My Vintage Radio Collection

Discussion in 'The Display Case' started by RetroToday, Jul 19, 2007.

  1. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

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    Thanks Ed. Yes, the dial is definitely classic '30's. I personally loved vintage tweed-n-stripes luggage from that time. Between these having that look and being a radio, it's a shoe-in for me that I collect them! Many of these cabinets were actually made by luggage companies. They're solid as a rock. With the fully enclosed cabinet (there's little to no heat with these) you get a beautiful tone from them too. Some sound every bit as good as a period 5-6 tube wooden tabletop set.
     
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  2. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    hadn't thought of that! makes perfect sense to have luggage type design aesthetics to ensure a strong and rugged enclosure for delicate tube radios. interesting! and now I can see the vintage travel luggage in the radio! Wow! very cool indeed!
     
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  3. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

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    That's why these appeal to me. I always found '30's-'40's luggage appealing. Interestingly, most radio collectors overlook these sets. It's probably because they feel they're too utilitarian looking. Also, many are scared away with the delicate tubes. One mistake with the A and B supply and poof! All your scarce low drain tubes are toast. I did that I two sets myself. I'm lucky that my repairman has these in stock and gives me an extremely fair price on them. Anyway, this makes them fairly cheap to acquire. Even really clean one's. Only certain really odd models bring a little more.
     
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  4. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    A local collector friend had this 1935 Philco model 144B for years and it always impressed me. It was keeper for him. Just recently he was willing to do a trade with me and I finally have it. It's a big imposing cathedral at 19" tall and 16" wide. The two-tone rich finishes are so elegant. This was really a centerpiece in the home. It has 4 bands and a "weathervane" tuning meter above the dial. Choosing bands also moves the pilot lamp beam to the corresponding area of the dial. It sounds as impressive as it looks although it's just a 6-tube chassis. It's got that warm rich tube sound. This is what '30's radios are all about! 1935.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2020
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  5. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    WOW! WOW! WOW! Now THAT is AMaZInG!!!! I have never seen a cathedral type quite like that! well, I hope that previous owner friends knows its in the right hands. I bet he would ONLY let you have it otherwise kept it. I doubt anyone else would be able to acquire it from him. nice score!
     
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  6. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    Thank you Ed. You always make me feel proud of my collection which, so far, is 40 years in the making. I never knew it would get this out of hand! LOL. Anyway, this one is truly a jaw-dropper. I was listening to period jazz on it and it had me mesmerized. I always call these sets "works of art". Yes, I know this collector dealer for many years and he never forgets when I say "if you ever decide to sell..." He's one of 3 big-time local radio/TV/phono collector-dealer I know and between them all, I get notifications of incoming pieces constantly. It may sound great, but it makes it very difficult to refrain from spending!
     
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  7. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    lol! a curse in disguise! a double edged sword if you will. its a great hobby and you know the rarity and value of such items but furthermore you restore, retain and use them as intended! I love listening to old 1940s radio broadcasts on my 1941 Zenith... makes it seem all the more authentic and its like a time machine... hearing it the way it was meant to be heard!
    honestly I didn't realize the type and amount of tubes dictated the quality. that is really interesting to me. I would love to hear the variations of a broadcast on different types and levels of quality radios.. to get that mellow sound would be delicious to my ears! very cool info to learn there!
     
  8. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    199
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    I'm the same way Ed. Listening to period broadcasts on old set is magical to me. It's the full experience. It's like cruising in a '50's convertible with classic doo-wop songs on the radio. It's the proper atmosphere. As far as vacuum tubes go, in general, once you get to 6-8 tubes you're at optimum performance of the AM band, especially if it's well engineered chassis. As you go into 10, 12, and 15+ tubes (it went as high as 48!) it's just tweaking the sensitivity, clarity, and tone. I heard high tube-count radios before and, with a clear AM signal tuned-in, there's not a jaw-dropping difference . These sets catered to the "money-no-object" crowd who wanted a radio heads above the rest. High-end companies like E. H. Scott didn't even put their chrome laden chassis in a cabinet in some cases! When they did, they would put a phono-like lid on it so the owner could impress his guests. Today wealthy collectors get them for the same reason. They sell for upwards of $5K. A precious few upwards of $50K! E.-H.-Scott-Philharmonic-Beam-of-Light-inside.jpg
    scott-1.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2020
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  9. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    wow. now that's interesting to know! big money showoffs impressed people with their radio tube count! lol! kind of like how kids in the late 90s early 2000s tied to impress their friends with how many gigs of ram they had or how powerful a video card they got for their computer. overclocking the processor to get more frames per second... that sort of thing always did NOT impress me but oh so many of my friends talked the geek to me none the less. :D I have to admit though.. a visual display does and even though I may not be savvy enough to know what exactly certain electronics do I have to say, seeing that open display tube radio is like looking at chrome on a vintage Buick! eye candy for sure! (and in this case a feast for the EarBalls too! :D )
     
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  10. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Location:
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    Although I've been in this hobby since I was about 12, I really have never been an electronics geek. In fact me and modern electronics DO NOT meet eye to eye! LOL :) I only know the technicalities strictly in layman's terms. For me it's all about the aesthetics. I like to have a pro get them performing and then just admire them as they play. I must admit, whenever I have done any rudimentary chassis repair work, it's very satisfying. You also enjoy those sets a little more than the others for what you accomplished. I wanted to post one more E. H. Scott for you. This is a classic example of an open chassis model on a Scott speaker cabinet. These speaker bases are so rare and valuable that collectors have created exact replica's!
    EHScott_FullRangeHighFidelity_Beacom.jpg
     
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  11. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    thanks so much for sharing these. I was not aware of this type of radio existing! I guess I should have known that being radio was such an important tool for news information and escapism that there would be a market for every income level. this is amazing to see that there were the fords, chevy's, Buick and Rolls Royce versions of these items! quite the education for me as had I ever been lucky enough to come across an open chassis model I would not have known what I was even looking at! in fact I would have thought something was missing from the cabinet :D
    absoluletly stunning radio!
     
