BIG American radio (1942)...also known as a 16-Q.
I had been looking for one of these high-tube-count Midwest radios for
a long time and finally got my hands on one. It has instantly become
the current darling of The Sparkbench. Its a big one...27" wide.
Midwest has a bit of a reputation for wasting tubes as a marketing
gimmick and I wanted to see for myself what all that was about. I like
big radios with lots of tubes! Some people also consider them to be
cheaply built, but I didn't find that to be the case. The only thing
that struck me as cheap is that the AF output xfmr is WAY undersized.
First order of business is to explain all those tubes...
Not too much waste there...but one has to question why a table radio
needs a jukebox capable audio stage.
One interesting feature that is somewhat unique, is the AVC driven Tone
Control. This switchable circuit can alter the tone automatically given
weak signal conditions. Supposedly this would give more pleasing audio.
Many sets have different tone compensation at different volume levels,
this one does it automatically. It works, but I personally find it more
of a gimmick.
Here's a big pic of the
dial so you can see the coverage of the 6 bands.
Looks great in the dark!
The receiver performs very well on all bands. And the audio sounds
great. Even the pushbuttons work! On the photo you see two slide
switches. One is an additional 'tone' switch, the other switches the
'automatic tone' in or out of the circuit. There's a regular tone
control knob also!
Click here to go to the following page of some of
the technical details observed while restoring this radio.
For more information all about Midwest,
check out Mike's pages. He's the Midwest guru and was very helpful with
my questions and concerns about this set.
For more info, e-mail me...
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