1957 MAGNAVOX AW-100 1st TRANSISTOR MULTI-BAND RADIO

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  • Item Category: Tools
  • Source: eBay
  • Sold Date: Jul 15,2007
  • Channel: Online Auction
This is a supremely difficult to find radio, especially in this condition. The Magnavox AW-100 Intercontinental "All-Wave All-Transistor" is the first multi-band portable transistorized radio, according to Michael Schiffer's book The Portable Radio in American Life (p. 190). Sarah's Transistor Radios states of this radio: "A very early transistorized multi-band radio, the AW-100 pre-dates the Zenith Royal 1000 and may be the first ever multiband consumer radio built with transistors. Pretty rare." This radio is featured in a number of classic transistor radio websites, including: /collection/magnavox/magnavox11.html , and /r/magnavox_aw_100aw10.html .

This is truly one of THE iconic early transistor radios - up t with the Regency TR-1 and Sony TR-63. This model followed the development of the first transistor radio, the Regency TR-1 of November 1954, by just 3 years, hitting the market in the fall of 1957. It offers continuous coverage from 540 KC to 22 MC, using a geared fine tuning control for bandspread instead of the electrical bandspread that the Zenith Royal 1000 (introduced in Dec 1957) used. This radio has highly-sought-after early transistors, a classic and beautiful design and engineering that was meant to rival, and perhaps surpass, the great Zenith Trans-oceanics. This is truly a superb and very rare radio.

This unusually well-preserved example of this hard-to-find radio features a 9 out of 10 saddle leattte covered solid wood cabinet, a huge telescopic mast antenna with a smart little brass tip which is in great shape with no dings or kinks, and an original dial lamp that works! This is obviously a "low-mileage", very gently cared for radio. The gold anodizing is unusually well-preserved on all trim and the cabinet even retains its four, matching clear-plastic button feet. This radio has the original knobs and they all work properly, though the lettering has faded on two.

Now for the really good stuff. This radio has eight RCA plug-in transistors. Several of the early "high end" American-made multiband radio receivers, such as this Magnavox AW-100, used RCA drift transistors in the RF/IF circuitry. See . The transistors are mounted on a chassis that's so clean that the cadmium plating and tuning condenser plates appear nearly new. Even the chasis paperwork is crisp and clear. The chassis steel is every bit as heavy-gauge as the metal used in large 1950's television chassis, over-engineered for exceptional durability, and is entirely hand-wired. This yields solid-state reliability without circuit board traces that lift, crack and fail!

This example is in good working order. I am listening to a broadcast from mainland China as this is written, with good volume. The tuning dial is a bit sticky in spots but the radio has sat idle for a while, and this can be easily remedied with steady usage, and a little judicious grease. A convenient power connector was made so you can run this radio on a single, easy to obtain nine-volt Duracell battery. You can find a mock-up of the original battery holder on the following website that would enable you to produce a replica of the original NEDA 1601 battery holder in which you can place your standard 9-volt battery: http://mysite./roberts-radios/batteries/pages/neda1601.htm .

The carrying handle is in good shape with nice original stitching, but it does have a couple of cracks in the upper band, and will have to be handled gently. The built-in retracting handle springs work very nicely. T is just a hint of a concavity in the speaker grill. T are a couple of spots of wear on the bottom corners of the leattte covering, and a few stains near the antenna. This radio will come with a CD disc of high-resolution scans of the owner's manual for this radio, as well as some other literature.

The standard postage rate is for residents of the continental USA . I will gladly ship this anyw serviced by the USPS, but if you...

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