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 Post subject: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 6:41 am 
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Location: Dos Rios, CA. region
Is anyone familiar with the technical details of this Operadio (later DuKane) speaker?
Would it match pretty easily the output of the AR-936 or would I need to find a RCA or similar speaker to operate?
Both models were made in 1928.
A friend just found one of these 18's in nice shape, complete with "ST" tubes at a local thrift store and I've had the Operadio kicking around here as furniture for some time.
Not sure whether pot metal tuner is good, my friend will check before purchasing (or make a lower offer on it) if it's messed up.
Thanks all,
Kent


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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 2:17 pm 
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The Barcelona is an air column horn speaker. Impedance is probably around 1K.

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The Radiola 18 connects it's speaker via coupling capacitor (0.5uf). The Radiola 18 should have no trouble driving the Operadio speaker.

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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 5:54 pm 
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Thanks Michael for the technical details, all I could find was the catalog page you posted, glad to find a use for the Barcelona :)

A gal just called from the hospice thrift store, had her check tuning capacitor ("turns smoothly") so I put receiver on hold ($49.95) for friends or myself to pick up in next few days...missing lamp hood, otherwise looks to be intact, have not seen underside yet and she said, "The store plugged it in, but nothing came on."
I had no idea this was such a common receiver from that era until looking into it yesterday, with a quarter million in production at that time, I'm surprised I've not come across it before.

Here's some photos my friend took of the Radiola at the thrift store yesterday and one I took of the venerable Barcelona this morning,
Seems this receiver is truly a "cross-country" unit, from N.J. to Portland, ME., possibly Lansing, MI.? and now Ukiah, CA.


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Operadio %22Barcelona%22 1928 6.JPG [ 162.88 KiB | Viewed 477 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Thu 06, 2018 8:57 pm 
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If you want to be a little more "brand name" complete then you's probably match up that Radiols 18 with a Radiola 100-A speaker,...

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Radiola 17 with Radiola 100-A speaker.

...or a Radiola 103 speaker,...

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Radiola 60 with Radiola 103 speaker.

...or a Radiola 106 speaker.

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Radiola 106 speaker.

You can also match up that Radiols 18 with a Radiola 100 speaker and a Radiola 104 speaker but those models predate the Radiola 18.

As far as the Operadio speaker is concerned, I think that will prove to be the more appreciated of the two. Nice console speaker tables are rare especially ones in nice complete condition which this one seems to be in. You are more free to match that up with either a Operadio receiver or just about any other brand name receiver that will fit on top.

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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 12:30 am 
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Looks like the SPU on the 18 has been re-furbished, Phillips screws on the lid stay. I do not recall seeing hammer-tone paint on an 18. Also appears that the bezels have had attention too. If it has been recapped your lucky day... Should be plug and go...

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 2:22 am 
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That's why I posted the photo of the PSU, wasn't sure if hammertone bronze was original or not (probably dark brown like my RCA MI-9377 or 77DX), thanks for pointing it out, Chas...Seems to me cover plate and escutcheons painted flaky gold paint, too, will have to break out brasso and OOOO steel wool and get it back to "normal"...I would imagine filter type or oil caps would need replacement at least for best results, this very well could have been "rehabbed" forty, fifty years ago now...Anyone have a spare real "hood" out there? Seems like the ebay ones are the only parts fetching a sweet penny in completed items...


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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 2:34 am 
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IMHO the gold hammer-tone may be recent, it is probably to cover for cooking out the tar in the cap/choke units... If the caps are film type modern then your good to go...

The escutcheons were originally factory toned to look like darkened bronze. Still possible to restore that look, FWIR there is a Birchwood-Casey product that will tone the metal, then simply rub on boiled linseed oil to seal it. If you like the bright appearance O.K. too :)

Can't beat the price, full complement of tubes.

There is an ARF member that experimented using copper plating and a graphite coated mold to electroform a new lamp-hood in copper. It looked good too. The trick is to get the "meatball" right.

Expect to pay as much for a lamp hood as for the whole radio :shock:

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 6:32 am 
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Thanks Chas for your input on it's condition and Michael for posting "alternate" correct speakers and realizing the value of the Operadio which likely I'll be using with it...
Perhaps I'll use my Jackson Scope Hood from a CRO-2 instead of paying $40 for a repro hood, etc, if I can't fabricate something spaghetti worthy here (without meatball)....I'll look for that post about the copper plating, sounds interesting...

I suspect these hoods due to the commonality of the receiver are more sought after by "knob pilferer types" than knobs themselves in antique stores, thrift stores,etc...


Last edited by ampstamp88 on Dec Fri 07, 2018 6:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 6:46 am 
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ampstamp88 wrote:
Thanks Chas for your input on it's condition.
Perhaps I'll use my Jackson Scope Hood from a CRO-2 instead of paying $40 for a repro, if I can't fabricate something spaghetti worthy here (without meatball)....I'll look for that post about the copper plating, sounds interesting
The AES repros (NLA) were awful, bronze painted pewter with cast in brass nails that were to be bent over, ugh...

Here, scroll down about half way, Russ adds to the blog regularly, so topics go further down...

https://www.russoldradios.com/blog

Russ has some great skills as does Rob Lozier.

Chas

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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 9:56 am 
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Location: Nr London, England, SS1 3PT
Pass by the 100A speakers Ugh! Pot metal case which is a pain even after restoring: it continues to gas. The 103 is the best and for sound as well. Only difficulty is the cloth: repros are available but are a silk screen, fade quick as well.

The PSU caps were extremely well made and didn't in mine and many, so I'm told, need replacing.

"A gal just called from the hospice thrift store, had her check tuning capacitor ("turns smoothly") ". Did you ask if the numbers on the dial moved around as well? Had a case, not on one of these, where the drive had been disconnected so the knob turned fine but the gang was warped badly !!

If you want a write up of my restoration, written for a Mag, then PM me.

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Paid £100 for mine but its a rare set over here. Needed the cabinet refinished but it had the lamp hood else I would have passed on it.

Gary


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 Post subject: Re: Matching RCA Radiola 18 to Operadio "Barcelona" Speaker
PostPosted: Dec Fri 07, 2018 5:21 pm 
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Thanks Gary for posting yours, I can see from your fine restoration what Chas was referring to by using the toner he recommended to get facia and escutcheons back to original bronze /darkbrown RCA color...In the past I've used a matching paint on RCA objects of same tone, but in this case toning the metal would be better...I think I have a few parts kicking around here from other radios/devices that may suffice for a useful hood, thanks Chas for providing link to Russ's remarkable restore page...One of these days I'll break out my vintage toxic chrome kit and try out some experiments on useful expensive ten cent part items like the hood!


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