modern "vintage" radios/ record players

Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by Blackjack, Dec 15, 2014.

  1. Blackjack

    Blackjack One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, Il
    I'm sure theres been a thread on this somewhere here, but I can't find it so... There are a few of these vintage looking radios/ cd players out there, mostly by Crosley which are pretty terrible Chinese built things. I did have a very nice Emerson 40's radio that was lost in a flood that had really good sound and speakers, but of course are no longer made. Does anyone have a good recommendation for any? Something that is well made with good sound????
     
  2. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    22,448
    Location:
    London, UK
    If you're talking about one of the all-in-one recordplayerannaradioannacdinnabox affairs, there are some that superficially look nice, but the build quality is always suspect in my experience, they tend not to sound good, painted plastic instead of wood and such.... I've gone a different route, opting for a 1970s Stereo Tuner for the amp/FM radio, which I'll pair with some nice speakers. DAB radio and CD can be added via other components tucked out of sight, or something like a Roberts Revival / Roberts Sovereign radio.
     
  3. tonydi

    tonydi New in Town

    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    los angeles
    Check out the "radio attic" online. Lots of great original radios, most restored, recapped etc... Some sellers will add an unobtrusive jack in the back that will allow you to plug in your ipod or computer so you can stream music through a beautiful old tube radio. I have one and it sounds great!
     
  4. 31 Model A

    31 Model A A-List Customer

    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    Illinois (Metro-St Louis)
    I want to thank you for posting the Attic info. I've been holding off and I'm glad I did, from ordering one of the Crosley copycats of an original Cathedral early 30s radio. Found one and it's on hold pending arrival of payment info. I can channel now my CDs of 30s music and baseball games through an original cathedral. I got the 1933 Silvertone 1589.

    Cheers............
     
  5. FStephenMasek

    FStephenMasek One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    107
    Location:
    southern California
  6. 31 Model A

    31 Model A A-List Customer

    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    Illinois (Metro-St Louis)
    Thanks for the link......transaction has concluded. I am happy finding what I wanted.

    Cheers.
     
  7. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,318
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Congratulations on the new acquisition, 31ModelA. I'm confident it is going to a good home.

    As to Blackjack's query ...

    I can understand a person wanting a plug-it-in-and-go setup. Those reproduction-esque jobs would be good for that. But I've never seen one that didn't scream "FAKE" to me.

    I'm no audiophile, but I am something of a visualphile (to coin a term), so in my house the appearance of the audio stuff gets more consideration than its sonic qualities. Oh, it's gotta work, and work well, but unless a component is malfunctioning or was of a poor quality to start with, it passes that test.

    I'm a bit displeased that my early-'40s (maybe late-'30s) radio is on the fritz, but I think I can fix it, with some help along the way. I bought the radio for all of 25 bucks, because I liked the way it looked, and because it worked. It's the same reason I bought my old Wharfdale speakers (they were purchased originally by an American GI on R&R in Hong Kong back during that unpleasantness in Southeast Asia; I bought 'em from the soldier's brother), and my Pioneer "end table" speakers (audiophiles ain't all that fond of 'em, but they sure do look cool), and my early-'70s vintage console (purchased from the original owner) in a downright elegant Scandinavian modern style, which now houses a much later model Yamaha turntable and serves as a stand for an Onkyo tuner/amp and a Kenwood CD changer.

    Those speakers will eventually need work (they can only do that flexing so many times before something breaks), and having that work performed may well cost more than I paid for them. But I've come to think of myself as more a steward of this old stuff than its owner. Lots of my stuff has lasted as long as it has because previous owners took good care of it. Many of those people no longer walk with the living. I'll be joining them someday. I don't expect I'll be leaving much of a legacy, but I can hand down interesting old stuff to people who might appreciate that I took the trouble, even if they never learn of me at all.

    I'm all about that grille cloth.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  8. tonyb

    tonyb I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    9,318
    Location:
    My mother's basement
    Congratulations on the new acquisition, 31ModelA. I'm confident it is going to a good home.

    As to Blackjack's query ...

    I can understand a person wanting a plug-it-in-and-go setup. Those reproduction-esque jobs would be good for that. But I've never seen one that didn't scream "FAKE" to me.

    I'm no audiophile, but I am something of a visualphile (to coin a term), so in my house the appearance of the audio stuff gets more consideration than its sonic qualities. Oh, it's gotta work, and work well, but unless a component is malfunctioning or was of a poor quality to start with, it passes that test.

