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Aug 182008


Bill Pauluh's Restored Pilot Hi Fi Top View

While we at NYC Resistor pride ourselves on hacking the latest technology, we also have a passion for understanding that which came before – and the history on which our beloved technology is built.  You need to know where you came from, as it were.

My good friend William Pauluh of Hartford, CT is an avid vintage audio restoration hobbyist.  Bill takes care to replace worn passives with appropriate replacements, and salvages as much of the original hardware as possible.  Then he takes the time to refurbish the exterior and bring the gear to an almost-new look.  The audio quality of these vintage pieces must be heard to believe.  While the mainstream world is running headlong into compressed, poorly quantized audio – these relics from last century produce mellow, quality tones from primitive analog hardware. With the right patience and expertise, you too can grab an eBay relic and turn it into something new and wondrous for your audio pleasure.

“I’ve attached some photos showing the amp after I replaced capacitors and a few resistors, testing the unit, the amp & speakers in the cabinet, and the final assembly. I didn’t take any photos of the changer during my standard procedure of cleaning/lubing ( I really should, but my hands get so greasy/oily – I’m constantly washing them).

Pilot was a quality manufacturer in the early days (1950’s) of HI FI (along with Marantz, MacIntosh, Fisher, H.H. Scott, and Harmon Kardon).

Garrard was a quality manufacturer of turntables/record changers (based in England). Japanese price cutting in the 1970’s did them in.

This unit has the original Telefunken 12AX7’s (super low noise) and they test out very strong emission – plenty of life left!

I also received the original sales receipt for this Pilot HI FI (model PT-1015). It was purchased from a dealer in Canton, Ohio on 2/18/58 for the price of $169.50 + 5.09 tax for a total of $174.59 (adjusted for inflation in 2008 dollars, it’s around $1000.00).

I read on some link that Buddy Holly’s producer, Norman Petty, purchased 3 of these units back then (I beleive two were with the black cabinet and one in tan). I wonder if one of those went to Buddy Holly?

Interesting trivia to ponder.


Check out more photos at Flickr!

(All material posted with permission of William Pauluh and copyright by same)

 Posted by at 11:58 pm

  3 Responses to “For the vintage radio lover: 1957 Pilot Hi Fi restored”

Comments (3)

    I have my own little vintage radio restoration project I keep procrastinating on…

  2. What is one of these phonographs worth Low-High price i have one in an estate I am about to sell and would like to get a ball park idea of its value. Pilot Model PT 1015

    Thanks Louis

  3. I have one of these sitting in my closet. It was my grandfathers. anyone interested in making me an offer. Its identical to this one except its a blk case.

    Email me anytime
    [email protected]

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