Author Topic: Post-war consoles - the forgotten  (Read 143 times)

Motorola Minion

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Southern Pennsylvania
    • View Profile
Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« on: August 14, 2019, 11:08:43 AM »
Making an exception for a few of my Magnavox pieces, I have collected about a dozen 40's-era radio-record players that averaged $10 each, mainly via CL from attics-garages-basements-outbuildings, which seem to be bursting with cast-off wood-encased treasures. Sellers are listing and I am watching ::) :P :-[, waiting for the ultimate despair that sets in when there are no responses to even reasonable ads. 

These were pre-high fidelity yet the designs are mostly horizontal (personal favorite configuration) and the record machines were truly impressive, though limited to 78 rpm records. Long play 33 rpm must not have been as common then but a few original players had more than one speed. About half of these consoles had their original record changers and others had multi-speed VM, Webcor or Admiral/Ensign players adapted to the pull-out phono drawers. I would imagine that output of their ceramic carts was not matched to the pre-amps, requiring volume to be increased well over that for the radios. Just add a nifty tube AF amp circuit;)

Tube counts averaged 8, undistorted power 10 watts, including a push-pull audio power amplifier stage and a 12-inch speaker. A full-wave "high" voltage power supply of 200+ volts a 5Y3 or 6X5 tube.

One other thing many of these have in common was multi-band tuners and elaborate built-in antennas featuring trademarks like "wave magnet" and "beam-o-scope" . Consoles made before 1947 seemed to have BC and SW only, 1947-48 models featured FM (some with both FM bands) in addition to BC-SW, while 1949 and later models seemed to drop the SW band in favor of the present FM band, still when most of the music was on standard broadcast. 

Do any of you think these are worth catching and saving? OK , I mean besides the Magnavox and other desirable Pre-HiFis we are always on the lookout for??

Fortunately I have a new, dry, expandable workshop to display them, but I see way too many nice ones heading toward extinction and I cannot save all I could.  :'(
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

Motorola Minion

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Southern Pennsylvania
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 11:40:01 AM »
Pic 1 Motorola presets on the 107F31, labels for many US and Canadian stations
Pic 2 Zenith 12H092 with both old and present FM bands
Pic 3 RCA 8V112, next year most consoles had a separate 45 rpm player
Pic 4 Capehart-Farnsworth 1003M, later model with no SW band and multispeed RP( ?)
Pic 5 Temple G722, BC-SW only - too early for FM - yet it has a super-tough VM 400 RP
Pic 6 Sparton 7-36, also early with 2 SW bands - vertical was typical pre-war configuration
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 12:12:59 PM by Motorola Minion »
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

Motorola Minion

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Southern Pennsylvania
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2019, 11:45:50 AM »
The lesser known manufacturers...
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

1988bluebird

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 13
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2019, 12:36:43 PM »
I'm working on saving as many post war consoles as I can  :) I like these old beasts, but I'm quickly running out of room.
Here's my restored 1950 Magnavox Wedgewood CR216 AM/FM console with 3-speed Webster phonograph (testing phono in the picture) and my restored 1949 RCA Victor 9W105 AM/FM console (with Dual phonographs!)
My consoles:
1939 Zenith AM console 8S359
1949 RCA Victor AM/FM "dual phonograph" console 9W105
1958 RCA Victor New Orthophonic HI-FI phonograph console SHF-6
1950 Magnavox Wedgewood AM/FM phonograph console CR-216

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3333
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2019, 05:36:41 PM »
I like the old post-war consoles.  The snoots say they are "undesirable", but that leaves more for the rest of us.  They can generally be bought reasonably and were the best there was in their day.  The 78 only changers can be replaced with a stereo changer, bridged for mono.

I have a 1946 Stromberg-Carlson 1121 with both bands of FM, a 1946 Firestone 4-A-64 with a GE Variable Reluctance cartridge.  While it is 78 only, its Webster-Chicago changer actually still works and plays records well.  Then there is a 1946 Crosley 66CSM that has a Seeburg L changer, that will get changed out with a VM 1200 series stereo changer.  Then a Philco 48-1276, AM-FM with a 78 only changer. 
I don't need Google.  My wife says she knows everything.

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2019, 08:12:24 PM »
I look at these vintage units all the time, but have yet to buy one.  The ones I see are very desirable, but the owners seem to think they are work a fortune.  I'm not a fortune kind of guy.  ;) :) ::)

Bill

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2117
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2019, 08:58:07 PM »
Bravo, guys!  I'm in favor of saving any and all old radios, and I'm not too picky about them.  When they fall into my lap, I don't turn them away.  I've got a 1946 Philco that had an aftermarket Philco 3-speed changer fitted later, my ca. 1951 Magnavox, and an RCA of about the same vintage. The Philco is modern FM-AM-SW; the others are AM-FM.  The classic problem is space.  I've also got the innards of a 1951 Philco AM-FM-phono, the console that I found under the snow bank in an advanced state of veneer-peel.

