Silvertone 1581 - 1940 model


This is after restoration


This radio is a new acquisition, just started working on it. This one is an 8-tuber...there was a similar model with 10 tubes. We've got a 6K8-Osc/Mixer, 6U7-IF, 6J5-Detector, 6J5-AVC, (yeah, AVC!) 6F5-First Audio, 6F6-Final Audio, 6U5-Tuning Eye (weak) and a 5Y3 rectifier.

Its a four-band radio - BCB, 1.5 to 2.5 Mc, 5.6 to 18 Mc, and 9.35 to 9.9 Mc. I guess the engineer was fond of 31 meters since he gave it its own band on the dial. That engineer could have been Rube Goldberg given all the bandswitching and tuning mechanisms that resemble a high-tech mousetrap! Kinda like a car radio where they do all that just to get the knobs to fall decoratively on the front panel. We've got 2 different dial cord combos and a flexible Yaxley bandswitch drive. Concentric knobs and gears for On-Off-Volume/Tone Switch and Tuning/Bandswitch, not to mention the pushbutton assembly.

It looks like a promising project, but we're kinda short on plastic Silvertone push-buttons in the Sparkbench Warehouse if anybody knows a source for these. Initial work has been to re-cap it, and since most of the resistors are out of range, they're all being replaced too. Judging by the three layers of tape holding on the back cover, I'm guessing that three others have given up on it. One of the wires coming out of the power xfmr was pinched and grounded out...I'll bet the Sparkers before me thought the xfmr was shorted.
To you eBayers, that is what "haven't tested, power cord has been cut off" translates to.

Stay tuned for more updates.


Update, 3 June....Well I've hit the radio with juice and boy does she play nicely. I have to say that its one of the best performers to sit on the Sparkbench. Real nice audio quality to boot. Almost finished re-doing the cabinet, too and its coming out pretty. This was a fine radio in its day, shame it doesn't look like a Walton's set so that vintage radio buffs would find it interesting...this is the radio that The Walton's WOULD HAVE BOUGHT if things weren't so tough up on Walton Mountain!

More Update, 18 June...This has become my favorite radio and a daily "lissener". I astounded myself at how well the refinish job on the cabinet came out and the sound quality makes it a "natural" to listen to. Its one that you "like" to listen to! It deserves some repro push-buttons and knobs to make it "as new". Leaves me awestruck how far radio advanced between say the early 30's and 1940.


For more info, e-mail me...

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 - June 1998