Vintage radios and audio equipment

Discussion in 'Collector's & Listener's Corner' started by Rudy, Jul 2, 2018.

  1. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    From the days of radios, vacuum tubes, and anything else up until then, a thread to feature some of these items. :)

    I scored rather well this past week. I picked up a Grundig 2420 radio from my buddy's dad's house, where they have been clearing it out for eventual sale later this month. It was his grandmother's radio, and she used to listen to WJR (760 AM) all the time. It does need more cleaning, but the cabinet and grille cloth are all in excellent condition. There is a continuous rustling sound regardless of the volume level, so that could indicate there are some tube sockets that need to be cleaned, a tube going bad, or even some capacitors that are past their prime. I did find schematics for the 2420 (thanks to SAM'S Photofacts).

    The Grundig 2420 has the AM band (labeled "BC"), FM, and shortwave. The switch labeled "PU" is actually for a phono pickup or a tape head, which connects to a 5-pin DIN socket on the rear. My goal is to put a Chromecast Audio on that input so I can cast anything like Pandora or TuneIn Radio (imagine finding some old radio broadcasts to play on it!), or anything from my music server. I also want to play around with the shortwave band and see what I can pick up.

    The main reason I grabbed it is because my uncle had the exact same radio. And when he remodeled the kitchen and brought it into the office, that radio put in a solid 45 hours per week back in the warehouse. They are quite durable, these old Grundigs!

    Here it is prior to cleaning up.

    IMG_20180630_195557-01.jpeg
     
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  2. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Looks very good i see it even has a SW ( shortwave band) but these days I wouldn't expect a radio this old to be able to still pull in international signals on shortwave
     
  3. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    I get some faint hits on SW, but I need a better antenna to do that. A tip I read mentioned connecting a wire to the center screw on a power outlet--that will use the ground wiring throughout the house as a large antenna.

    One other thing it needs is an EM87 which is the Magic Eye vacuum tube for the tuning indicator--this one is visible but -weak. I don't know how the other tubes are. I may have to find one of our local audio club members who has a tube tester on hand. I did find a 5-DIN to 3.5mm adapter, which is perfect--I can feed the audio from anything else into the radio.
     
  4. Yeah, antennas are the key to good shortwave reception. Up until we moved south, I had a Grundig portable radio that Marie's aunt gave to me. It had a bunch of bands and a huge whip antenna, plus a rotating coil antenna for AM reception. After all of the years it sat around, it still worked - and worked pretty well. I just didn't have any room for it down here, and I already own a Sony multiband SW radio with digital tuning, not to mention so many other radios that I've been slowly getting rid of at yard sales and such.

    But I also recall from my youth, a friend of the family had one of these Grundigs with the piano keys like that. When I got older I was allowed to play with it. They had such good tuners.
     
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  5. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    For an old beast with vacuum tubes and aging capacitors, it still seems to work pretty darned good for being ~44 years old! The Grundings did have good tuners. Even better if I can get an antenna hooked to it. The FM antenna is internal, but even there, they have an antenna input on the back for FM, separate from the AM/SW antenna.
     
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  6. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    Also bear in mind the Antique Radio Forums is to vintage radios what A&M Corner is to our music.
     
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  7. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    I actually started a thread on it over at AK. :wink:
     
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  8. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    And I have seen it. A very nice radio. And they have nice, mellow audio.
     
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  9. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    I received the 5-DIN plug, and it works perfectly on the PU input. Now I just have to find time to take the back off and find out why there is a rustling sound. I believe it's the tubes. Since I have another amp that uses an EL84, and have a spare tube from that, I may try swapping that one to see if it makes a difference. The contacts in the tube sockets likely are oxidized, so even jiggling the tubes may help.
     
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  10. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    Try cleaning the contacts on the tube sockets, those can cause this issue. Also, you could try swapping tubes and see if the noise changes or quietens, Rudy!
     
  11. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    I have a transistor shortwave and was just trying to figure out whether to junk it. It seems to be trying to self destruct. Parts are falling off. (Quality construction. :D)
     
  12. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    This might even belong in the Death of Radio thread, as the radio is dying a slow death. :D
     
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  13. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    I may have shown this in another thread, but I used to have this VM Triomatic console back in my younger years. It was a hand-me-down from my mother's aunt--they had gotten a system with an early 70s Sony receiver, Garrard turntable and Smaller Advent speakers. This VM record player was tube-powered. The top photo is the color of the unit I had. It had volume and tone knobs on the front, and the "button" in the middle was a clear plastic rod that lit up as a power light, plus it could be pushed to cycle the record changer. This had three oval speakers--one fired out of the side (where the grille wraps around on the left), another was on the front right, angled inside the cabinet so it pointed out to the right, and the larger 6x9 woofer was on the left. It wasn't a bad performer, considering its age at the time!

    VM Triomatic 1.jpg VM Triomatic 2.jpg
     
  14. My earliest record players included something like this suitcase arrangement as a hand-me-down from my grandfather, I think.

    [​IMG]

    As a 50's child, I had grown up with one of those RCA 45-RPM players:
    [​IMG]

    45s were all the rage, and much of the time when a record company made an album on 33 1/3, they'd also make a shortened version on an EP at 45, so everyone could buy the tunes they wanted for whatever kind of player they had. Dad used to make home movies and put soundtracks on reel-to-reel, and he'd buy that instrumental music - stuff like Percy Faith and Jackie Gleason - on little 45 "albums". Sometimes they'd come in a gatefold that held two 45 discs and contain 8 or nine tracks from a 12-track "33" album. My own collection of 45s included records by the Chipmunks and rock'n'roll stuff that my teenaged sister would bring into the house. So I grew up on a diet of early rock and doo-wop from the 50s, and soft instrumental adult stuff.

