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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Forever chasing radios...

Thought I'd post on the latest radios I'm chasing, if not literally, then in certainly in my head. I'm on a spending freeze and not buying any more radios these days. I've also parted with most of my collection.

Here are the radios I've bid farewell to thus far:

My Philco 32A from the early 1940's (likely '41). This refurbished wood radio with deco grille went to live in San Francisco, California. It was purchased by a very earnest young man for his girlfriend, for her birthday.

Couldn't find a specific ad for the 32A but here's another Philco from the same time period.
My blue Nordmende transistor radio, the "Stradella," from 1962. This fine museum-quality piece went to live in Markham, Ontario.

Still on the auction block I have my 1946/7 Montgomery Wards Airline red radio. The prettiest Franken-radio in town!

Lastly, my Fada model 790 circa 1949. This AM/FM model, in heavy brown bakelite and sweet deco accents went to live in the southern States.

What's trending in the land of vintage radio?

I've been a vintage radio hound since 2002 and have been watching them sell on eBay and other online forums since that time. Here's what's trending now in the land of vintage radio. And by trending I mean, which radios seem to bring a lot of watcher, bids and/or coin.

1) The Zenith consol-tone "racetrack:"

This model came in a few assorted colours. Obviously, you'd want it in green if you were going to get one. This model, in undamaged, working condition is fetching some hefty prices on eBay these days. A bit surprising because I can remember (back in '03) when this model was rather common and definitely didn't go for much. Part of the charm is likely its lighted "racetrack" dial.

In general, I'd say that any of the "mid-century" radios in undamaged, working condition are fetching good prices. Wood sets from the 1930's and '40's, which tend to interest me less, are still going strong though. Especially the tombstone sets and some of the rarer and stronger deco models from Zenith.

These early '50's Crosley sets are still strong sellers. This classic model, e-15, continues to pull in good coin, if undamaged and working.

Photo courtesy of the Radio Attic.

Here it is (above) in rarely seen mint green and here's an original advertisement featuring the e-15 in blue:

My current "Wish List" Radios...

Here are the various radios that I'm currently chasing, in no particular order.

1) The John Vassos designed RCA Victor, model 6Q1, from around 1940.

The Canadian version is actually even more appealing with its vertical chrome bars sitting front and centre.

More on the Canadian version, here and more on John Vassos, here.

2) RCA Victor model X-511. The appeal of this model obviously lies in its attractive "sunset" grille. Came in lots of colours. Here it is in green and yellow respectively.

3) RCA Victor, "waterfall," model 1-X-591.This model came in brown and ivory.

4) RCA Victor, model 6-RF-9, from around 1954. Apparently the sound on this mighty AM/FM radio rivals its German counterparts (the German radios being known for their stellar sound quality). This model was known as the "Livingstone." A nicely stuffy British-sounding name for a high quality radio. Its lighted airplane dial is nothing to sneeze at either! Apparently it came in a blonde or mahogany finish. I've included a video of it in action as well so you can get a sense of its awesomeness.

That's all for now. Tune in weekly as I'll be posting regularly on the vintage radios I'm forever chasing. I leave you with this old time radio show, starring the ever-ubiquitous Peter Lorre:

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