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 Post subject: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 2:08 am 
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I have bought a number of radios that were, imo,, beautiful.

Most of them were from different eras.

Most of them are vastly outperformed by modern radios made for the same purpose. (With a few notable exceptions.)

So, with cost not being an issue with top tier modern gear, why is there little to no consideration given to style?

Modern gear looks like appliances, with the emphasis being on showing off bells and whistles.

Wouldn't adding style to the equation make a product more competitive?


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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 2:17 am 
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Sorry but marketing would insist your "mid century modern" items are not a "thing", anymore, they are a niche specialty with a cult following, and tell you to buy old stuff if that is what you like. Bad taste is always in fashion is why.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 2:55 am 
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https://www.amazon.com/RadioShack-Analo ... 159&sr=8-5


This AM/FM analog pocket radio by Radio Shack was pretty snazzy. Actually, I purchased 3-4 of them at the time (perhaps in 2016?) for $12.99 each.


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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 4:30 am 
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wazz wrote:
Sorry but marketing would insist your "mid century modern" items are not a "thing", anymore, they are a niche specialty with a cult following, and tell you to buy old stuff if that is what you like. Bad taste is always in fashion is why.


Ha!

Afraid you might be right.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 4:31 am 
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Blustar1 wrote:
https://www.amazon.com/RadioShack-Analog-AM-Pocket-Radio/dp/B005MUXNPM/ref=sr_1_5?crid=2CELCFCJ71JKD&keywords=radio+shack+transistor+radio&qid=1565661407&s=gateway&sprefix=Radio+Shack+transistor+radio%2Caps%2C159&sr=8-5


This AM/FM analog pocket radio by Radio Shack was pretty snazzy. Actually, I purchased 3-4 of them at the time (perhaps in 2016?) for $12.99 each.


Have one!


Somewhere...

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 6:23 am 
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Years ago craftmanship was cheap. Now a plastic injection box is the best they can do. A fancy hand crafted wood cabinet could cost $1000 now.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 7:40 am 
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jimbenedict wrote:
Now a plastic injection box is the best they can do


It would be better if they made cars out of plastic - at least they would not rust ...

By the way, this explains why I like radio from the 60s and earlier. After all, it was in the 70s that they began to make everything out of plastic.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 7:50 am 
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jimbenedict wrote:
Years ago craftmanship was cheap. Now a plastic injection box is the best they can do. A fancy hand crafted wood cabinet could cost $1000 now.


True, but even using modern materials, they could still design some style into the things... bakelite was a form of plastic, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 8:12 am 
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Dalton wrote:
they could still design some style into the things...


My eyes bleed when I look at the design of modern cars...

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 9:36 am 
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Quote:
It would be better if they made cars out of plastic - at least they would not rust ..

Corvettes have had plastic (fiberglass) bodies for quite some time. Most cars now have quite a bit of plastic in them.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 2:16 pm 
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Jim Mueller wrote:
Quote:
It would be better if they made cars out of plastic - at least they would not rust ..

Corvettes have had plastic (fiberglass) bodies for quite some time. Most cars now have quite a bit of plastic in them.




Yes, and it makes the Corvettes (along with the Camaros) cheap looking.


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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 3:32 pm 
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The responses so far are a string of opinions.

Product designs are influenced by opinions. Market studies, focus groups, etc. The prevailing opinion gets us the designs that go on the shelves.

Lets face it: WE are not in the majority.

Not many people buy stand-alone radios and most don't care about their appearance. It's not furniture or art. Just an entertainment/information appliance. Since radios today have more bells and whistles, the design accommodates the bells and whistles at a price range deemed to be marketable.

Less than 1% of the folks shopping at Best Buy have ever seen a 1939 Zenith "Long Distance" wooden radio.

Rich

PS: Apple tries to do some creative design with their products, but it's lost on me.


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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 3:49 pm 
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Rich, W3HWJ wrote:
Lets face it: WE are not in the majority.


This is also a plus. On the market, there are still much more used equipment in excellent condition than its connoisseurs.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 3:54 pm 
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In the old days, a radio was a big purchase, and received a good location in the home. It would have been the only electronics in the home.

So why not let it reflect that?

But, most were simple, not offering much.

Nobody buys an SP-600 for looks. But you get a really good receiver.

People buying radios for function aren't leaving them on display on the shelf. They are using them, and want performance more than looks.

It's not unlike comments I've seen, a really good radio dismissed "because it doesn't sound good". But you don't buy an R390 to listen to the local AM station.


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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 3:58 pm 
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Like it or not radios are fading away as an essential item and the focus is no longer on appeal. Cell phones are replacing radio. Speaking of cell phones, all of the smartphones look pretty much the same, what they try to sell are features not so much design. For that matter cars all look the same. Sure there is some retro styling on some models that you can tell what it is but for the most part every car is a streamlined egg. The focus on products has shifted from physical features to features that are software based or can be upgraded without physical manufacturing. The downside is planned obsolescence.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 4:31 pm 
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Blustar1 wrote:
Jim Mueller wrote:
Quote:
It would be better if they made cars out of plastic - at least they would not rust ..

Corvettes have had plastic (fiberglass) bodies for quite some time. Most cars now have quite a bit of plastic in them.




Yes, and it makes the Corvettes (along with the Camaros) cheap looking.

What?!! Blustar1, I challenge and defy you to be able to tell what a finished, painted object is made of just by the look of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 5:00 pm 
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Yes, and it makes the Corvettes (along with the Camaros) cheap looking.[/quote]
What?!! Blustar1, I challenge and defy you to be able to tell what a finished, painted object is made of just by the look of it.[/quote]



Ha! I didn't make that remark out of jest. In fact, one couldn't help but notice all of that cheap looking red plastic on a new Camaro that was parked on the church lot only two years ago. Actually, there were tons of plastic on that Camaro's exterior, and that sure didn't appeal to me (or likely anyone else for that matter). In fact, there was so much plastic on that beast that the bumpers almost scraped the pavement. My 2005 Jaguar XJ8L does have plastic bumpers, but it would be a far cry from that new Camaro. In fact, I was actually at a loss as to why that certain party even purchased it. Grant you the Camaro was perhaps a fast car, but I don't think that I personally would want to be caught dead in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 5:25 pm 
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@Blustar1, I am not talking about cars, per se, I just don't see how one would be able to tell if a radio, an automobile,
or a cube were made of metal, plastic, wood, or any other material if they were all finished and painted similarly. Kudos to you and your Jag. This is not the thread for that. Post a Jag thread, and it can be ripped to shreds. I won't be the first to jump in, but I may jump in, if opinionated B.S. starts rearing its stupid head (again).

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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 5:59 pm 
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This one was offered alongside the one in Amazon that Bluestar linked to. They tried - to me it looks more like a car radio deeply inset into a wood-grained plastic case with a small speaker. But hey, it's got bluetooth! :roll:
-Ed


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 Post subject: Re: Why aren't new radios beautiful?
PostPosted: Sep Sat 18, 2021 6:13 pm 
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Ed in SoDak wrote:
to me it looks more like a car radio deeply inset into a wood-grained plastic case with a small speaker. But hey, it's got bluetooth! :roll:
-Ed

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