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Fisher 500C
19 Reviews
rating  4.74 of 5
MSRP  390.00
Description: Fisher's classic 1960's tube receiver <LI> 7591 tubes in a push pull configuration <LI> FM tuner <LI> Headphone output <LI> MM Phono input


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Reviews 1 - 5 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

User Reviews

Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Fisher400 a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: February 21, 2013

Bottom Line:   
This review is for the Fisher 400 receiver. The sonics from this receiver is superior to the many higher-end SS receivers I owned. The sound is clear, airy, ultra smooth and produces a huge soundstage.

Two versions exist sharing the same amplifier sections, but with two different FM tuner sections. The later FM models have an additional IF section with a 6AU6 tube and are called Golden Synchrode. Either are fine receivers, the additional IF section provides better selectivity, but unlikely one would notice a difference. The Fisher 400 differs from the Fisher 500 & 800 series using 7868 power tubes vs the 7591 power tubes. The Fisher tuner sections are as good as it gets and IMO outperform most other FM tube type tuners in receivers.

To achieve best sound from these vintage receivers is from installing the best tubes. I use Brimar CV4035 in the phono section. Sylvania 5751 3 mica black plate in the preamp & tone sections (socket V10, V11) and Tung Sol 12AX7 square getter black plate. (grey plate about as good) in the phase splitter section (V12, V13). One can sub Telefunken 12AX7 smooth plate in V10, V11 for close to the same sonics if slightly less bright.. The best sounding 7868 are RCA black plate and 1960s era Sylvania.

These Fisher receivers are becoming much more collectable and especially so after the 6Moons review. Prices are now more inline at $500 and higher depending upon condition. The only upgrade this Fisher 400 should have performed is installing new power supply capacitors & rebuild the power tube bias supply. Perform a search on audiokarma for more info.

The Fisher 400/500/800 series are well worth pursuing & a good investment.

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Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:4
Submitted by duboiz a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: October 23, 2010

Bottom Line:   
The Fisher 500c is a great tube receiver that will surprise you if you think old tube audio are muffled and tubby. Very smooth yet detailed with no top-end roll-off like some say about tubes. Tube rolling is cool too. If is quit amazing the differences in sound you can achieve with replacing some 12AX7th. You can spend some time until you find the one you like most.

The 500c is great with efficient speakers, but I manage to drive almost anything I hooked to it, even Magnepan MMGs although ran hot as hell. After Stereophile glorify review prices of the 500c skyrocket so now they are not as affordable as they used to be several years back. I got mine about five years ago for $175 on eBay, and it was fully restored by VAC and in mint condition. Today you can't find a unit at that price even for a unit that is for parts or repair. Although they are cost more today i would still pay the full price due to their outstanding performance. When buying an old tube receiver that is 40 years old you need to make sure to calculate restoring since there are caps that are bad and some tubes might be near the end of life.

As an audiophiles I was tempted to replace the Fisher with many amplifiers and never found one that can outperform it. The fisher was the first receiver that brought me to tears when I first listen to it. ( literally) I played Dianna Krall and she was right here in the room with me. (my kids will never forget it :)

One thing I forgot to mention is the great tuner it got. Very sensitive and very pleasant to listen for hours.

I highly recommend it but only if restored. If not you will surly have a background hum and sound will suffer. Also give it plenty of room to breeze. It can can run not when driving hard. I have a small fan circulating air around it and the benefit is also longer tube life.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by dave blacke a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: September 11, 2004

Bottom Line:   
Was driving through NY and spotted the 500-C on the curb. The only bad thing was that the front glass has a crack in the middle. other than that it is excellent. All original tubes, did the capactior change. Works great.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Purchased At:   someone threw it out



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Marantzguy a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: March 27, 2003

Bottom Line:   
I have owned and restored more than twenty individual Fisher 500-C's over the past 20 years. All have been easily updated without any problems that I can remember.

The basics are common capacitor upgrades (1:1 replacements), replacement of small electrolytics, updating of the power supply with a new BIAS electrolytic (can-type) or individual parts equivalent for the dual 1000 microfarad @ 50 WV (DC) unit, which sits insulated in a metallic clip, new full-wave rectifier and load dropping resistor to take the place of aging and commonly faulty original flat-wafer German made (Siemans) full wave bridge selenium rectifier. I have changed a few caps inside of the multiplexer by using high quality film types and on occasion, I have substituted precision metal film resistors in the phono section to tighten up aspects of performance. I also replace the main "top-hat" diodes in the power supply and of course, clean every tube socket, test the tubes and replace, as needed. Most importantly, it is absolutely necessary to update and modify the 500-C so that the bias is set to read -21.5 vdc in order to ensure long lifetime of the 7591-A output tubes. This is accomplished by substituting one resistor for another in the area around the same dual 1000 microfarad bias electrolytic mentioned above. Cleaning all controls is another absolute necessity. Al Pugliese (aka The Fisher Doctor), and a friend of mine, strongly suggests the installation of "fuse resistors" in the area of the output tubes to protect the output transformers in case of tube failure.

After all this is done, if the set sounds decent on FM stereo, I generally leave things alone, rather than tweak around with the tuner section. When I owned my original Fisher 500-C as a teenager, I used to take it to service people on a regular basis to have it "aligned". I now feel that this was totally unnecessary and a waste of money, now that I realize that most of the faults in the set are easily corrected with new parts, ie., cap and resistor substitutions, common to any vintage piece.

Apply a whisper fan over the output tubes and you have it!

One last minor detail! If you are one of those individuals who obsesses over cleanliness, be aware that when cleaning the front dial glass, there is a significant chance that you may wipe off the lettering if you use products such as Windex, so please be aware of the possible danger! If it is generally clean, try to live with it. Fuse-lamps for the 500-C are difficult to locate and are needed in order to properly illuminate the dial. Certain other parts can be used in their absence, but real fuse-lamps are very nice to use. Good luck finding them!

I have been given Fisher 500-C's for FREE before--which has to be the DEAL OF THE CENTURY, but it has happened!

I remain BIG FAN of them!

Rich Links
Berkeley, CA

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   Pre 1995

Price Paid:    $20.00

Purchased At:   flea market



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by oldhippiefart a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: May 9, 2002

Bottom Line:   
This unit is the best I've ever had!! The sound is smooth as silk... smokey, luscious and above all musical. I bought on ebay w/case for 160. The fisher doc fixed it up for about 600. These old units need to be worked on so be careful. Do all your homework before you buy!! It will be well worth it!! This coupled with and old pair of JBLs, and a Dual 1229 w/ Shure v15 will delight evev the deaf.

Expand full review >>

Used product for:   3 Months to 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Price Paid:    $160.00

Purchased At:   ebay




Reviews 1 - 5 (19 Reviews Total) | Next 15

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