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 Post subject: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is you?
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 3:46 pm 
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Mind you I am not trying to be critical here as we all get our little thrills with "the hunt". But there seems to be two very distinctly different types of collectors for this hobby. To be fair, my situation is weird because on average 200-300 radios comes through my garage every year. The difference is that none of them belong to me, they belong to the museum and all I do is fix them and send them back. That probably makes me some sort of "Temporary" hoarder or something.

Anyway, there seems to be two kinds:

Type A: Ohmygod it has a cord! These are the kind of folks who will fill the vans and trucks with what mostly amounts to unremarkable junk or super common radios we've all seen exactly 10,000 times. These often tend to be casually wiped off and either stuffed into corners and storage sheds or maybe occasionally unloaded at sales events.

Type B: Yes- these folks can ALSO be hoarders, but they also might spend years looking for their own little "Holy grail" radios. And it seems that often these folks have pretty narrow interests. Like they're the Zenith guy, the Pilot guy, the Midwest guy and so on ( I am probably the weird European guy and given some are now sitting on the floor the "hoarder" light is probably close to being lit )

So which kind are you? Of course there could be other categories out there that I likely missed.


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 4:16 pm 
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Location: Pasadena CA USA
I am in a different group. I am interested only in completely original radios. If someone has "restored" it, I am interested if it is restored to factory condition. Not interested if they have "made it safer" by circuit changes, line cord changes or hanging an isolation transformer on the back of the chassis. To me, that is just destroying all collector interest. I feel the same way about antique cars. Put on disk brakes or 12 volt electrics and I run, not walk, away.


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 4:19 pm 
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Location: Redding, CA
Type C: To learn about, preserve, restore, and document the technology. That is my motivation and I'm very selective about what I procure.

Norman

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 4:21 pm 
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I don't specialize although I have 3 Crosley regens, a forth was donated to a museum. I might have two or even three of the same brand sometimes but it is usually either the particular radio's appeal to me or it was had for a song. I have sort of slacked off on acquisitions as I have found that most people want nothing to do with them, even as gifts. And I have seen events cancelled or I avoided them, so few venues to dispose of these things. I avoid having "stacks of radios". I have enough trouble with storage space for stuff as it is. Having a devil sorting out and trying to find storage for just even misc parts since I moved. I throw out the trash, more difficult is pondering throwing out something that is practically unsaleable, especially to non collectors, but potentially useful someday. Have I avoided being pigeon holed?

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 4:24 pm 
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Location: VA 22602
I am most assuredly a Type B. Zeniths dominate my collection/accumulation but I pass most radios I encounter to select those that “ring my bell”. There’s nothing to compare to listening to a radio that may not have worked in 60 to 100 years.
It’s more difficult to walk past most test units because I enjoy bringing them back to life and return most of them back into circulation.
The most difficult to part with are tube testers, particularly early Hickoks.

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 5:04 pm 
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Location: Minneapolis, MN USA
I suspect many collectors start out as type a and migrate to type b.


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 5:29 pm 
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Location: Mountains of Mourne. Ireland.
I'm mostly interested in (unworked on) dead radios, I couldn't give two hoots what condition they are in… holes, bits missing, three-sided cabinets, you get the idea.

Kinda strange for a perfectionist… but, as long as they eventually live again. lol
I've always be fascinated by the magic of radio… not radios!
None of that must be original OCD crap here.

or… 80 year old radios refinished to look like they just rolled off the production line.

Long live Ron… give her the treatment.
:) Greg.


Last edited by egg on Sep Wed 08, 2021 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 5:34 pm 
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Dale Saukerson wrote:
I suspect many collectors start out as type a and migrate to type b.


Yeah, you have to, because this isn't like collecting thimbles. Radios take up space and renting storage to hold them gets $ in a hurry.

I found photos from when I moved into this house - I had brought 41 radios with me. Almost all of those are gone (only four survived the reaping), and now that I've found some specific pieces I actually wanted to own, it's back up a bit again, but will drop back to single digits after Sunday. Current rule is no unrestored anything in the house. Either it's displayable and working, or it's on the bench, or it's not coming in at all.


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 6:08 pm 
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Quote:
Put on disk brakes or 12 volt electrics and I run, not walk, away.


Someday you'll have to drive my 1955 Mercury with no power steering, a single line, all drum no power brake system. It basically "Stops".... eventually. I only drive it around town. But when I used to drive it on the freeway to work it was seriously outright dangerous. ANY immediate stops causes it to lock up and skid. Anyone who stops instantly in front of me will probably wind up having their cars plowed into. Some things are worth keeping as is original. I think cars are a little different especially if it means driving them on major freeways.


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 7:01 pm 
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I enjoy working on Zeniths and did find my (holy grail) earlier this year. That’s the only part of the B group though. I am definitely in the C group. No restored radios. Restoring them is the challenge and fun. I don’t care how it looks because I can clean them up including recovering the stag. No rusty chassis though. Way too much work and very little success. I start a diary from the moment it hits the bench. Before and after pictures. Drawings if I restuff the electrolytic can. A copy of a complete Sams (if there is one) and schematic goes in it also. That goes with the radio if I sell or give it away. A little history for the new owners.

Freeman


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 7:01 pm 
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No Bob, the question still remains: "which one is you?"

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 7:30 pm 
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Location: Albion, CA, USA, 95410
I don't think I qualify as a collector, at least not like most. I have three tube radios, two tube RF amplifiers and one tube TV. All are in frequent use. I also have a VTVM and a tube variable power supply with variable B+, B- and filament taps. I am on the lookout for a decent tube stereo amplifier. I am on the lookout for one more tube radio for my cider house (where I work on my fermentation projects). I would buy a wire recorder if one came my way, just because I think they are so cool. That would be all though. So mostly just stuff I really use.