    Then I think I inherited that suitcase player when my grandfather passed away, and my small collection of albums began. As I was taking piano lessons, relatives and friends of my parents would give me albums of classical piano pieces and stuff like Ferrante & Teicher that I could listen to on my album player. Somewhere in that time frame, I'd gotten a copy of that nifty new instrumental that stopped and started - "A Taste Of Honey" on that WHIPPED CREAM album. That marriage of pop stuff and instrumentals cemented a love-affair with music that has yet to abate.
     
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  15. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    The 45-EY-2. :thumbsup: I still have a 45-EY-3 to restore--I may finally tackle it this winter if I can find any free time to do it. (Generally they need new capacitors, new cartridge, and new rubber parts--the latter two are readily available from restoration parts shops, so there is no issue getting parts.) There was also a 45-J-2 version that had no speaker--it offered a cable with an RCA plug to plug into something like a radio. (While the Grundig radio has a "PU", aka "pickup" input, it would have needed an adapter to connect.)

    Borrowed pic of the 45-EY-3:
    upload_2018-7-19_7-58-0.png
     
  16. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Active Member

    I own a German table radio (A Nordmende Turandot-C) and also own a console with a VM changer (a JC Penney 1962 Penncrest tube console, a late VM Stere-O-Matic cousin of the Tri-O-Matic)
     
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  17. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Rats! The kids threw out all of my brother's old stereo equipment before I could get my hands on it. Having been stationed in both Germany and Asia he had a bunch of interesting stuff. Was still working when he packed it away. I wanted to check it out. Oh, well. :shrug:
     
  18. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    I hate when that happens. Nobody knows the value of anything like that. Some of it is not worth keeping. Others can be valuable. My buddy thought the old idler drive Dual turntable was too old to be of any interest, and the Sennheiser headphones with the deteriorated cushions were only fit for the trash. Those were the first two items that sold...and for decent money. Yet there was no interest at all (locally) in the Rotel surround sound components, and they ended up donating those.
     
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  19. Bobberman

    Bobberman Well-Known Member

    Sad but true my Grandmother hardly ever threw anything out she understood the Value of things in general She always found something useful regardless of condition I will say her electronics though they were old looked like they were brand new or at least in stellar shape and working order that always inspired me and my Grandmother became one of my dearest and best friends of all time the influence of a Good elder is so needed today in my opinion they knew what was what.
     
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  20. Mike Blakesley

    Mike Blakesley Well-Known Member Moderator

    I still have four, Cerwin-Vega PD-18B speakers from my dee-jay days, and a Crown amplifier. (I still have our Cerwin-Vega DM-1 mixer, but I can't find it at the moment!) We still use the speakers and amp when we do our annual fireworks display - but I feel like one of these days the system will crash, or a speaker cone will crack, etc. and we won't be able to get parts. You can barely find any info on those speakers online at all.
     
  21. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    The gang at AudioKarma probably have a few Cerwin Vega fanatics among them, if you ever need anything repaired or replaced. They're good at knowing which other models yours shared components with. What I'd worry about most is the surround on the woofers, as CV used foam on most of theirs, and they deteriorate from age. (In the event yours have rubber surrounds, they would be fine.) A couple of sellers would carry a proper replacement foam surround. Tweeters can get damaged from being overdriven, but I doubt yours were ever abused. The only other thing that would age are any electrolytic capacitors there might be in the crossovers. They just drift out of spec over the years.
     
  22. DeeInKY

    DeeInKY Well-Known Member

    Bingo! I think that’s what has happened to me! :D
     
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  23. CARPENTERS-COLLECTOR

    CARPENTERS-COLLECTOR Active Member

    U.K
    the very first record player I ever had, was an old Dansette, like the first photo in Harry` post. I used to blast my Abba AND Boney M out of it :laugh:
    couple of years ago, I bought this near 50 year old GEC off Ebay for £20, I spent ages cleaning it and getting the shine back on it.
    in the ad, the guy said the radio worked, but wouldn't tune in, but it worked perfect. the deck was working, but when I tried it on an old record, the stylus just slid across the vinyl because the stylus had had it.
    £50 for a stylus and cartridge and a few days cleaning all the mechanism of 50 year old dried grease, it now sits proudly in my living room and it sounds great :)

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  24. Rudy

    Rudy ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ Site Admin Thread Starter

    US
    That almost looks like a BSR-style changer. @KentTeffeteller would be able to tell. There are a few guys on AudioKarma that are into finding and restoring old consoles. I have a small interest in them since we had two of them in the house when I was growing up--the '69 Magnavox was our first stereo system in the house, and the mid to late 70s Magnavox was a bit smaller and fit into the living room better. We had an upright Admiral in the basement but I have never found a photo of one online.
     
  25. One of my old turntables, probably the first that had a magnetic cartridge rather than ceramic was a BSR - or it might have been a Radio Shack/Realistic that was made by BSR. Here's a crappy picture with it playing a favored A&M album back in the day.

    old0021b.jpg
     
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