Magnavox Astro Sonic Retrofit Upgrade Help

Hey guys, new to the forum. I was referred here by a member who is in a motorcycle forum I belong to. I'm looking for some help on an old Magnavox Astro Sonic console that I'm doing a retro upgrade; I think its a 1964 model (model # escapes me at the moment). Everything works, but it needs a thorough cleaning to get rid of some static. I'm not gutting the console, just adding some modern components to the rather large LP bin. I basically installed a 2nd system, while leaving the old components installed, but will never use them.

I've have a Sony ES receiver, Tandy EQ, Logitech Duet and a Bluetooth DAC all installed in the LP bin. The plan was to use the console speakers with the new receiver. The console has a 15" woofer and a horn tweeter on each side. The woofers face the sides of the console, while the horn tweeter are at the front. They are current;y connected to a single crossover, which in turn is connected to a speaker selection switch. It's a mess of wires that I didn't want to disconnect; instead I bought 2 crossovers and wired each side to a crossover and then to the receiver.

With this set-up, I'm not satisfied with the sound. It sounds hollow and tinny. The system gets loud, just no depth in the music, whether it's FM radio or a FLAC file played directly to the receiver (no wi-fi or bluetooth streaming). If I disconnect the old console speakers and use an old pair of Advent Baby III's, the sound is rich and full of depth.

So the questions/help I have are:
*Are the old console speakers just crappy (they look fine, no degradation)
*Are the new crossovers not appropriate for the application
*If I upgrade to more modern speakers, will I see an improvement (old speakers just mounted to front/side of console, not a fully enclosed box)

Any help you guys could provide would be appreciated. I was lurking in some antique stereo forums, but I never registered as I think what I'm doing would be considered blasphemy.
 

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what are the new crossovers you are using?
I bought a cheap pair of crossovers on Amazon that had decent reviews. It's a 2-way 800 watt max crossover. I don't know much about crossovers, kind of bought that just to experiment to see if how it would sound. It has good reviews on Amazon and a couple of people used them with the 15" woofer/horn combo. But as I said, it sounds hollow, not sure if its the speakers or crossovers. Maybe its just the general design of the console speakers set-up, with the woofers out to the side and the horns in the front. So in our listening position, the only thing coming forward is the horn.

I purchased the console on Craigslist mainly as a furniture piece a few months ago, but my wife wants to make it functional, yet modern. We had it turned on only a few times; I thought the sound was muddy, but I attributed that to an aging amp. I also connected the Bluetooth DAC to the AUX input, it too sounded muddy.

I know Magnavox stuff is not considered audiophile stuff, but I was hoping to salvage the speakers. The antique radio forums seem adamant to never replace the speakers, as they are "tuned" to the console chassis. But I got to believe that can't be the case, the woofers are at least 55 years old.
 
VERY COOL! You’re here! Like I said, this is my favorite audio forum. Really civil and incredibly helpful. :jump
Thanks for pointing me here, hopefully I can get some help with technical questions about crossovers/speakers for the console. This is basically my last part of the retrofit, than I can button it up, put in new faceplate to cover the gaps between components and let it rip. At this moment, we're using it, but with Advent speakers attached.
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
Would you consider adding a sub (that is hidden in the room)? If so, you might be able to tweak things to get an overall better sound (play with sub settings, get sub w high pass filter and run to Magnavox, EQ settings, heck maybe some of the Sony sound effects will bring the sound to life lol, etc). I understand if the answer is no but figured Id ask since you are already modifying it.
 
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Would you consider adding a sub that is hidden in the room? If so, you might be able to tweak things to get an overall better sound (play with sub settings, get sub w high pass and run to Magnavox, EQ settings, heck maybe some of the Sony sound effects will bring the sound to life lol, etc). I understand if the answer is no but figured Id ask since you are already modifying it.
I have considered a sub and have not ruled it out, but I don't think it will help with the sound. I'm doing the testing with FLAC files through a Logitech Duet (connected via ethernet), with the sound ported to the Sony via digital coax. I did play with the Sony (STR-DA1ES) equalization; it made things a little better, but it's still hollow. I also connected the Duet through the Tandy EQ via RCA cables, that made the sound 40-50% better, but still felt hollow compared to running through the Advents.
 

Ilusndweller

Junior Member
Maybe some (Parts Express?) replacement woofers would do the trick? But before that, maybe there are cabinet mods/sound treatments you could try. How solid is it (lack of vibrations), especially where the speakers are? Obviously try to optimize this, but I dont know that it will help with the hollow sound. My guess is the speakers themselves are the main problem. Another speaker option might be (not sure how a box in a box would sound) to retrofit with bookshelf speakers (that you may have laying around) and run w a sub (or two). My parents had a console (not sure what brand) and the sound seemed to get fairly loud and clean, but (asuming my recollection of a zillion years ago is correct) the clean had little dynamic range, seemed waaay to warm, and it didnt have the best stereo effect. How do the horns sound?
 