    I'm a bit displeased that my early-'40s (maybe late-'30s) radio is on the fritz, but I think I can fix it, with some help along the way. I bought the radio for all of 25 bucks, because I liked the way it looked, and because it worked. It's the same reason I bought my old Wharfdale speakers (they were purchased originally by an American GI on R&R in Hong Kong back during that unpleasantness in Southeast Asia; I bought 'em from the soldier's brother), and my Pioneer "end table" speakers (audiophiles ain't all that fond of 'em, but they sure do look cool), and my early-'70s vintage console (purchased from the original owner) in a downright elegant Scandinavian modern style, which now houses a much later model Yamaha turntable and serves as a stand for an Onkyo tuner/amp and a Kenwood CD changer.

    Those speakers will eventually need work (they can only do that flexing so many times before something breaks), and having that work performed may well cost more than I paid for them. But I've come to think of myself as more a steward of this old stuff than its owner. Lots of my stuff has lasted as long as it has because previous owners took good care of it. Many of those people no longer walk with the living. I'll be joining them someday. I don't expect I'll be leaving much of a legacy, but I can hand down interesting old stuff to people who might appreciate that I took the trouble, even if they never learn of me at all.
     
  9. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,248
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    GE made a very nice replica set in the early 1980's. AM and FM, an xcellent performer with very nice sound. These often turn up for sale on eBay. If you are looking for a phonograph, perhaps a restored original might be better.
     
  10. Blackjack

    Blackjack One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,192
    Location:
    Crystal Lake, Il
    I would like a vintage AM radio for fun, but I would also like a vintage "looking" radio with a cd player and possible internet hookup with out the hassle of connecting an Ipod ect. The Emerson I had did have really nice tone to it and when cranked was loud but Crosley seems to be the only game in town and they are pretty much crap. I was looking at one of these that is hooked up for internet radio, 40's music day and night-
    1941_bg_shot.jpg
     
  11. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    22,448
    Location:
    London, UK
    Cool idea. Similar to what I'm doing, albeit that I'm working with 70s hifi. :)
     
  12. Stanley Doble

    Stanley Doble Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,808
    Location:
    Cobourg
    About the only thing that wears out on a speaker is the foam, and that part is cheap to buy and easy to replace, you just cut off the old one and glue on the new. The trick is to shim the coil with paper so it is centered when you glue the new foam on. Some guys do this every year just to keep their speakers working perfect.

    http://www.decware.com/newsite/refoam.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  13. vitanola

    vitanola I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    4,248
    Location:
    Gopher Prairie, MI
    Sorry, but no loudspeaker that I'd ever call "vintage" has a foam edge suspension. Anything made between around 1929 and 1971 has a more-or-less imperishable edge suspension made of either paper or cloth. Some pre-1930 speakers use a very thin doe-skin suspension which generally needs to be replaced, but these sets are probably just a bit too old for your interest.

    Do you want a tabletop set or a console? I could certainly come up with something attractive, serviceable, reliable and reasonably cheap in either category. The better quality sets of the 1935-37 period, which feature the very long-lived metal tubes are usually fitted with a phonograph input, which can easily be adapted to one's IPod or to a Bluetooth connection.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2014
  14. 31 Model A

    31 Model A A-List Customer

    Messages:
    484
    Location:
    Illinois (Metro-St Louis)
    Thanks again....the quality is out of this world.
     
  15. Warden

    Warden One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,333
    Location:
    UK
  16. Rahgnar.s

    Rahgnar.s New in Town

    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Stroudsburg, PA

    This is what I did when I cleaned up this beautiful old Motorola console record player I got at a thrift store. I paid $8 for it and it's all tube. Boy do those original Jensen Blues sound amazing. Best 8 bucks I ever spent.

    I agree with most of the others folks sentiments on going vintage. You will get MUCH BETTER quality all around. You can put little personal touches throughout. It may be a little more work, but trust me it's worth it to have something you're really proud of.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  17. Kahuna

    Kahuna One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    270
    Location:
    Moscow, ID
    Although I cannot vouch personally for the quality of radios from this company (too expensive for my limited budget), I have read good reviews on a few of their radios and they are supposed to perform well. I put this one on my wish list a few years back but haven't been able to rake the bucks together yet. I couldn't find price info this time, always a bad sign, but as I recall this one ran around $350 several years ago. They seem to have expanded their retro line since then and have quite a few nice looking sets.

    If there's anyone here who has real life experience with these radios I'd love to hear your review. I just found this rather good review followed by a postscript by an actual owner that says they are no good so I would really like to know: http://www.6moons.com/audioreviews/tubetuner/r601p.html
    [​IMG]

    http://www.audio01.com/eng/product.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2014

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