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Success Stories If you have successfully repaired or restored a piece of equipment, why not write up what you did and post details here. Particularly if it was interesting, unusual or challenging. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 16th Sep 2020, 5:04 pm   #1
Michael.N.
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Bradford, West Yorkshire, UK.
Posts: 142
Default Philips Philetta.

Here is my compact Philips Philetta B3D32A otherwise known as the Philetta de luxe. Around '63.
I imported it from German ebay, obviously a pretty hard to find set in the UK. In terms of electronics there wasn't a great deal to get it working, just a new ECL86. I changed a few capacitors. The main smoothing caps had been replaced but left a little untidy.
The main and time consuming work was on the cabinet. The original finish (almost certainly nitro) had multiple extreme long cracks, as though someone had scored the entire cabinet with a sharp Stanley knife. Those types of cracks are fairly common with nitro of the period, it's a brittle hard finish and the heat from the valves wouldn't have helped. I decided to strip it. In the end I re-veneered the whole cabinet with American Black Walnut and finished it in shellac - actually seed-lac, which is a fairly raw form of shellac. It gives much more colour than something like button. I added a red tint to give the walnut a much warmer hue. it doesn't quite come across on the picture but it's more like a deep reddish mahogany.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 9:36 pm   #2
vinrads
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, UK.
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Default Re: Philips Philetta.

Wow that look splendid ,Michael well done with the repair ,and the cabinet finish , I have restored several American set's and have used the black walnut to good effect , I know what you mean with the cracks , there is not allot you can do, but strip it off , Mick.
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Old 16th Sep 2020, 10:28 pm   #3
Michael.N.
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Default Re: Philips Philetta.

Thanks. You can actually solve the original nitro and repair it although it's possible (or even probable) that it will happen again. Craquelure became a popular 'relic' finish for modern guitars as they started to imitate what had happened to Fender guitars of the late 50's and 60's. That nitro again. Over the years they've altered the formula to prevent the defect. What I had on the radio wouldn't really be described as craquelure, much more alarming than that.
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Old 17th Sep 2020, 10:09 am   #4
Tractionist
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Default Re: Philips Philetta.

Very nice - a handsome set. Trust Phillips to digress from 'tried and proven' techniques eh? !!
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