In the '30s and pre-war '40s, the aim seemed to be good AM-SW RF performance and often a substantial amplifier.  Post-war, they were stuck with 78s, and the emphasis on superior RF performance and powerful amps seemed to wane (cost-cutting to meet price points?).  All 3 of the ones I've cited above had P-P 6V6 amps, at least, and pretty good RF designs (all have tuned RF amps). But a lot of them seemed to aim at low tube counts and limited audio output.  I think that post-war period just wasn't a time when either audio or RF performance was much sought-after.  The "Hi-Fi" era did raise the stakes, and the advent of 33 & 45 rpm recordings on vinyl made it possible to extract better sound from recordings than was generally feasible in the shellac-78 days.

But let's save these disfavored devices, as examples of their time if nothing else.

Chris Campbell

Motorola Minion

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1056
  • Southern Pennsylvania
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2019, 09:57:20 AM »
One thing about a few of them, photo below is like my Crosley 88CR, MUST have been enjoyed over a few decades ;D for a reason.
Speaker switches, taped extensions, inputs and other signs of owner adaptation are common. An S-C and a Zenith had V-M 1200 series record changers replacing the originals. The S-C 1121 had a Admiral Ensign changer, mid 1960s.   

There was no record player left in the $10 Crosley but the cabinet is about the nicest IMHO, having left and right record storage. In the left record "closet", I found a switch with two 22 ga wires to an RCA plug back on the chassis, and two more into the player compartment, two more out the back that must have gone to another source.  Behind the compact chassis - on the shelf, I found a two-pole double throw knife switch wired to speaker-mounted transformer using 4c 22 ga. telephone cable ???, and about 6 feet of lamp cord on the other end.
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3333
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2019, 10:41:09 AM »
I've removed the "field modifications" on most of mine.  The SC 1121 has a Garrard stereo changer in it.  That's a move in the right direction.  I like BSR changers to transplant into old radios.  You can paint them up to look "old".  I like to add a felt mat cover so the turntable looks more like flocking. 

Some of Crosley's wooden cabinets were really poor, some were really good.  I have no idea who built their cabinets.  I have a Crosley 170 cathedral that the cabinet is really poorly built.  The 66 CSM is really well-built.  The doodad that holds up the lid is wonky, but that problem is not unique to Crosley.  My 66 cabinet is a junior version of your 88 cabinet.  The 66 has a six-tube, transformer power supply chassis and a nine-inch speaker, but it's a good performer.  They made table model radios with the same chassis.
I don't need Google.  My wife says she knows everything.

danrclem

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 530
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2019, 01:05:17 PM »
Here's one that may or may not be worthy of restoration.  It would probably depend if you could get the paint off of it.  I made contact and got more pictures and it does not have a Stephens Horn.  It does appear to be intact.  I got the impression that it could be bought for less than the asking price.

  https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2755148824535956/?ref=feed_rhc

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2117
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2019, 08:12:14 PM »
Here's one that may or may not be worthy of restoration.  It would probably depend if you could get the paint off of it.  I made contact and got more pictures and it does not have a Stephens Horn.  It does appear to be intact.  I got the impression that it could be bought for less than the asking price.

  https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/2755148824535956/?ref=feed_rhc

Ouch.  Why would anybody paint (poorly) over nice mahogany veneers?  That one has the FM tuner, it looks like.

Chris Campbell

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3333
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #11 on: August 15, 2019, 10:42:34 PM »
Many times the original finish is under the paint.  This lets the paint slide right off with some lacquer thinner and acetone mixture. 
I don't need Google.  My wife says she knows everything.

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #12 on: August 16, 2019, 05:12:00 AM »
Danny,

Is the car in your Avatar yours?   Nice looking!

Bill


danrclem

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 530
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2019, 02:30:38 PM »
Danny,

Is the car in your Avatar yours?   Nice looking!

Bill

Sure is Bill, thanks.  It's a 69 Cougar with a 351 Windsor.  It's not original paint but the original color paint and top.  I bought it out of Arizona several years ago. 

Bill

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1283
    • View Profile
Re: Post-war consoles - the forgotten
« Reply #14 on: August 17, 2019, 06:21:27 AM »
Sweet looking car!  Someday I would like a convertible.  :)

Bill