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  12. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Yes Ed. I too was taken aback by these open-framed high-end sets. I used to think that they looked ridiculous, but later realized that it would be a sin to put these chromed chassis' in a cabinet! I actually never considered putting a high-end set in my collection. For me it was never about being "rare and valuable". I always liked attractive common sets that would've been found in the parlor of average Americans. They speak to me more. I know radio/TV collections that will shun a stunning '30's console radio and say "it's nice, but common, and only a 6 tube chassis". They see it as a bad investment. To me that's not a true collector. I feel if you're looking to invest your money, deal in the stock market. This hobby should be strictly for enjoyment only.
     
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  13. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    this is how I deal with anything I collect. not for any future value although it is always a nice thought that if I take care of them I might be able to at least get my money back but most likely will have to take a loss... so my collecting is always about what I am interested in, what I find to enhance the decor of my home and to obtain and experience the item first hand for merely the enjoyment of it. in the end we are all only caretakers just borrowing the item for a little while. very few items ever go up in value enough to justify considering it a true investment. I do love it when I come across an item that has a certain current value but I am able to acquire it for much less. that always a feel good win. I'm into the aesthetics's and history of an item. I love industrial design and especially interesting vintage designs of the 20's through the 50s with my main interest in the 30's & 40s. I may not necessarily be around to benefit from any of my collection being of increased value :D
    And if I am it will be bitter sweet. by the time I have to let items go I am of extreme old age and the money I would get from tearfully selling items dear to me would just go to medications or cremation costs. :p so I enjoy what I have with no real thought of them as any kind of investment other than an investment in my emotional well being.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2020
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  14. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
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    Wow Ed, I echo everything you wrote line for line. We don't just have similar taste, but exact tastes! LOL. Ditto with our slant on the hobby. For me the art-deco interests probably stems from my Grandmothers old house in Queens, NY. Everything was from the 1930's. Of particular interests was a chic bronze ashtray with the typical nude woman which was placed on a small deco wood and glass serving tray style coffee table. Also two color airbrush framed drawings of gazelles leaping within circular multi-color bubbles. It was love at first sight with art-deco/machine-age/streamline-modern design. I also like the gothic and cubist deco of the 1920's and space-age '50's-early '60's. The 1920's through the early 1960's produced the most eye-candy in design of any time before or after. It's when we wanted things around us to make us smile besides being functional.
     
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  15. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    199
    Location:
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    This one isn't up to my standards, but I call these "rescue" sets. It was sitting hidden in a small antiques mall a friend of mine runs. The price was low-enough the first time I enquired about it, but a very reasonable price was settled on it the 2nd time. This is a cheapie generic set that Detrola, among a slew of other small companies, were known for. It's a 1940 Detrola model 327. The generic cabinet was obviously made for another chassis with four pushbuttons, and stainless caps were simply inserted into the holes for this model. The chassis on this one is no slouch though. it's a well performing 2-band 7-tuber. The cabinet was amateurly refinished, but it actually displays very decent. Just a fun set with some nice deco details.
    1939 Detrola 327.JPG
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
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  16. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    very interesting. had I found it I would have thought parts were missing and someone put the caps in the holes recently. the wood cabinet is still in nice shape.
     
  17. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

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    199
    Location:
    Long Island, N.Y.
    Back in the '30's there was the popular sets and then many thousands of non-descript, generic, and orphan radios. These sets often have things about them that look off. I have a 1940 Setchell Carlson radio where the 4 knobs are not lined up with the dial and you'd swear the added third hole was done by an amateur! I finally came to find that it was indeed factory correct! Very likely Detrola got these pre-drilled cabinets cheaply and simply plugged the incorrect holes. Everything else seems right. In fact they widened the narrow dial for this model to fit the large lens. it's an odd one. Not one I would've paid any substantial price for.
     
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  18. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    1943

    IMG_1530.JPG
     
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  19. decojoe67

    decojoe67 One of the Regulars

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    Location:
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    Just got this oddball from a friend. It's a circa 1936 metal "Marshall" kitchen radio, model unknown. It's got 2 bands and 5 tubes. The colorful dial lights in two sections. With a long antenna it's a very adequate performer. With the top speaker cut-outs and the classic '30's buttercream ivory color, it resembles a small stove. This little set has such a nice solid look and feel to it that you have to love it.
    1936 Marshall.JPG
     
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  20. Edward Reed

    Edward Reed One of the Regulars

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    oh ya... definitely a kitchen counter radio in my mind! if you have had one too many you might end up trying to make your toast with it! :D
     
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