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Anderton

OMG, I Don't Need Radio Shack Any More!

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So HC has ads...and sometimes I click on them. Well, I saw a banner from Amplified Parts and it was animated so I clicked on it (like raccoons, I'm attracted to shiny objects).

 

It's like someone invented Radio Shack for musicians. A 3PDT footswitch! Potentiometers with all kinds of switches! Enclosures!! They even have reverb tanks. Time to make a new Hot Springs reverb.

 

I suppose it's bad form to pimp an advertiser but jeez, it's just so cool that this place exists. I didn't see ICs in there, but I can find those elsewhere. Guess it's time for me to revise Electronics Projects for Musicians.

 

 

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How about that? They're in my old hometown of Tempe, AZ, just a few miles from where I spent most of my youth. They look cool. Thanks for sharing, Craig!

 

Speaking of great parts shops, I'd bet you would have loved Electronic City. They were a Burbank store that served as a Radio Shack for the record industry. Unfortunately, they closed in late 2013. The owner's new business focusses on surveillance equipment. A sign of the times, I suppose...

 

Best,

 

Geoff

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I'm in the process of overhauling some old Hewlett-Packard test equipment that I bought at a hamfest a couple of weeks ago (the seller said "of course it works" - I should have taken my chances on eBay!). I used to have a Radio Shack just a few blocks from home and if it was still there, I would have made a few trips for capacitors and diodes as I needed them.

 

There's an electronics parts distributor about half an hour drive from me (about 10 miles, but a lot of traffic) but they don't have much of a stock of the components that need to be replaced now (the kind that they made 30-40 years ago). Most of the small components that they stock are what's used in today's products. You just can't replace an axial lead capacitor on a circuit board with a radial lead one without some futzing and compromising mechanical robustness.

 

Yesterday I came back with $17 worth of capacitors and Zener diodes that I thought might need replacement. The good news is that I fixed the voltmeter with about $1.50 worth of parts (which would have cost $3 at Radio Shack).

 

So, yeah, I still need my neighborhood Radio Shack now and then. .

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Radio Shack was nice to have nearby for the "oops, I forgot X" moments when you needed something right away, but they never carried anything remotely close to the variety of musically-relevant stuff that Amplified Parts does.

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Radio Shack was nice to have nearby for the "oops' date=' I forgot X" moments when you needed something right away, but they never carried anything remotely close to the variety of musically-relevant stuff that Amplified Parts does.[/quote']

 

"Musically relevant" is relative. If what you need is a diode or a capacitor to fix the power supply in your keyboard so you can play that Sunday night gig, then what you had a good shot of getting from Radio Shack is musically relevant - assuming you know what to do with the parts once they're in hand. But you might not get an exact replacement for a switch or pot on your guitar. You might be able to get through a gig with what you find at RS, however.

 

It's not enough to just get the parts, you need to know what to do with them. I had a band in here recording when I was still using my Ampex MM-1100 and they asked if I could slow it down for a vocal overdub so the singer could reach the high note. I had never set up for vari-speed since normally I don't need it, but I had an oscillator, a manual for the recorder, and all I needed was a 6 pin Jones plug to connect the oscillator to the recorder. So I checked the Radio Shack web site, found that the connector was in their catalog, called the local store and they had one. So the guy who went over to pick up dinner (Peruvian rotisserie chicken) right next to the Radio Shack brought back the chicken and the connector, and we had vari-speed in time for dessert.

 

The singer still couldn't sing that part even a whole step lower, but the chicken was good.

 

 

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The singer still couldn't sing that part even a whole step lower, but the chicken was good.

 

 

:lol: Isn't that how it goes sometimes? But the important thing is, you looked like a hero because you were able to accommodate their request for varispeed. :)

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I like their selection of parts , will have to try them out .

 

Edited by pk1fan
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I'm going to ask the company if we can get a couple kits for Phil and Chris to review.

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I'm going to ask the company if we can get a couple kits for Phil and Chris to review.

 

They have a power transformer that will replace the dead one in my H-P 201C oscillator. Can you get me one of those to review?

 

They do have some interesting kits, particularly those for modifying guitar amplifiers. If they had something like their "Electricity kit" but with resistors, capacitors, inductors, pots and a simple signal source and AC voltmeter, it might be good education for everyone involved with recording or amplifiaction. I'd review that.

 

 

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Nice stock of tubes. Is a Winged C 6550 matched sextet really worth $600+ ??? My SVT-CL will eventually need retubing, but I'll likely spring for the ~$200 sets unless the Winged C's work miracles....

 

I'm old but not old enough to recall RS ever stocking tubes. My recollection is that in the 70's they had a decent inventory of electronic components, which steadily shrunk as the company tried to cater to the "what, me solder?" crowd.

 

It's good to see a company that has muso's in mind, thanks for the head's-up, Craig.

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Nice stock of tubes. Is a Winged C 6550 matched sextet really worth $600+ ???

 

I'm old but not old enough to recall RS ever stocking tubes.

 

$100 a piece for 6550s? Great googly moogly! I'll have to look through my tube box and see if I have any. If I can sell a couple for that, I can afford a nicer hotel room for the NAMM show.

 

Radio Shack not only used to sell tubes, but every store had a tube tester. But then, back in that day, drug stores had tube testers and sold tubes, too. That was back when you could fix your TV by replacing a tube, as long as you put the tubes back in the right sockets after you've brought the bag back from the drug store (or Radio Shack).