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Ilusndweller

Junior Member
I reread your OP. You said it sounds tinny. Thats probably (also?) the horns. If it was me, I would probably look for replacement woofers and high end, horns or otherwise. I dont have experience with gear that old, but since speakers are the most important aspect of playback, why not start from the top, and modernize a half century +.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
They are current;y connected to a single crossover, which in turn is connected to a speaker selection switch. It's a mess of wires that I didn't want to disconnect; instead I bought 2 crossovers and wired each side to a crossover and then to the receiver.
I am not sure I am following what you have connected to what.

What is connected to the speaker outputs of the Sony?

Or the question should be, what all is between the Sony speaker outputs and the console speakers.

Where are the advents connected when they sound good?
 
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mred

Senior Member
I will start buy asking what happened to the original XO and why did you eliminate it?
It seems that you have the horns playing louder than the woofers.
On a side note, I had a pair of Magnavox woofers and tweeter in open baffles for years.
The woofer in the console have no XO filter and played full game so I used it that way, the tweeter had a small cap only. Sounded amazing in my garage workshop for 15 years.
 

Olson_jr

Active Member
I will start buy asking what happened to the original XO and why did you eliminate it?
It seems that you have the horns playing louder than the woofers.
On a side note, I had a pair of Magnavox woofers and tweeter in open baffles for years.
The woofer in the console have no XO filter and played full game so I used it that way, the tweeter had a small cap only. Sounded amazing in my garage workshop for 15 years.
I am not sure that he did eliminate the original crossover? It reads as if he connected a second crossover to the original, or am I misreading that?

"" I bought 2 crossovers and wired each side to a crossover and then to the receiver.""
 
I am not sure I am following what you have connected to what.

What is connected to the speaker outputs of the Sony?

Or the question should be, what all is between the Sony speaker outputs and the console speakers.

Where are the advents connected when they sound good?
*Sony speaker outputs into new crossovers, woofer/tweeter into crossovers
*When Advents are connected, they are straight into the sony speakers outputs
 
I will start buy asking what happened to the original XO and why did you eliminate it?
It seems that you have the horns playing louder than the woofers.
On a side note, I had a pair of Magnavox woofers and tweeter in open baffles for years.
The woofer in the console have no XO filter and played full game so I used it that way, the tweeter had a small cap only. Sounded amazing in my garage workshop for 15 years.
The original crossover is still in the cabinet, just not being used. My goal is to upgrade the components, but keep the older stuff installed for aesthetics. I was going to use the original crossover, but its such a mess of wires, I just left it intact and bought 2 new crossovers to use with the existing woofer/horns. If someone can point me how to untangle the mess of wires properly, I would be more than happy to give it a try.

The original speakers/crossover wiring pattern is as follows:
*Right Horn: + to XO, - to right woofer
*Right Woofer: + to XO, - to right horn, 2nd - to AMP
*Left Horn: + to XO, - to left woofer
*Left Woofer: + to XO, - to left horn, 2nd - to left horn
*XO: Single black wire to the AMP and a single black wire that runs to a speaker selection switch inside the cabinet

With the original crossover, I assume I would just disconnect the single black wire from the original amp and run that into the Sony and connect the wire from the right woofer into the Sony. I didn't give it a try, as I'm not familiar with XO stuff and I figured the XO's are 55 years old and need to be swapped, thus I bought 2 crossovers, 1 for each side of cabinet. When I did test the original components, they worked, but sounded a bit muddy and lacked depth.
 
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Thermionics

Post Whore In Training
Unless the new crossover has similar specs to the originals, I'm guessing that's the problem. You might want to consider just recapping the original crossovers (since capacitors usually are what drift / go bad) with same-value components and using them. I don't remember what speaker drivers were used in the early Magnavox Astrosonic series, but I seem to recall they were halfway decent.
 
Not knowing much or anything at all about crossovers, do a bad set or wrong set of crossovers make that much of a difference in sound, in terms of the lack of depth in the old console speakers?

Before buying anything else, I'm thinking my next step is to try to connect the XO to the Sony receiver, but that is where I'm stumped and why I bought a new set. I mentioned the wiring schematics in post 15. Based on that, I'm not sure which wires to pull from the XO/speakers and attach to the Sony receiver.

I've attached a pic of the console amp speaker output and the speaker wiring diagram. Of the 2 black wires on the left, one leads to the right woofer, while the other black wire goes to the crossover. The brown and orange wires lead to the speaker selector switch at the top of the console. From what I see, I'm not sure which of those wires would go to the sony receiver.

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