Super-Zenith Model VII
381 All-wave Duo
RCA’s “top-of-the-line” for 1934 was the 381 Allwave Duo. The receiver was a 12 tube all-wave covering 140kc to 40mc in five bands. Push-Pull audio using type 42 tubes resulted in fabulous sound reproduction. Separate treble and bass controls allowed the user to further adjust the sound to their particular taste.
The automatic phonograph utilized the standard “horse-shoe” magnetic pick-up with two-speed changer, allowing both 78RPM discs and RCA Program Transcriptions (33.3RPM) to be played.
This massive, 15 tube receiver was top-of-the-line from Philco in 1936. Art deco and architectural styles influenced the cabinet design and the chassis featured everything Philco had to offer for the best in radio reception and high fidelity audio reproduction.
The output is 20 watts of undistorted, class “A” push-pull audio, supplied by a pair of 6A3s driving a massive 11″ electrodynamic speaker along with an 11″ passive radiator and two 8″ passive radiators, (Philco called them Acoustic Clarifiers.) A separate bias rectifier tube is used for the audio stages
RCA-Victor Co., Inc. 10K
1936 was a “magic” year for RCA. Everything that year was “magic.” There was the Magic Brain, a circuit that featured individual coils for each stage and frequency range in a separate floating chassis for the receiver front-end. Then there was the Magic Eye, the cathode-ray tuning indicator that provided a visual aid to “zero-in” on stations.
The Magic Voice was a sealed chamber for the speaker that also had various length resonator tubes that exited the sound pressure out the bottom of the cabinet. The optional antenna system was called Magic Wave. The 10K was a great performer with its 10 tube chassis and frequency coverage in five band
General Electric Model G-106
When watching this radio in operation, one must have thought that the “future” was here,….in 1938! Even though the GE Model G-106 is a standard, 10 tube chassis with P-P 6V6s in the audio, driving a 12″ speaker, it is its incredible automatic operation that truely makes it an impressive radio.
Using 96 preset switches which can select 6 different station adjustable presets and a clock-timer, this receiver can turn itself on, motor-drive to any one of the 6 selected stations, play the program (time duration is setable in 15 minute increments up to a total of 24 hours), when that program is finished, motor-drive to the next selected station/program (any of the 6) and, when finished with the entire pre-programed cycle, turn itself off.
McMurdo Silver – Masterpiece VI
The Masterpiece VI dates from 1937 and featured 21 tubes, five bands, double-preselection, volume expander, selectable bandwidth, cathode-ray tuning indicator and terrific deco styling, (the chrome dust cover was removed for the photo.) This Masterpiece VI was originally owned by Rheingold Redelius, a prominent Reno, Nevada businessman. Unfortunately, the set had been stored in a basement that flooded in the infamous 1950 Reno Flood. Redelius managed to save the receiver but he discarded the severely damaged Clifton cabinet with 18″ speaker and amplifier-power supply.
McMurdo Silver “15-17”
McMurdo Silver had a long-running feud with E.H.Scott. The conflict began when Silver bought an AW-23, disassembled it and then published what he thought was wrong with Scott’s receiver. Scott did the same thing to a Masterpiece and the feud began.
At one point Scott sued McMurdo Silver for $100,000 in damages.
This was “top-of-the-line” for Philco’s 1939 production year. Featuring a true, wireless remote control dubbed “Mystery Control”, the 39-116 used 14 tubes – eight tubes were used in the radio receiver, five tubes in the remote receiver (part of the radio receiver chassis) and one tube in the remote transmitter (which was battery operated.) Remote station selection actuated a stepper unit switching between eight pre-set tuners.
Scott Radio Laboratories
This was the ultimate home radio available in 1940. With the 33 tube AM-FM Philharmonic chrome-plated chassis, 60 watts of audio power from Push-Pull-Parallel 6L6s, a Scott Record-o-matic (record cutter) with PA microphone pre-amplifier (another tube and small chrome chassis), three speakers, “beam of light” tuning plus the capability of receiving the new Armstrong FM broadcasts, this Scott receiver did provide absolutely incredible performance at a thunderous volu
Philco 95 Low Boy
The radio was in pretty good shape externally, mainly dirty. The brass was dull, the bakelite had almost no shine, and the gold paint had worn off the knobs.
I used a damp cloth to clean the outside, then plastic cleaner/polish to remove the scratches and give the bakelite a shine. I used Brasso on the speaker grill and dial, and a gold paint pen for the knobs.
The chassis were also in good shape, thought quite dirty. There was no rust or other damage to the metal. The light bulb was burned out, however, and I had no idea where to find one.
I cleaned the metal with a damp cloth, followed by a little bit of Brasso. The tubes were cleaned with a damp cloth, and one of them needed replacing as it was out of spec. I found that the bulb used for the dial is the same type as is used in many modern night lights, making for an easy replacement.
The inside was in great shape, and was even mostly clean (most of the dirt must have gone right to the chassis). 🙂 Some of the wires were worn and brittle, and missing some insulation
I cleaned the inside with a damp cloth, and replaced the worn wires with new ones. The speaker was replaced with a modern one after this picture was taken due to a tear in the paper cone.
The electronics needed a little work. The radio played, but quite weakly, it was difficult to get any reception, and there was an overpowering buzz from the speaker.
Apoligies for the somewhat shaky picture. An antenna wire was replaced to fix the reception problem. Almost all of the capacitors in the radio were out of spec, so needed to be replaced with new ones. Most notably was the power capacitor (in the lower left corner), which was replaced by two modern electrolytic capacitors to eliminate buzz from the 60 Hz power.
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Fonovox Kobel (Loewe-Opta)
Fonovox Kobel (Loewe-Opta)
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