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 Post subject: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Fri 26, 2019 9:15 pm 
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Location: Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey 07716
Anyone know what model this is? I don't feel like driving there but it looks like it might be a worthy set. I can't find the model on the archives or online.

https://southjersey.craigslist.org/atq/ ... 90441.html

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Fri 26, 2019 9:59 pm 
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Location: Long Beach, CA USA
Based on the number of knobs it looks like a fairly beefy set...


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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Fri 26, 2019 10:14 pm 
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Location: Eschew Obfuscation Virginia 23005
It is a 5 band, 12 tube RCA Victor Model 281. I have it's GE cousin an M125 which uses the same 12 tube chassis. Once restored, these are great performers!

GL,

Terry


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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Fri 26, 2019 11:45 pm 
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Even at $250, I think that's a worthy set. I had one once, awesome performer when properly restored. That's the kind of model that you use on a daily bases either in a den or in the livingroom.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Sat 27, 2019 12:48 am 
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Location: Aurora, CO
+1 to all the favorable comments. Hard to beat the quality of design and construction.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Sat 27, 2019 6:46 am 
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For when it’s removed from CL:
Attachment:
B69ABF48-B071-4398-8567-DC8B7F55B8B2.jpeg
B69ABF48-B071-4398-8567-DC8B7F55B8B2.jpeg [ 112.9 KiB | Viewed 780 times ]

Attachment:
49C57148-38CA-445A-B342-056603498C53.jpeg
49C57148-38CA-445A-B342-056603498C53.jpeg [ 174.58 KiB | Viewed 780 times ]

Attachment:
B6661831-6E0F-44B0-B576-74C5A4CAADC2.jpeg
B6661831-6E0F-44B0-B576-74C5A4CAADC2.jpeg [ 162.2 KiB | Viewed 780 times ]


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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Sat 27, 2019 2:09 pm 
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The 281 was the top of the line RCA radio for 1935, unless you consider the 381 Duo radio/phonograph combo, which uses the same chassis.

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Sat 27, 2019 8:47 pm 
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Glad it's in Joisey and not here in SoCal, or I'd be all over it (like I need another console). That radio looks like it means business, what with the slanted front and numerous control knobs. Love the red dial lighting and grill woodwork design as well!

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Sat 27, 2019 8:59 pm 
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Many say the dial wasn't anywhere near that dark and red when new.

I think the jury is still out on that decision.

I like it dark too!

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Sat 27, 2019 9:14 pm 
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Joined: Jan Thu 01, 1970 1:00 am
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Location: 13 Critchley Avenue, PO Box 36, Monteith Ont, P0K 1P0
There's not many consoles that I'd buy today ... very few, but I'd buy that one.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Sat 27, 2019 9:23 pm 
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Location: Sanford Fla 32771
I would be worried, the one picture shows the "Grim Reaper" in the dial face. Other wise beautiful set.


Attachments:
rsz_grimreaper.jpg
rsz_grimreaper.jpg [ 32 KiB | Viewed 700 times ]

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Mon 29, 2019 2:05 am 
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azenithnut wrote:
The 281 was the top of the line RCA radio for 1935, unless you consider the 381 Duo radio/phonograph combo, which uses the same chassis.

-Steve

More top of the line than the D22-1?


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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Mon 29, 2019 2:56 am 
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D22-1 was 1936 and replaced the 381 Duo

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Mon 29, 2019 4:17 pm 
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azenithnut wrote:
Many say the dial wasn't anywhere near that dark and red when new.

I think the jury is still out on that decision.

I like it dark too!

-Steve

I've seen these dials either deep red or beige. I believe it was just two different types during the run. Like with some '30's FADA's, the dark dials look dirty when the set is off, but have a nice rich reddish color when lit.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Mon 29, 2019 10:20 pm 
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I just don't see the logic of a large radio manufacturer, such as RCA, to use dials that are so dark red that it's difficult to read the dial either in broad daylight or when the dial is illuminated. I think there was two different methods of manufacturing those dials and one of those methods guaranteed that the dials would eventually and slowly turn dark blood red with age. If I was a customer looking to purchase a radio, back in 1933, I certainty wouldn't have bought a radio in which I'd have a difficult time reading it's dial, especially a dark blood red dial.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Mon 29, 2019 10:31 pm 
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Indiana Radios wrote:
I just don't see the logic of a large radio manufacturer, such as RCA, to use dials that are so dark red that it's difficult to read the dial either in broad daylight or when the dial is illuminated. I think there was two different methods of manufacturing those dials and one of those methods guaranteed that the dials would eventually and slowly turn dark blood red with age. If I was a customer looking to purchase a radio, back in 1933, I certainty wouldn't have bought a radio in which I'd have a difficult time reading it's dial, especially a dark blood red dial.

My '36 FADA has a very dark dial that, at first, I thought was darkened with age or very dirty, but I realized that when the dial is lit it has a nice rich organge/red glow. I think that was the intention with these dark dials.


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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Mon 29, 2019 10:32 pm 
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Location: Aurora, CO
Indiana Radios wrote:
I just don't see the logic of a large radio manufacturer, such as RCA, to use dials that are so dark red that it's difficult to read the dial either in broad daylight or when the dial is illuminated. I think there was two different methods of manufacturing those dials and one of those methods guaranteed that the dials would eventually and slowly turn dark blood red with age. If I was a customer looking to purchase a radio, back in 1933, I certainty wouldn't have bought a radio in which I'd have a difficult time reading it's dial, especially a dark blood red dial.

+1. The dial on my RCA 128 certainly looks like the printing has deteriorated. The blood red color makes it hard to read the dial. Do the GE dials have similar counterparts? All of my GEs are ok, maybe a little faded.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Tue 30, 2019 5:09 am 
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The GE versions don't seem to have this problem. All of the GE dials I've ever seen were still tan with the blue GE logo in the center. I've always been able to read the GE dials just fine.

Another example that I can think of of dials going dark are the large celluloid dials used on the Sparton 537 tombstone radios. All of the Sparton 537s that I've come across, that havent been restored, all had the dials darken to a dark reddish orange and the red SW/Police band has almost completely, if not completely, faded away. I just happened to have bought a few NOS Sparton 537 celluloid dials at one of the last Radiofest meets that was held in Elgin. These NOS dials are light tan in color and the red band is bold and easy to read. This shows me that Sparton didn't install dark reddish/orange dials of their 537s, but instead, installed light tan dials which eventually darkened over time. You have to understand that the radio manufacturers never designed their radios with the notion that people would still be using them in the 21st century. Some parts, such as Tenite dial escutcheons, Tenite push buttons, celluloid dials had no guarantee that they would last unchanged for so many years. However, it is nice that a lot of radios and their parts have survived quite well for as long as they have.

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Tue 30, 2019 1:56 pm 
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I agree they are near impossible to read dark, but once backlit the two I have are perfectly readable.

I understand the lighter color laminate sheets are getting harder to find in favor of the darker red color.
This has prompted reproducers of dials to cancel making them.

To me, it would be just fine to use the darker material as they are readable once backlit. I agree many do not like them,
but would it be better to have a darker dial that must be backlit over "No dial at all"?

-Steve

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 Post subject: Re: RCA console
PostPosted: Apr Tue 30, 2019 4:04 pm 
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Indiana Radios wrote:
The GE versions don't seem to have this problem. All of the GE dials I've ever seen were still tan with the blue GE logo in the center. I've always been able to read the GE dials just fine.

Totally agree. Here is a picture of my restored GE M125 w/lit dial (the camera flash didn't completely wash out the dial):

Image

BR,

Terry


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