I used to be a drag anything home with a cord type but for mad science type stuff. Neon sign transformers, giant 300 pound HV caps I got from Livermore labs, all sorts of nonsense. Then I had to move and it took me 6 months. I swore never again. I still have a small stash of mad science stuff I couldn't let go of and a few radios that I should give away.


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 7:50 pm 
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There are definitely other sorts of radio collectors. I think by far the most common is the collector who buys radios that they like the looks of, and they take great pleasure in the restoration process involved in making the set work reliably. They may not, however, choose to actually listen to those radios very often but knowing they could, as well as the ability to display some of them, is meaningful. This collector will sometimes sell a set after several years to replace it with another that they like even better.

As far as vintage cars, most owners would not drive them in heavy traffic or as a daily driver unless they only made short trips in their local area. You have to acknowledge that back in the day, those of us who were old enough to drive actually drove those cars with manual steering and original equipment brakes and didn't think anything of it because that was what other cars were also like. Power steering is a definite improvement when one needs to park or turn at very slow speeds. We also didn't realize that someday those cars would be of interest to collectors, or we would have put more of them into storage for the future.

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 8:49 pm 
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Location: Pasadena CA USA
bobwilson1977 wrote:
Quote:
Put on disk brakes or 12 volt electrics and I run, not walk, away.


Someday you'll have to drive my 1955 Mercury with no power steering, a single line, all drum no power brake system. It basically "Stops".... eventually. I only drive it around town. But when I used to drive it on the freeway to work it was seriously outright dangerous. ANY immediate stops causes it to lock up and skid. Anyone who stops instantly in front of me will probably wind up having their cars plowed into. Some things are worth keeping as is original. I think cars are a little different especially if it means driving them on major freeways.


You make a very good point there. And I will admit that the same thing can be said about radios. If the owner is going to drive the car or listen to the radio more than just as a hobby type thing, then I guess it will need a bit of updating.


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 9:16 pm 
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As far as radio safety, its up to the owner. This is my opinion but if there is ever a time the set would be sold to someone else, the BARE MINIMUM I would insist on doing is changing the grounding cap to chassis on a floating hot chassis to a actual safety cap. Some of these sets came with a enormous cap. I've seen some with as high as a .5uF cap, which would shock the crap out of you if you managed to ground youself on the chassis. That and install a fuse for transformered sets so that if the transformer decided to blow up that the fuse will go first


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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 9:21 pm 
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I started by trying to fix an old AA5 in my garage... and discovering online help and parts ....
That whetted my appetite for more radios... but I started buying already restored radios...
But I soon realized that was less fun then buying junk radios and troubleshooting them.
But also at that time I realized I'd need to do all the chassis de-rustiing and cabinet work too.
And I learned how to do that very well making some really like-new restoration... both plastic painted radios and refinished wood too.
But then I again realized the fun of building circuits for Tube amps and building and learning all that.. and so that's mostly what I enjoy ... but it allows me the pleasure of listening to it afterwards in all its HIFI glory.
So.. I'm in my own group, with tons of finished radios and a bunch still to be done that i'm not very interested in anymore.. because of .. "been there done that" syndrome.

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 10:36 pm 
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Mr. Detrola wrote:
There are definitely other sorts of radio collectors. I think by far the most common is the collector who buys radios that they like the looks of, and they take great pleasure in the restoration process involved in making the set work reliably. They may not, however, choose to actually listen to those radios very often but knowing they could, as well as the ability to display some of them, is meaningful. This collector will sometimes sell a set after several years to replace it with another that they like even better.

Except for the last sentence, this description pretty well describes me.
Mr. Detrola wrote:
You have to acknowledge that back in the day, those of us who were old enough to drive actually drove those cars with manual steering and original equipment brakes and didn't think anything of it because that was what other cars were also like. Power steering is a definite improvement when one needs to park or turn at very slow speeds.

Yes, we drove what was available; remember standard shift transmissions on the steering column, wind wings, and (ugh) crank windows? A/C was a distinct rarity.

Before power steering came along for most cars though, I remember the steering being not too bad. When it did mass enter the market, non-equipped cars seemed to steer harder. My '60 Ford seemed to steer easier, even though it was a land yacht in size, vs our '75 stripped Granada, which was a mid-size car.

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 10:42 pm 
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I would say my tastes in old radios have evolved and narrowed mostly into a couple specific categories:


High tube count late-thirties sets and 1920's battery sets. I also have a couple of 1940's Zenith TO's, German table radios and a couple of newer multiband solid state radios just to keep it interesting.


Of the 30 something radios in the house, only three are not presently in restored working condition. Having an antique radio around that doesn't convert RF into audio is just....wrong. :D

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 10:49 pm 
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fifties wrote:
Before power steering came along for most cars though, I remember the steering being not too bad. When it did mass enter the market, non-equipped cars seemed to steer harder. My '60 Ford seemed to steer easier, even though it was a land yacht in size, vs our '75 stripped Granada, which was a mid-size car.


Richard, the manual steering didn't get harder over the years, you just got older and weaker. (Just like me). :D

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 Post subject: Re: There seems to be two kinds of collector: which one is y
PostPosted: Sep Wed 08, 2021 10:51 pm 
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processhead wrote:
fifties wrote:
Before power steering came along for most cars though, I remember the steering being not too bad. When it did mass enter the market, non-equipped cars seemed to steer harder. My '60 Ford seemed to steer easier, even though it was a land yacht in size, vs our '75 stripped Granada, which was a mid-size car.


Richard, the manual steering didn't get harder over the years, you just got older and weaker. (Just like me). :D

Hey Paul, thank you for not also including lamer, LOL!

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