.

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