 

 

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I miss the old Radio Shack product lineup for those "need to run out and get it now moments" like a CMOS 4013 Flip-flop but or something, but Amplified Parts looks pretty cool.

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Nice stock of tubes. Is a Winged C 6550 matched sextet really worth $600+ ??? My SVT-CL will eventually need retubing' date=' but I'll likely spring for the ~$200 sets unless the Winged C's work miracles....[/quote']

 

Not really sure, but I do know 6550's tend to be fairly expensive.

 

I'm old but not old enough to recall RS ever stocking tubes. My recollection is that in the 70's they had a decent inventory of electronic components, which steadily shrunk as the company tried to cater to the "what, me solder?" crowd.

 

I remember when tube testers and supplies of various tubes were found in all kinds of stores - including drug stores. They were really common in the 60s, and steadily became less so as the 70s progressed.

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Yes, Radio Shack sold tubes at least until the late 70's. They sold "premium" tubes with gold-plated pins, and most stores had a tube tester as well.

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I remember going to K-Mart with my dad when I was really little to test tubes for the TV and buy whatever new ones we needed. We didn't have a Radio Shack yet. I remember seeing tubes there too later, but we weren't buying or testing tubes by that point. I bought a lot of stuff at the shack... all kinds of components, ICs, project boxes, etc... until I discovered Mouser. But RS was still my go-to into the 90's for things I forgot to order or just needed something last minute.

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I have bought a few things from them, most recently a new reverb tank...their shipping costs are a tad high, but they do have what you need to keep your gear up or do mods.

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$100 a piece for 6550s? Great googly moogly! I'll have to look through my tube box and see if I have any. If I can sell a couple for that, I can afford a nicer hotel room for the NAMM show.

 

Radio Shack not only used to sell tubes, but every store had a tube tester. But then, back in that day, drug stores had tube testers and sold tubes, too. That was back when you could fix your TV by replacing a tube, as long as you put the tubes back in the right sockets after you've brought the bag back from the drug store (or Radio Shack).

 

 

Our local Radio Shack even sold TV's and had a repair dept. . I started about 1972 helping my dad in his TV repair shop . Tube checking was one of my first jobs , that and cleaning TV tuners . Nice mark-up on tubes buy one wholesale for $3 sell for $10 e , that is why the drug stores were in the biz . Tubes were high failure items in TV's , lots of heat build-up in the cabinet didn't help .Long time ago .

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Radio Shack not only used to sell tubes, but every store had a tube tester. But then, back in that day, drug stores had tube testers and sold tubes, too. That was back when you could fix your TV by replacing a tube, as long as you put the tubes back in the right sockets after you've brought the bag back from the drug store (or Radio Shack).

 

 

Remember the little numbered sticker sets they used to offer to make that task easier? One for the socket, one for the tube...

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I too got started in electronics by fixing TVs and radios for my Dad when I was 8 or so. He was a repair tech at Montgomery Wards. He handed me his entire correspondence course in electronics (several thousand pages) and I found in fascinating. I read it cover to cover. Good memories!

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So HC has ads...and sometimes I click on them. Well, I saw a banner from Amplified Parts and it was animated so I clicked on it (like raccoons, I'm attracted to shiny objects).

 

It's like someone invented Radio Shack for musicians. A 3PDT footswitch! Potentiometers with all kinds of switches! Enclosures!! They even have reverb tanks. Time to make a new Hot Springs reverb.

 

I suppose it's bad form to pimp an advertiser but jeez, it's just so cool that this place exists. I didn't see ICs in there, but I can find those elsewhere. Guess it's time for me to revise Electronics Projects for Musicians.

 

 

Electronics Projects For Musicians .... the book that made countless musicians learn the art of guitar mods .... a must have for guitarists and bassists !!!!

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Fry's is now the go to retail store here for most electronic parts. They had a much wider variety of parts before Radio Shack went "boobs" up, mostly due to Radio Shack having long ago focused on phones and RC toys. If Fry's doesn't have it, there's a parts place in Austin mostly for pros due to the uni and Pickle Research Center being across the street.

 

One thing Radio Shack was sooo consistent at was batteries, consistently terrible! Their batteries discharged so quickly I was always tempted to cut one open and see if was really just a foil capacitor!

 

Strangely, there's still one RS open here in Austin at Capital Plaza. They don't seem to have changed at all. :confused:

 

Terry D.

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Fry's doesn't have any stores in the East, at least not anywhere near me. Sometimes when I have time to kill near LAX airport, though, I'll go browsing the Fry's around there. More than once I've found something that I've been looking for and, if it's small enough, bought it.

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Thanks for the heads up on amplified parts Craig. Around here (boonies) RS stores were nothing more than Sprint stores for the last few years. I got frustrated every time I tried to find something simple ...

 

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Strangely, there's still one RS open here in Austin at Capital Plaza. They don't seem to have changed at all. :confused:

 

Terry D.

 

That's why all the other stores have gone under. Aside from using 50% of their sq-footage for cell phones, RS was always kinda like Sears...higher priced than their competition and not offering anything much in return. =poor value.

 

 

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Hey' date=' are you the same BobF who does the intelligent posts over at the Cakewalk forum? If so, welcome![/quote']

 

I'm the same guy ... I thought I would come over and see what you have going on over here. A lot of great stuff to absorb here.

Thanks for the warm welcome

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