Got My First Tubes ! What the heck do I do now!?!?! (Nube status)


Howdy. 
So I found a Fisher 800C in lovely condition. "Story goes" that its from a collection but hasn't been used in years. So what the heck do I do now?!? I'm interested in learning but I have to admit I'm far (far) from being an engineer. 
I've heard that step one is to "bring it up" on a variac, while also somehow testing the voltage. Where am I connecting the terminals? I imagine I'm also meant to test all the tubes, but some seen hidden and I wonder if it's best to do this before or after the variac. Also someone put a small sticker on the face. What's the safest thing to clean it with? One of the little gold knob covers fell off. What's the best thing to glue it with? Should I clean the case? 
So as you can see I know next to nothing. My goal is to keep everything as original as possible but I understand folks have opinions on upgrades which are necessary in order to actually preserve the unit. I live in Richmond VA and travel to DC often enough. Does anyone know a well regarded individual of repair shop I should maybe just take it to? What might I expect $ wise? 
I appreciate y'all. My goal is to make this part of a "bedroom system" which I'll post about separately. 
Merci!
seaninatx
Congrats! You have a well-regarded, classic receiver there. Here’s what I’d do:
- assuming you have no idea how old the tubes are, invest in some new ones. Your outputs are 7591’s, while your inputs are 12xax7’s. For the former:
https://www.thetubestore.com/search?keywords=7591
The latter can be found at many sites.

https://www.thetubestore.com/search?keywords=12ax
Mullards and Tung-Sols are good, everyman tubes for this receiver.

- with a microfiber cloth and alcohol or contact cleaner, clean all the contacts -- the inside of the RCA’s; the speaker terminals, and tube sockets. For the latter, apply contact cleaner to the tube prongs and insert them in and out of the sockets several times.

- the gold knob can be reglued on to its axis with standard cement or epoxy. Not too much.

- try GooGone for the sticker.

The capacitors may need replacing after all this time. There are many electronic bench shops in the DC area. Astro Services and Burke Electronics are good ones. They’ll run a bench test and give you a complete diagnosis. They should apply the cost of the bench test to whatever repairs are needed.
What the neck do I do now? Turn around and walk slowly away, don't look back and never mention it again and you will be ok, otherwise it sounds like you might be in for the long haul and if so, enjoy
Well, I’ll tell you what I did when I resurrected my Audio Research LS-16 from a basement: I plugged it in, hooked it up and turned it on.

Since I’m also new at this it probably isn’t the best advice but that was 8 months ago and it has been working great.

However, tooblue is right. Run away. I had the same intentions as you. Stick my toe in, play around, spend no money. I’ve probably spent a couple grand and I’m thoroughly hooked. Was looking at a CDP/DAC combo this afternoon for $2000 and thought, hey, that’s not bad........8 months ago I could not have imagined spending that much on any audio component and I now know there are people who would laugh at said paltry $2000 CD player.

Edit: WD-40 works great on sticker residue. Apply. Let it sit. Then remove. The edge of a credit card can help and not mar anything.

Also, consider a can of DeOxit if you get static when turning volume, balance and EQ knobs. It fixes it amazingly well. 

If any lights need to be replaced let us know. Just replaced bulbs in my old Toshiba receiver. Tricky but doable. I can give you some links and resources.
Fisher made pretty nice stuff but that was a long time ago.


The power supply of the receiver employs things called filter capacitors (round cylinders near the rear of the receiver) that store energy from the power transformer. They are electro-chemical in nature, a bit like a battery but have longer lives but don't store as much energy. For sure at this point they are so old that they *all* need replacing (and they are probably all available from Antique Radio Supply in Arizona).

This will cost $200-$400 to do properly. Its important- if not replaced, they can draw excess current which could destroy the power transformer and that will likely be the end- the transformer is really expensive if you can even find one so you really don't want to allow that. Otherwise the power transformer is plenty reliable.


So get the filter capacitors replaced, deal with the tubes, get the switches and controls cleaned and then see what you think. You'll want to use speakers that are easier to drive and I would avoid 4 ohm speakers as they are far less likely to show off the good properties of the unit that made Fisher famous.
Find someone to refurb the amp, test the tubes,  prior to plugging it in!  
Tha is for your thought y’all.