B-Side

I was visiting my parents this weekend unwind and just catch up a bit.

Dad, the source for my hi-fi aspirations, was one to continually make sure music was wafting through the house while growing up.  This time, he was easing into the late afternoon with The Lush Side Of Cannonball. The music was a sublime wave of peaceful beauty.

Dad’s system is comprised of a Fisher X-1000 Integrated Amp (w/EL34 tube), Fisher FM-1000 Tuner, Empire Turntable, Denon 103 Cartridge, A23 Step Up and Bozak Loudspeakers.  Despite replacing an Empire cartridge (ok, I admit..I broke it when I was 15) and adding the ‘103 & A23 SUT, the system has remained constant through the years.

Dad has been listening to.. enjoying.. cherishing… this hi-fi since November 18, 1963 when he picked it up from Leonard Radio at 69 Cortlandt Street in New York City’s Radio Row (ironically, only a few short years later in 1966, it was demolished to make room for the World Trade Center).  He bought it with hard earned cash while working as a commercial artist and it’s been serving him well.  To say he has enjoyed his money’s worth would be an understatement.

Mindblowingly, John Coltrane was over in New Jersey on this exact day, in Rudy Van Gelders’ studio. He was at the mike recording Alabama which, although a studio recording, is featured on Live At Birdland.

Late last year, though, I recommended he get the X-1000 checked up to make sure it’s performing optimally.  With a gingerly pace, I packed up the amp and sent it off to Mike Zuccaro, who did a stellar job bringing the amp back to spec.  Thanks Mike.

Anyway, always one to think I have something to do, it was tough to resist the urge to mosey back to the office and whittle away at my ‘to do’ list. Hindsight always the wiser, the items on my daily agenda could have easily waited a bit longer.

They always can.

Someday I will certainly wish I had stayed a bit longer, to enjoy side B with Dad.

7 thoughts on “B-Side

  1. That is a gorgeous looking system! I previously owned an X-1000 integrated amplifier, which turned up at the old Marin City Flea Market about twenty or more years ago for the astonishing price of (get this!) $10. I just so happened that this seller had been out at the same venue three or so years previously, and it was from him that I acquired the first of my two Fisher FM-1000 tuners as it began to rain. Had I arrived earlier with more money, I could have purchased the mating X-1000 he had brought out then, but rain, plus electronics and lack of enough funds, prevented the additional acquisition at that time. However, as things actually turned out, fate was with me, or how otherwise can one explain running across the very same guy with the very same unit for sale three years hence? The FM-1000 at the time I purchased it, cost me $45. From the distance, I first thought I was looking at yet another Fisher 500-C, examples of which at that time, would show up almost every other weekend at the same flea market.

    I still own the FM-1000 but I regrettably sold the X-1000 to a friend of mine many MANY years ago.

    Incidentally, the FM-1000s that I own (two of them) are interesting tuners. I would be very curious to know if both of the meters in your example function properly, however. The meters which Avery Fisher put into his various tuners were actually manufactured for the company in Japan. They tend to fail or get “sticky” and stop functioning properly, expecially the Vu meter on the left of the front panel.

    In any event, you are one very fortunate person to have such an outstanding assemblage of great gear! Your Father chose wisely and must surely have spent a little fortune on that system!

    How nice that you are continuing to enjoy it!

    Richard Links
    Berkeley, CA

    1. Hi Richard, Thanks for the story-

      I’m thinking of sending Dad’s Fm1000 for a complete checkup next. He does’t listen to it often, due to lack of good stations where he lives and/or signal strength. But this may be an issue with the tuner needing a checkup. Regarding the meter, yep, the VU meter on the left is shot. Perhaps it can be rebuilt.
      -M

  2. Matt,

    What a wonderful story… as I was saying ,about the Montille, there are a precious few things in this world that are nearly perfect in every way… you fathers HI-FI is certainly one of those precious few.

    Enjoy.

  3. Thanks for memories, I spent many hours looking at unobtainable equipment like this in the Allied Radio catalogs during my youth. It’s nice to see someone who uses good stereo eqiupment for what it does, play music, and not just to have the lastest and greatest that the market deems we need. You also have some very good pictures on this site.

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